Archive for the ‘Event’ Category

Learn more about the National Parks of Texas

Learn more about the National Parks of Texas

May 10th National Parks of Texas
San Antonio at 7 pm

May 18th National Parks of Texas
Austin North Lamar at 7 pm

May 20th The Big Thicket National Preserve
Houston Post Oak at 7 pm

The National Park Service turns 100 this year! Many Texans might be surprised to learn that Texas is home to 16 National Parks, Monuments, Historic sites and Preserves. Whole Earth Provision Co. is pleased to host several events during the month of May where you can learn more about these very special places.

Big Bend photo by Emre Erdener

Big Bend photo by Emre Erdener

On May 10th at our San Antonio store and May 18th at our Austin North Lamar store, we welcome Mike Ryan of the LBJ National Historic Park for a presentation on the National Park sites in Texas. The events begin at 7 pm.

Mike Ryan grew up enjoying visits to the National Parks. His favorites were the historic sites. Even as a boy he was intrigued by the culture of the National Park Service – the brown signs, the Mission 66 visitor centers (created for the Park Service’s 50th anniversary), and the park rangers with their Stetson flat hats. He wanted to be a Park Ranger.

“After serving in the US Army and then graduating with a Master’s Degree in History, the rest, as they say, is ‘history.’ I have been lucky to work at some fun places, like the Dry Tortugas, Fort Sumter and Fort Pulaski. I have even worked in Washington D.C. and New York City. My last three parks have been presidential homes: Abraham Lincoln, Harry Truman, and Lyndon Johnson. There are currently 411 units of the National Park Service, so there is always an adventure out there somewhere!”

On the water in the Big Thicket – a USDA photo by Larry Rana

On the water in the Big Thicket – a USDA photo by Larry Rana

On May 20th at our Houston Post Oak store, Josh Stringer of the Big Thicket National Preserve will give a presentation at 7 pm on the Preserve, one of the most biodiverse areas in the world outside of the tropics. In 1981, it was declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO. The Preserve includes nine uniquely diverse ecosystems as well as six water corridors where nature flourishes. Centered around Hardin County, Texas, it extends into parts of surrounding Jasper, Jefferson, Liberty, Orange, Polk, and Tyler counties and offers hiking and biking trails as well as waterways for paddling.

Josh Stringer is the Centennial Coordinator at Big Thicket National Preserve and will be providing special events throughout the Preserve. He retired from the Army in 2015 after 21 years of service. He too dreamed of being a Park Ranger and hopes to inspire us to visit our National Parks.

We hope you will join us for these special National Park Centennial events.

Meet Climber Dan Mirsky at our Austin North Lamar Store!

Meet Climber Dan Mirsky at our Austin North Lamar Store!

Austin North Lamar Store
May 3rd at 4pm

Whole Earth Provision Co. is excited to welcome climber Dan Mirsky to our North Lamar store in Austin on May 3rd at 4 pm. Mirsky’s visit precedes his evening appearance at the Austin Bouldering Project where he will present a slide show and host several Black Diamond videos.

Mirsky originally hails from New York but now calls Colorado home when he’s not traveling in his Airstream trailer in search of warm weather and great climbing. A gifted athlete, he played team sports 12 months of the year for over 10 years. As his interest in competitive team sports waned, he turned to climbing. Mirsky was hooked by the interplay of strength, technique and strategy the sport required and the endless opportunities for practice and improvement.

“One of my favorite things about climbing is problem solving. I love approaching a new route/potential project and going through the process of turning something that seems impossible into something I believe I can achieve. Do you know that moment when your project goes from feeling impossible to doable? I like that part a lot!”

Dan Mirsky

~ Instagram @danmirsky

“My success in climbing is a result of continual hard work, a dedication to training, and an eternal obsession to be better tomorrow than I was today. I have improved each year as I continue to train myself indoors and outdoors. An integral part of my philosophy when it comes to training for climbing is that the most important thing for us to train is weakness.” Mirsky believes that “We have the most to be gained by trying to improve the things we’re worst at, and then using a variety of tools and techniques to turn those weaknesses into strengths.”

Mental training is also important to Mirsky. “Learning to climb with confidence in the face of repeated failure, fatigue, frustration, and pain is not easily accomplished. I have dedicated more time and energy to improving my climbing confidence than any other form of training, and it has brought more success than any other form of training. This is especially true in recent years.”

