New kids on Austin's urban farm block

Within one square mile off East Seventh Street in East Austin, you'll find four urban farms. Almost 20 years ago, Carol Ann Sayle and Larry Butler paved the way with Boggy Creek, and in the past three years, Rain Lily, HausBar and now Springdale farms have followed.

But the farms and the farmers who run them aren't just geographically close. Paula and Glenn Foore, who planted the first seeds at Springdale Farm in January of 2008, say their neighbors have been nothing but supportive as they've cultivated their 5 acres and that the camaraderie ends up benefiting everyone involved. "We're happy to point people their way, and they are happy to point people our way," Glenn Foore says.

"Dorsey (Barger of HausBar) will send an e-mail to all of us: `What are you all doing about these leaf-footed bugs?' " Paula Foore said a few weeks ago in reference to the pests that every June seem to collectively descend on tomato crops across the area.

The Foores have successfully fended off the bugs enough to harvest hundreds of pounds of heirloom tomatoes this year, which they are selling alongside other summer crops such as okra, cream peas, herbs and peppers to the public from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesdays and Saturdays at the farm at 755 Springdale Road.

In addition to their community-supported agriculture program, the Foores have started selling directly to chefs around town, so look for their produce on menus at restaurants including Péché, East Side Show Room, Trio, Olivia and Justine's. www.springdalefarmaustin.com .

­- Addie Broyles

Perfect with blue milk, these cookies would be

So here's my Star Wars merchandising idea: Cards that say, "Luke, I Am Your Father's Day." On the front, Darth Vader is taking a golf swing with his lightsaber. Inside, it says, "Blast! Sliced it again." No? All right, how about Star Wars cookie cutters from Williams-Sonoma? The set of four comes with Yoda, Boba Fett, a Stormtrooper and Darth Vader for $19.95 at www.williams-sonoma.com . (What, no Wookiee-cutters?) Calls to both Williams-Sonoma kitchen stores in Austin revealed that they're out of stock, but hopeful. The product line includes pancake molds and aprons. A Star Wars lunchbox is on the way. You know, to replace the one you've carried since 1978. Locations: Barton Creek Square mall, 2901 Capital of Texas Highway (Loop 360), 328-5220; the Arboretum, 9722 Great Hills Trail, 231-1813.

- Mike Sutter

Farmers market blooms quickly in Cedar Park

Walking among the booths at the Cedar Park Farms to Market, you'd never know the farmers' market has only been open three months.

Dozens of vendors line up in a parking lot behind the Market 1890 Ranch Shopping Center at the corner of U.S. 183A and RM 1431 selling fresh produce, locally raised meats and dairy products and specialty items such as pecans from Schwegmann Orchard in Georgetown, baking mixes from Cedar Park's Blessed Blends and homemade dips from Juanita Garcia, a longtime fixture at local farmers markets. One of the most unusual products is yak meat from Texas Yaks, a ranch near Weatherford.

Market director Carla Jenkins says the market, which is open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays, has grown steadily since it opened in March and that later this summer, she'll organize a market in the Lakeway/Lake Travis area.

- A.B.

Openings, closings and coming soon

• Open: Don Dario's, a Mexican restaurant and bar at 8801 S. Interstate 35. 479-8105.

• Opening Thursday : HomeField Grill, at 2000 S. Interstate 35. 388-4663, www.homefieldgrill.com .

• Opening Thursday : Takoba, a Mexican restaurant and bar at 1411 E. Seventh St. 628-4466.

- M.S., A.B.

Towels depict artistic veggies

Is it possible to have too many cute cotton dish towels? I think not, especially when they're re-usable (unlike paper towels) and so indispensible for doing dishes, wiping counter tops and drying wet hands. But the new veggie-print towels from DII are so cute, you might be tempted to just hang them on the wall for a splash of color. (I recently used them as placemats at a garden party.) The towels fade a bit after washing, but the warm patinas that develop are just as appealing as the out-of-the-package bright colors. DII Veggie Prints Dishtowels are available on amazon.com (a set of six sells for $21.99) and at Wheatsville Co-op (3101 Guadalupe St., $3.29 per towel). You can choose from six vegetables - turnips, radishes, carrots, peas, peppers and asparagus - in six different colors.

- Renee Studebaker

Food and wine briefs

• A handful of Austin musicians will host classes as part of Central Market's new music and cooking series. The classes are based on the Glenda Facemire book "Music in the Kitchen: Favorite Recipes from Austin City Limits Performers" and will feature Cindy Cashdollar (July 1), Christine Albert (July 8), Sara Hickman (July 23), Brandon Rhyder (July 28) and Bob Livingston (Aug. 5). Book a seat in one of the classes ($50) at www.centralmarket.com .

• Every year, the Kiwanis Club of Northwest Austin sells boxes of peaches to raise money for local charities and projects, and for the past few years, freezes or hailstorms have affected the availability of Hill Country peaches. But not this year. Bud Baughman says the club will sell peaches from three farms (Zenner's in Stonewall, McPeak's in Pittsburg and Talbott Farms in Palisade, Colo.) for $36 for a 22-pound box. The first deliveries, from the Texas orchards, will be July 10 and 17; Colorado peaches will arrive in early September. Order at least a week before delivery at www.nwaustinkiwanis.org/peachsales.html .

• While the professionals in New York are scarfing meaty hot dogs on live television at Nathan's Famous' annual International Hot Dog Eating Contest on July 4, local vegetarian hot dog eaters will be downing meat-free versions at iLoveMikeLitt's fourth annual Veggie Hot Dog Eating Contest. The competition to see who can eat the most veggie dogs in 12 minutes will take place at 2 p.m. on Sunday at the Tiniest Bar in Texas, 817 W. Fifth St., but those not competing in the contest can enjoy veggie dogs and NadaMoo ice cream for a $5 entry fee.

• Canada Day is Thursday, and Canadians in Austin, a local group of Canucks, is hosting its annual Canada Day Celebration at 6 p.m. at Paradise on Sixth, 401 E. Sixth St. Enjoy music from Ty Hall, Fatty Monk and EZ3, as well as Canadian beer, poutine, back bacon and Tim Hortons coffee. To RSVP, e-mail canadians.in.austin@gmail.com.

• Shawn Cirkiel's Parkside will host a five-course beer dinner with Independence Brewing Co. at 7 p.m. July 18. The menu includes cod fritters, popcorn soup, charcuterie, striped bass and Berkshire pork. $40. 301 E. Sixth St. 474-9898, www.parkside-austin.com .

- A.B., M.S.