For over sixty years, Austin Organic Gardeners have been sharing information and expeience about sucessfully raising flowers, shrubs, trees and nutritious and tasty vegetables free of harmful pesticides. Newcomers and members meet once a month at the Austin Area Garden Center in Zilker Park to learn and share techniques of gardening with only organic and naturally occurring materials. Meetings are free and membership dues are only $8 per year per household.
Located in the parking lot of Barton Creek Mall overlooking downtown Austin, Barton Creek Farmers Market is open Saturday mornings from 9 AM to 1 AM. Vendors sell only what they grow or produce. Most of the produce available is grown organically or sustainably. Besides fresh foods, the market features live music, kids entertainment, specialty events, food vendors and handmade crafts including jewelry, clothes, soaps, candles, art work, tie dye, and one of a kind gift items.
Owned and farmed by Larry Butler and Carol Ann Sayle, Boggy Creek Farm is a USDA Certified Organic Market Farm located in the heart of East Austin only two and a half miles from downtown. Market days are held at the farm every Wednesday and Saturday from 9 AM to 2 PM selling seasonal fresh hand picked fruits, vegetables and flowers. Most of the produce is picked only hours before sale, though some items such as garlic and onions are harvested all at once and stored until the supply runs out. Fresh eggs and local dairy and meat products are also available.
The Heart O’ Texas Orchid Society was founded in 1961 and meets monthly at Zilker Botanical Garden Center on the first Tuesday of the month at 7 PM. The Heart O' Texas Orchid Society is open to anyone interested in orchids. A non-profit, educational organization, the Heart O’ Texas Orchid Society promotes the propagation, conservation and exhibition of orchids. The last weekend in April, the Orchid Society presents an exhibition and judging by the American Orchid Society of orchids from Austin area growers along with information about growing orchids and products from numerous gardening related vendors. Admission to the Orchid Show and Sale is free. The 41st Annual Orchid Show and Sale at the Austin Area Garden Center located in the Zilker Botanical Gardens is scheduled for the weekend of April 28 and 29, 2012.
Now an international chain of grocery stores with almost 200 locations in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, John Mackey and partners Craig Weller and Mark Skiles opened the original Whole Foods Grocery in September of 1980 on South Lamar at West 9th Street (currently the site of Cheapo Records). Today the Whole Foods landmark store and corporate headquarters is located at the corner of Sixth Street and Lamar Boulevard. At 80,000 square feet, this downtown Austin store is the company's largest market and features cooking demonstrations, food sampling, sit-down dining and takeout, fifty fresh-baked breads available daily, a chocolate fountain, thousands of brands of beer, almost two thousand wine selections and on top of it all is a rooftop plaza for live music and community meetings.