Tag Archives: texas

What’s in Season: May

hot peppers

PRODUCE :  Arugula, beets, blackberries, bok choi, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, collard greens, eggplant (later this month), garlic, kale, lettuce and salad mixes, mustard greens, onions (full size and green), parsnips, peas (sugar and snap), peppers (sweet and hot – later this month), potatoes, radishes, rhubarb, spinach, Swiss chard, tomatoes (green and red), turnips, turnip greens.

HERBS :  Basil, bay, cilantro, dill, fennel, lavender, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, tarragon, thyme.

LOCALLY-RAISED and MADE GROCERY ITEMS :
Baked goods (breads, pastries, pies, gluten-free), balsamic vinegars, beef, cheeses (cow & goat), chaga, chicken (whole, breast, ground), chocolate (artisan & raw), coffee & espresso, cornmeal, eggs (chicken & duck), granola, honey, jams & jellies, kimchi, lamb, milk, olive oils, pasta, pecans, pickles, popcorn, pork, rabbit, salsa, sesame seeds, sorghum, sorghum flour, tea, turkey, vinaigrettes, wheat flour, wheatgrass (for juicing), wine, yogurt.

NON-FOOD ITEMS : 
Art (local designers and artists), bamboo vases and garden trellises, charcoal & smoker chips (mesquite), compost & compost tea, dog food & treats (all-natural), flowers (seasonally), firewood, garden manuals, goat’s milk soap, laundry detergent, lotion, mulch, plants (herbs, flowers, vegetables), tote bags, vermicomposting worms and kits.

PREPARED FOODS :
Breakfast burritos and tacos, crepes, Indian, ice cream, kurryworst, wood-fired pizza, pretzels, tamales, waffles – and more gluten-free goodies, starting May 2014!!

Improving Access to Local Foods in Texas

 

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Although local foods travel a short physical distance from farm to table, farmers travel a long road with obstacles: government laws and regulations made by and for the benefit of big corporate agribusinesses. The Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance (FARFA) provides a voice for small/independent farms, working to protect their freedom to produce and sell local, healthy foods and provide access to consumers.

We’re working on common-sense bills to remove some of these barriers in Texas. YOUR support is needed to move these bills forward! Please contact your State Representative and Senator, and urge them to support these local foods bills in the next legislative session beginning January 2013. Don’t know who represents you? Visit www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us or call 512-463-4630.

PROPOSED BILLS

  • Encouraging home-based food production (“cottage foods”): Last session, a bill provided that producers could make specific low-risk foods in their homes and sell directly to consumers, up to $50K/year, without regulation by state/local health departments. The new bill would expand the law to cover more foods and allow for sales to occur at farmers markets, farm stands, and other agreed-upon locations.
  • Establishing fair property tax for urban farms and community gardens: Current state law provides that land shall be appraised as agricultural land if it’s primarily for “agricultural use.” Although defined broadly, it has been applied restrictively. This bill will help urban farms and community gardens qualify for agricultural valuation in a reasonable time frame.
  • Improving access to land for community gardens: This bill protects landowners from liability if they allow vacant lots to be used as land for community gardens.
  • Making it easier to offer samples at farmers markets/farm stands: Letting customers sample food is a great way to increase sales for small farmers and food producers, but current regulations are based on requirements for brick-and-mortar facilities. This bill provides clear, appropriate requirements for sampling at farmers markets and farm stands.
  • Limiting fees for farmers selling directly to consumers: Many local health departments require farmers and other food producers selling directly to consumers to apply for permits, and the associated fees create a financial burden on those who are small businesses with low profit margins. The bill proposes to cap health department fees at $50 per jurisdiction.
  • Improving access to raw milk: Texans can legally buy unpasteurized milk from pasture-raised cows and goats raised, but regulations limit sales to on-farm, which burdens consumers and penalizes farmers. HB 46 would allow licensed farmers to sell raw milk directly to consumers at farmers markets/farm stand/fairs, or make delivery arrangements, while still ensuring safety.
  • Removing unnecessary fees: HB 254 protects urban farmers from the imposition of wastewater fees for water used for agricultural uses (this water doesn’t enter the wastewater system).
  • Removing barriers to on-farm and in-home food production: Current regulations require a separate building from the residence to get any kind of license, creating unnecessary expense and inconvenience for small farmers and small-scale food producers. This bill would allow in-home licensed facilities if they meet the applicable sanitary requirements.

For more information and to stay informed on what you can do to help, go to www.FarmAndRanchFreedom.org & sign up for free email alerts!

Vendor Profile: TLC Farms Nubian Goat Dairy.

Caroline and her goats.

TLC Farms Nubian Dairy Goats is located outside Franklin, Texas on 15 acres of rolling post oak savannah. Our “family” consists of our herd of Nubian dairy goats, plus numerous cats, dogs, chickens, ducks and a pair of donkeys.

When Tom lost his job in 2002, we began making goat milk soap with the creamy milk from our Nubian does, and the business took off in a big way. Today TLC Farms goat milk soaps and lotions can be found in stores in South/Central Texas as well as on our website. We plan to attend the Waco Downtown Farmers Market the first or second Saturday of each month, depending on the weather or prior commitments we might have off the farm.

For more information about the Farm:

TLC Farms

5124 FM 1940

Franklin, TX 77856

www.tlc-farms.com