Since I was in the Austin area for some time, I made it a point to visit my former fraternity brother, Brandon Bownds – who has a love for making all sorts of alcohol, even when I lived with him in college – at the winery he now manages, Horn Winery and Tasting Room in Hye, Texas!
While I was aware central Texas is a big producer of wine and craft beer, it was really the drive over to Horn Winery that put this vast volume into context as I drove past dozens of wineries!
“The Center for Maximum Potential Building Systems, established in 1975, is a non-profit education, research, and demonstration organization specializing in life cycle planning and design. We undertake projects based on their potential contribution to site, regional and global sustainability and human health, and actively pursue collaborations with associate organizations, businesses and professional firms.
Projects emphasize regional contexts as bases for responsible resource use relative to materials, energy, water, waste, food, and meaningful employment. Our expertise is accessible through green planning and design services, conference presentations, public lectures, and published papers.” — CMPBS Webpage
I stumbled on Mueller Park looking for a coffee shop with free WiFi while I killed some time before my next stop of the day. I initially pulled over at the food truck park, which I stopped at years ago if I remember correctly, but wanted somewhere that I could actually sit down, so I drove into the heart of Mueller Park!
“Located just three miles from downtown Austin and the Texas State Capitol and two miles from The University of Texas at Austin, Mueller is perfectly positioned to become an energetic new hub for central Austin.
The ambitious effort to redevelop Robert Mueller Municipal Airport into a mixed-use urban village in the heart of the city has helped Austin chart new directions. Mueller is envisioned as a sustainable community that is meeting extensive goals in housing and economic development. The award-winning Mueller Master Plan and the ambitious Master Development Agreement with Catellus Development Group and the City of Austin are the culmination of decades of community planning efforts from visionary neighbors and active citizens.” — Mueller Austin Webpage
I started my day at Agua Dulce Farm in Austin, Texas, to check out what a fully-functional aquaponics farm looks like and functions within a semi-urban setting.
“Agua Dulce Farm is a certified-Organic urban farm located in the heart of Austin, Texas, just 5 miles from downtown. We specialize in intensive Organic vegetable farming, using the most most sustainable and productive methods available. Part of what makes us so unique is our use of aquaponics.” — Agua Dulce Farms Webpage
My second stop of the day was at Farmshare Austin, an educational farm teaching new farmers and food supplier for local farmers’ markets and under-served communities.
“At Farmshare Austin, our mission is to grow a healthy local food community by increasing food access, teaching new farmers and preserving farmland. We envision a future of resilient local food economies that provide farmers with livable incomes, value the resources needed to farm and ensure organic food access. Farmshare Austin builds bridges between the produce grown on our 10-acre certified organic farm in Eastern Travis County and food access programs reaching food insecure communities in Central Texas.” — Farmshare Austin Webpage
The Community Gardens in Bastrop, Texas, really caught me off-guard because it was cooler than I expected, and that was even before I went through the free Aquaponics 101 class with Tyagaraja Welchthe (a.k.a Tyaga), resident permaculture and aquaponics practitioner, and owner of Sustainable Humane Earth in this business complex.
“At Community Gardens we have partnered with local business to provide quality local products and services to the community! We are an indoor/outdoor market place. We have a plant nursery, boutique, sustainable living systems such as aquaponics and a chicken coop. We also have a custom pool company, Landscape and custom home professionals to help with all your indoor and outdoor home needs! We want Community Gardens to be a unique and hands on experience for the entire family. We will be hosting many classes and events that will engage everyone from the smallest to the oldest and everyone in between. We look forward to serving you the next time you come by.” — Community Gardens Webpage