Winter 2013 Notable Mentions

Luminations at the Wildflower Center; Tamales! Festival at Pearl; 2014 East Austin Urban Farm Tour

CALLING ALL CHICKENS—FUNKY CHICKEN COOP TOUR 2014

Applications to host a coop for the 2014 Funky Chicken Coop Tour (FCCT) are now available! The deadline to apply to be a Coop Tour Host is January 25. FCCT, founded in 2009, is an annual self-guided tour held each spring in Austin by the nonprofit Urban Poultry Association of Texas, Inc.

The tour aims to encourage city residents to raise chickens at home by demonstrating the many ways chicken (and other poultry) housing can be incorporated in an urban residence without violating city ordinances or creating a nuisance. Each year, the FCCT strives to showcase a diverse array of coops displaying a variety of construction designs and materials, from recycled to custom-designed coops. Resident birds run the gamut from production hens to exotic chickens and roosters. Many tour hosts also demonstrate how to integrate chickens and their manure into household gardening and composting, resulting in inexpensive, healthy and sustainable food, even in relatively small spaces. As part of its commitment to local food and community, FCCT will donate a portion of its 2014 proceeds after expenses to New Farm Institute, a nonprofit organization with a mission to educate, assist and inspire citizens and a new generation of sustainable farmers, with a focus on the urban fringe. The 2014 tour date is Saturday, April 19. Find more information about the tour, application forms and sponsorship information, as well as a plethora of resources for chicken keeping at austincooptour.org

LUMINATIONS AT THE WILDFLOWER CENTER

Enjoy the natural beauty of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, brought to life at night with thousands of luminarias and twinkle lights, on Saturday and Sunday, December 14 and 15, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The event features musical acts from local performers and area schools on both evenings, plus hot chocolate and other food and drinks for sale. Stroll through the decorated Christmas trees in the McDermott Learning Center for a bit of holiday cheer, or visit the Gift Store for book signings by local authors and illustrators. Kids are invited to meet Frosty the Snowman and make crafts in the Visitors Gallery. Admission is free with a donation of two canned goods for the Capital Area Food Bank. Visit wildflower.org/luminations for more information.

FOURTH ANNUAL TAMALES! FESTIVAL AT PEARL

The fourth annual Tamales! festival, an all-day celebration of family, food and fun, returns to Pearl on Saturday, December 7 from noon to 6 p.m. Guests are invited to explore a Mexican-style streetscape full of the sounds, sights and tastes of the holiday season, along with a full range of tamale styles, from traditional San Antonio classics to South American to sweet, vegetarian and more. Visit atpearl.com/tamales for more information. 

SAVE THE DATE: 2014 EAST AUSTIN URBAN FARM TOUR

Save the date for a tour taking you through four of East Austin’s urban farms, plus a cornucopia of local food and drink brought to you by local chefs, brewers, wineries and distillers, on Sunday, April 13. Visit eastaustinurbanfarmtour.com for details and updates.

JAM & JIVE WITH EDIBLE AUSTIN AT TRAVAASA

Celebrate the Winter season with a weekend of learning and fun at Jam & Jive, presented by Edible Austin at Travaasa Austin, January 25 and 26. Learn how to preserve the winter harvest bounty with workshops on canning and food preservation by EA columnist and Hip Girl’s Guide to Homemaking author Kate Payne, enjoy a seasonal dinner prepared by Travaasa Executive Chef Benjamin Baker, then dance the night away with live music from the 1920s and professional dance lessons. Experience a total getaway with overnight accommodations at Travaasa then join us for a jammin’ Sunday Brunch and tours of the Travaasa farm. Visit travaasa.com/jamandjive for event details and ticket information. Proceeds from this event will benefit the Sustainable Food Center.