About Bohemian Bounty
Bohemian Bounty is dedicated to helping central Texas residents grow their own healthy, organic, and low cost food. As your guide in your home growing adventure, we provide you with an organic vegetable garden right outside your door, customized to your family’s size and dining choices. Gardens can be as small as 4×4 feet or big as you desire. No cookie-cutter gardens here. Each garden is as unique as the customer for which we build it.
We do the work, you enjoy the healthful harvest!
Bohemian Bounty’s spring 2010 season is coming to a close but it’s never a bad time to get your garden ready for that next gardening season! We’re also offering our maintenance/education service to help you care for your plants and learn more about your garden. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bohemian Bounty Bios
Jennifer Mandel-Buratti – Owner
South Texas is known for its warm weather, fertile growing conditions and close-knit families. Growing up in Corpus Christi and weekends on the family farm in Alice, Jennifer experienced all those things first hand. We recently unearthed 8mm video of her older brother, no more than two years old at the time, getting a ride on the family tractor perched happily on dad’s lap. While we have no such incriminating video of Jennifer we know for a fact she also got dirty chasing the farm’s chickens, turkeys and her own fluffy rabbits. [Photo By: Brianne Corn]
Fast forward to college where Jennifer studied botany, wildlife management, range management and ornithology. Her years in graduate school built on her basic biology education and added parks and protected places, water resource protection, tourism and interpretation. Jen’s education continued to draw her outdoors and she spent several seasons as National Park Service Ranger in Texas and Colorado. The Lower Colorado River Authority and her love of birding lured Jen back to Texas and she served as the education coordinator at the Matagorda Bay Nature Park. Coming back to Central Texas Jennifer worked for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality focusing on projects to restore water quality in the state.
Jennifer’s passion for hands-on biology work drew her back to her roots – farming and ranching. The fields we drove by daily just a few years ago no longer grow food for locals – they house new subdivisions and strip malls. Cities full of environmentally conscious people are no longer taught self-sustaining practices such as gardening, canning and edible landscaping which can save money, time, and improve your health. Through Bohemian Bounty Jennifer hopes to share her family’s teachings, traditions and her education with Central Texans.
Jen is the Regional Two Director for the Texas Organic Farmer and Gardeners Association.
James Buratti – Owner
James is a 4th generation Texan and native Austinite who spent weekends and vacations on his grandparent’s farm just north of Taylor. To his mother, who grew up doing farm chores, the farm meant work. But to a kid, it was a place to play in the creeks and ponds, walk the railroad tracks, run around with his cousins and generally get very, very dirty.
There was always a huge family garden and his Czech grandfather in it sampling everything that he grew. Different seasons meant different harvesting events. Spring meant fresh veggies and canning peaches, pears and even apricots. The kids would scour the creekside for fresh dewberries (think native blackberries) for eating, pies and jam. Early summer and in autumn again the potatoes came out of the ground and were stored in the tractor shed on chicken-wire racks between layers of old newspaper. Then there was the shelling of peas from foot long pea pods. Fall brought on the pecan crop and James made many a year’s Christmas gift money gathering nuts then selling them at the Circleville store by the tow-sack full. Winter was time to make sauerkraut and the chicken coop was temporarily turned in to a smoke house for the venison and pork sausage.
Even at home in northeast Austin James’ dad always had a garden, as did his dad. Most of the lawn was carpet grass, but the section in the back that got full sun held the garden. James doesn’t remember wanting to eat his veggies as a kid but he loved watering the garden and growing them!
James attended college was at Texas A&M University and later grad school at The Ohio State University. Both degrees were in natural resources management and he’s trained as an ecologist. His own gardening began when he bought a small house with a big yard. It’s just what you do with a yard, right? Grow veggies!
James and Jen have had season after season of fresh tomatoes, carrots, squash, asparagus, onions, garlic, broccoli, green beans, potatoes, snap peas, lettuce, spinach, okra, corn, radish, Swiss chard, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, radishes, blackberries, peaches, plums and more than a few other things they can’t remember. Jen added a ton of herbs to the mix and more exotic varieties and heirlooms they’ve fallen in love with. James believes anyone can garden and everyone should. It’s fun, doesn’t have to be a lot of work and provides a pretty cool connection with nature we often miss growing up in the city.
Audra Miller – Professional Gardener
Audra is the most optimistic gardener we have ever met. Neither heat nor frost nor freeze can stop her from finding joy in her outdoor work in the garden. Her years of experience with herbal gardening, working in clay soils and experimenting with biointensive gardening are now a part of Bohemian Bounty’s tricks of the trade. Audra also works on the Hays County Area Food Bank Garden Beds and the San Marcos Housing Authority C.M. Allen Housing Garden Project.
Garden Installation and Maintenance Crew
Bohemian Bounty is proud to work with a great group of student from Texas State University,mos of whom call the Department of Agriculture their home. Where better to find passionate organic gardeners then the next generation of ag professionals!
Bohemian Bounty is working with Texas State University to offer internships to undergraduate students. These knowledgeable and enthusiastic students help keep us motivated (and provide some youth!) while we provide them with real-world experience and some college credit!
Bohemian Bounty is currently volunteering with the Hays County Area Food Bank to supply, maintain and grow vegetable plants and herbs on their plots at the community Garden. Vegetables grown help supplement donations for the food bank’s clients. Fresh vegetables are often what is in the shortest supply. Visit their blog to learn more and volunteer.
In 2009 we also volunteered for the San Marcos Public Housing Authority to build a community garden for the local housing authority residents. Read our blog entry about it here.