Farming

Ep 25: Eden East Austin – Farm to Table Restaurant in the Heart of Austin, Texas

Listen as Sonya Cote, Executive Chef and Kayce Braden, Projects Manager tell us about the farm to table experience of their restaurant Eden East Austin, why it is important for consumers to care about where their food comes from, and how they are doing their part in building a better food system.

About Eden East Austin:
Located in East Austin, Eden East is a true farm-to-table dining experience. The restaurant serves a monthly prix fixe menu every weekend and an a la carte brunch on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Every Thursday, Eden East offers an a la carte dinner paired with live music or a DJ. Each month, chefs develop a menu based on the most vibrant seasonal ingredients from the farm, as well as local farms and ranches.

Website: https://edeneastaustin.com/

About Sonya Coté:
Sonya Coté is a perfect blend of chef, artist and storyteller. With a background in art and graphic design, Coté has had quite a vibrant career. Even as her culinary endeavors expand, she remains an artist. Each new plate is her canvas that tells its own story.

As many Austin diners know, Coté is the free spirit behind Hillside Farmacy and Eden East, the latter being located on an urban farm that her and her partner David are currently maintaining.  At Eden East, patrons can dine al fresco under the stars on a menu that is based on what’s in season on the farm and as well as shop produce and local goods at farmers market. 

Coté’s story begins in a coastal community in Rhode Island, where she grew up with a love for camping and an affinity for cooking. Her restaurants reflect her love of the outdoors and all things local. She first left Rhode Island for Dallas in 1989, being “fascinated by the Wild West and its stereotypes, but living in the city, I was surprised that people didn’t know their neighbors.” Since then she has planted roots in Austin and created an amazing community.

Coté has received numerous accolades, including recognition as one of Marie Claire’s “Women on Top. She competed on Food Network’s “Chopped”. Her restaurant Eden East was named one of Austin Monthly’s “Best New Restaurants.” Soon after, Coté was named one of Tribeza’s “People of the Year.”

About Kaycee Braden:
Kaycee Braden has a passion for food.  From her earliest memories to her current daily activities, she knew she could find an outlet for her passion and how food is shared, sold & grown, within the food community. The recent “Farm to Table” movement became a way for Kaycee to share what she had learned through her travels & help grow this community in Austin by bringing healthy food resources & alternatives to “big ag”.

Fresh faced & starry eyed, she started her journey into the food scene by earning her Permaculture Design Certification with an emphasis on community development and ethno botanical horticulture in her early twenties. Wanting to dig deeper into learning more about food justice Kaycee found herself traveling across the globe study in depth small agriculture and the effects of the green revolution in Rajasthan, India. She then went on to graduate with her BA from Evergreen State College in sustainable agriculture & community development.  She then set out to begin her life pursuing her passion.

Kaycee is a proud Texas native, a world traveler who has resided in many places.  She has recently come back home to Texas to bring us her experiences and love of food culture to the everyday operations of a restaurant located in the heart of Austin.  Austin Texas has quickly become a busy, thriving food community with deep roots. She began her employment at Eden East upon her arrival to the city while still attending culinary classes.  Through the years, she worked through each department of the restaurant including kitchen, then ultimately ending up as the General Manager. After success in this role, she then became a valued partner to the business.

Her hard work and dedication has brought Eden East Restaurant & Farm much success.  Through her education, guests & employees both can learn about the inner workings of a restaurant & an urban farm.

Ep 24: Rebecca Thistlethwaite – Author, Farmer and Sustainability Consultant

Rebecca Thistlethwaite discusses her passion for food, farming, and sustainable business models that advance equity, ecological integrity and restore human relationships.

Bio:
Rebecca Thistlethwaite is the author of Farms with a Future (Chelsea Green, 2012) and The New Livestock Farmer (Chelsea Green, 2015). As the Program Manager of the eXtension community-of-practice Niche Meat Processor Assistance Network (NMPAN), she develops and delivers technical assistance and educational content for niche meat producers and processors around the country. She also runs Sustain Consulting, which specializes in building thriving farming and food businesses and is a freelance writer, writing for LocalHarvestOn Pasture, and other newsletters. Formerly, Rebecca ran a successful pastured livestock and poultry farm in California, direct marketing meat and eggs around the Bay Area. She currently lives in the Columbia River Gorge with her two children and trail runs whenever she is not volunteering for local schools. Her website is rebeccathistlethwaite.com.

Websites:
https://rebeccathistlethwaite.com/
http://www.nichemeatprocessing.org/

Books:
https://www.chelseagreen.com/product/the-new-livestock-farmer/
https://www.chelseagreen.com/product/farms-with-a-future/

Ep 23: Raleigh City Farm – Rebekah Beck, General Manager

Our guest is Rebekah Beck, General Manager of Raleigh City Farm in North Carolina. Listen as she teaches us about Raleigh City Farm, the importance of urban farms, community development and her dreams for Urban Farms in the Future.

