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.

The Blackwells are Back!

Six months after I moved to Austin, I met The Blackwells.

It was a warm summer night in the Hill Country and my first BBQ in Texas. Surrounded by new friends, smoked bbq and a few lone stars, I quickly fell in love with the whole sherade. Although I’ve repeated nights like this since, this time in particular I was surrounded by something new: homemade Caronlina-meets-Texas bluegrass.

With two guitars strumming, a banjo pluckin and vocal harmonies to boot, I was instantly captured by this simple, yet beautiful moment. I’ve had friends pick up instruments and jam here and there, but this spontaneous, yet coordinated sound had me at their first note. Not yet realizing they were actually forming a band, I approached the soft singer of the evening, Lizzy Lehman, and asked if she’s played around town. It turns out that after moving from North Carolina and Chicago to Austin, the new group was just getting their feet under them and were soon ready for a performance (insert the aha! light-bulb moment here).

After our bellies were full and the curtain of night drew the bbq to an end, I took note that I had to hear what I learned was the Blackwells, soon down the road. Just one month later, I asked them to share their hill country spirit and play for the HOPE Farmers Market’s music program, HOPE FM Live. And they said yes! We’ve been happy to host them many times since and are thankful they keep coming back for more local produce, fair-trade coffee and our community of music lovers.

Get your hats, bring your dog and mark yer calender folks because The Blackwells are bringing their magic to the stage of Plaza Saltillo this Sunday! It’ll be their first time in our new location, so come on out to give them the warm welcome they deserve. See you there!

–Jessie, HOPE FM Live

The Blackwells for HOPE FM Live

1 pm at Plaza Saltillo

Sunday, April 7