While 2020 was…well, what it was, even the darkest days of the year seemed to offer a silver lining somewhere – one of the most significant being the reminder that voicing, voting, and shopping your values does matter. In fact, it can be one of the most impactful ways for any of us to create the changes we want to see in the world. Read on to see some of the values we’re using to drive our food choices this year, and some of the vendors you can feel great about shopping in the Farmhouse Delivery market.
We could nerd out on regenerative agriculture for hours – it’s science-y and cool, it’s saving our farmlands and fishing waters, and mother nature really likes it. In case you aren’t already familiar, it’s a style of sustainable farming that seeks to improve (rather than degrade or detract from) the quality of the soil and waters that are being farmed, with the goal of improving biodiversity, growing more nutrient-dense crops, and setting up future farmers, ranchers, and fisheries for success. Shirttail Creek, famed for their exceptionally delicious golden-yolked eggs and grass-fed beef, are one of the many family-owned Texas farms putting regenerative practices at the forefront of their values. Of course, along with their rotational livestock grazing and natural feeding methods, they also never treat their land or livestock with steroids, hormones, or pesticides.
More Vendors Who Practice Regenerative Agriculture: Thunderheart Bison (bison), Cook’s Venture and Windy Meadows Family Farm (chicken), Vital Choice Wild Seafood & Organics (seafood), Capra Foods (lamb), Peaceful Pork (pork)
2. Shop Vendors Who Source Their Ingredients Locally
Not only does Farmhouse Delivery source locally as much as possible, we also love sourcing from local companies who also source locally (say that three times fast!). Springdale Handmade is owned and operated by famed urban farmer Paula Foore and accomplished food activist and home gardener Carla Crownover. They decided to take their love of local (and pretty-smelling, restorative body products) to the next level by creating their own soaps, lotions, candles, salves and more using both ingredients they grew in their own gardens and ingredients sourced from other local food vendors, like Austin Honey Company, Third Coast Coffee, and Lost Pines Yaupon Tea.
More Vendors Who Source Source Their Ingredients Locally: Confituras (jams and preserves), Gastromonique (prepared foods), Flourvine (hand pies), Farmhouse Kitchen (meal kits, prepared foods, sauces, & more), The Steeping Room (baked goods, prepared foods, gourmet teas)
Local farming, ranching, and food production in Texas has long been under-representative of the diverse cultures and backgrounds that make our state a great place to call home. We as a company are dedicated to continuing to learn constantly and do more to thwart racism in our industry and in our culture, and will continue supporting BIPOC farmers and food businesses along the way. Chaz H Daughtry was first introduced to us through his Houston-area farm, Sweetwater Farms. Soon thereafter, we learned of his brilliant new business making vegan and paleo-friendly low-sodium seasoning blends, created to offer the same unforgettable flavor as his grandmother’s beloved soul food dishes, while avoiding the health risks associated with high-MSG & sodium-based seasonings. Don’t miss his signature “Soul on Everything” all-purpose blend – it’s sure to be your new go-to secret ingredient.
More Vendors Who Are BIPOC-Owned: Thai Fresh (prepared Thai sauces & soups), My Father’s Farm (seasonal produce), Siete Family Foods (paleo-friendly tortillas, chips, sauces, and more), Wunderkeks (cookie dough), Me & The Bees (fresh lemonades), Afia Foods (prepared Middle Eastern frozen foods), Lamba’s Royal Indian Food (prepared Indian meals), Tamale Addiction (prepared frozen tamales)
4. Shop Woman-Owned
Historically, women have been underrepresented both in entrepreneurship and in the food industry, though we’re starting to see a lot of female phenoms claiming their place in both spaces recently (woohoo!). More specifically, within the food world, women represent less that 1/3 of the beekeeping population. Enter Two Hives Honey – a beekeeping and honey production business that is not only founded by a woman, Tara Chapman, but is operated by a staff of almost entirely women. Their honey and fresh honey comb make a great addition to your homeopathic medicine cabinet, your prettiest of cheese plates, your baking pantry, and more.
