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Austin Community Farms: Urban Patchwork Brings Vegetable Gardening To Your Backyard

published on June 16, 2012

Urban Patchwork, founded in 2009, is a community-based organization providing safe, fresh, local produce and eggs to Austinites, while helping community gardeners and farmers establish a solid living that helps their families and our local economy thrive. The Urban Patchwork network not only grows food to nourish clients of its CSA, found in neighborhoods throughout Austin from Barton Creek to Great Hills to its farm stand, it offers farm start-up programs, workshops on gardening, nutrition, food storage and cooking, job creation and more. The program works with people in any neighborhood that request assistance to turn unused yard space into farmland that provides fresh, organically grown produce and eggs to the nearby residents of each neighborhood farm. While their primary clientele for establishing backyard farms has been in East Austin, Urban Patchwork also works with residents in Allandale, Lakeway, or anywhere in Austin. 

The way Urban Patchwork works is neighborhood residents and businesses host farm plots in their yards in exchange for fresh veggies and other opportunities that reduce the cost of living and increase the quality and value of their land and lives. Neighborhood farmers and volunteers prepare the soil, plant, harvest and deliver the crops. Urban Patchwork also helps residents establish chicken coops, rabbit warrens, goat pens, and rainwater collection systems. 

Urban Patchwork founder Paige Hill says, “Most fruits, vegetables and eggs sold in stores are designed for their ability to withstand industrial harvesting equipment, synthetic chemicals, extended travel and storage. ‘Food’ is processed beyond recognition and lacks critical nutrients that keep us out of the doctors’ offices.” Her answer to this dilemma is the non-profit Urban Patchwork. “When communities work alongside farmers to grow local, fresh vegetables, fruits, eggs and grains right in the city using methods that reduce costs, restore the environment and provide an abundance of safe, fresh food for everyone, families are healthier and experience deeper connections both with the land and each other.”

Volunteers are always welcome at the main farm, or at any of the installed neighborhood farms. Urban Patchwork also offers a CSA program, and sells fresh produce and canned goods at farmers’ markets. If you’d like to own a home where you can establish your own backyard garden, contact an Austin Realtor today. 

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