I don’t think I attend nearly enough potlucks. Especially those of the caliber of this particular one, featuring culinary creations of local Austin food bloggers. I dove right in to some of the dishes – such as homemade chilis, pickled vegetables, and various chutney’s on crisp and airy flatbread – while practicing restraint from slicing into perfectly styled pies that were primped for their photo-shoot. It was fun to chat with a few new friends and see the faces and emotion of the people behind the blogs I’ve read.
The design part of my brain kept poking me…”Who’s house is this?!” Which I then asked and learned it was the home of Paula Foore – the kind lady who just happened to be over there by the large dining table, setting out chairs and making sure everyone seemed comfortable. I confessed to her how I loved the whole feel of the place – the wood finish to the overhang, the farmhouse style kitchen, and the open patio.
I asked if she’d be interested in working on an Apartment Therapy feature with me sometime, and then weeks later we finally got around to it. When I arrived we chatted for a bit in their living area, myself on one of the cozy rockers and Glenn in what had to be “his chair” and Paula on the sofa nearby. As fascinated as I was by the place before I arrived, I was even more taken up by Glenn and Paula’s story.
I was struck by how a decision to start a small community garden – something Glenn had always thought about making one day – culminated into Springdale Farms in just one year’s time. The positive feedback and community reaction they got from the produce led them to try their hands at things like tomatoes. Paula recounted a time when the tomatoes where literally overflowing…every square inch of counter space in the greenhouse consumed by them. ”I guess we just happened to have some good soil on the property,” Glenn mentioned. They said a good friend and neighbor of theirs – Jesse Griffiths of Dai Due – saw the overwhelming amount of crop and asked if they had enough buyers to offload them. Which Paula mentioned they didn’t. A few phone calls from Jesse had restaurant trucks pulling up to claim the tomatoes that very day. That was the start of Springdale Farms involvement with supplying farm-to-table offerings for local restaurants such as Lenoir, Barley Swine, La Condesa, Trace and Hillside Farmacy. They mentioned how fortunate they were to stumble into this, but things like this don’t just happen to people for no good reason. They happen to people who have a passion for doing things right and honestly, and for people who do it seemingly because it’s the only way they know how to do things. Restaurants and chefs of the caliber Springdale Farms provides for wouldn’t keep coming back unless the product was stellar, which at Springdale it most certainly is.
Just as suddenly as things developed for their farm, Glenn and Paula also now host wedding events at Springdale. They told me how one fella just mentioned that he’d love to have a wedding there, to which they replied “Why not?” And most recently the farm was host to the marriage of someone particular close to them – their own daughter – starting what I’m sure will be a new family tradition. It’s a venue I certainly would suggest to an adventurous Austinite, especially considering that you could very well have Bryce Gilmore prepare a wedding rehearsal meal for you as well – it’s happened before. Well, now that I think I’ve told you all I wasn’t able to mention on my Apartment Therapy tour feature and my Kitchn tour feature of this lovely place. Why don’t you check those two posts out, but not before seeing some of my favorite outtakes below – as well as a few more from the Food Blogger Alliance potluck that introduced me to this great home.
Maybe I’ll see you around at one of Springdale’s farm stand sometime. Get your hands on some of their great produce yourself on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 9am-1pm.