Community

Ep 29: Infinity Hundred Farms – David McConnell

Listen as David McConnell teaches us about Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) and discusses how he juggles being a full-time farmer, artist, record producer, furniture designer and father.

Bio: 
David McConnell is the principal and head grower for Infinity Hundred Farms. He manages the farm’s multiple sites which total over 30 acres, and make Infinity Hundred Farms one of the largest urban farms in the United States. The land and the hydroponic greenhouse located at the non-profit hub Raleigh City Farm in downtown Raleigh, NC is also under David’s purview as Infinity Hundred Farms’ newest site. Infinity Hundred Farms serves the downtown Raleigh restaurants with nutrient dense, high quality produce grown sustainably and free from GMOs and pesticides. The farm’s CSA program runs 4 times annually, corresponding to each growing season, and proudly serves close to 200 members.

David  incorporates farm practices based on permaculture and biodynamics. With seven years of farming now under his belt, he is currently writing a book all the while juggling being a father, artist, record producer, furniture designer and last but not least, a full-time farmer.

 

Social Media:
Website: www.infinityhundred.com
Facebook:  www.facebook.com/infinityhundred
Instagram:  www.instagram.com/infinityhundredfarms/

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Ep 25: Eden East Austin – Farm to Table Restaurant in the Heart of Austin, Texas

Listen as Sonya Cote, Executive Chef and Kayce Braden, Projects Manager tell us about the farm to table experience of their restaurant Eden East Austin, why it is important for consumers to care about where their food comes from, and how they are doing their part in building a better food system.

About Eden East Austin:
Located in East Austin, Eden East is a true farm-to-table dining experience. The restaurant serves a monthly prix fixe menu every weekend and an a la carte brunch on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Every Thursday, Eden East offers an a la carte dinner paired with live music or a DJ. Each month, chefs develop a menu based on the most vibrant seasonal ingredients from the farm, as well as local farms and ranches.

Website: https://edeneastaustin.com/

About Sonya Coté:
Sonya Coté is a perfect blend of chef, artist and storyteller. With a background in art and graphic design, Coté has had quite a vibrant career. Even as her culinary endeavors expand, she remains an artist. Each new plate is her canvas that tells its own story.

As many Austin diners know, Coté is the free spirit behind Hillside Farmacy and Eden East, the latter being located on an urban farm that her and her partner David are currently maintaining.  At Eden East, patrons can dine al fresco under the stars on a menu that is based on what’s in season on the farm and as well as shop produce and local goods at farmers market. 

Coté’s story begins in a coastal community in Rhode Island, where she grew up with a love for camping and an affinity for cooking. Her restaurants reflect her love of the outdoors and all things local. She first left Rhode Island for Dallas in 1989, being “fascinated by the Wild West and its stereotypes, but living in the city, I was surprised that people didn’t know their neighbors.” Since then she has planted roots in Austin and created an amazing community.

Coté has received numerous accolades, including recognition as one of Marie Claire’s “Women on Top. She competed on Food Network’s “Chopped”. Her restaurant Eden East was named one of Austin Monthly’s “Best New Restaurants.” Soon after, Coté was named one of Tribeza’s “People of the Year.”

About Kaycee Braden:
Kaycee Braden has a passion for food.  From her earliest memories to her current daily activities, she knew she could find an outlet for her passion and how food is shared, sold & grown, within the food community. The recent “Farm to Table” movement became a way for Kaycee to share what she had learned through her travels & help grow this community in Austin by bringing healthy food resources & alternatives to “big ag”.

Fresh faced & starry eyed, she started her journey into the food scene by earning her Permaculture Design Certification with an emphasis on community development and ethno botanical horticulture in her early twenties. Wanting to dig deeper into learning more about food justice Kaycee found herself traveling across the globe study in depth small agriculture and the effects of the green revolution in Rajasthan, India. She then went on to graduate with her BA from Evergreen State College in sustainable agriculture & community development.  She then set out to begin her life pursuing her passion.

Kaycee is a proud Texas native, a world traveler who has resided in many places.  She has recently come back home to Texas to bring us her experiences and love of food culture to the everyday operations of a restaurant located in the heart of Austin.  Austin Texas has quickly become a busy, thriving food community with deep roots. She began her employment at Eden East upon her arrival to the city while still attending culinary classes.  Through the years, she worked through each department of the restaurant including kitchen, then ultimately ending up as the General Manager. After success in this role, she then became a valued partner to the business.

Her hard work and dedication has brought Eden East Restaurant & Farm much success.  Through her education, guests & employees both can learn about the inner workings of a restaurant & an urban farm.

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Ep 23: Raleigh City Farm – Rebekah Beck, General Manager

Our guest is Rebekah Beck, General Manager of Raleigh City Farm in North Carolina. Listen as she teaches us about Raleigh City Farm, the importance of urban farms, community development and her dreams for Urban Farms in the Future.

Rebekah Beck Bio:
Rebekah was invited to volunteer for Raleigh City Farm in early 2015 by serving on their marketing and communications committee until a part-time role as General Manager became available later that year. With a background in social work and nonprofits/program management, she remains inspired by the mission of RCF to promote education and awareness about where our food comes from. Rebekah enjoys supporting those doing the valuable work of growing that which sustains us, all the while promoting the resiliency of our natural environment for generations to come.

About Raleigh City Farm
Raleigh City Farm is a nonprofit urban farm founded in 2011 on a formerly vacant one-acre lot in downtown Raleigh. Our mission is to grow the next generation of farmers by connecting our community to sustainable agriculture. We believe in the power of urban farms to reduce waste, create healthier communities, and reconnect city-dwellers with healthy food production through more frequent encounters with agriculture. We believe that turning vacant lots into productive, nourishing farmland can create something from nothing – an amenity from an eyesore. We believe that urban farms bring people together, make our neighborhoods more beautiful and safer, and spur economic development and growth. And we believe that our impact can extend beyond the perimeter of our small farm site as we create business opportunities for new farmers in the region, helping them sell their products to local chefs and restaurants and directly to the community.

Find out more at: raleighcityfarm.org/

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