True self-reliance would entail growing all of your own produce and raising your own livestock for meat. In an urban area like Austin, that’s not feasible for most people. Even a backyard garden can only produce so much food.
Most people will therefore purchase their food all at a large chain grocery store. The Sustainable Food Center‘s goal is to break that cycle by promoting local, and usually organically-raised produce and animals through education efforts, raising awareness and simply making food available/providing a market for such food through area farmers’ markets.
To that end, I volunteered at the downtown Austin Farmers’ market today, helping to help gather and box up produce, meat and other items for the SFC’s Farm to Plate event next week. A handful of us went around to all the produce and meat vendors collecting items that they had agreed to sell to the SFC for this event, and then we sorted out the goods for chefs to pick up for their menus.
It was a great way to meet some of the people involved in the SFC and learn about some of their efforts, as well as exploring the Farmers’ Market without the pressure to purchase anything. I also got to eat duck eggs and wild boar sausage prepared by a chef from Dai Due restaurant.
And at the end I went home with a bag stuffed with local produce.