Next, add the brown and white sugar and beat with a fork until the texture is not so grainy. Add your almond milk and flax seeds and beat some more - a classic vegan egg substitute.
Marrying rosemary and chocolate is a spectacular mix. I especially love the combination in Isa Chandra Moskowitz' vegan cookies. I started preparing this recipe for guests when I saw Isa's post on her vegan blog Post Punk Kitchen. When I learned she also authored a cookbook Isa Does It I ordered that thing on Amazon right away! The Rosemary Chocolate chip cookie recipe is found in the book, too.
Howdy Farm has some potent rosemary, as any good rosemary should be. I harvested some twigs off of our many bushes around the farm and got baking! Chandra's complete recipe is listed at the bottom of this post.
Mix the rosemary and coconut oil. You'll start to smell all of the herb oils being released!
There's nothing scary about making vegan cookies. It's as easy as any chocolate chip cookie recipe but without the egg and dairy milk! Instead, coconut oil gives these cookies a great texture and hint of flavor.
Poor on some vanilla. Add baking soda, salt, and half of the flour. Stir well. Then add the remaining flour and keep mixing until the dough looks like good 'ole cookie dough.
These cookies won't expand as much as traditional cookies, so make them just short of the size you're aiming for. Bake on 350F for 10-12 minutes and let cool. Voila!
Isa Chandra Moskowitz' Rosemary Chocolate Chip Cookies [Vegan]
Now, add your chocolate chips! I've used regular sized chips in the past but this time I opted for Ghirardelli mini semi-sweet chocolate chips.
Recipe is from Isa Chandra's cookbook Isa Does It and her vegan blog The Post Punk Kitchen.
Photos and blog post are by Jessica Newman.
Spring time is all about flowers - and not just on ornamental plants. It's the time of the year that vegetables, too, go to flower if left to their natural cycles. At the farm, we have left a variety of plant families go to flower: Allium, Brassica, Lamiaceae,
Apiaceae and so on.
When we stop harvesting greens, they continue to grow and produce flowers. If you desire to still eat the produce, you can prevent the plant from flowering by clipping the flowers. However, in our extreme heat, plants have a natural tendency this time of year to flower in order to spread their seed. When we let plants flower - besides creating a unique opportunity for people to see what produce looks like in this stage and enjoy the beauty of a variety of flowers - they produce their own seed to reproduce for the next season.
Many high end restaurants use these flowers to garnish plates because they come from edible plants and may garner the original taste. For example, cilantro flowers look like babies breath and are beautiful (and edible) on any dish. Chive flowers have an intense purple color and a sweet, onion flavor enjoyable for aesthetics and taste.
As a note, when edible plants go to flower the commonly eaten part usually, not always, no longer tastes so great since the plant is using all of its energy to shoot up flowers instead of produce tasty leaves. For example, basil flowers are gorgeous but the basil leaves on a flowering plant will become tart.
In addition to flowering, the Brassica family of plants - including cauliflower, lettuce, broccoli, cabbage and more - bolt. Bolting is a smiliar idea to flowering but instead of producing flowers, the plant "bolts" upward and produces seed. When lettuce is ready for harvest it produces a nice "head." When left to bolt, the lettuce can shoot up a few feet. At the very top, you can see the lettuce seeds.
Bolting and flowering are mechanisms of nature to re-seed and re-produce themselves without the help of humans. If you have a garden, let some of your produce flower or bolt to witness a unique stage of the plant. Test out eating the flowering parts!
See what's springing at the Howdy Farm...
By Jessica Newman
The Howdy Farm is proud to be hosting what we are calling “Sustainable Saturday at the farm”, which will take place on Saturday, April 25th from noon to 5pm. We are hosting this event as part of Earth Week and will open our farm for anyone and everyone to come take a tour, ask us questions, and find out how we are contributing to sustainable agriculture right here on the campus of Texas A&M. The Howdy Farm would not be where it is today without the help and support of our partners in sustainability, so we would like to take a minute to provide some background information about how we practice sustainability, while also thanking those who have helped us achieve these goals.
First and foremost we would like to thank the Department of Horticultural Sciences for supporting our vision and providing us with the land to fulfill our mission. As many of you know we were forced to relocate the farm when the construction of the new West Campus housing project began, but the department was gracious in letting us use the garden area and empty field behind the building. We have expanded our farm into the empty field, which in-time will mean we can provide even more fresh vegetables to our wonderful customers!
