Food-o-file

Young couples keeping CSA fresh; plus, openings around town

It's encouraging to see younger couples joining the local organic-farm community. Last Sunday, farmers Brenton and Beth Johnson entertained friends and members of their new CSA (community supported agriculture) operation with a potluck party at their farm. Brenton Johnson, who has a degree in agricultural engineering from Auburn, grew up on a farm in Alabama and is fulfilling his lifelong dream of farming his own land at Johnson's Backyard Garden (9515 Hergotz, 389-2515; bjohnson88@sbcglobal.net). He is busy planting more acreage and is currently signing folks up for the farm's weekly newsletter and the waiting list for his CSA. Meanwhile, Erin Flynn and Skip Connett are part of a new generation of farmers living and working on a small portion of the historic Bergstrom homestead east of town. Though they are new to that property, Connett also grew up on a family farm. The couple christened their operation Green Gate Farm (8604 FM 969, 926-2436; greengatefarm@gmail.com), and they encourage interested folks to visit the Green Gate farm page at www.localharvest.org. The page is updated frequently and offers information about their crops, upcoming events, and the opportunity to sign up for the waiting list for shares in their seasonal CSA: April through July and September through December.


Bocaditos

It shouldn't be long before people begin referring to the stretch of South Congress between Academy and Oltorf as "Little Italy." Chicago-born brothers Andrew and Matt Botticelli have taken over the cozy restaurant space recently vacated by Beck's and turned it into Botticelli's (1321 S. Congress, 916-1315), making it the sixth Italian restaurant or pizza parlor in the neighborhood. Chef Geoff Nunez is on the range at the new trattoria, where he's serving what he described as "Chicago-style" Italian food at dinner six nights a week. Look for Botticelli's to add lunch service and occasional live music in the coming months… Serious carnivores should be happy to note the opening of Austin's first Brazilian-style churrascaria. Estancia (4894 Hwy. 290 W., 892-1225) opened quietly last week next to a relatively new Holiday Inn Express. Estancia serves both lunch and dinner… The Downtown scuttlebutt says we're soon due for another churrascaria when the well-established chain operation Fogo de Chão comes to town to take over the swanky Convention Center-area space vacated last fall by Houlihan's. No word yet on a definite opening date, but we'll keep you posted.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Johnson's Backyard Garden, Green Gate Farm, Bottecelli, Estancia

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