Alejandra brings the world to your table.
Posted on Jun 25, 2018
Where in Central Texas can one buy Mexican chilhuacle peppers or Indian tulsi basil? Before Alejandra Rodriguez Boughton started growing them here, the answer was nowhere. What started as a search for ingredients to make her grandmother’s mole ended with Alejandra leaving her banking position to start La Flaca, an urban farm in Austin where she now cultivates traditional herbs and vegetables from Mexico and beyond. Local KLRU program Central Texas Gardener became an important tune-in for Alejandra on her journey from financier to farmer.
“I’m not from Texas, so Central Texas Gardener has been an amazing resource…when is the time to plant something or what is this bug that I don’t recognize or this native that I don’t know about.”
The deep well of information that Central Texas Gardener has collected over its three decades on KLRU is vital for many plant enthusiasts in the area. From its highly active blog and social media presence to the on-air broadcast, the CTG team works hard to find and share all the best tips and tricks to make a garden grow in our particular Texas climate.
“KLRU for me represents some of the best things about Austin: community, being kind to each other, having a social conscience and being respectful towards our environment.”
While starting La Flaca farm was an exciting endeavor for Alejandra, it also entailed a lot of risk. She had to leave behind a successful career and start from the ground up, learning how to nurture crops from seed to harvest. Alejandra’s prior experience in the business world definitely gives her an edge when it comes to running La Flaca, but another key element involves connecting with potential customers. In addition to providing produce to such notable Austin restaurants as Olamaie and L’Oca D’Oro, Alejandra also sells to neighbors in her cul-de-sac.
“One of my favorite things about my job is when we get somebody here at the farm and bring them an ingredient that’s from their home country that they haven’t seen since back home.”
Coming from Mexico, Alejandra knows the struggle to find the flavors she grew up with. La Flaca is a source of comfort for immigrants living in Austin looking for hard to source plants. In addition to more standard fare like radishes and beets, La Flaca also has edible flowers, micro-greens and 150 varieties of culinary herbs and hot peppers from 30 countries.
The relationship between La Flaca and KLRU came full circle when Central Texas Gardener producers asked to feature La Flaca on an episode! Alejandra’s mission to bring tasty, global ingredients into Central Texas homes aligns perfectly with CTG’s focus on inspiring local growers. You can catch Alejandra’s CTG debut September 8 at 12 p.m. on-air or online. If you’re interested in growing your community impact through gardening, klru.org/ctg is a great place to start!