One of our newest additions to the farm, as you have seen if you have been to the farm since last August, is our sustainability building. This building is made from reclaimed and recycled materials including barn wood that is over 100 years old! It is equipped with solar panels, which provide us with electricity for lights, fans, and outlets for charging phones, laptops, and batteries for our power tools. We were able to purchase this building from a company called Reclaimed Space through the support of the Aggie Green Fund and the Office of Sustainability. The Office of Sustainability has been an integral part of our success and we can’t thank them enough for all they have provided us. Here are some pictures of the building, and the solar system that allows us to remain off-the-grid:
The landscape in front of our building was also paid for by the Aggie Green Fund/Office of Sustainability and was designed by Agrilife Extension program specialist, Tim Hartmann. Tim’s focus area is Earth-Kind landscaping, which is a sustainable approach to landscaping through proper plant selection, proper soil preparation, and water conservation. The landscape that Tim designed utilizes plants that are native to Texas, can tolerate drought conditions once established, and attract many beneficial pollinators like bees and monarch butterflies. The landscape is a beautiful addition to our farm and we would like to thank Tim for his time and efforts. Here is a picture of part of the landscape in full bloom:
Attached to our sustainability building is a rainwater harvesting system that was installed by an intern at the Howdy Farm, Chris Paulson. Chris is a huge advocate of maximizing efficiency and conserving natural resources, such as water. Chris also installed a 2nd rainwater tank to our tool shed, giving us the capacity to reserve 2,000 gallons of stored rainwater to be used at a later date when the temperatures begin to rise. One of the rainwater tanks was purchased through the Aggie Green Fund and the Office of Sustainability, giving us another reason to thank them immensely. Here are some pictures of our rainwater systems:
Finally, we have installed a large composting area on the farm to eliminate farm waste by turning it into compost rather than throwing it away. We have reduced the amount of compost we have to purchase by adding this large compost area to the farm, and we want to thank the Northgate Juice Joint on University for providing us with juicing pulp to help facilitate this process. We have built a great relationship with the Juice Joint and it is a great representation of community working together in mutual support. We sell a lot of our greens to them, they juice the greens, and we pick up the pulp to put into our compost pile. It’s a cycle that promotes local business, as well as waste reduction. If you haven’t been to the Northgate Juice Joint yet, we highly recommend that you go check them out. My personal favorite is the Coffee Cashew drink, which contains: cashew milk, espresso, cocoa nibs, and bananas. The drink isn’t overly sweetened, which makes it a healthy alternative to other coffee drinks that contain loads of sugar. Here is a picture of our compost pile:
These are just a few examples of how we at the Howdy Farm contribute to sustainability and the community. You can learn more about these aspects of the farm, as well as many others, by coming out for our “Sustainable Saturday at the Farm” event. We will be happy to show you around the farm and provide you with the educational tools so you can include some of these techniques in your garden at home. We will have fresh produce available for purchase, and we will provide a free bundle of herbs to all of our customers. That’s our way of saying thanks to you, our loyal customers, because without your support we wouldn’t be able to operate. All of the money we make from our produce sales goes right back into the farm so we can continue with our mission. We hope to see you at the farm!
*We obviously can’t thank each and every individual who has helped contribute to our success. The success of the Howdy Farm comes from many individuals and local businesses, and we appreciate each and every one of you.*
The Howdy Farm
Story written by the farm manager: Corey Wahl
Story inspired by the wonderful community of Bryan/College Station
Everyone should get with chives. Chives are perennials, which means they last many growing seasons. The first year, Howdy Farm harvested fresh chives for farmers markets. Now, during the second growing year, the farm is reaping the benefits of chive flowers. Chives are in the Allium family, which includes other bulbs like onions and garlics. Like all other Alliums, the flowers are perfectly edible. In fact, Allium bulbs are very drought tolerant and the flowers of these commonly eaten bulbs make great ornaments for a landscape.
Chive flowerings starting to bud. Photo by Erik King.
