Environmental Groups – Food
The Sustainable Food Center connects local farmers to
local schools and school cafeterias to supply fresh produce
Austin Organic Gardeners
Mary Kraemer (512) 944-0200
Purpose: 2020 will mark the 75th anniversary of Austin Organic Gardeners! Since 1945, our members have shared information about successfully raising vegetables and ornamentals without using harsh fertilizers that harm the soil and toxic pesticides that disturb the ecological balance. The club’s philosophy is that human and animal health depends on the health of the soil that produces their food. Healthy soil, which is rich in organic matter, abounds with organisms that convert minerals in the soil into forms plants can use. The well-nourished plants growing in these soils are better able to defend themselves against attacks from insects, diseases, and other pests.
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.
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. GCP provides free training for volunteers wanting to learn more about organic gardening and lead garden installations.
Donations: Accepted by mail or on Web site.
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’s mission is to cultivate a just and regenerative food system so people and the environment can thrive.
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 farmers’ 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.
Newsletters/Publications: Weekly SFC e-newsletter. Sign up at: food.convio.net/site/PageNavigator/ENews_Archive.htmlW
Texas Center for Local Food
408 East 8th Street
Elgin, TX 78621.
Sue Beckwith (512) 496-1244
Purpose: Food touches everything! We believe Texans want to eat food grown in Texas and that’s healthy for our planet. We provide consultation and technical assistance to schools, communities, and organizations to help them incorporate food systems into their work, create markets for Texas-grown food and develop infrastructure to support access to it.
We are a small and scrappy organization focused on action that creates durable systems change. We’d love to have you or your organization as a member. Please contact us for rates and specific technical assistance services.
Projects/Activities: Farm-to-Kids After School Program for K-5; Local Food Resource Directory.
Volunteer Opportunities: To volunteer: (1) review our projects on our Web site; and (2) e-mail your letter of interest to AskMe@TexasLocalFood.org. We work with professors and instructors to support student credit for work on our projects.
Newsletters/Publications: Join on Web site to get our Member Newsletter.
Dues: $20 year/Supporter; $100 year/Organizations.
Texas Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (TOFGA)
P.O. Box 48
Elgin, TX 78621
Purpose: TOFGA is a statewide nonprofit 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.
EarthShare of Texas
P.O. Box 1911
Austin, TX 78767
Emma Cravey (512) 472-5518
FAX: (512) 472-4930
Purpose: An umbrella fundraising organization that raises money for environmental and conservation organizations that protect public health and our air, land, water and wildlife. EarthShare of Texas represents more than 70 local, state, national, and international environmental organizations in payroll contribution plans and other corporate partnerships across Texas.
Contact us to learn how you can help start a giving program in your workplace.
Partial List of Groups: Audubon Foundation of Texas, Austin Parks Foundation, BikeTexas Education Fund, Center for Maximum Potential Building Systems, Clean Water Fund of Texas, Colorado River Alliance, Ecology Action of Texas, Hill Country Conservancy, National Wildlife Federation, Public Citizen of Texas, Save Barton Creek Association, Sierra Club Foundation, State of Texas Alliance for Recycling, Sustainable Food Center, Texas Solar Energy Society, TreeFolks, Wildflower Donor, Inc.
Volunteer Opportunities: Office assistance.
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