The Austin Chronicle

Slow Food Austin Announces Inaugural Snailblazer Award Winners

By Virginia B. Wood, July 17, 2013, 11:30am, On the Range

Slow Food Austin has announced that Boggy Creek Farm owners Carol Ann Sayle and Larry Butler are the recipients of the first Snailblazer Award. Presentation of the award will take place at the Grub Trivia event this weekend at the Shoal Crossing Event Center.

"When the leadership board discussed creating this award months ago, we knew immediately that we wanted to celebrate the incredible influence that farmers have on our food community - we can't eat local food without local farmers," said Sara Weber, Slow Food Austin president. "Austin does a great job recognizing our local food stars and chefs, but we thought it was time to acknowledge the dedication and significance of farmers like Carol Ann and Larry, especially in light of the recent proposed changes to the Urban Farm Code."

Indeed, Sayle and Butler are responsible for creating one of the first truly urban organic farms in the country, having purchased the five acres on Lyons Road in East Austin in 1992. The property they revitalized has been a family farm since the Republic of Texas era and the farm house they lovingly restored is most likely the oldest surviving home in Austin. Over the past twenty years, Sayle and Butler have proven to be excellent stewards of the historic farm property as pioneers of a modern farming renaissance in East Austin where most of the rich Colorado River bottom land was under cultivation until the Thirties and Forties.

"We feel like the farm is successful because we keep doing what we've always done and we are passionate about the health of the soil," said Carol Ann Sayle. "We'll never get rich, but we eat well, get plenty of exercise in all kinds of weather, and enjoy the company of our dedicated employees and the folks who come to our farmstand every week."

Boggy Creek Farm is a frequent educational destination for local school children, community groups, and Texas history enthusiasts. The farm also hosts annual fundraisers for organizations such as the Green Corn Project and new farm workshops for the Texas Organic Farmers and Growers Association (TOFGA). It is an invaluable community resource. For more information about supporting Boggy Creek and Austin's other urban farms, go here.

Slow Food Austin's annual Grub Trivia event will be held Sunday, July 21, at the Shoal Crossing Event Center (8611 N. MoPac) from noon until 4pm. Teams of local foodies will test their knowledge of food, wine, spirits, agriculture, and other epicurean curiosities. There will be raffle prizes, a grub crawl of delectable food from local "slow" restaurants and food artisans, and local drinks at happy hour prices. After the awards presentation at half time, the butchers from Salt & Time will break down a hog carcass and auction off the cuts. Tickets are $20 for Slow Food members and $25 for the general public. Purchase tickets here.

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