The Peached Tortilla: Tacos, baby, tacos!

Meet the Man Behind the Peach: Eric Silverstein

The Peached Tortilla food truck is renowned for its eclectic twist on your everyday taco. With a distinct Asian influence and a down south foundation, these tacos are unique to Austin alone. So what’s the story? How did the fusion sensation that is Peached Tortilla all start?

Well, it started with Eric.

Eric Silverstien is a direct reflection of the business he created. Born and raised in Tokyo, moving and maturing in Atlanta, and studying in St. Louis, Eric himself is a blend of cultures. It’s his personality playing out on the Peached Tortilla Menu. Take the Banh Mi slider, for example. It’s a Vietnamese braised pork belly with pickled daikon carrot, sriracha mayo and cilantro. I would never have put pork, sriracha and cilantro together, but this is a magical combo that you have to try!

I was surprised to hear Eric had actually been a litigator before moving to Austin. So, obviously, that begs the question, why abandon magistrates for menus? Courts for chef hats? Trials for tacos?

According to Eric, “I just love food. It’s in my blood.”

I must say, it takes a lot of guts to abandon a “safe” but perhaps personally unsatisfying career to do something you love. So high five to this guy! He wasn’t happy where he was in life, and figured it was about time to turn this dream into a reality.

The dream was actually never the food truck, but to open a restaurant of his own. It’s been four years since Eric came to Austin. And finally, after years of hard work, The Peached Tortilla will have a permanent home.

Prep your tastebuds, people. Because this fall The Peached Tortilla is confined to a truck no more.

The new restaurant will be located at 5520 Burnett Road, Austin TX.

That being said, if you can’t wait till then, visit the links below to find out where The Peached Tortilla will be each week OR just come visit us at the HOPE Farmer’s Market each Sunday from 11:00 – 3:00!

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Hello!

I’m Brooke, the author of the blog you’ve just read. Working with the HOPE Farmer’s Market has been so great, but unfortunately I will have to leave HOPE to finish my last semester at Baylor University this fall. I will graduate with a major in political science and a minor in poverty studies and social justice. When I’m not blogging, my days are full of studying for the GRE and applications. I know I’m super exciting this summer, right? But every blog, I’ll let you guys know something a bit more interesting about myself and this week’s fact is:

I not-so-secretly want to become a Zumba instructor on the side.

The East Side Compost Pedallers

Saving the Planet… One Bucket at a Time!

Alright, I know I write about a lot of cool people and businesses, but so far none of them have been able to say they are saving the planet like the East Side Compost Pedallers. This organization deserves some sort of fancy earth-shaped trophy to honor their efforts! Their work stretches into nearly every environmental issue – from global warming to sustainable agriculture to landfill reduction and beyond!

Did you know that 30% of all “trash” we throw out isn’t really trash at all!

So… what is it, you ask?

It’s compostable material!

So what is compost, you ask?

Essentially, it’s decayed organic material – clean and rich in nutrients – that is used for fertilizer.

Sounds serious, right? Well, not really. Throw some food scraps, grass clippings, and a brown paper bag together… then just add water and WHAMBAM! You just successfully started your first compost pile! Of course, to get the best compost, it requires a bit more finesse, attention to detail, and dedication to keeping up with the pile. That’s where The East Side Compost Pedallers come in!

The Compost Pedallers are a bike-powered compost recycling service. They’ll collect your scraps each week and pedal them to nearby farms and gardens. All you have to do is throw your extra food into a bucket (rather than the trash) and then put your bucket outside your door once a week.

There are such huge benefits for such little effort! They are taking a problem and almost effortlessly transforming that problem into a beneficial material solution. Compost reduces costs at farms by reducing the need for extra pesticides. It keeps our food clean and free of chemical additives. And, finally, it keeps organic material out of landfills, where it would eventually be released as methane (a greenhouse gas 50x more potent than carbon dioxide!).

I had the pleasure of sitting down with Austin Compost Pedallers Director of Membership, Christina Bradt. If you’ve ever thrown anything away at our HOPE Farmer’s Market, you’ve probably met Christina! After graduating with an environmental science degree and moving to Austin, she started with the organization as an intern. She still fondly remembers her first collection in December of 2012.

