Ultimate Guide to Farm to Table in Williamson County
Total body health and wellness begins with the foods we eat
Everyone measures success differently; while some measure success in the things they own, others measure success in travels, laughter, and friendships. But if there’s just one factor that we can all agree on, it is most certainly health. After all, we won’t enjoy anything else in life if our health is compromised.
Total body health and wellness starts with the foods we eat; unfortunately, eating healthy isn’t as simple as picking up produce from the local supermarket. Anytime you choose to purchase fruits or vegetables from the supermarket, particularly those that are not organic, you are at risk of being exposed to harmful pesticides. The concept of Farm-To-Table manifested both to promote overall health and to bring economic stability and self-reliance to communities.
How is Farm-To-Table different from what we are doing now?
The farm-to-table movement promotes the delivery of food straight from the farm to your dinner table. The produce we purchase at many big chain supermarkets ships from farms to distribution centers where it is stored before being shipped across the country to various grocery stores. With cross-country distribution, much time elapses between the harvest and the product’s placement on grocery store shelves.
Food quickly loses its freshness and nutritious value in the journey to reach our dinner tables. The farm-to-table movement’s goal is to eliminate the middleman and re-establish the connection between farmers and the people in their community. Instead of using preservatives and non-GMOs to keep food fresh longer, food is eaten sooner while it is still fresh.
The History of Farm-To-Table
The history of the farm-to-table movement begins with industrialization, as people moved away from the farms and into the city to find jobs. With more people in the cities, the 1950s saw a boom in food processing and storage, particularly with canned food items and frozen dinners.
In the 1970s, people started to demand a return to nutritious, natural eating. The Texas Department of Agriculture was the first state to certify an Organic Label for Produce. It was during the Jim Hightower administration that Susan Kaerka, a representative for the TDA went and spoke with the California Growers Association and reported, “they were fascinated with the idea that the state of Texas was interested in bringing the power of the state behind a state-certified Organic Label for produce, they were just shocked by that.” Fast-forward to the 2000s, when schools pushed to use locally-grown foods in cafeterias, and people demanded to see “Non-GMO” labeled food products. By 2010, plant-based restaurants were growing in popularity. Since then, the movement has only become more mainstream.
What are the Core Principles of the Farm-To-Table Movement?
Beyond eliminating the middleman and strengthening the connection between farmers and consumers, the farm-to-table movement is built on several core principles:
#1 – Food Security
By developing local food systems, the entire community is strengthened. Low-income families receive the same access to healthy, organic food that the wealthier are. The principle of food security looks at how the community as a whole can benefit. Because food production, processing, distribution, and consumption all occur within the same community, there are more jobs within the community and more healthy meals for everyone.
#2 – Proximity
Keeping food production and distribution local reduces the environmental impact and forges connections within the community. Rather than purchasing food items from mass producers, restaurants build relationships with the farmers they buy directly from. In doing so, they reduce the carbon footprint of mass distribution, but it also puts the money right in the hands of local farmers.
#3 – Self-reliance
This component of the movement encourages communities to work together in meeting food needs rather than looking to outside resources. In doing so, people can reconnect with one another along with the very earth that is tilled in their communities as well.
#4 – Sustainability
The farm-to-table movement encourages people to support locally-grown organic food and to purchase only that which is needed. When national distributors haul massive amounts of food across the country, not everything makes it to the destination without spoiling. Distributors end up tossing large quantities of products regularly. By cutting out the middleman, less food goes to waste, and more fresh food reaches tables.
How the Farm-To-Table Movement Benefits Your Health
The sooner food is consumed after the harvest, the more nutritious that food is. Most fruits and vegetables lose upwards of 30% of their nutritious value just three days after it is harvested, and that number increases with ensuing each day. By purchasing food from local farmers, food is consumed shortly after the harvest and consumed while still fresh.
Furthermore, by purchasing locally, consumers know exactly where their food is coming from and what practices are used to harvest it. The farm-to-table movement gives power back to the people and helps them to make more informed choices about what they eat.
Switching to a Farm-To-Table Lifestyle
Making the switch begins with a little research, a little exploration, and a plan of action. Moving to a farm-to-table lifestyle entails eating what’s in season, and that’s exactly what you will find at local farmer’s markets. In embracing this, start by researching what produce is in-season where you live and finding new recipes that utilize those seasonal food items. Next, learn more about the farmer’s markets near you, along with farm-to-table restaurants that you can trust to serve natural, seasonal food.
Farmers Markets in Williamson County, Texas
Williamson County hosts numerous farmer’s markets every week, which means that your farm-to-table lifestyle can start right away. To find a farmers market nearby, check out our directory of Farmers Markets, and make sure to save a date in your itinerary to dine at Greenhouse in Round Rock, where you will be sure to find inspiration for your locally-grown seasonal recipes. Finally, establish a relationship with a local farmer in Williamson County from whom you can purchase products directly. You won’t just be eating cleanly and confidently, you’ll be making a new friend in your community, and that’s what farm-to-table is all about!
We also recommend a few Farm to Table restaurants in your town:
Farm to Fork in Leander – Texas Southern Homestyle cuisine with a little French flair in a new location – Yep, the Texas winter blizzard zapped the pipes, and Farm to Fork is in the process of relocation. New atmosphere and more great local food to come. Watch their posts for grand reopening!
Mouton’s -cajun and country fusion cuisine A very cozy Southern Style Bistro serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, In Leander and Cedar Park.
2020 Market Scratch Kitchen & Bar in Georgetown – Chef Jaime and Chef Luis’ will never let you down! Always ready to share where they picked up their local cuisine and flair. Live music and a great patio – need we say more.
The Grove wine bar /Kitchen – Located in Cedar Park, this fabulous little joint serves up American Fare paired with an extensive wine list. Stop by for a few tasty happy hour bites and a fantastic meal paired with your favorite glass, bottle, or flight of wine.
Foxhole Culinary Tavern tucked in between North Austin and Cedar Park just off 183/Lakeline rd. A small sample of one of their many specials is social hour 3-6:30 p Tues – Friday featuring Tavern Tacos, Ponderings, flatbread snacks, and more.
Plowman’s Kitchen – A favorite spot in Taylor, serving Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner, this family-owned restaurant has the best menu and collection of foodie love.
Be Kind to Good Strangers Cafe in Taylor, Texas – a great little lite breakfast and sandwich Café on W. 2nd street. Stop by for a bite or order online for the office lunch treat.
Farm to Table Tx Delivers to restaurants from local farmers all over central Texas