Hoover’s Soular Food

March 29, 2012

Greens and Root Vegetables in a Corner Of Hoover's Garden

In Austin, TX there is a tradition of food trucks. To me they kind of look like a cross between a trailer home, a submarine, and the take out window at a fast food joint. But a lot of brick and mortar restaurants get their start as food trucks and you can get a lot of good food at the trucks.

The general path is to start with a truck and move on to a restaurant. One man, however, went kind of backwards. He had a restaurant and then started a food truck. That man is Hoover Alexander.

After several years of running Hoover’s Cooking, a Tex-Mex restaurant, Hoover began to feel disconnected from the passion he had previously had for cooking. He felt as though he was getting away from his roots; from the way his family had taught him to cook according to the seasons using every part of the animal, fish or vegetable you were cooking with.

In an effort to get himself back on track he planted a garden. It was this garden that led to the idea of opening a food truck serving veggie-centric, locally sourced food.

I recently ate there and the food was terrific. For those of you who live in Austin I highly recommend a trip.

Hoover’s Soular Food is located at:

1110 East. 12th St.

Austin, TX

Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Weed) in Farming...

Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Weed) in Farmington, Connecticut (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There are many plants that, in my opinion, are over looked in the plant trade; plants that would make wonderful additions to the garden that are extremely difficult to find. There has been more than one occasion when I wanted to use a specific plant in a design but simply couldn’t source it.

Asclepias is one of those plants. I don’t think it helps that it’s common name is Butterfly Weed. Who would willingly put something in their garden with the word weed in the name. But this is a great plant and there are a few species that make good additions to the garden.

An emerging flower head

An emerging flower head (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

At the top and to the right is A. tuberosa with its bright blooms that practically shout at you when they flower in spring. The blooms are most often orange but I have seen bright red and yellow as well. I am also a big fan of the foliage which I find has a very symmetrical look that compliments the blooms. It is native to Texas as well as many other North American areas.

Asclepias

Asclepias (Photo credit: Gravitywave)

A. verticilatta (shown to the left) with its creamy white and pink flowers blooms almost all summer and is native to much of North America including Texas, Mexico and Florida.

A. incarnata‘s flowers (shown below) are a pretty rose-pink and, occasionally, off white color. As a bonus they give off a vanilla scent and attract butterflies. Not quite as drought tolerant as A. tuberosa and A. veticilatta it still does pretty well in a dry environment.

Monarch Butterfly feeding on Swamp Milkweed fl...

Monarch Butterfly and Asclepias incarnata

Now, I ask you, what could be sweeter than sitting in your garden with the scent of vanilla wafting through the air watching the Monarchs flit around your Butterfly Weed?

All three of these plants like full sun and are heat and drought tolerant making them perfect for areas like Austin and Central Texas. They also need little maintenance, another plus for every gardener.

Designed by co-founders Andy Ross and Eytan Oren InBloom is a location based app that makes it easier to find the food and products a sustainable minded person would be looking for.

With InBloom you can find everything from Farmers Markets to biodesiel filling stations; CSA’s to retail stores powered by sustainable energy. You can also customize the app for your own preferences; ecofriendly, vegan, organic etc.

The app has launched in New York City’s five boroughs with 500 listings and soon Andy and Eytan will be launching InBloom in Austin with an additional 250 listings. After Austin InBloom will spread to Los Angeles, San Fransisco and Chicago.

You can find the link to download the app at their web site.

For more information about the InBloom app email writeus@inbloomapp.com

One of the highlights of last year’s SXSW here in Austin was The Green Zone.

This year The Green Zone, located at the corner of 7th and Red River Street, will featured a water re-filling station, free cell phone charging courtesy of Sol Design Lab‘s Solar Pump, human-powered recycling transfer, and consumer information about the eco-friendly initiatives of The City of Austin, Nokia, and SXSW itself.

Sponsored by Whole Foods, the transformed parking lot will be decorated with native plants and creative furniture made from upcycled materials.

Free and open to the public, the Green Zone be here Wednesday, March, 14 through Sat. March 17, 12-11pm.

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