HOPE Farmers Market and a lazy Sunday morning with girl’s best friend

Live music, local produce, and handcrafted gifts and jewelry…you cannot ask for much more than that.  A hipster’s and non-hipster’s  dream alike, the HOPE farmers market that takes place year round every Sunday has a little something for everybody. The HOPE Farmers market is a part of the non-profit group Helping Other People Everywhere, an organization committed to helping artists promote social change through their work.  Meeka, my Siberian Husky and I decided to check it out this last Sunday morning.   

Meeka ready to go wreak farmers market havoc. Photo by Katie

It was the perfect day to be outdoors.  In the mid 80’s it was peculiarly cool for August in Texas.  Meeka and I took full advantage of this as we both enjoyed the fresh air on the car ride over; a nice change from the usual blasting air conditioning.  I have to be honest and say that farmers markets are both my least and favorite weekend activities; I absolutely adore meandering through the stalls with a cup of coffee and a fresh pastry, however find waking up before 10 am on a coveted day off utterly blasphemous.   The HOPE farmers market was looking out for me.  Open later in the day than most farmers markets, not opening until 10:00 and staying open until 2:00, they cater to those of us who are slightly less chipper in the wee hours of the morning.

I arrived a little after 10:30 to free and ample parking and the market in full swing.  It is a smaller farmers market located on the East side and boasts a charming,laid back atmosphere.  I was pleased to be among a nice sized amount of friendly people and not have to navigate my way through lines and large crowds.  Also unlike a traditional farmers market, HOPE does have local produce however also has other items available for purchase.  There was jewelry, olive oils and vinaigrettes, handmade bags, and ready to eat prepared food as well.  Some of the seasonal produce items I was excited about were the okra from Johnson’s Backyard Garden, and summer squash from Engel Farms.

Produce from Johnson’s Backyard Garden. Photo by Katie

Produce from Engel Farms. Photo by Katie

Handmade jewelry from Ranch-O-Matic Revival. Photo by Katie

A few of the goodies I snagged to take home were a handmade beaded wrap bracelet for myself from local artist Robin Herskowitz, and garlic infused olive oil for a gift from Texas Olive Ranch of Kyle, Texas.  I had been excited to try out some of the ready to eat food from regularly returning vendors offering vegan Indian food and gourmet coffee however Meeka, not quite one year old yet, had other plans that involved dragging me to every dog she saw and not allowing another free hand for food or beverage. Obedience issues aside,  the market was extremely pet friendly, a few vendors supplying water bowls for our furry friends and even an organic dog treat on the way the way out, deserved or not.

My new favorite addition to my jewelry collection, by Robin Herskowitz with Ranch-O-Matic Revival. Photo by Katie

The market also has regular live music, a staple here in the capital city.  Hello Caller, a self-described “dark folk, jangle rock” band from Austin played on the quaint shady stage at 11:00, just in time for me to catch them.

The folk band Hello Caller. Photo by Katie

All in all it was a pleasant late Sunday morning.  I hope to return this Sunday to sample the faire and pick up some more fresh veggies, either sans my four legged kiddo or plus another set of human hands.

Catch the next Farmers Market, next and every Sunday from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm located at East 5th and Waller Street.

Blog by Katie

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A Global Roots Fundraiser for the Amala Foundation: Think Globally and Act Locally in Austin

On Sunday June 24th, I attended an inspiring night of community, music and art.

Entrance to CTC Garden. Photo by Lucas

It was the 6th Annual Global Roots fundraiser held at CTC Garden in East Austin to benefit the Global Youth Peace Summit. The event was presented by the Amala Foundation along with CTC International, Urban Roots, The Austin Junior Chamber of Commerce, The Khabele School, and Generous Art.

Indu Agrawal and Tammy Howard with the Amala Foundation. Photo by Lucas

It was certainly a lively and engaging night of live global music. The line up included Bamako Airlines, Minor Mishap Marching Band, Hard Proof Afrobeat. The evening was kicked off with ZaBoomBa: An Interactive Drum Experience, lead by Kenya Masala. He had the crowd drumming in call-and-response style that brought us all into focus.
It was fantastic.

Kenya Masala of ZaBoomBa leading the interactive drum experience. Photo by Lucas

Click here to see ZaBoomBa: An Interactive Drum Experience, lead by Kenya Masala

Vanessa Stone, Founder of the Amala Foundation, (seated left). Ryan Jordan, Executive Director, (standing). Photo by Lucas

There was a silent auction and an art show presented by Generous Art which included work by Jennifer Chenoweth whom I recognized from the East Austin Studio Tours. Aside from being an accomplished artist, she cooks a great Posole, but that’s another blog. Speaking of food, delicious Indian cuisine was available on sight, à la Austin trailer style. I enjoyed a plate of spicy lamb stew and rice among good company.

Face painting with Randi Southard and Laven Blumoff. Photo by Lucas

This year’s Global Youth Peace Summit, August 12-19th will unite 70 youth from 25+ different countries for an 8-day youth summit devoted to cultural exchange, heart-centered dialogue, healing, and exploration of self and world.

Face painting was enjoyed by Talia Masala and friend. Photo by Lucas

As of post date, The Amala Foundation raised $4,000 which will enable them to purchase airline tickets so that two Kenyan youth will be able to attend this year’s Global Youth Peace Summit. While they have yet to raise enough money to cover their passport, visa and scholarship fees, we trust that this funding is on its way ($2500 additional).

Maya Adjani. Photo by Lucas

It was a delight to meet Maya Adjani, of Breathe, Eat, Dance, Evolve and to sample her home-made raw chocolates.

If you feel inspired to help support these youth as well as other under-served, local and international children in their efforts to make a difference in their communities and in their lives, you can make a tax-deductible donation by visit: www.amalafoundation.org/donate.

For more about the Amala Foundation and the Global Youth Peace Summit
visit: www.amalafoundation.org

Blog by Lucas