Central Texas gets its first co-op food hub
Community has always been a big part of farming.
If you don’t know how to do or get ahold of something, chances are good that your neighbor does.
But one of the biggest challenges of farming in the 21st century is that many farmers didn’t come from farming families or might not already have a support network to, for example, go in on a bulk buy of organic feed for their chickens or turn extra tomatoes into a roasted heirloom tomato sauce to sell alongside their produce at the farmers market.
Moontower Community Agriculture Co-op is a new Central Texas food hub that aims to bring together and offer support to farmers so that they can all do better. What does that support look like? Sometimes it’s training in business management, marketing or grant writing. Or it’s pooling resources to buy a large piece of equipment or quantity of fertilizer, and at some point, it might include a food distribution center that would cut down on the time that farmers spend driving their produce from market to wholesale customer and back to market again.
One of Moontower Co-op’s new ventures is selling value-added products, including tomato sauce, hot pepper pique and pickled purple long beans, that incorporate produce from their members at the Mueller Farmers Market from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays at the Browning Hangar, 4500 Mueller Blvd. The variety of products changes from week to week, but you can find the latest info at facebook.com/moontowercoop.
Farmers and ranchers who are interested may inquire about memberships by emailing email@example.com, and supporters of local farms can also join with a $50 membership fee, which provides access to classes, special events, supper clubs, field trips and volunteer opportunities. You can find out more about the co-op and how to join at moontower.coop.