Attention: Tamale Addicts!

Gardener’s Feast Tamales: Feed Your Tamale Addiction!

Gardener’s Feast Tamales are famous for being fresh, organic, local, and delicious! Since their first market in 2010, these tamales have managed to collect a following of Austin Tamale Addicts. Gardener’s Feast is now at ten area farmers markets and their tamales are also available in local coffee shops. Sounds like a successful story, right? What people don’t know about is the story behind this success.

In 2009, right in the middle of the financial crisis, Adrian Paredes found himself at a professional plateau as an industrial designer. Like so many others affected by the financial crash, ends weren’t meeting and Adrian knew he needed to move and find another job. He focused on saving enough to relocate his family to our lovely city: Austin, TX.  Once here, Adrian and his wife took a risk and began their first food service venture: Mexican desserts. In short, the business failed. It failed hard.

It is in this instance that many people would have called it quits. Instead, Adrian and his wife took it as a lesson learned and, rather than giving up, they adapted and started again. They realized that the infrastructure problem they had with making desserts did not apply to savory foods so they began a flauta business. It was going ok, so the Paredeses looked into selling flautas at farmer’s markets.

When telling me about his first meeting with a market director, Adrian admitted, “I didn’t know anything. I mean, I didn’t know the difference between vegetarian and vegan. I didn’t know what local meant.” Again, Adrian rose to the task before him: going organic and local. Adrian said it was “Very difficult, but a positive change. It started as just a standard, but now we are all fully invested in the local cause.”

As Adrian was showing off his new market setup with the flautas, the market director casually asked if they could also make tamales. That was the beginning of the Tamale Addiction! Over the next four weeks Adrian and his wife called every family member they knew to collect recipes, tips, and tricks about making tamales. They worked all week to prepare 80 tamales for their first market. Those tamales were sold out within an hour. Adrian had found the magic! They went from producing 80 tamales a week to nearly 1500 a day!

Adrian says he has big plans for Gardner’s Feast’s a.k.a. Tamale Addiction’s future. He feels a responsibility to keep making his product better and better. “It’s encouraging to have that immediate response from people… I just love that. It feels good to see a bright future for your business.”

No one deserves success more in my mind. This family hasn’t given up. They took each failure and each criticism as an opportunity to do better. What I love most about Adrian’s story is that it really demonstrates how hard-work, perseverance, and a little creativity can change a life around. Despite what the local news seems to indicate, there are still lots of good stories out there. This is definitely one of them.

So next Sunday when you come by the HOPE Farmer’s Market, be sure to check out these tasty tamales. Or if you’d like to order some for emergencies – in the case of the Armageddon, a surprise in-law visit, or bad break-up – check out their website at

Facebook: The Gardener’s Feast

Twitter: gardenersfeast




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 studied abroad in Dublin, Ireland for 5 months.



First Annual Mexico Day, Recap!

For the first time ever, the HOPE Farmers Market formally highlighted Austin’s sister-city connection with Saltillo, Mexico!

On May 5, we hosted this first-ever “Mexico Day” celebration, in conjunction with the Austin Sister-Cities program to acknowledge the international relationship at the place that best exemplifies it all–Plaza Saltillo! Upon its beginnings, the Plaza was actually inaugurated by a visiting delegation from Saltillo, Mexico, for which it was named. The City of Saltillo even donated the ornate traditional Saltillo benches you see at the Plaza every Sunday!

To contribute to this special day, we hosted 3 vendors from both Saltillo & Monterrey that showcased products like jams, candies, nut butters & sauces, thus connecting with food artisans in cities just 6 hours away! As we’ve mentioned before here on our blog, we aim to support our regional food system, which doesn’t necessarily end at 50 miles, 100 miles, or even at the border. We also hosted an incredible 9-person choir from Saltillo, who sang in traditional Mexican dress, and was accompanied by local Mariachi band, Mariachi Los Toros. How fitting for the day before Cinco de Mayo!

We can’t wait for another chance to host these fantastic vendors, artists & musicians again and hope that by doing so, we can all encourage everyone to look beyond borders and further this sister-city relationship. Stay tuned for more…

And for highlights of Mexico Day, be sure to take a peak at our Photo Recap here!



SXSW: Listen Local

It’s a big week ahead. Eager tourists will be marching through the streets, live music will be traveling through every city block and you will most likely find yourself waiting in line, in traffic or just waiting for the week to end.

Regardless of how you take this week we trust you’re going to need a chance to relax, which is why we’re hosting a special Sunday Southby Showcase. It’ll be a day of grabbing brunch, watching tourists leave and relaxing to the sounds of great local music.


 We’ll have 3 sweet sets and invite you, your friends & your family to our special FREE showcase:

11am: The Parish Festival (Austin band! mix of folk, jazz & bluegrass)

12pm: DJ Chino Casino (Austin DJ! all sorts of throwback tunes)

2pm: Mother Falcon (Austin band! instrumental collective magic)


Our HOPE FM Vendors will be present as always, giving you the chance to support local during the ever-increasing invasion of SXSW. Stay tuned for market news, updates & photos on our pages via Facebook, Instagram & Twitter!

Find us everywhere: @hopemarketatx + #hopefarmersmarket

Spring Fever: Market Updates & News

My, how time has flown! Although we’ve been in a bit of hibernation this winter on our blog, we’re excited to share what has kept us busy these last few months and share new updates, just in time for spring!

Late last fall, we helped sendoff our previous Market Director, Alexa Senter, as she moved onto new culinary adventures in the Northeast. Word is her and her husband have recently started a Community Supported Bakery! Be sure to take a peek at their Instagram, @thebakelab, to follow their story in Vermont and all things farm-fresh.