Check out these stats. You can see what a difference this small company has made in less than 2 years! Today, these pedallers are composting 2 TONS every single week!

Christina admits that she has turned into somewhat of a compost nerd. She and her fellow pedaller and boyfriend Paul have been known to take plastic ware to restaurants to take their food scraps home.

So, maybe you don’t need to go that far, but if you would like to start composting (and start saving the planet!) or just want to stay up to date on local sustainability initiatives, check out The East Side Compost Pedallers’ links below. Also, give them a high five for their great work the next time you’re at the HOPE Farmers Market! They sort ALL of the discarded Market materials into bins containing either compost, recycling, or items to be sent to the landfill. They’ll also be happy to answer ANY questions you have about sorting your own trash or building your own compost pile! HOPE loves the Compost Pedallers!

Website                                               Facebook                                             Twitter

P.S The Pedallers work with corporate groups, too! Going green has never been easier. Check it out!

 

Hello!

I’m Brooke, the author of the blog you’ve just read. Working with the HOPE Farmer’s Market has been so great, but unfortunately I will have to leave HOPE to finish my last semester at Baylor University this fall. I will graduate with a major in political science and a minor in poverty studies and social justice. When I’m not blogging, my days are full of studying for the GRE and applications. I know I’m super exciting this summer, right? But every blog, I’ll let you guys know something a bit more interesting about myself and this week’s fact is:

One of my favorite books is “The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien.

 

Chaos Card Company!

Where Art and Clothes Collide

If you’re looking for a badass shirt, this is your place! Founders Don and Leann Rock have the badass life that reflects in their work. Don – an artist, avid music lover, and highly skilled printer – started the company over 25 years ago as a punk-rock t-shirt venture. (Would you expect anything less from someone with the last name “Rock”?) After touring here with a band, Don fell in love with Austin (as they always do), so Don and Leann left NYC 22 years ago and have made Austin their home base ever since. Their family and business have grown up alongside East Austin. They had a printing studio here long before the HOPE Farmers Market even existed. Today, Don and Leann continue to do lots of traveling, particularly during music festival season, but they love to come back to Austin music and Austin markets.

 

All Chaos Clothing products are 100% individually hand printed. Every shirt, bag, and dress is unique to itself. In fact, the only tech involved is a photocopier. This isn’t your average off-the-Taiwanese-press t-shirt. Each shirt is a culmination of creativity, heart, and dedicated time. Further, all the art is original to the Rocks (that name never gets old), so you can’t find their designs anywhere else. Occasionally, Chaos teams up with local recycling initiatives and other designers to create badass “cycled up” jeans and flannels. Be on the lookout for that in the fall!

 

The coolest thing about this company is their dedication to supporting local and ethical business practices. Also, Leann is passionate about was the community of the markets. Not only how the community enriches her own personal life, but how she hopes to spread the “market mentality” to more people each week. Living in a community of people who appreciate local, ethical, and sustainable products is something Austinites shouldn’t take for granted!

 

So, in sum: cool people, cool products. If you want to keep up to date on where and when the Chaos Clothing Company will be each week, visit their Facebook page! Or just come see them each week from 11:00 – 3:00 at the HOPE Farmers Market on Sundays!

 

 

Hello!

I’m Brooke, the author of the blog you’ve just read. Working with the HOPE Farmer’s Market has been so great, but unfortunately I will have to leave HOPE to finish my last semester at Baylor University this fall. I will graduate with a major in political science and a minor in poverty studies and social justice. When I’m not blogging, my days are full of studying for the GRE and applications. I know I’m super exciting this summer, right? Every blog I’ll let you know something a bit more interesting about myself and this week’s fact is:

I once swam with sharks… the nice kind though.

The Healthiest Hounds in ATX

Meet Healthy Hound: Because Markets are for Dogs, too!

Did you know there are more dogs per capita in Austin, than kids? Crazy right! Well maybe not so much… Pups don’t ask you to pay their tuition. They can’t kick and scream in the middle of the grocery aisle. Even during the canine teen years, standard rate of forgiveness is usually about every 5 seconds. Dogs always like our jokes and think all our ideas are awesome – especially ones that involve activities such as eating, sleeping, and walking. So yeah, Austinites love their pups because who doesn’t!

