Urban Roots Farm Launches Virtual Fundraiser

Purchase produce, cook a recipe, and help youth

La Condesa Executive Chef Rick Lopez in the first installment of the Let's Get Cooking with Urban Roots video series

East Austin farm non-profit Urban Roots launched a cook-at-home virtual series named “Let’s Get Cooking with Urban Roots” on June 17 through the farm’s website and Instagram TV.

Partnered with Whole Foods and the City of Austin Office of Sustainability, the series will go for three weeks, with a tailored box of produce and food harvested from the farm to accompany the video tutorial, taught by Austin chefs.

Urban Roots, a nonprofit on a 3.5-acre farm growing 25,000 pounds of fresh produce a year in East Austin, uses food and farming to transform the lives of young people with paid internships (ages 14 to 23) in which they foster healthy relationships with food, life, job, and leadership skills, and a desire to give back to the community.”

Participants purchase a box of veggies for the week, selecting from the Urban Roots order form, and they’ll receive ingredients for the recipes and a pre-recorded video link of instructions on how to create the dish. Future boxes will be available for pickup at the farm on June 26- July 3, with the video link released two days before pickup day. Urban Roots is also adding a chance to win Made In cookware to participants who make an additional donation by July 3rd.

The first box of the week included jalapenos, tomatoes, garlic, and chives for a homemade salsa taught by executive chef of La Condesa, Rick Lopez. In addition to receiving produce from the East Austin farm, the boxes include other local goodies like sourdough bread and chocolate chip cookies from Thoroughbread, a bag of Siete chips, fresh items from Farmhouse Delivery, and gift cards to Lick Ice Creams. The second box will focus on beef and veggie quesadillas from executive chef Fermín Nuñez of Suerte with Urban Roots produce, ground Wagyu beef from Peeler Farms; ghee from Vital Farms; and Menonita cheese from Antonelli’s Cheese. The third box (so far) includes a recipe for green curry from owner/chef Jam Sanitchat of Thai Fresh with all that Urban Roots produce goodness and other local treasures.

Instead of having their on-farm youth program, proceeds from the boxes will go to Urban Roots youth stipend that will allow young people to learn about gardening through online videos at home and team-building games, since the garden is closed to the general public at this time.

Urban Roots executive director Max Elliot said he is, “incredibly excited to celebrate our community and partnerships. We are fortunate in that many amazing local restaurants, grocers, and food companies are rooting for us, and we want to feature their efforts as they work to rebuild post COVID-19.”

For more information, please see the Urban Roots website at www.urbanrootsatx.org and follow on Instagram at @urbanrootsatx

[Editor's note: We corrected Peeler Farms' name and added Farmhouse Delivery as an additional vendor.]

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