I haven't really spent a lot of time writing about Austin and I've been wanting to change that. I've lived here for two years now (and a couple months in 2007, too) and the level of originality this city has still surprises me.
Growing up in New Hampshire, there were a lot of things that I lived without when compared to kids from more urban areas. My home state still isn't well known for it's vegan options or evening entertainment, but it has made some strides. I sort of have this goal of returning to New Hampshire and helping it become more green and vegan friendly- though how realistic this is I can't begin to imagine. It seems like most of us have aspirations that are beyond our reach!
In the meantime, though, I feel like I should share with everyone the different types of things that people in Austin are doing to make this world a better place.
Last Wednesday, I headed on down to the Sustainable Food Center's farmer's market at the Triangle. The SFC is a great organization with four different markets going on at different times and places during the week with rotating booths and vendors, all with the goal of encouraging a more sustainable food system. I got there right as it was starting. It was hot, I had yogurt in the car, and I didn't feel like I could spend too much time outside shopping in 100+ degree weather with other groceries melting away, too. But someone had recommended that I visit the Happy Vegan Bakery and that is what I intended to do.
But on my way I also saw some wonderful vegetables that I absolutely had to buy. I purchased six little zucchini and a bunch of cherry or grape tomatoes for $8 from a very kind gentleman. And while I was meandering around I discovered some delicious iced hibiscus and mint tea made by Nile Valley. I've been drinking their hibiscus teas for several years now and had completely forgotten or spaced the fact that they're based in Austin. I purchased a box of family size hibiscus mint iced tea bags for $5 and got an on the spot iced tea for free. It's so awesome, and it tastes just as good at home. According to their website, they use some of their profits to develop the business owner's former hometown in Nubia.
I'm going to make a point of going to the various farmer's markets throughout Austin; there are so many with so many different vendors it can't possibly get boring.
But I'll have to start going to the ones that are on the weekends, I think, because I'll be leaving my full-time retail position in September. I've been trying to find another job for a long time now and, so long as I pass my drug test and complete my paid training with a passing grade, I'll be working days from here on out. Working evenings and weekends has put a genuine strain on my relationship, interests, and hobbies. I'm so very excited to have "normal hours" and to be able to spend more time with my family.
Photos of my goodies from the Happy Vegan Baker are to come. In the meantime, enjoy your day!