Have questions about climbing and training? Here’s your chance to ask a pro. Please stop by our North Lamar store on May 3rd at 4 pm to meet Dan Mirsky. And oh, by the way, he’s also a fan of the TV show “Friday Night Lights!”

Dan Mirsky

~ Instagram @danmirsky

Whole Earth Celebrates Earth Day 2016

Earth Day 2016

This year marks the 46th anniversary of the first Earth Day in 1970. Traditionally, Earth Day is celebrated on April 22nd, but here in Texas Earth Day events are scattered throughout the month. Given our name and our love for the planet, Earth Day and Whole Earth Provision Co. are a perfect match. Here are the ways we’ll be celebrating in 2016!

Earth Day Houston 2016


First up – Earth Day Houston on April 16th at a new location, Sam Houston Park, from 11 am to 5 pm. The focus is on the merits of mindful, sustainable living and encouraging Houstonians to do their part to preserve, conserve and enhance the city and the Earth. Live music begins at 11 am with Danza Azteca Taxcayolotl. The event is free and Whole Earth will be there, so please stop by and say hello!

Give 5 to Mother Earth


On Earth Day, Wednesday April 22nd, Whole Earth will donate 5% of the day’s Austin sales to the Give 5% to Mother Earth campaign. The funds will go toward the support of the Hill Country Conservancy, Shoal Creek Conservancy, Austin Parks Foundation, Sustainable Food Center, Pease Park Conservancy, Waller Creek Conservancy, TreeFolks, Texas Campaign for the Environment, and the Friends of Barton Springs Pool. Our North Lamar store will be hosting the kick off for this city-wide event.

Earth Day ATX

Join us at Mueller Lake Park on Saturday, April 23rd, for Earth Day Austin. The event runs from Noon to 7 pm. There will be presentations on greening your home, recycling, climate change, Austin’s green tech future, and the impact of what we eat on the planet. There will also be exhibitors, hands-on activities and, as you would expect in Austin, great music, including Asleep at the Wheel and Ruby Jane. Please stop by our booth for a visit!

Milkweed Seeds for Monarch Butterflies

Southlake & San Antonio

On April 22nd, to celebrate Earth Day at our San Antonio and Southlake stores, we’ll be giving away our Whole Earth reusable blue shopping bags to help you cut down on plastic bags and Milkweed seeds to help make your yard friendly for Monarch butterflies. You’ll find these items at the register, while supplies last.

Earth Day TX


Dallas is home to the largest Earth Day celebration in the state: Earth Day Texas. Running for three days, April 22nd through the 24th, 10 am to 6 pm daily, it has something for everyone and it’s free. NOAA’s Science on a Sphere is back again this year. It’s an animated globe showing Earth’s atmosphere, weather, oceans, and land demonstrating environmental trends and human impacts as well as super storms and today’s weather. We’re also looking forward to the Green Library, Lego Build for Change, a Tiny House village and so much more. There’ll be exhibits, speakers, films, the Eco-Expo and lots and lots of music including an appearance by Michael Martin Murphy. The National Park Service will be celebrating their Centennial year with special events throughout the weekend. We’ll be there too. Hope to see you!

Cuba: The Road Less Traveled at San Antonio

Cuba: The Road Less Traveled at San Antonio

Tuesday, April 5th at 7pm – Quarry Market store

Travel restrictions to Cuba have been eased. While it’s still not possible to visit the island solely for the beaches, food, music and cars, with planning, you’ll be able to experience them first-hand. Hostelling International’s Al Martinez will tell you how to plan your adventure to this special place in his talk Cuba: The Road Less Traveled at our San Antonio store on Tuesday April 5th at 7pm.

Taxi stand in Havana Cuba. Photo courtesy Holland Jones

Taxi stand in Havana Cuba. Photo ~ Holland Jones

Al Martinez was born in Havana, Cuba. In 1962, his parents sent him to live in the US and arrived themselves, three years later. Al has lived in a handful of US cities as well as Puerto Rico before becoming a Texas resident of 36 years. He received a Bachelors degree in Business Administration from the University of Miami and a Bachelor in Arts in Photojournalism from the University of Texas in Arlington. Now retired, Al has traveled for business or pleasure to 55 nations, territories, and dependencies as well as 38 US states and 5 Canadian provinces. He first returned to Cuba to visit family in 2002 after a 40 year absence and has since visited again in 2008 and 2012. He is excited to share insights and travel tips through his presentation Cuba: The Road Less Traveled.

