Meet The Austin Company That Is Growing Our Local Food System

Lettuce
Dino Kale at one of the Lettuce GrowShare farms

It’s kind of crazy when you think about it. Less than one percent of the food consumed in Austin is produced locally. Meanwhile, there are small plots of unused land everywhere you look. In backyards, at office parks, housing developments, and schools.

Lettuce is trying to connect these dots. An Austin-based company, Lettuce empowers people to turn these underutilized pieces of land into bountiful urban farms by providing support and paying them for what they grow.

Lettuce
Broccoli growing at one of the Lettuce GrowShare farms

That food is then used in Lettuce’s meal-kit delivery service, which delivers ready-to-cook meal kits to Austinites in nearly zero-waste packaging. Unlike other meal-kit services that individually package every item and then put all of that into a cardboard box, Lettuce delivers its meals in tupperware containers.

At the end of the week, customers put food scraps back in the containers, which are then picked up and reused. And that’s not all. The food scraps also get composted and used at Lettuce’s local farms.


As it says on the Lettuce website, “our mission is to bring local, sustainable, nutritious food to the urban/suburban mainstream, by removing the major barriers of awareness, accessibility and affordability.”

Feeling inspired? Here’s how you can get involved:

  1. Sign up for Lettuce’s meal-kit delivery service here.
  2. Shop at Lettuce’s weekly farm stand. Every Wednesday, they give away extra produce at their headquarters in east Austin, on a pay-as-you-will basis.
  3. Sign up to start farming on your own land with Lettuce’s GrowShare program here.
  4. Lettuce is trying to expand, both within Austin and throughout the country. If you’re interested in investing, you can learn more about their online public offering here.

The AEN team had the chance to tour a Lettuce GrowShare farm with Lettuce co-founder Hal Roberts earlier this week. (Check out our Instagram page for some behind the scenes photos and videos.)

“Every dollar you spend is a vote,” Hal said during the tour. “Vote for local farmers.” 

Lettuce
Hal Roberts giving AEN a tour of one of Lettuce’s GrowShare farms

 


Please note – Lettuce is one of the Austin EcoNetwork’s community partners. You can see a full list of our partners here.

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