This article is for you, Austin dog owners. I’d like you to meet Healthy Hound: A local kitchen handcrafting all natural and organic, vitamin-rich food for your favorite four-legged friend.

In 2011, co-owner Katherine started to cook food for her greyhound, who was suffering from severe intestinal problems. She couldn’t find the quality of food that she knew her dog needed. And being the awesome human being that she is, took matters into her own hands. After seeing the positive results a change in diet had in her own dog’s life, she knew she’d found a business she could be passionate about.

Healthy Hound is all Austin, all the time. Ingredients are sourced locally, totally natural, with no preservatives, extenders, or additives. They’re on a mission to make your pet healthier. So many store bought brands, even brands suggested by the vet, contain massive amounts of corn and other food-life extenders, which ironically could shorten the life of your pet. These preservatives can be hard to digest and can strain your dog’s system. Most people don’t even realize this, I definitely didn’t, but it makes sense. I mean you are what you eat, right? Why wouldn’t that apply to dogs too? I visited the Healthy Hound kitchen, and for real y’all, it was like they were cooking Thanksgiving dinner. Everything is super fresh. Not going to lie, for a minute there I considered a batch for myself.

Healthy Hound has been a part of the HOPE Farmer’s Market since its business began. Katherine says she likes how “hyper-local” it is. It lets her converse with people and hear their stories. “You also, start to get to know people, because there are so many usual market goers.” The joint focus on local nutrition makes the market a perfect fit. Not to mention, the dogs love it. The smart ones have figured out that if they are stubborn enough, their parents will end up getting them a treat. One time, they even had a little Pomeranian swimming around in their water bowl!

We all want the very best for our dogs, so if you’d like to learn more about Healthy Hound products. Check out their links below, or just come by the HOPE Farmer’s Market any Sunday from 11:00 – 3:00 at Plaza Saltillo!

Website                                               Facebook                                                         Twitter

 

 

Hello!

I’m Brooke, the author of the blog you’ve just read. Working with the HOPE Farmer’s Market has been so great, but unfortunately I will have to leave HOPE to finish my last semester at Baylor University this fall. I will graduate with a major in political science and a minor in poverty studies and social justice. When I’m not blogging, my days are full of studying for the GRE and applications. I know I’m super exciting this summer, right? But every blog, I’ll let you guys know something a bit more interesting about myself and this week’s fact is:

I can play the Oboe. Such a marketable skill, I know.

Who are Oh-Kimchi?

Oh-Kimchi is Oh-Mazing!

What even is Kimchi? Sounds sort of like an Asian crime-fighting cartoon character or an ancient yoga form. Oh, or the Korean word for mouse.

Well I was close, but not close enough.

Kimchi is actually a 300+ year-old foodie art form. It’s a Korean technique of fermenting vegetables that can take up to three days. It’s a subtle sort of spice. Not too much bite. Traditionally napa cabbage, carrot, and radish is the go-to mix for the process, but you can use any raw vegetable. Oh-Kimchi has a popular cucumber version and coming soon is bell pepper Kimchi. I CAN’T WAIT.

If you already knew all that stuff about Kimchi, let me explain what sets Oh-Kimchi apart. First off, their particular version of the process is super old school. Old school in the 1970s corvette sort of way; not the Mom’s shoulder pads sort of way. The technique used by Oh-Kimchi is rare, even in its Korean birthplace because many families have turned to faster methods.

But you know the best things require time. And good things come to those who wait.

And I’m telling you Kimchi is goooood. Beyond the taste, too, it’s one of the healthiest foods on this planet.

Yeah. I know you guys think I’m being dramatic. But I’m not! Google away if you must!

First off, you get all the basic goodness that comes from eating raw vegetables (but with none of the bitter taste). Then, you get four times as many probiotics than Greek yogurt has. Not to mention the detoxification and cancer-fighting properties of ginger and garlic. Oh, and the keratin is a natural pain reliever as well as the queen of healthy hair and skin. Many Korean athletes even eat it as part of their daily post-workout recovery.

So, basically, Kimchi is kicking ass and taking names. It definitely falls into the super food category. Your body will kindly thank you if you make Kimchi part of your regular diet. Some of the most common ways people use their Kimchi include: on burgers, salads, tacos, or my favorite, Kimchi-ladas. Nom nom nom.