Chives in full bloom
Chives all over the farm began to flower in the spring and we have no intention of stopping are chives from spreading. The flower is made up of tiny individual flowers. These flowers are edible while they are in the soft, purple stage. Then, the flowers start to harden, turn slightly pink, and dry out when they begin to produce seeds. You don't want to harvest the edible flowers when they produce seed so that nature can take its course and the chives can keep planting themselves all over the garden.
Chive bouquet at the Howdy Farm with an orange Pot Marigold and edible Chamomille flowers. Bellisimo!
Look closely at bees playing their pollination game.
Howdy Farm Chive Flower Vinaigrette Salad
Chives in Howdy Farm's raised bed gardens.
By Jessica Newman
Every semester Howdy Farmers are happy to be back at the farm and look forward to what each new season brings. 2015 is going to be a great year for Howdy Farm as we implement new projects, plant a variety of heirloom vegetables and less heard of edible plants, and expand our student organization’s membership to include more creative, passionate, hardworking students propelled to better the farm.
The Howdy farmers walked the farm together and went over visions, dreams and projects to expand and revamp the farm. Some are ideas and some are definite plans in the works! Below are the details of what Howdy Farmers hope to begin this semester.
Raised beds in the Heritage Garden will soon be planted with perennials while vegetable production moves to our new field.
Our two-dozen or so raised beds in the heritage garden will become full of perennials, meaning plants that live for many years rather than annuals or biennials that have a shorter life span. We would like to do perennials because the raised beds are designed and set-up to be planted with a more permanent design. This will reduce the constant foot traffic and soil disturbance caused by growing annual vegetables in the beds.
Creeping thyme surrounding our keyhole garden.
This land will be used to grow a fruit tree garden.
An area of land around our chalkboard message board will be a walk-able fruit tree garden. Pathways can be lined in herbs so with each step, the smell are released. For example, creeping thyme makes a beautiful green carpet and smells wonderful! We will build up our soil so the fruit trees sit above ground level for excellent drainage. Maybe we’ll plant every fruit that starts with P for a P Tree garden: pomegranate, peach, pear, plum, persimmon, etc.
Example of a Zen garden or Japanese rock garden, photo courtesy of Live Outside Blog
Nearby are two existing trees. We’ve wanted to incorporate a Zen garden using lush greenery and various textures of rock and sand. A Zen garden incorporates a rake used to rake the sand into beautiful designs as a therapeutic exercise.
Howdy Farmers recently transplanted greens to a section of our field.
In the field, we are still building up the soil with cover crops. The cover crops we are using right now include hairy vetch, crimson clover, dwarf essex rape (that’s what it’s called!), oats and a combination of all four. The whole field should be in production by April. For now, we will plant a small section of the field to start producing vegetables! The reason we will plant vegetables in the field rather than the raised beds from now on is because the field is better suited for growing veggies. It is easier to work with the tractor, it lends itself better to cover crops and crop rotation, and it provides more space for larger vegetables like winter squash, melons, pumpkins, etc.
Black Triefel Tomatoes, photo courtesy of Seed Savers. Copia tomatoes, photo courtesy of Tomato Growers.
Next to the field is a plot of land we will use to grow tomatoes and peppers in a hoop house. We will be planting many more unique varieties of tomatoes including: Black Triefel, Copia, Sioux, Super Sioux, Super Sweet 100’s, Sunburst, and more! We will have a wide variety of cherry, grape, plum, slicing, and beefsteak types. Most of them are heirlooms, but not all of them.
Howdy Farm will trellis plants up the wooden structures and plant vegetables alongside the curb where the grass is.
In the existing wooden raised beds by our gazebo, we want to incorporate new edible plants and interesting designs. Up the patio structure we can trellis plants to form an edible wall. We also can use the extra grass alongside the road for more raised beds because in every plot of bare land we see room to grow more food!
Wicking bed design, photo courtesy of Gardening Australia
An existing wood-lined bed will be made into a wicking bed, inspired by Food is Free Project in Austin. A wicking bed lines the floor of a boxed bed structure with a pond liner to create an aquifer. The pond liner is place at the bottom to prevent water loss. Then, the bottom of the bed is lined with gravel and covered with landscape fabric. On top, the bed will be full of soil and plants will be seeded as usual. A pipe is inserted to reach down into the aquifer and protrude from the soil to be used as a filling chamber. The water fills the bottom of the bed where the gravel is and then wicks upward into the bottom layers of the soil forcing the plants to send roots down to access it. Wicking beds grow strong roots!