More Vendors Who Are Woman-Owned: Fronk’s (fresh, scratch-made nut milks), Words & Food (the greatest pimento cheese in the world), Della Casa Pasta (fresh pastas and sauces), Bee Tree Farm & Dairy (goat milk cheeses and milk products), Pie Jacked (gluten-free baked goods), The Mediterranean Chef (prepared Mediterranean foods), The Pharm Table (ayurvedic desserts), Culina (dairy-free yogurts), The Sourdough Project (handmade sourdough crackers)
What do we mean by do-gooders? These are folks who get a gold star in helping others. Whether it’s through donations, working on land conservation, sourcing fair-trade product from rural communities, or starting non-profits on the side, these are the people who use their love of food to take care of their community and beyond. Farmhouse Delivery not only supports these businesses through our online market, we are that business…thanks in large part you! Every month, our Donate-A-Box campaign raises money to donate to Texas-based non-profit companies. Since April 2020 alone, you and your fellow Farmhouse Delivery members have raised $67,500 in donations through Donate-A-Box! Go ahead, pat yourself on the back – you deserve it (plus maybe a Wunderkeks cookie or two).
More Vendors Who Are Do-Gooders: Hudspeth River Ranch (lamb), Rambler Sparkling Water (canned sparkling water), Tiny House Coffee (fresh roasted coffee beans and cold brew), Superthing Coffee (fresh roasted coffee beans), L’Oca D’Oro (restaurant-prepared meals)
If you’ve been a Farmhouse Delivery member for some time, you might know that one of our founders, Stephanie Scherzer, is herself a member of the LGBTQ community, and operates a small East Austin urban farm (Rain Lily Farm) that specializes in fresh herbs and flowers. Naturally, we say, the more LGBTQ representation in business and food, the better. The Steeping Room is a long-time central Texas favorite for baked goods, aromatic teas, and fresh bowls, wraps, and salads. We adore these ladies – not only for their lovable personalities but also for their uncanny ability to turn every flavor they touch into absolute gold. Everything from them in our market is heavenly, but if you haven’t tried the Tomato Coconut Bisque, we suggest your start there.
Phew! Can we just say pretty much everyone?! Ok, so not all food producers we work with are family-owned and operated, but there are a whooooole lot. In fact, working with small family-run businesses is part of the origin of Farmhouse Delivery. Community is everything at Farmhouse Delivery, and our founders, from the start, wanted to build a community around these small family-operated businesses and the food-loving Texans they knew would be ready to gobble up every last bite. Fruitful Hill Farm has been with Farmhouse Delivery for nearly the entire run – and with good reason! Their family runs the farm and is made up of truly wonderful, hard-working people. Every vegetable and egg that comes from their farm is totally free of any additives, pesticides, or preservatives, and every bite of food grown on their farm reminds us of why we do what we do in the first place.
More Vendors Who Are Family-Owned and Operated: Gundermann Acres (seasonal produce), Joe’s Organics (seasonal microgreens), Steelbow Farm (seasonal produce), Antonelli’s Cheese (gourmet cheeses), Siete Family Foods (Paleo-friendly sauces, tortillas, and more), Full Quiver Farm, Shirttail Creek Farm, K&C Cattle Co. (beef), Upriver Cacao (canned cacao), Windy Meadows Family Farm (chicken), Martin Heritage Farm (holiday turkeys), Peaceful Pork (pork)
We LOVE the direction that so many food producers are taking with waste elimination programs and initiatives, which is why we started our own! Farmhouse Kitchen is our in-house, chef-operated commercial kitchen where we make a variety of seasonal prepared foods, meal kits, sauces, and more – all of which are created with our zero-waste goals in mind (which has accomplished an average of less than 2% food waste monthly)! The Farmhouse Kitchen team is dedicated to the mission and takes action toward eliminating food waste wherever they can: composting food scraps, donating excess produce and product at the end of every week, and using all of the imperfect-looking produce and meats to create the specialty sauces and prepared items you love.