Agua Dulce Tour
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
Agua Dulce Farm serves a number of fine restaurants and vendors in Austin and beyond!
Farmshare Austin Tour
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
Community Gardens – Aquaponics 101
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
Texas A&M Landscape Architecture & Urban Planning
Since I stepped back from the marketing field and stepped into the world of communal living, sustainability and permaculture – I’ve considered going back to school for a higher education related to these topics so I can better share them with others (while making a living).
So I contacted Shannon S. Van Zandt at the department of Landscape Architecture & Urban Planning within the College of Architecture at Texas A&M University, and we scheduled a day to meet with faculty members, Eric Bardenhagen and Galen D. Newman, so I could learn more about the programs and which would be best for me! (Many, many thanks to everyone!)
My final stop of the day was at the Roots Cooperative in Austin, Texas, for their open house and ‘meet and greet’ for those interested in upcoming available rooms.
“We are one of the 8 community cooperative here in Austin Texas. Our focus is on environmental sustainability and community building. We are governed through consensus process and highly value communication. Roots was founded by 10 activists out of the Occupy movement and takes a strong political and social stance for equality by gaining awareness of societal generated oppression and creating a new standard for non-hierarchical relationships.” – Fellowship of Intentional Communities Webpage
This is a view of the rental house turned underground cohousing community, which includes a couple of trailers for additional housing space. It’s tucked into an older neighborhood that is slowly being updated and gentrified with newer homes — a consistent trend in Austin.
The School of Permaculture
My experience with the School of Permaculture (SOP) started before I left for Lost Valley Education and Event Center in Oregon, where I earned my Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) and Ecovillage Design Education Certificate (EDE) as part of LV’s Holistic Sustainability Semester (HSS) program. (See past blog posts)
I officially met Nicholas Burtner and his wife, Kristi Burtner, at their suburban home demonstration site in Plano, Texas, for one of their free ‘Intro to Permaculture’ classes — which was the Friday before the start of their in-person PDC class weekend from Saturday to Sunday at the Plano Environmental Education Center.