East Austin Urban Farm Tour (podcast)

Apr 2nd, 2017 | By | Category: Featured Articles, podcast, the show

2014 East Austin Urbane Farm Tour

East Austin is returning to its agricultural roots one urban farm at a time.

You can help to celebrate its farming past, and its future, by attending the Seventh Annual East Austin Urban  Farm Tour on Sunday April 9, 2017from 1 to 5 p.m.

The tour benefits the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance, which is “leading the fight to save family farms and individuals from expensive and unnecessary government regulation.”

Admission is $55 for adults. Children 10 and under are free; Tickets are available for purchase online.

There will be chefs on hand at each location doing cooking demos with produce from the farm and offering tastes. Enjoy samples of wine, beer and spirits at each location.

As recently as the mid 1900s large farms were a common sight in East Austin. The area’s fertile bottom land soil, perfectly suited to growing spinach, earned Austin the moniker: Spinach Capital of Texas.

In the 1940s,  biochemists working at the University of Texas at Austin Department of Mirobiology and Chemistry, brought in spinach by the truckloads from East Austin for pioneering research on vitamins and the chemistry of their actions.

Esmond E. Snell, one of the outstanding biochemists of the 20th century wrote, “We mounted a major effort to purify the active principle to homogeneity from a rich local source, spinach. With a steam kettle and filter press installed in the attic of the Chemistry Building we processed roughly four tons of spinach.” What he and his colleagues discovered for their efforts was something they named “folic acid.”

By the end of World War II, farming lost favor as young men returned from service, and these productive farms were  divided into lots for houses, warehouses, and commercial enterprises.

Several sizable tracts of land survived, and these have formed the basis of today’s East Austin agricultural renaissance. Be part of it.

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