Johnson’s Backyard Garden founder launches Farmshare Austin
Brenton Johnson, who started Johnson’s Backyard Garden in his East Austin backyard back in 2004 and now runs one of the largest organic farms in Texas, has long wanted for formalize his farm’s philanthropic work.
For years, JBG has donated produce to nonprofits around Austin and hosted events to give back to the community, but this fall, Johnson is officially launching Farmshare Austin, a nonprofit whose mission is to improve access to organic and sustainably grown food in Central Texas through education, research, food access and land preservation. Johnson says that one part of Farmshare Austin that he is particularly excited about is called Farmer Starter, a hands-on educational program for beginning farmers that will include taking over a parcel of land on Johnson’s property lease-free.
From 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 9, Farmshare Austin is hosting its first fundraiser, a brunch on the farm at 9515 Hergotz Lane featuring live music from Shinyribs. Tickets cost $25 for adults and $10 for kids 16 and under, and you can buy them at farmshareaustin.org.
Manos de Cristo hosting holiday tamal sale
You don’t have to wait until Christmas to start buying tamales. The local nonprofit Manos de Cristo is hosting its 15th annual tamal sale, which raises money for the organization’s dental clinic that serves about 11,000 people in the Austin area. The tamales — pork, jalapeno pork, chicken, bean and vegetarian — cost $12 a dozen, and you have until Dec. 2 to submit your order by calling 512-477-7454, ext. 111, or emailing email@example.com. The tamales will be available for pick-up at Manos de Cristo’s main office, 4911 Harmon Ave., from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6.
Adams Extract adds red velvet boxed cake mix to product line
No one knows exactly where red velvet cake was invented, but before Adams Extract founder John A. Adams decided to up the ante with his red food coloring, the cake was more mahogany in color. In the 1930s, Adams started promoting a bright red velvet cake that called for his food coloring, and Americans’ perception of red velvet cake changed forever.
Now, the Gonzalez-based company, which was based in Austin until 2002, is selling a red velvet cake mix in a box that comes with a bottle of their signature vanilla, as well as the cocoa and red food coloring required to make the eye-catching desserts. The box, which contains a sugar mixture, a flour mixture, cocoa and small bottles of red food coloring and vanilla, costs $4.99 and made its debut at the Texas State Fair last month. You’ll be able to find it in grocery stores across the state in coming week. AdamsExtract.com
‘Chefspian’ Ayinde Howell bringing food dramedy to Hideout Theatre
Ayinde Howell is as much an actor as he is a cook. The lifelong vegan, who was born in Washington state but now splits his time between New York City and Los Angeles, runs the vegan website IEatGrass.com, but he’s also a stage performer who has worked with musicians including India.Arie and Erykah Badu. Howell, who calls himself a “chefspian,” came up with a way to combine his loves of acting and eating in My Meatless Life, “an improvisational musical dramedy” that he’s bringing to Austin next week. At 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 7, at the Hideout Theatre, 617 Congress Ave., he’ll share stories of growing up in his parents’ sandwich shop, touring with Grammy-winning musicians and coming up with new ways to answer the “What do you eat?” question that seems to follow vegans wherever they go. You can buy tickets for the show ($20 for adults, $15 for teens ages 14 to 17) and find out more at MyMeatlessLifeAustin.com.