So who are the people actually making this super food for the people of Austin? That would be Abbie and Duane Lunde.

Abbie is from LA but moved to Austin four years ago, partially to finish her degree and partially for her now husband, Duane. She worked for Johnson’s Backyard Garden for a while and can definitely be described as a health foodie. Abbie says that she thought all Korean families knew how to make Kimchi, and was surprised to find how many families lose touch with their Korean culture after moving to the states. Thankfully for us, the method Oh-Kimchi uses survived because of generations of mothers teaching their daughters. Abbie told me she wanted some good Kimchi and couldn’t find any half as decent as her mother and grandmother made. So – what else was there to do but start making her own, too!

Duane’s marketing and management expertise paired with Abbie’s passion for Korean cuisine led to weekly sell-outs at their first farmer’s markets. Eventually, Abbie and Duane are hoping to spread not only the healthy and delicious snack that is Kimchi, but other traditional Korean recipes as well. They want to show people the best parts of Korean cuisine, a food culture many of us know little about.

So if you want to try Kimchi out for yourself, come to the HOPE Farmer’s Market every Sunday and get yourself some cancer-fighting, immune-boosting, heart-strengthening Kimchi! Or if you want more info, see the links below:

Home Site                                                       Twitter                                                            Instagram

 

 

Hello!

I’m Brooke, the author of the blog you’ve just read. Working with the HOPE Farmer’s Market has been so great, but unfortunately I will have to leave HOPE to finish my last semester at Baylor University this fall. I will graduate with a major in political science and a minor in poverty studies and social justice. Right now I’m applying to graduate school like crazy so hopefully I will be able to continue my studies. Every blog, I’ll let you guys know something a bit more interesting about myself and this week’s fact is:

I’m a Pescatarian aka the only meat I eat is fish!

Hope for Humans

Saving Lives. Delivering Happiness.

Have you ever heard of Nodding Syndrome? Yeah, I hadn’t either. That’s because it’s a relatively new and rare neurological disease that has broken out in South Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda. The world knows next to nothing about this disease that affects children between the ages 5-15. The primary symptom is that kids appear to “nod off” and lose contact with the world around them. But – these kids aren’t sleeping – they are experiencing seizures. Each seizure (and there may be many each day) diminishes mental capability little by little.

The results of Nodding Syndrome are devastating. By the time children with Nodding are age 12-13, they often look like a 6-year-old. Kids can lose control on their bodies and can’t feed themselves, much less play with other children. Most are kicked out of schools since their care requires special resources or expertise that isn’t available. Strangely, the seizures seem to be triggered by food. Thus, kids with Nodding suffer severe malnutrition. Because there is no facility or means to care for these kids, parents often have to tie up their own children to keep them from wandering off during a seizure and hurting themselves.

There was no means for care, no hope, no one paying any attention to these families… until now. Hope for Humans is the result of a trip Dr. Sally Baynton and Dr. Suzanne Gazda trip to Uganda from 2009 – 2011. Dr. Gazda, a doctor of neurological disease and disorders, discovered hundreds of children with Nodding Syndrome: a disease she had never seen in her 20 years of medical practice. Upon their return to the states, Dr. Baynton and Dr. Gazda transformed an already established nonprofit, Gulu Hope, into Hope For Humans.

One year later, Hope For Humans was able to open their first care center. What started as one classroom’s worth of a facility, is now expanded to a full campus including staff quarters, a kitchen, dorm, piggery and chicken coop. Children with Nodding attend school 6 days of the week. They are provided with 2 vitamin rich meals each day, uniforms, and basic hygiene needs. Hundreds of families attend the center. That’s hundreds of changed lives!

These two women are amazing. Seriously, who can say they setup a care center for hundreds of families, in a region with little resources to offer, in just one year. Many of the kids have regained the ability to talk and their seizures are less severe and less often. At this school, these kids get to play again, and that is no small victory.

I had a chance to sit down with two volunteers who have been with Hope For Humans since the beginning, Ana and Adrianna. When I asked the girls why they got involved, one answer wasn’t enough:

“There’s so much to be done!”

“After seeing the Ugandan, struggle… It’s hard to forget. You can’t shake that off.”

“We have Ugandan friends now, that we want to help out.”

“The founders are such strong, inspirational women. They make us excited to volunteer.”