We hope you’ll join us for this timely presentation on travel in Cuba and take the first steps on a great adventure.

Women Traveling Solo with Mila Arzu at Houston Shepherd March 16th

Hostelling International's Women Traveling Solo

Houston Shepherd store – March 16th at 7 pm

No travel partner? Don’t let that hold you back! Traveling alone as a woman can be a powerful, emboldening experience. However, safety is a consideration and Mila Arzu of Hostelling International USA will address this and other issues in Women Traveling Solo at our Houston Shepherd store on Wednesday, March 16th at 7 pm.

You want your trip to be memorable for all the right reasons. That takes some pre-trip planning, preparation and luck. And luck, as they say, favors the prepared. At this workshop, you’ll learn how to plan, prepare, pack and travel smart. Please bring your questions about solo travel, foreign and domestic, for Ms. Arzu.

Take the First Step toward the Journey of Lifetime with Mila Arzu

Mila Arzu is an avid traveler and volunteer travel educator for Hostelling International USA. She’s Honduran-American and fluent in Spanish and English. She can also read and write in both Russian and Korean. Mila lived in South Korea and plans to travel to Russia soon. She blogs about travel and is the founder of Vacation Envy, a social networking travel guide for travelers by travelers, which is currently under construction. When Mila isn’t on the road traveling, you’ll find her in Houston, connecting with other travelers through Meetup groups, blogging, and volunteering with Hostelling InternationaI Houston.

So please join us at our Houston Shepherd store for Women Traveling Solo and take the first step toward the journey of a lifetime.

Outdoor Adventure at the Austin Film Festival 2015

Outdoor Adventure Film Festival

The Austin Film Festival’s 2015 lineup includes two outdoor adventure films: Jeff Lowe’s Metanoia and The Great Alone. Both films take a broad look at the lives and careers of their subjects, as well as focusing in on a specific challenge. For Jeff Lowe, it’s his climb of Eiger’s notorious North Face. For Lance Mackey, it’s his pursuit of a fifth Iditarod victory. Both couch potatoes and aficionados will love the adrenaline rush, scenic beauty and the moving human stories told in these movies.

Jeff Lowe’s Metanoia

Jeff Lowe’s Metanoia

For nine harrowing days in the winter of 1991, Jeff Lowe pieced together a nearly impossible route up the very center of the Eiger’s North Face. This is the story behind that climb – an act of imagination – that has become legendary. Jon Krakauer photographed Jeff’s ascent for Men’s Journal. Twenty two years later the best selling author narrates the greater, more compelling story behind that climb and what lies beneath Jeff’s high adventure lifestyle and the keys to his success in life today. Original film footage from the archives captures visionary firsts, key instructional lessons and exciting new retakes on old stories.

The Great Alone

The Great Alone

Lance Mackey entered his first dogsled race at the age of approximately negative-two-months: His mom was racing when she was seven months pregnant with him, says John DeFore in The Hollywood Reporter. His father was co-founder of the Iditarod Anchorage to Nome endurance race in 1973. With a family inheritance like that, it’s no wonder that Mackey became one of the greatest dog sled drivers of all time. The Great Alone follows the four time Iditarod winner on his quest for a fifth title. Filmed in the Alaskan Arctic, be prepared for intense frozen beauty. Bring a jacket.

Jeff Lowe’s Metanoia will be shown at 9:30 pm on Friday, October 30th at the Galaxy Highland and at 6:30 pm Monday, November 2nd at the Hideout.

The Great Alone will be shown at 7:30 pm on Thursday, October 29th at Alamo Drafthouse Village and at 2 pm Wednesday, November 4th at the Galaxy Highland

For more information click here

The North Face Speaker Series Comes to Dallas in 2015

The North Face Speaker Series Comes to Dallas in 2015

The North Face Speaker series, after a multiyear run in Austin, has moved to Dallas for 2015. This year, folks in the Dallas Fort Worth area will have the opportunity to meet climber Emily Harrington and ski mountaineer Hilaree O’Neill as they introduce the film Down to Nothing that chronicles their adventures in Myanmar.

