Food-o-File: Early Edition

Planting seeds

New Farm Institute at Green Gate Farms (photo courtesy of Austin Food & Wine Alliance)

Tomorrow is our annual Best of Austin issue, but Austin food news doesn't stop. Since we are not running Food-o-File in the print issue this week, we decided to give it to you a day early.

Take that great idea off the back burner. The Austin Food & Wine Alliance is now accepting proposals for the 2015 Culinary Innovation and Community Giveback Grants. Eligible applicants could be farmers, ranchers, food artisans, chefs, producers of wine/beer/spirits, culinary businesses, or food-focused nonprofits with projects or initiatives that demonstrate innovation and community involvement. This year, AFWA will give out $40,000 in grant money, making a total of $115,000 invested in community culinary projects over the past four years. “With strong benefactor support from the Austin Food & Wine Festival and outstanding sold-out events such as Wine & Swine and Live Fire, we are thrilled to be able to give this sizable amount of funding for grants to benefit and highlight the talent, craftsmanship, and innovation of the Austin culinary community,” said Cathy Cochran-Lewis, AFWA grant chair. After the application process closes at midnight on Oct. 2, a panel of prominent culinary professionals will evaluate the proposals based on established criteria, information provided in the applications, and the stated goals of each applicant. “Our mission is unique in that small businesses, individuals, and nonprofits seldom have a resource such as this to move their dreams forward,” says AWFA executive director Mariam Parker. This years grant recipients will be notified by Dec. 1, and the grants will be distributed at a ceremony at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center on Dec. 8. Applications are available online.

"Agtivist – someone who fights for food freedom." I love it when people are curious about the meaning of this bumper sticker on my scooter. If they ask me this month, I'll suggest they investigate the ninth annual Farm & Food Leadership Conference being hosted in Bryan, Sept. 25-26 by the Farm & Food Leadership Alliance (FARFA) and the Council for Healthy Systems. This year's topics will focus on learning how to change policies that effect our food system. There will be hands-on activism workshops and presentations by experts on the subjects of legalizing hemp, the bee crisis, urban farming, food safety laws, and more. “One of the exciting things about the local foods movement is that it brings together all kinds of people: rural and urban, conservative and liberal, farmer and consumer. The conference reflects this unique convergence of interests,” explains Judith McGeary – attorney, farmer, and FARFA executive director. Complete details and registration available here.

Speaking of farms, this week's online newsletter from Farmhouse Delivery included an educational and poignant article about the plight of small-scale farming and the closure of Water Oak Farm, a goat dairy near Bryan. Mark and Pam Burow have sold fine-quality goat milk and cheeses from their farm for about 15 years, but it has always been more a labor of love than one of profit. I first encountered their cheeses at the Boggy Creek Farm stand years ago and have been a fan ever since. Local food enthusiasts can go here to read more about it.

Sign up for the Chronicle Cooking newsletter

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

If you want to submit a recipe, send it to

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Austin food news
Oysters and Milkshakes and Music and Smoke and – Dip! Dip! Dip!
Oysters and Milkshakes and Music and Smoke and – Dip! Dip! Dip!
All the news that’s fit to get your taste buds quivering

Wayne Alan Brenner, Sept. 9, 2020

More New Restaurants Announced for Domain Northside
More New Restaurants Announced for Domain Northside
Daily Austin food news

Brandon Watson, Oct. 13, 2016

More by Virginia B. Wood
Top 10 Savory Bites
Top 10 Savory Bites

Jan. 1, 2016

Open Secret
Open Secret
The not-so-hidden pleasures of dine

Dec. 25, 2015


Austin food news

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle