On Thursday, November 20, Austin City Council will vote to determine the future of East Austin's Springdale Farm.
The urban farm which hosts a biweekly farm stand and sells organic all-natural produce to more than 20 local restaurants including Justine's Brasserie, Odd Duck, Foreign & Domestic, Congress, Salt and Time and Arro, also plays host to events such as school trips, weddings, tours and nonprofit fundraisers.
Lately, however, the farm has come under fire from neighbors who claim the events are causing parking issues, trash and even lewd behavior. Springdale owners Glen and Paula Foore insist that this is untrue and claim that banning events from the 4.83-acre farm would cripple its business model and force the farm to shutter. (The Austin Chronicle has an excellent piece detailing the fight which is part race-relations, part gentrification issues and a whole lot of interesting.)
In order to stay in business, Springdale needs council members to approve issues pertaining to the amendment of the Future Land Use Map, the approval of a new zoning request, and the removal of a restrictive covenant placed on the property since 1999. Because a neighbor has filed a petition with the City of Austin, each of these issues must pass with a super majority, meaning six of the seven council members must vote yes.
Supporters of Springdale are being urged to take action to save this urban farm, which has been in business since 1992. Participants are encouraged to wear green and attend a rally and at Austin City Hall on Thursday, November 20 at 5 pm. Austinites can also sign up in support of items No. 145, No. 146 and No. 147 at kiosks located in the lobby of City Hall.
Austin's chef community has already answered the rallying cry, gathering on September 28 for a fundraiser. Local culinary stars including Sonya Coté, Bryce Gilmore, David Bull, Shawn Cirkiel and Andrew Curren participated in the one-day event dubbed Springdale Farm Aid.