Greens nursed in our greenhouse and ready to be transplanted into the field.
In the greenhouse, we will prep seedlings. Like a nursery, students can go to the greenhouse, grab transplants, and plant them on the farm. Our greenhouse space currently houses many greens, which we can harvest young to sell as micro greens. We also have two fruit trees stored in there!
This year, we have bought many new seeds and heirloom varieties. We will plant dwarf bok choy only 2 to 3 inches tall. We’ll experiment with edible weeds like clover, sorrel, and purslane. Interns will plant more tea herb varieties for dehydrating and making herbal drinks. The farm will use amaranth, which provides a beautiful maroon and purple color, and is completely edible. A sister of cilantro, papalo will make an appearance on our farm and markets! This is just a glimpse of the unique plants we have to offer. Wait until you taste these surprising vegetables!
By Jessica Newman and Corey Wahl
Better Parking, Better Timing, Better be there starting October 21
Howdy Farm wishes to address two major issues with farmers markets in the BCS area: 1) where on earth to park and 2) why are farmers markets so early in the morning. We are in a college town after all and as students, we see the need for a market that is held at a convenient time for non-morning people and students in classes as well as provides enough space so that parking is not an obstacle.
The new Northgate Farmers Market will have its grand opening this Tuesday, October 21. The market will continually be held on Tuesday evenings from 4 pm until 7 pm at the A&M United Methodist Church parking lot. The lot is on the corner of Church Avenue and College Main behind Northgate. The market will occur on a weekly basis for now. We will take a short break over the Christmas holidays, and will therefor not hold a market on the 23rd and 30th of December. We hope to continue the market throughout the school year and even into summer if it does well.
This market will be different from the Blackwater Draw Northgate Market held last Spring 2014. We have addressed complaints about parking and now have a lot more space to work with. The market will be more easily accessible to customers as they can park directly in the A&M United Methodist Church lot where vendors will also be located. We also have room to expand in the future thanks to the large lot. With the space, vendors can be more spread out and customers will have more room to move freely from booth to booth, which will make their market experience more enjoyable.
With the new market opening, Howdy Farm will continue to hold Shop Hours (Howdy Farm’s on campus market) on Thursdays only, 1 to 5 pm. Tuesdays will be dedicated to the Northgate Farmers Market 4 to 7 pm featuring Howdy Farm and a wealth of other vendors to provide more variety to our customers. This will also address parking issues at the farm during shop hours due to the hassle of parking on campus.
We do not currently have a list of vendors to release. However, produce and goods available to customers may include organically grown veggies, eggs, jams and jellies, pickles, assorted ceramics, goat’s milk soaps, candles and more. Everything sold will be local, home grown and Texas-made.
While addressing parking issues and the inconvenience of an early morning market, Howdy Farm hopes to see an increase in the younger generation of customers. We want to get the youth of BCS more involved in local agriculture. The market’s goal is to reach a younger crowd and make it easier for students to eat healthy. Students often find eating fresh is difficult and expensive. At the market, we provide local, organic produce at a reasonable price.
The market goes until evening to allow our working customers and families to join the fun, too. Families can easily park and bring kids to the market. Working individuals can drive over after a hard day’s work and refresh with fresh goods. We want to keep our customer base while expanding to get more students involved in the local movement.
We would love to host entertainment at the market. If you or someone you know is interested in singing, strumming, drumming, or whatever else, send an inquiry to our Farm Manager to see how we can work together. If you are a local grower or craftsman interested in being a vendor, please reach out. For any entertainment or vendor inquiries, please contact the farmers’ market manager on the contact page. For any press inquiries, please contact the public relations officer listed on the contact page.
For updated information on the market, visit and like the Northgate Farmers Market Facebook event page (NGFarmersMarket) and stay tuned with the Howdy Farm Facebook page (TAMUHowdyFarm).
It’s going to be a great semester at the Howdy Farm! We have a new Farmhouse made completely out of reclaimed materials and run on solar power and a new Rainwater Collection Tank.
Some exciting things will be happening this semester! Some of the interns projects include rainwater conservation, food dehydrating, tea making, and several local markets. We are currently planting cool season plants and getting ready for fall.