Ana and Adrianna donate their time every Sunday to sell beautiful handmade necklaces. The necklaces are made by parents of kids with Nodding Syndrome, and all of the proceeds go right back to them. The necklaces are actually really cool, so it doesn’t even feel like you’re giving to a great cause. You’re just getting some bomb-ass jewelry!

Hope for Humans has one defining mission statement: change the way people live. There are hundreds of non-profits in place in Uganda, but none of them assist kids with Nodding Syndrome. Not to mention, the research Hope for Humans does is totally uncharted medical territory. It has huge potential to aid in the fight against other neurological diseases. I think it’s an admirable undertaking. We’re all in this together, right?

If you agree, or want to know more, please check out the links below! Or just come to the HOPE Farmer’s Market any Sunday from 11:00 – 3:00 and meet Ana and Adrianna in person!

Website                                               Twitter                                                            Facebook

 

 

Hello!

I’m Brooke, the author of the blog you’ve just read. Working with the HOPE Farmer’s Market has been so great, but unfortunately I will have to leave HOPE to finish my last semester at Baylor University this fall. I will graduate with a major in political science and a minor in poverty studies and social justice. When I’m not blogging, my days are full of studying for the GRE and applications. I know I’m super exciting this summer, right? But every blog, I’ll let you guys know something a bit more interesting about myself and this week’s fact is:

I was bit by a sea lion in the Galapagos! Still have the scar!

Easy Tiger: Beer, Bread & Sausage

A Bread & Beer Haven

Easy Tiger is bringing two things we all know and love: bread and beer. Those are the two basic food groups, right? Located on the infamous 6th street, Easy Tiger synergizes like no one has synergized before. They’ve got a chic, very open bakeshop upstairs and an intimate cozy restaurant and beer garden downstairs. It’s like a mullet in the 80s… Business in the front, party in the back!

I got to sit down with one of Easy Tiger’s founding partners, David Norman, a.k.a. the Bake Shop’s Head Dough-Puncher. (I’ve never heard a more badass name for baking.)

David studied German Literature in college and, thankfully for us, spent some time in Munich where he fell in love with artisan bread and beer. After returning home, he started baking and brewing on his own. This led to a job at a small bakery in Florida, which led to working at a first class bakery in Seattle, which led to a head baker position in NYC, which led to teaching bread baking at the French Institute. So, if you had any question about Easy Tiger’s ability to bake delicious bread…

David and his then soon-to-be wife came to our great state of Texas to cook at a ranch, which was a small change of scenery from NYC. I guess they liked Texas because they have lived here ever since. The ranch closed down and David got back into baking and met his current business partners while working at Whole Foods.

Initially, David says they were never really planning to do the bakeshop and beer garden together but then this magnificent space turned up on 6th that screamed, “Do both!” Over two years have passed and David says “one can’t exist without the other anymore. Everything compliments one another. There is a sandwich for every kind of bread we have.” All the essentials to Easy Tiger: bread, beer, sausage… they all take lots of time and creativity to make, so everything fits together well.

Ingredients-wise, Easy Tiger always tries to go local. Or, if that isn’t possible – like in the case of flour – the ingredients are extremely high quality. Easy Tiger bakes all of their bread with a special brand of flour that comes from a rarely planted strand of wheat. This wheat is perfect for artisan breads, but can be less profitable for farmers. Thankfully, one particular mill in Utah supports farmers who are willing to grow this particular high quality wheat. This wheat is one distinct ingredient that sets Easy Tiger goods apart.

Overall, this place is awesome. And Head Dough-Puncher David would love for you to take a loaf home to share with your family. So, if you want to get your hands on some Easy Tiger goodness, check out their only location (for the time being) at 709 East 6th Street OR come to the HOPE Farmers Market any Sunday of the month to buy a loaf. You won’t regret it.

Website:  www.easytigeraustin.com
Facebook: Easy Tiger ATX
Instagram:  EasyTigerATX

 

 

 

I’m Brooke, the author of the blog you’ve just read. Working with the HOPE Farmer’s Market has been so great, but unfortunately I will have to leave HOPE to finish my last semester at Baylor University this fall. I will graduate with a major in political science and a minor in poverty studies and social justice. Right now I’m applying to graduate school like crazy so hopefully I will be able to continue my studies. Every blog, I’ll let you guys know something a bit more interesting about myself and this week’s fact is:

I am actually 25% Greek, even though I’m super pale.

