Backyard Go to: Fourteen Acres Farm, the Final On-the-Job Perk

Vodka and gardening? Not the primary pairing that involves thoughts, till you study in regards to the farm that Tito’s Handmade Vodka in Austin, Texas, has created. Every week, Tito’s workers can take dwelling contemporary produce, freed from cost, whereas additionally having fun with lunch cooked on-site utilizing produce from the farm. Just lately, I chatted with Kathleen Kuper, Farm Director of Fourteen Acres Farm, to raised perceive the why, the how, and the way forward for this program.

Images courtesy of Tito’s Handmade Vodka.

All the shared produce is grown in 16 high tunnels and 74 raised concrete beds.
Above: All of the shared produce is grown in 16 excessive tunnels and 74 raised concrete beds.

The Farm was constructed for the Tito’s workforce on the distillery with the aim of making an setting the place contemporary meals was accessible and to encourage wholesome consuming. Kathleen shares, “At Tito’s Handmade Vodka, we’re at all times in search of methods to unfold some good in our communities, and in addition with our workers. Once we had been considering of ways in which we might higher serve our workers, we considered rising entry to contemporary, wholesome meals, so we constructed the Fourteen Acres Farm.”

Farmer Adam Levine harvests radishes for the employee farmers market.
Above: Farmer Adam Levine harvests radishes for the worker farmers market.

Now there’s a weekly farmers market, bringing the farm’s choices on to workers the place they will choose the produce that pursuits them, in addition to join with farmers to study recipes, cooking suggestions and tips, and the way the meals is grown.

One of seven farmers at the Fourteen Acres Farm starts her day by harvesting fresh produce which makes its way to employees at the Tito
Above: Considered one of seven farmers on the Fourteen Acres Farm begins her day by harvesting contemporary produce which makes its strategy to workers on the Tito’s distillery.

Cultivated by a workforce of seven devoted farmers, the farm has 74 raised concrete beds, 16 excessive tunnels, and produces over 25 varieties of seasonal vegatables and fruits, together with artichokes, broccoli, carrots, cucumbers, melons, combined greens, peppers and potatoes—with tomatoes being everybody’s favourite. Just lately, the farm added vermiculture, and this fall the farmers will discover ways to make bio-complete compost and liquid amendments with vermicompost, plus set up an in-house soil lab the place they are going to conduct crop trials with extra fruit, starting with strawberries.

This past spring. farmers harvested fresh green beans, one of the many veggies grown.
Above: This previous spring. farmers harvested contemporary inexperienced beans, one of many many veggies grown.

After seeing the success of the Fourteen Acres Farm with their workers, Tito’s was impressed to begin the Love, Tito’s Block to Block program which provides again to communities all throughout the nation, one block at a time. Kathleen explains, “This program focuses on rising entry to contemporary, wholesome meals. By means of our Love, Tito’s Block to Block program, we workforce up with native nonprofits all throughout the nation to construct, increase, and improve group gardens and farms.” Over the previous few years, their program has supported greater than 90 rising areas all throughout the nation, from small group gardens to massive group farms. “By working with native non earnings who know what the group wants, we’ve realized the unbelievable energy of bringing folks collectively via group gardening, in addition to rising the supply of contemporary produce for individuals who want it probably the most.”

Cherry tomatoes are the top employee choice from the farm.
Above: Cherry tomatoes are the highest worker alternative from the farm.

Fourteen Acres plans to increase their house to develop much more produce which might enable them to develop extra sorts of vegatables and fruits. Kathleen provides, “We’re additionally seeking to increase our programming with instructional and interactive packages for our workers, past the recipe playing cards and ‘Ideas & Tips’ we’re at the moment offering.” All through the autumn, the Love, Tito’s Block to Block program will proceed bettering farms and group gardens plus deal with constructing fully new backyard areas in over 30 cities, with the final word aim of bringing folks collectively via entry to contemporary meals and inexperienced areas.

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