Organic farming is undoubtedly a labor of love and we’re lucky to live in a region where this love exists in abundance, in comparison to other parts of the country. Austinites have embraced the fact that local, organic fruits and vegetables, and grass-fed, pastured-raised meat, eggs, and dairy purchased from any of the city’s numerous farmers’ markets are superior to many of the products found on supermarket shelves.
Even so, of the 240,000 farms located in Texas, only 178 are certified organic. With the departure of a generation of retirement-age farmers and increasing barriers faced by a new generation, that number is unlikely to increase anytime soon. Economic challenges faced by organic farmers are greater than those faced by farmers of larger, conventional farms who receive government subsidies, and this often means going without access to adequate and affordable healthcare.
Farmgrass, a local Austin nonprofit organization, is raising funds to provide assistance to Central Texas organic farmers when they find their health, and the health of their farms, in a state of emergency. [Read more…]