Emily Harrington and Hilaree O’Neill on Hkababo Razi in Myanmar

Emily Harrington and Hilaree O’Neill on Hkababo Razi in Myanmar. Their harrowing expedition carved them "Down to Nothing."

Harrington and O’Neill set off on an expedition to solve a geographical mystery. Hkakabo Razi and its neighbor Gamlang Razi both measure more than 5800 meters (19,140 feet). But which can claim the title of tallest mountain in Southeast Asia? To find the definitive answer, a team of explorers set off to climb both mountains and measure them with a calibrated GPS system. Their travels take them through rainforests, tiger preserves, spectacular gorges, glaciers and finally to the summits of two remote and dangerous mountains.

The North Face Speaker series takes place at the Texas Theater in Dallas on October 26th. The doors open at 6 pm and the presentation begins at 7 pm. Follow this link to purchase tickets.

Meet Your Texas State Park Rangers

Meet Your Texas State Park Rangers

October 18th, 2 pm – 4 pm

All Whole Earth stores

Have a question about Texas State Parks? Where to go? What to do or what to see? On Sunday, October 18th, you can ask an expert at your favorite Whole Earth Provision Co. store. From 2 to 4 pm, we’ll be hosting visits from Texas State Park Rangers.

Texans are blessed with more opportunities for outdoor adventures than many countries can offer: Big Bend Ranch, Caprock and Rio Grande Canyonlands, Enchanted Rock, the Piney Woods, beaches, springs, mountains, prairies…, the list goes on and on. And thanks to Texas State Parks, these magical places belong to us, the citizens of Texas. And who knows these amazing places better than our State Park Rangers? We hope you’ll bring your Texas State Park questions for the folks who can give you the answers.

On your next visit to Whole Earth, don’t forget to pick up a free copy of the Texas State Park Guide. It offers a wealth of information about Parks all around Texas. Whether you’re looking for a daytrip destination or for an extended stay, the Park Guide is filled with great ideas.

Meet Your Texas State Park Rangers

So mark your calendars for Sunday, October 18th from 2 to 4 pm, when the State Park Rangers will be on hand in all Whole Earth stores to answer your questions. If, in the meantime, you’re looking for suggestions about Parks close to home, check out your city’s location page here. It includes a list of State Parks close to home.

El Camino Real de los Tejas

El Camino Real de los Tejas

October 20th at 7 pm

Austin N. Lamar store

The first travelers on the road were the Buffalo. The Caddo and other Native Americans transformed these animal paths into a network of trails used by groups who traded across the South and Southwest. When Europeans came to the area, they too followed in the footsteps of their predecessors. The Spanish soldiers, missionaries and traders called the trail, El Camino Real de los Tejas or the Royal Road of the Tejas people.

On October 20th at 7 pm, Steven Gonzales will share the fascinating history of this Spanish Colonial highway that passed through the Austin area and is now designated as a National Historic Trail. The presentation is a part of Whole Earth Provision Co.’s “Coming Home and Giving Back”, a celebration of the reopening of our North Lamar store in Austin.

El Camino Real de los Tejas

The Royal Road begins in Natchitoches, Louisiana, and runs through the Piney Woods, the Hill Country, through the arid regions of the Chihuahuan Desert, and on to Mexico City, the colonial capital of New Spain. Spanning some 2,500 miles and in use for over 300 years, segments of the historic trail are still in use as Highway 6 in Louisiana and Highway 21 in Texas.

Steven Gonzales is the Director of the El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail Association. He’s working to reconstruct the route’s history and path through Texas. Traces of the trail are often difficult to detect even in untouched environments. Fracking in the Eagle Ford Shale and road construction in the San Antonio area have complicated the effort to trace the trail’s route through the state. Gonzales is also searching for the sites of the three Spanish missions established along the Colorado River in 1730.

We hope you’ll join us on Tuesday, October 20th at 7 pm at our store at 1014 North Lamar for El Camino Real de los Tejas.

We’re Coming Home & Giving Back!

We're Coming Home & Giving Back!

Like any business that’s been around for almost 45 years, Whole Earth Provision Co. has experienced its share of ups and downs. One of those ‘downs’ came on Memorial Day weekend when floodwaters from nearby Shoal Creek broke into our Austin North Lamar store, smashing windows and filling it with three feet of water in a matter of minutes.

