Central Texas farmers survive selling directly to customers

Central Texas farmers survive selling directly to customers

Central Texas farmers are adjusting to the new reality and in some cases thriving at farmers markets from Cedar Park to Southwest Austin. Even with strict access requirements and cones to keep customers 6 feet apart, sales are high, albeit with fewer customers who are buying more than they did before. “Our farmers and ranchers are doing pretty well,” said Evan Driscoll, interim executive director of the Texas Farmers Market, with locations at Lakeline Mall and Mueller, citing a surge…

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As a billion birds fly through Texas, they find a landscape quiet and still

As a billion birds fly through Texas, they find a landscape quiet and still

Once the stay-at-home orders were in place and the sounds of traffic and business dimmed, the birds seemed louder. There seemed to be more of them. It’s not clear if birds have really raised their volume (more on that in a bit), but there are more in Texas these days. The state is in the middle of peak bird migration, a two-week period when around a billion birds fly through. And, scientists say, this year will provide a unique natural experiment to…

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Supporting local Hill Country producers

Supporting local Hill Country producers

During these unprecedented times, it’s especially important to support and invest in our local communities. One way to do this is with our food choices. You can help local businesses bounce back from economic downturns and invest in the overall resiliency of your community by buying from Hill Country farmers and producers.  Farmers’ Markets often meet weekly – typically outdoors – and are a great way to be exposed to your region’s local producers. Food cooperatives (often just called co-ops)…

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Speak now please! Together we can save our Hill Country future, not pave it!

Speak now please! Together we can save our Hill Country future, not pave it!

The next Hays County Commissioners’ Court meeting is TUESDAY, April 28th at 9:00 AM – please contact the following elected officials in advance to state your views! judge.becerra@co.hays.tx.us (512) 393-2205; mark.jones@co.hays.tx.us (512) 262-2091; jhughson@sanmarcostx.gov (512) 393-8091; debbiei@co.hays.tx.us (512) 393-2243; lon.shell@co.hays.tx.us (512) 847-3159; walt.smith@co.hays.tx.us (512) 858-7268 You can also send a message to the entire 23 member CAMPO board by clicking here.  It’s truly amazing how much our Hill Country community of Hays, Blanco and Gillespie counties have come together to oppose Kinder Morgan’s Permian Highway pipeline. Uniting against this existential, external threat has…

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Permission revoked by County for pipeline to cross under roadways

Permission revoked by County for pipeline to cross under roadways

The commissioners court on Tuesday voted to revoke permission for the energy giant to cross any roads in the county. The unanimous vote came after a lengthy executive session and the motion was made by Pct. 3 Commissioner Lon Shell. It was in Shell’s precinct that contractors on the Permian Highway Pipeline (PHP) hit a karst feature on March 28 while attempting a horizontal bore under the Blanco River. That resulted in the spillage of thousands of gallons of drilling…

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‘Mega-drought’ could be in store for Texas, western U.S.

‘Mega-drought’ could be in store for Texas, western U.S.

The American West is well on its way into one of the worst mega-droughts on record, a new study warns, a dry period that could last for centuries and spread from Oregon and Montana, through the Four Corners and into West Texas and northern Mexico. Several other mega-droughts, generally defined as dry periods that last 20 years or more, have been documented in the West going back to about 800 A.D. In the new study, the researchers, using an extensive…

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Don’t touch the wildlife. Seriously.

Don’t touch the wildlife. Seriously.

With more people enjoying the outdoors and working from home this April, you may start to notice more wildlife in your backyard, neighborhood or surrounding area. Species including birds, deer and snakes are active this time of year and their young often stray or appear to be abandoned. But wildlife experts caution against lending a helping hand. The deer fawning season begins in early to mid-May. A newborn fawn’s mottled coat and mother’s care usually hides them from predators. But…

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I went bird watching in Colombia from my couch and you should too

I went bird watching in Colombia from my couch and you should too

Of all the virtual experiences being offered to us these strange days, this was the one that caught my attention: virtual bird watching in Colombia. The creators of The Birders, a 2019 documentary about a birding road trip through northern Colombia have created a checklist of all 102 birds that appear in the hour-long film (free on YouTube) so that you can mark them off as you watch. The documentary, which stars Diego Calderón-Franco, an expert guide, and Keith Ladzinski, a wildlife…

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Earth Day 50th anniversary could mark turning point for Texas energy sector

Earth Day 50th anniversary could mark turning point for Texas energy sector

Wednesday marked the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. When it was first celebrated in 1970, more than 20 million people took to the streets and that action spurred the passage of environmental laws and regulations that are still in effect today. Large gatherings aren’t possible this year because of COVID-19, but some groups are finding other ways to celebrate. It’s also a time to reflect on the environmental movement’s influence over 50 years. Texas Standard host David Brown spoke with…

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A gift for Texas: Collins family donates easement on 531 acres in Williamson County

A gift for Texas: Collins family donates easement on 531 acres in Williamson County

More than 50 years ago, Michael Collins and his father bought land north of Liberty Hill, drawn to the river that cut through the property and the old log home that stood there. They evicted the goats bedding down in the house and renovated it, and the Collins family spent the next five decades building memories at a place they called the Farm at Loafer’s Glory, named for a church where an eclectic group of locals once worshiped. For a…

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