Come out to the Howdy Farm and volunteer Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 1-5 p.m. The Market is open Tuesdays and Thursdays 1-5 p.m. Join the Howdy Farm student organization for our monthly meetings as well!
By Christina Kocurek
Howdy! Farm Shop Hours Grand Opening
Tuesday, September 16, 2014
1-5 PM at the Howdy! Farm
Come help us welcome in the new season at our official opening of the Sustainability Building!
Our building will host:
Straight from the farm to you.
Also available – Howdy Farm Merchandise!!!
Free tours, herbs, and refreshments on grand opening day!
“Plant A Seed, Watch It Grow” was Howdy! Farm’s weeklong campaign. All this week (February 24th - 28th), the Howdy Farmers have been on Texas A&M’s campus passing out seeds with a very simple message: “Plant A Seed, Watch It Grow”! Our goal is to plant seeds on our Aggie farm through sustainable practices, protecting earth’s natural ecosystems and promoting responsible agriculture. On campus, we passed out 5,500 seeds of all kinds (okra, beets, corn, cilantro, tomatoes, beans, and peas) to students, so they can be a part of the food and farming revolution!
Through our weeklong awareness campaign (Plant A Seed, Watch It Grow!), Howdy! Farm hopes to help students recognize a connection to their food source. By “planting” a seed in a student’s hands, we hope Aggies can watch it grow and harvest its fruits, showcasing the relationship between individual action and responsible agriculture. Instead of simply passing out flyers, we passed out an action for students to be a part of: planting! The metaphor in planting a seed and watching it grow is no accident.
Today, Friday, Howdy! Farm’s campaign on campus comes to a close - but continues to sprout on the web through AggieFunding.com! Aggie Funding is a website created specifically to help student organizations raise funds in support of their philanthropies and operating needs. Our online fundraising campaign launched today, Friday, on AggieFunding.com. Everyone from students to corporations can get involved by donating and contributing to the bright future of Howdy! Farm.
Howdy! Farm has a fundraising goal of $45,000. With the help of Aggie Funding, we believe this is a more than obtainable goal. In May, we will build our sustainability building, created by Reclaimed Space in Austin. With the new building to house educational classes and workshops, Howdy! Farm wants to become a true Texas Aggie destination on campus. We are trying to raise $45,000 for the future development, enhancement, and growth of an educational farm and student-run business. We are looking to enhance student education through high-impact experiential learning. The funds received will facilitate operations, build new interactive working farm lands, and provide an aesthetic, functional, interpretative, ecologically oriented on-campus farm. Ultimately, the campaign is to serve the Texas A&M student body by providing them with a place to enhance their knowledge by hands-on experience. We aim to provide students with an opportunity to develop leadership skills and reconnect with their food source.
Our fundraising campaign is rooted in the development of these key projects:
*Creation of four new sustainably-cultivated Gardens
*Furnishing our new Sustainability Building, which will house:
*Establishing the Howdy! Farm presence as a timeless destination and component of the Aggie Gardens and Greenway Project
Plant a seed, and watch it grow!
Your funding is our seed – watch us grow with your support!
***Please consider planting a seed with the Howdy Farm by making a donation through aggiefunding.com***
What some of the Howdy Farmers are saying:
David Smith, President:
“My question to the public is ‘Where’s the food without the farmer?’ Everyone can be a farmer. Plant a seed and watch it grow is not only a slogan, it’s a way of life. It’s responsibility, accountability, loyalty, heritage, and the very roots of this excellent University. It’s our future.”
Jessica Guerra, Fundraising:
“My values in humanity’s connection to the earth and our right to its good, healthy food manifest directly in the Howdy! Farm. I see being a part of it as nothing short of a gift.”
Jessica Newman, Public relations officer:
“I dreamt of this “Plant A Seed, Watch It Grow” Campaign in my sleep! To actually put it together, carry it out, and see it happen - thanks to all the dedicated Howdy Farmers – is a good feeling.”
John Adams, Sustainability officer:
“We have something really remarkable going on, but a lot of students don’t even know about it. We want to let everybody know they can be a part of it.”
Monica Cueva, Secretary:
“You get a lot of flyers as you walk through academic plaza everyday, but rarely, if ever, do you get seeds! People were definitely puzzled by it. “