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September 2020 Newsletter

We Grow Farmers

Food, Farms, Friends:

  • Meet some of the new Farmer Starter students
  • Apply for Farmer Starter Spring 2021
  • Farm and Food Leadership Conference

Some of the New Class

Meet Maya Guevara, who proudly calls East Austin home. Here's what she had to share with us:

What inspired or motivated you to join Farmer Starter?
Growing food for my community has been a dream of mine, but I have previously lacked the knowledge, confidence, and resources to make it happen. Enter Farmer Starter! I am so grateful to be part of the program. 

What is your relationship to farming? 
I was first exposed to farming via programming at Urban Roots as a young person growing up in Austin. For me, farming is about grounding myself in relationship with land and my community, and working with nature to provide sustenance and nourishment for people. I love having the opportunity to steward and care for the land, and I want to use farming as a tool for community sovereignty, autonomy and self-sufficiency. I believe that farming can be a powerful tool in creating a world that is healthy, just and resilient. 

What is your favorite fruit or veggie?
Texas Ruby Red grapefruit
Meet James Mosbey, who calls home any place he can be himself. Here's what he had to share with us:

What inspired or motivated you to join Farmer Starter?
I was inspired to join Farmer Starter due to an unexplainable sense of purpose and call to action to address major concerns like soil degradation, climate change, food security, community disparities, food quality and health negligence, to name a few. However, without any experience or education I wasn't sure where to start and sought out to find some way to learn the basics so that I may have solid foundation to build on that best fit my personal goals. Once I came across Farmshare Austin I knew I didn't need to look any further. I guess when there's a will, there's a way.

What is your relationship to farming?
Less than a year learning from mentors and Farmer Starter and that's it...so far. I'm ready for a long term commitment.

What is your favorite fruit or veggie?
That's difficult. I rarely have a favorite anything and plus there's SO MUCH I haven't tried. Watermelon would be the first to come to mind.
Meet Shannon Dzikas from Round Rock, TX. Here's what she had to share with us:
What inspired or motivated you to join Farmer Starter?
Failure. Trying and failing to execute my ambitious garden goals alone became frustrating. As soon as I found the Farmer Starter program online I immediately applied, then questioned my sanity, and started this program anyway!

What is your relationship to farming?
I grew up in the Las Vegas suburbs, but my dad lived in Connecticut on a huge 200-year-old family farm and I visited him a few times a year. I was happy there barefoot, eating pears off the enormous trees. I have spent my adult life trying to recreate that environment for my three kids. Growing food and cooking and eating are all so closely linked to love and joy in my mind. 

What is your favorite fruit or veggie?
Cherry tomatoes when they're all warmed up in the sun.
Meet David Chavez from...planet Earth! He calls Nowhere home and considers himself a vagabond. Here's what he had to share with us:

What inspired or motivated you to join Farmer Starter?
I want to have a sustainable farm

What is your relationship to farming?
Give and take

What is your favorite fruit or veggie?
Any tropical fruit

Apply for Farmer Starter

Interested in becoming more involved with your local food system? Want to build community resiliency while creating a bond with nature? Farmer Starter may be the perfect program for you!

Farmer Starter is an immersive farmer training program on a working, certified organic, diversified vegetable farm designed to provide aspiring farmers with the essential skills and training needed to manage a sustainable farming business.

Applications for the Spring 2021 semester are now open! The deadline for applications is November 6, 2020. Click below for more information!
Learn More

Farming Conference 

Our friends at FARFA, the Council for Healthy Food Systems, and the Small Producers Initiative at Texas State University have decided to move this year's Farm & Food Leadership conference online! The conference will take place October 26-27, so mark your calendar!

While we'll all miss the face-to-face interaction with each other, the organizers have discovered several advantages to hosting this event online, including:

  • Greater ability to attract top-notch national speakers who might otherwise not be able to participate.
  • The opportunity for people to attend from anywhere, as distance and travel are no longer a barrier.
  • Access to recordings of all sessions will be available to attendees for one full year at no additional charge. That means you won’t have to make that difficult choice between two sessions that run at the same time. Attend one in real time and watch the other later!

The organizers are ensuring this will be as close to an in-person experience as possible, including 18 sessions from which to choose,  Q&A time in each session, a keynote address, a choice of topic-specific sessions during each time slot, and the ability to have conversations with other attendees, even days before and after the Conference.

Registration will open SOON!
Watch for that announcement in an upcoming email or on FARFA's website!

Interested in being a Sponsor or Exhibitor? Email them at info@farmandranchfreedom.org.

Support Our Work

If you are able, please consider making a donation of any size to Farmshare Austin. We're working hard to provide access to healthy, local produce and groceries for our most economically vulnerable Mobile Market customers through the Curbside Delivery program, grow a new generation of sustainable farmers through the Farmer Starter program and preserve farmland through the Landlink program. None of our work would be possible without the amazing support from our friends and neighbors like you!
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