Guest article by Megan Renart
“Edible forest garden” might be the most Austin-y words I’ve ever written besides cold springs, breakfast tacos and live music.
And yet, we can now add said words to the list of actual places that exist in Austin. The Festival Beach Food Forest is a city-council-approved two acre stretch of land that runs next to I-35 and has been described as a “fence-free edible Eden where all are welcome to learn about food forestry and experience the beauty of an edible oasis in the heart of Austin.”
Festival Beach Food Forest is a pilot project of East Feast Coalition, a grassroots, volunteer run organization and offshoot of Urban Patchworks. And it’s free. The entire point of this edible food forest is to make it accessible to the public, which is why it’s being planted in one of Austin’s public parks.
This kind of permaculture not only conserves natural resources and secures surrounding wildlife habitats, but it also provides food security and empowers Austinites with agricultural knowledge. According to the official website, the vision for Festival Beach Food Forest means that:
Produce (fruits, nuts, vegetables and herbs) will be freely available to neighborhood residents, the RBJ Center food bank, and other members of the public. Urban Patchwork (FBFF’s parent nonprofit), the City of Austin’s Sustainable Urban Agriculture and Community Garden Program, Urban Forestry Program, and other city officials are collaborating to support the delicious vision.
This Saturday, January 31st, there will be a celebration in honor of this magical, sustainable, dharma initiative. It is family friendly and music laden, with dessert and drinks supplied.
- Pie Walk with featured pies from community partners
- Plant-inspired activities
- Presentations by local leaders
- Silent auction with donations from local businesses such as Compost Pedallers, Coffee Sock, Growler Domestic and Austin Beer Garden Brewery
So join us!
What: Festival Beach Food Forest Launch Party
Where: YardFarm, 7204 Shelton Road, Austin, TX 78725
When: January 31, 2015 from 4-11 PM
Music: Los Texas Wranglers, Wiretree, Graham Wilkinson, Honey Punch, Full Moon Medicine, Jimony, DJ Bildeaux, Super Smash Bros., The Lost Pines and Minor Mishap Marching Band
Dessert: Oh yes
Drinks: Titos, Meridian Hive, East Ciders
Tickets: Early Bird $20 and Door $30, available online
Volunteers are most welcome. Information on opportunities or presentations can be found at FestivalBeach.org.
@theAustinot wants to know:
What do you think of the concept of having an edible forest garden in Austin?
Megan Renart is a publicist by day and writer by night, has happily contributed to Austin Eavesdropper and once, just once, had a picture published on National Geographic.