On 09 Febuary, 2013 my ogonori was served at TEDxAustin. I wasn’t able to post anything about until now since it was a surprise to have it on the menu. Now I am very proud to share the news. Chef Sonya Coté catered the event for 130 TEDx attendees who got to enjoy the first new batch of Austin Sea Veggies in 2013.

This was the first batch of sea veggies I have grown since relocating to space at Agua Dulce Farms. Honestly, when I got the message from Chef Coté I was terrified. I wasn’t fully operational yet. But, when a chef like her calls and asks for product to serve at TEDx you don’t say no. It is appropriate, because the theme at TEDxAustin this year was “fearless” and I had to be fearless to get ready in time.

Jack Waite, owner of Agua Dulce and his intern Evan Decker (Quest University, British Columbia) worked with me and we built a 300 gallon “ocean” in their greenhouse. It was a totally untested system. But with a lot effort, a little luck, and quick thinking it went perfectly. They are  best sea veggies I have ever produced. I went from afraid to proud. If I had not received that call from Chef Coté I would still be vacillating, trying to decide when to get back in the game. Now, I am fearless and I am moving ahead with the farm and will have it up and ready months ahead of schedule.

The Chef prepared my ogonori with miso, dried mushrooms and silky tofu stars. It looks delicious. I heard it was a hit. Thank you Chef for letting Austin Sea Veggies be a part of your menu and a part of the experience at TEDxAustin. It was a privilege and I look forward to serving fresh sea veggies to everyone in Austin very soon. Stay tuned!

Awesome Foundation Grant

I am very excited to share this news. Austin Sea Veggies was chosen as the October recipient of the Awesome Foundation of Austin grantee. The grant money, $1000 to do something awesome, will have a huge impact on the farm and the seaweed community. We will be using the grant to get monitoring devices. These devices will allow us to measure conditions in the water in real time. It will allow us to follow nutrient uptake, water quality, and light and temperature conditions. This will mean better production with less waste. I can be sitting in my house having coffee, turn on my phone and see what is going on with seaweed. The data we gather will help not just our operation but will eventually make it so we can teach other how to grow seaweed and avoid a lot of the hurdles we have faced. This will bring seaweed to the community in a big way. It really is Awesome. 

The Awesome Foundation of Austin is the local branch of the international Awesome Foundation group. The trustees of the Foundation contribute their own money to give $1000 grants every month. Please visit their website to learn about past grantees and how to apply for your Awesome project. Follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

We're on Slashdot!

Tim Lord from Slashdot [/. for the cool kids] came to visit the farm and talk with me. Check out the video and transcript. I so proud.

edit: so many emails! thank you! I will do my best to reply to each of you but it might take a little while.  

Me and the chicks are hard at work!

Me and the chicks are hard at work!