Environmental Groups – Food
Between 10 and 32% of all human-related greenhouse emissions are tied to food production. Even more is associated with food preparation and storage. People can change their diets, assist in local food production, and educate the public. Eat to save the planet.
Austin Organic Gardeners
Forrest Arnold (512) 496-6443
Purpose: To preserve and share knowledge and methods for growing beautiful, healthy landscapes, and nutritious food plants. The group provides information on organic home, lawn, and garden maintenance.
Projects/Activities: Monthly meetings, with guest speakers; exchange of gardening experiences and plants.
Meetings: 2nd Monday of the month, 6:30–9 PM, Zilker Garden Center, Austin. (No meeting December.)
Volunteer Opportunities: Staff organic gardening information booths at Zilker Garden Festival, the annual organic vegetable and herb transplant sale, and selected other community events. Opportunities to serve on the club board are also available.
Austin Vegan &
P.O. Box 49333
Austin, TX 78765
Brendan Good (888) 884-2923
Purpose: The four goals of our association are: 1) to foster social contact for area vegans and vegetarians; 2) to support vegan/veg-friendly eating establishments and businesses/organizations; 3) social activism for vegetarianism, including animal rights, human health, world hunger, and the environment; and 4) to educate and inform people about the benefits of a plant-based diet, for their own health, for animals of course, and for the environment.
Projects/Activities: We table at events like Texas VegFest and the Earth Day Austin celebration.
We hold a Gathering in the Park potluck picnic for the entire vegan community of Austin, one in the spring and one in the fall.
Meetings: 1st and 2nd Saturdays (potluck gatherings). Other gatherings on a non-regular schedule. Check Web site for event dates and locations.
Volunteer Opportunities: Contact us at our e-mail address.
Dues: $25/year individuals; $40/year households.
Green Corn Project
P.O. Box 49468
Austin, TX 78765
Renee Studebaker (512) 769-6957
Purpose: Healthy eating can be an ongoing challenge for people who have limited income, health conditions, or physical limitations due to aging or disability. Green Corn Project (GCP) feeds Austin – one garden at a time. GCP builds organic food gardens for individuals and families across Central Texas, as well as schools and community centers. Our vision is that Central Texans have nutritious, affordable food grown in ways that conserve natural resources, promote self-reliance, and strengthen communities.
Projects/Activities: Spring and Fall Dig-Ins (garden building), seed starting workshops and Dig-in Leader Training; “Cook Globally, Grow Locally” Fall Festival at Boggy Creek Farm.
Volunteer Opportunities: Dig-in volunteers: No experience necessary. During Dig-In events held each spring and fall, volunteers work with a trained Dig-In Leader and garden recipients to build gardens.
Dig-In Leaders: GCP provides free training for volunteers wanting to learn more about biointensive gardening and lead garden installations.
Committee Positions: Serve on one of the GCP committees like PR, volunteer coordinator, or our fall festival.
Sustainable Food Center
2921 E. 17th Street, Building C
Austin, TX 78702
Ronda Rutledge (512) 236-0074
Purpose: Sustainable Food Center cultivates a healthy community by strengthening the local food system and improving access to nutritious, affordable food.
Projects/Activities: Sustainable Food Center is involved in every step of our local food system. SFC envisions a food-secure community where all children and adults grow, share, and prepare healthy, local food. SFC programs fall under 3 main categories: Grow, Share and Prepare.
1) Grow – SFC’s “Grow Local” program empowers children and adults to grow their own food by offering the education and resources they need to start and sustain gardens at schools, homes, and areas accessible to neighborhood residents.
2) Share – SFC’s “Farm Direct” program connects local growers with schools, urban residents and worksites in demand of fresh produce through projects such as farm-to-cafeteria, farm-to-school, and farm-to-work. SFC hosts weekly farmers’ markets with more local farmers than anywhere else in Austin. Our farmer’s markets include: SFC Farmers’ Market Downtown and SFC Farmers’ Market at Sunset Valley.
3) Prepare – SFC’s “The Happy Kitchen/La Cocina Alegre®” program is a nationally recognized cooking and nutrition education program that nurtures skills in food selection and preparation.
Volunteer Opportunities: Hands-on gardening and community projects, assistance with Farmers’ Market demos and events, office work and English to Spanish translation. Limited number of college internships available.
Newsletters/Publications: Weekly SFC e-newsletter. Sign up at: food.convio.net/site/PageNavigator/ENews_Archive.html
Texas Organic Farmers and
Gardeners Association (TOFGA)
P.O. Box 48
Elgin, TX 78621
Contact (512) 656-2456
Purpose: TOFGA is a statewide non-profit educational and support organization for producers, manufacturers, consumers and organic supporters.
Projects/Activities: Workshops, talks, and farm tours, as well as an annual winter conference providing organic producers (large and small) education on production, marketing, alternative crops, and production methods.
Volunteer Opportunities: Volunteers are the backbone of this organization. They staff booths, help organize and facilitate workshops and conferences, give local talks, help develop publications, and assist with fundraising.
Newsletters/Publications: TOFGA TODAY (quarterly, available to members) provides information on events, activities, products, services, and general news about TOFGA happenings and the organic farming industry.
Dues: $35/Individual; $150/Business; $250/Community; $500/Star.
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