Rebekah Beck Bio:
Rebekah was invited to volunteer for Raleigh City Farm in early 2015 by serving on their marketing and communications committee until a part-time role as General Manager became available later that year. With a background in social work and nonprofits/program management, she remains inspired by the mission of RCF to promote education and awareness about where our food comes from. Rebekah enjoys supporting those doing the valuable work of growing that which sustains us, all the while promoting the resiliency of our natural environment for generations to come.

About Raleigh City Farm
Raleigh City Farm is a nonprofit urban farm founded in 2011 on a formerly vacant one-acre lot in downtown Raleigh. Our mission is to grow the next generation of farmers by connecting our community to sustainable agriculture. We believe in the power of urban farms to reduce waste, create healthier communities, and reconnect city-dwellers with healthy food production through more frequent encounters with agriculture. We believe that turning vacant lots into productive, nourishing farmland can create something from nothing – an amenity from an eyesore. We believe that urban farms bring people together, make our neighborhoods more beautiful and safer, and spur economic development and growth. And we believe that our impact can extend beyond the perimeter of our small farm site as we create business opportunities for new farmers in the region, helping them sell their products to local chefs and restaurants and directly to the community.

Find out more at: raleighcityfarm.org/

Ep 22: For the Sake of Soil – A Seasoned Perspective from Eastern Iowa Farmers

A panel of Eastern Iowa Farmers who care deeply about soil health and water quality. These Iowa natives have decades of experience in agriculture and have seen first-hand the effects of un-sustainable agricultural practices on the landscape of Iowa. Listen as we discuss the importance of soil health, the problems and opportunities future farmers face, and ways we can improve agriculture for better food and environment.

Ep 21: Water and Rural Economics – Gary Siegwarth, 2018 Independent Candidate for Iowa Governor

Gary Siegwarth ran for Governor of Iowa in 2018 as an Independent Candidate and formed the Clear Water Party of Iowa.  Listen as he discusses the future of agriculture, what he learned while running for Governor, and why water connects us all. 

Bio
Gary Siegwarth has been a Natural Resource Biologist for the Iowa DNR Fisheries Bureau the past 26 years. He has managed Big Spring Trout Hatchery near Elkader the past 18 years. Prior to that he was the Interior Streams and Rivers Research Biologist for the State of Iowa. Prior to his career in natural resources, Gary operated the family farm in Jackson County. In 2018, Gary ran for Governor of Iowa as an Independent candidate and formed the Clear Water Party of Iowa. Part of his mission was to raise awareness and to change our way of thinking for both natural resources and the potential of the future of a more diverse and transparent agricultural system in Iowa.

Gary’s Website: https://garyforgov.org/

Ep 20: Alemany Farm – San Francisco’s Largest Urban Farm

Chris Chimenti, Volunteer Co-Manager at Alemany Farm teaches us about San Francisco’s largest urban farm and its role in building a better food system

About Alemany Farm
Friends of Alemany Farm is a volunteer group that manages the horticulture, volunteer, and educational programs at Alemany Farm, a 3.5 acre organic farm ecosystem in southeast San Francisco..

Mission:
Friends of Alemany Farm grows food security and educates local residents about how they can become their own food producers. They strive to increase ecological knowledge and habitat value, and to sow the seeds for economic and environmental justice.

They pursue four main goals:
1. Fostering Environmental Education by introducing children and adults to the idea that local food production can be part of a healthy ecosystem, and inspiring visitors to start their own gardens at home.

2. Boosting Food Security by providing organic, healthy food to community members.

3. Growing Leaders through the communal ethic of the barn-raising that encourages people to play an active role in decision-making.

4. Promoting Ecological-Economic Development by using urban agriculture as a way to develop job skills

Links:
http://www.alemanyfarm.org/
http://www.alemanyfarm.org/donors/ – To Donate

About Chris Chimenti:
Chris Chimenti is an Urban Farming and Customer Success professional who for the last decade has worked as a volunteer co-manager of Alemany Farm, San Francisco’s largest urban farm, which produces over 24,000 pounds of organic fruits and vegetables annually. As a Customer Success professional he has over a decade of experience working for early stage tech start-ups and Google, with a focus on leadership and account management in the mobile, advertising and marketing industries. Chris holds an MA in Multimedia Interface Design, a BA in Broadcasting & Electronic Communication Arts, and an Apprenticeship in Ecological Horticulture. He can be contacted at christopher.chimenti@gmail.com or on Linkedin.

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