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HausBar Urban Farm Welcomes the Uchiko Team

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HausBar Farm is a magical place. Just east of downtown Austin, off the corner of Tillery and Govalle, sits an organic, sustainable oasis of edible eats. One that provides some of the cities top restaurants with fine local fare. Uchiko’s front of house staff had been invited out for a tour as part of our monthly service meeting. As I stood at the entrance, awaiting the rest of my team, I watched as a tricked out hooptie cruised past. Complete with heavy bass beats spilling out of the open windows. The term “urban farm” had never seemed so fitting.

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Uchiko server, Katie Wilcox, climbs a latter in search of Purple Hyacinth flowers.
Photo by Whitney Lee

The two-acre plot holds 51 hand tilled garden beds, chickens coops, grazing donkeys, tilapia, a roaming guinea pig and a duck raising goose, Gustavo. Founded in 2009 by Dorsey Barger (formerly of Eastside Café) and Susan Hausmann, the purpose of the farm was to supply Eastside with vegetables and organic eggs. Over time however the farm has become a coveted local resource. One glance at HausBar’s Instagram page and it’s evident the urban farm is a major player in Austin’s culinary scene.

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Passion flowers bloom along the walkway at HausBar.
Photo by Whitney Lee

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Rose receives a good nose rub from a new friend.
Photo by Whitney Lee

In the farms seven year history, HausBar hasn’t used any gasoline powered equipment. Even the lawn of the guest house (available for nightly rental) is maintained by a 100% green energy lawn care service. Julian and Rose, HausBar’s resident donkey’s, take care of the rest of the properties landscaping when they aren’t serving as body guards in the poultry pen. Where Gustavo, the goose who has found his true calling as a single-duck-dad, and the rest of the foul fare call home.

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Gustavo paces in front of his new pen of ducklings.
Photo by Whitney Lee

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Uchiko Host Sophie Ryan-Wood is all smiles as she shares pets with HausBar’s donkey, Rose.
Photo by Tasha Lindahl

As Dorsey walked us around the property, she pointed out plants and encouraged everyone to take a bite. Violet Hyacinth, Lambs Quarter, Okra, Shiso, Popolo, Hoja Santa. We tried it all. And while we had been exposed to these ingredients before, experiencing them in such a primal form offered a more dynamic flavor profile to emerge. Not to mention the wealth of knowledge about each plant Dorsey shared with us. It was a full afternoon of interactive learning.

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Dorsey Barger, co-founder of HausBar Farms, educates the Uchiko team on sustainable eating and farming.
Photo by Whitney Lee

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HausBar shiso as big as Reservations Manager Tasha Lindahl’s hand.
Photo by Sarah Duffy

At the end of the tour, Dorsey invited our team to sit by the pool and enjoy a slice (or three) of Eastside Pie pizza. On the way, she stopped to invite us all to “pet her fish”. Typically not an invitation one receives often, I eagerly investigated. Watching a few of my colleagues successfully caress a school of tilapia, I found the courage to submerge my hand. After three fish nibbles to my fingers and one near fatal fumble of my iPhone over the three-foot deep tank, I decided it was to quit while I was ahead.

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A tank of tilapia Dorsey tells us enjoy being pet.
Photo by Whitney Lee

Thank you to Dorsey, Gustavo, Julian, Rose, and all the rest of the HausBar team for having us out. We appreciate all you do for our restaurants and our community. You are a constant source of inspiration. And phenomenal food.

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