Along with this transition last fall came a new Director for the HOPE Farmers Market! That’d be me. After first volunteering for the market in the Fall of 2011, I’ve gradually and happily become more and more involved with HOPE FM and its incredible community. Working with the Market for the last two and a half years, it’s likely we’re already familiar with each other!

While I previously focused on event programming and developing our HOPE FM Live music program, as Director, I’m excited to put new energy into community partnerships, business incubation and the endless collaborative possibilities we have in store.

Just take a look at what’s coming down the pipeline for this spring!

  • March 16 - Unofficial SXSW Showcase with Cilantro Boombox & Mother Falcon @ Market
  • March 21 - Amplify Austin Fundraising Celebration @ Center 61
  • April 6 – Texas 4000 Benefit: HOPE Day @ Market
  • April 27 – Old Time Square Dance @ Market
  • May 4 – Sister-City Celebration: Saltillo Day @ Market!

For news on the daily, find us on FacebookInstagram & Twitter: @hopemarketatx

–Jessie, Market Director

What is community? Is it helping your neighbor? Supporting your local farmer? Buying an album from your favorite local band? Or is just a fuzzy feeling?

At the HOPE Farmers Market, we believe community is the intersection of all these things. From food to music to art, from families to youngsters, from Mariachi to Folk-Indie, from farmers to bakers, from East Austin to West Austin, community has no limits.

With no limits, this means there is always room to grow. Forging new collaborations, new friends and new ideas around every corner, it’s clear Austin is the perfect place to watch these new roots grow. We’ve been thankful to see so many of these unique intersections at the HOPE Farmers Market, and it happens each Sunday! When Johnson’s Backyard Garden donates seasonal produce to Whiskey Shivers, or to The Blackwells, or to any of our loyal bands who play for the HOPE FM Live music series, we see magic happen. We watch band members divide up their produce “compensation”, and they begin to interact in ways they never have before: revealing their preferences on beets vs. eggplant, fighting over who gets the watermelon, or admitting aloud they’ve never seen an armenian cucumber. It’s a beautiful thing to witness.

If we at the HOPE Farmers Market can provide the opportunity to help plant these seeds each week, then we’ll all be happy campers for generations to come. However, we can’t do it alone, and that’s the beauty of community! It takes a village, and with each single effort, we are all strengthened. So let’s continue this community together, every Sunday on the corner of East 5th & Comal.


Video by the talented Blair Bogin.

Veggies & Vinyl, your new guilty pleasure

You might be the type that frequents the market from time to time, looking for what’s new in season, checking out the pretty people of Austin or just trying to find a playdate for your lonesome dog. Whatever the case, we’re bringing a new music program to the market that will not only breathe unrelenting action into your life every third Sunday of the month but have you drooling for more.

At last, a little used vinyl sanctuary. Starting this Sunday (and every third Sunday of the month) we’ll be hosting this new music program, Veggies & Vinyl, as a way the community to buy, sell or trade used vinyl. We’ve got a great collection so far but are anxious to see to what our cultured Austinites will bring. Read below for our simple guidelines, invite your friends & see you there!

Veggies & Vinyl | 11am-3pm | Every third Sunday of the month

Buy | Grab a record for a $10 donation or grab two for $15

Sell | Donate one vinyl & receive a pair of HOPE sunglasses

Trade | Exchange three records of yours for one of ours


HOPE FM Live: June Calendar

Summer is here, along with the heat, fire ants, and sunburned shoulders. But not to fear, we have a small cure to get you through the first official month of summer: live music!

Grab some Hibiscus Mint Tea from Nile Valley, find some shade (we’re getting umbrellas soon!), sit back and enjoy the best of what Austin has to offer. Live music will be your cherry on top for what looks to be a great summer ahead. Take a look at our June Calendar to get a glimpse of who’s playing this month & join us at Plaza Saltillo!

This Sunday, check out:

Four Fights Per Pint for HOPE FM Live

1:30 pm at Plaza Saltillo

Sunday, June 9

ATX Music presents: HOPEFM Live! First Sundays

The start of something beautiful usually starts with one thing: collaboration.

As we all strive for our own objectives, we often look around and realize we are not alone. Individuals by themselves may achieve goals, but it’s collaboration that breeds community. The HOPE Farmers Market was born on this principle and continues to see its effects as vendors, musicians and market-goers cross-pollinate each Sunday.

This exact sentiment explains why we’re so very excited to launch a new program with the City of Austin Music Division, HOPE FM Live! First Sundays. Through their devoted mission to enhance Austin’s cultural economy, they aim to support this development by connecting members of the Austin music community through a variety of programs and promotional efforts, such as the Austin Music Memorial, Music for Kids, MusicianCorps Austin, and their most recent initiative: Plaza Saltillo.

With our own story hailing from East 5th, transitioning from Pine Street Station on Waller to Plaza Saltillo on Comal, we too have seen the magic of bringing community into unexpected places. Through food, through art and of course through music, we are able to breathe life into these spaces and restore their original intent to pull us all together. With this mission in mind, what better way to activate community than through coming together in East Austin’s historic gem, Plaza Saltillo!

As we continue to offer two live shows each Sunday, we’ll now be hosting the Music Division, aka the ATX Music Office, every first Sunday of each month! This means a wider range of music programming–from a Kids Show at 11am to local Latin bands at 1pm. Through this collaboration, together we will further connect community at Plaza Saltillo, one beautiful Sunday at a time. Come on out this weekend and catch the first of the new series!

ATX Music Office presents: HOPE FM Live! First Sunday

 Groundwork Music Orchestra at 11am, Mariachi Relampago at 1pm

Plaza Saltillo, East 5th & Comal

Sunday, June 2