Tea Time with Nile Valley Herbs!

Making A Difference, One Glass at a Time

Today I’m going to offer you a sweet deal. Get some delicious, yet healthy tea AND help save lives, all for just $6.50!  Seems too good to be true, right? Well, it’s not. I’d like to introduce you to the groups that make it possible: Nile Valley Herbs and its sister nonprofit Mother Maryam.

The Background

Mr. Awad Abdelgadir, a former professor at St. Edwards University, moved from northern Sudan to the United States for graduate school. The beloved village he left behind lacked clean water, basic healthcare, and stable schools: a story all too commonly heard and forgotten about. As soon as Dr. Abdelgadir got his degree, he immediately went to work searching for ways to raise the standard of living back home. But changing lives doesn’t come cheap, so Dr. Abdelgadir searched for ways to raise money. He noticed that one particularly popular drink from Sudan was missing from cafes and grocery stores alike: Hibiscus tea. And wham bam a business was formed.

Nile Valley Herbs Hibiscus Tea started in supporting grocery stores like Whole Foods and Central Market, but now also includes independent sales and farmers’ markets. Every year a portion of the profits go to fund projects in Awad’s home in northern Sudan. Also, anytime anyone leaves money in Nile Valley’s tip jar, every cent goes to Nile Valley’s sister nonprofit: Mother Maryam.

Mother Maryam

Since founded by Dr. Abdelgadir in 2006, the Mother Maryam Foundation has changed the world and saved lives. And no, I am not being overly dramatic. One of the foundations’ largest completed missions is providing clean water. With help from various donors, Mother Maryam funded a well, pump, water tower, and distribution system, which serves hundreds of homes, the school, and clinic. In 2011, a health clinic was opened that primarily treats cases of malaria, as well as eye disease, dysentery, and pneumonia. These diseases are a huge problem in Northern Sudan, but are almost entirely preventable with basic technologies.

When talking with five-year Nile Valley employee and Mother Maryam board member Kyle Overby, he told me a story from his trip to Sudan: “There was a boy suffering from a severe asthma attack the very first week of our clinic being open. Without the clinic, it would have taken too long for him to get to any health facility. He would not be alive today.” So yeah, these guys are saving lives and making a difference. They are always finding new ways to contribute weather it be bringing computers to the village for the first time, installing solar panels to increase sustainability, or funding doctor’s salaries.

Of course, like all important things, Mother Maryam’s mission to raise the standard of living in Northern Sudan requires constant attention and finances. If you’d like  to be an awesome human being and make a donation to the Mother Maryam Foundation directly, please follow this link.

Hibiscus Heals

Switching gears a bit, I realize that I keep mentioning Hibiscus tea without any explanation. And if you’re a health nut newbie like myself, then you probably don’t know anything about Hibiscus. Well first of, Hibiscus is a flower and has been used to promote healthy living for centuries. All Nile Valley’s hibiscus leaves come straight from the banks of the Nile, organic and natural, so you know you are getting high quality stuff.  Some of the proven health benefits include:

-       lowering blood pressure (Yes! Stress is at an all time high!)

-       cooling the body down (Hello, Texas heat remedy!)

-       lowering cholesterol (So that means I can have more pizza, right?).

There’s really no downside to mention. Help your heart, your brain, and others while enjoying the refreshing taste of hibiscus tea. Nile Valley is a small company, trying to make a big difference and I think that’s pretty admirable.

So since I know you obviously want some tea now, check out the Nile Valley website here or just visit them every Sunday at the HOPE Farmer’s Market!

Website: http://nilevalleyherbs.com/

Facebook: Nile Valley Herbs

 

 

 

I’m Brooke, the author of the blog you’ve just read. Working with the HOPE Farmer’s Market has been so great, but unfortunately I will have to leave HOPE to finish my last semester at Baylor University this fall. I will graduate with a major in political science and a minor in poverty studies and social justice. Right now I’m applying to graduate school like crazy so hopefully I will be able to continue my studies. Every blog, I’ll let you guys know something a bit more interesting about myself and this week’s fact is:

I have two brothers each six years away in opposite directions.