One of the ‘ups’ is coming soon! In mid-October, after months of cleanup and remodeling, our store on North Lamar will reopen for business. To mark the occasion, we’re hosting “Coming Home – Giving Back” our reopening celebration featuring a donation and fund drive, discounts, prizes, giveaways, educational talks, and a Gratitude Wall.

Here’s a list of the various events taking place during our reopening celebration.

Weekends of October 17 & 18 and October 24 & 25:

Whole Earth will donate 5% of the N. Lamar store’s weekend sales to The Barnabas Connection Flood Relief for Wimberley and 5% to the Shoal Creek Conservancy.

October 17 through October 25th:

•  A Register Fund Drive for individual, customer donations with gratitude gifts for donations of $50 or more. All Austin Whole Earth locations will accept donations.

•  Merchandise specials & gifts with purchase

•  Drawings for prizes totaling $6,500. More than 50 individual winners. Prizes include: Yeti Coolers and Ramblers; a GoPro Outfit; a Tommy Bahama Stand-Up Paddle Board; sleeping bags, a daypack and more from Marmot; day packs and duffels from The North Face; sunglasses from Costa; shoes from Birkenstock, Chaco and Keen; a sock drawer makeover with 6 pair of socks from SmartWool; clothing from ExOfficio and Prana; Therm-A-Rest ProLife pads; a Music of the Spheres wind chime; sports bottles from Thinksport; and giant stuffed animals (Giraffe & Unicorn) from Melissa and Doug. NOTE: Entries will be accepted at the N. Lamar location only, until October 25 (5pm).

•  A Gratitude Wall, sponsored by Kammok, inviting the public to share what they’re grateful for with our community.

•  October 17th (10am-2pm): Free coffee from the Olukai Coffee Truck

•  October 18th (2-4pm): Q&A with Texas State Park Rangers – where to go and what to do in our Texas State parks. Read more…

•  October 20th (7pm): Steven Gonzales shares the fascinating history of El Camino Real de los Tejas, the Spanish Colonial highway that passed through the Austin area and is now designated as a National Historic Trail. Read more…

Whole Earth will donate 5% of the North Lamar store’s sales to Barnabas Connection Flood Relief for Wimberley and 5% to the Shoal Creek Conservancy on the weekends of October 17th & 18th and October 24th & 25th. A Register Fund Drive for the groups will offer thank you gifts for donations over $50.

Barnabas Connection
Shoal Creek Conservancy

The Barnabas Connection is working in coordination with local and state officials to respond to the devastating rain and flooding that impacted the Wimberley Valley. The Barnabas Connection has assisted 287 local families, representing almost 600 people. In addition, their volunteers have worked hundreds if not thousands of hours assisting survivors at Bridges Gym and the Barnabas table at the FEMA DRC. The funds collected by the Barnabas Connection will be distributed through the case management process to help avoid duplication of efforts and fully identify unmet needs, and are designated for families in the Wimberley Valley.

The Shoal Creek Conservancy was founded in 2013 to improve the Shoal Creek greenway, a trail shared by runners, commuters, nature watchers, dog walkers, volleyball players and residents all along the creek who enjoy its green oasis in the midst of the city. In recent years conditions around Shoal Creek have declined from overuse and eroding banks. The greenway is owned and managed by the City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department; however, there are currently no funds dedicated to the management of Shoal Creek. While the City does the best it can with limited resources, the Shoal Creek Conservancy and its volunteers provide additional, much-needed support.

If you’re feeling grateful for someone or something special, you’ll have a chance to express it on our Gratitude Wall, sponsored by Kammok.
Whole Earth is feeling grateful for our beautiful new store; for our customers who supported us at our UT Campus and Westgate stores in Austin while we waited for North Lamar to be reopened; for our staff who have done jobs that they never expected to be doing and working in stores far from home; and, last but most certainly not least, for our friends and neighbors who offered their generous support in the aftermath of the flood.

Other events during the “Coming Home – Giving Back” celebration include: an October 18th visit from the Texas State Park Rangers who will be there to answer your questions about where to go and what to do in our State Parks; on October 20th, Steven Gonzalez’ will share the fascinating history of El Camino Real de los Tejas, the Spanish Colonial highway that passed through the area and is now designated as a National Historic Trail; and on October 24th, a TreeFolks’ Sapling Giveaway. We hope you will join us during the celebration.

Memorial Day Lamar Flood

Memorial Day Flood ~ photo by Alicia Sullivan