Carol Ann Sayle bought Boggy Creek Farm with the intent to raise food locally in the city.
"They are like thousands and thousands of babies and they're all crying," Sayle said.
Sayle's babies are five acres of vegetables she grows to sell to local families and restaurants. She and her husband planted the first seeds of Boggy Creek Farm in 1991.
It was Austin's first urban farm and city leaders used the farm to shape its original laws. A few years later, city planners rewrote those laws to make all urban farms illegal. Incredibly, the farmers didn't find out until earlier this year, when city inspectors tried to shut down a farm for slaughtering chickens.
"For 13 years, we have not known that we are illegal," Sayle said.
"Urban farms are a commercial operation and they should be on commercial zoning," Daniel Llanes of the Johnston Terrace Neighborhood.
Llanes is leading the effort to get urban farms out of his East Austin neighborhood. He said the land needs to be saved for housing as the city grows.
But now, the city is considering changing the laws again to allow urban farms to raise chickens and produce, as well as rabbits and fish.
They'd also be allowed to have sheep, goats and pigs with a special permit. Llanes doesn't want that to happen.
"The slaughtering and chicken coops and all that, go to a health issue," Llanes said.
Talks have been tense, to the point Sayle considered not buying seeds to plant this fall.
"Everybody thought about it. What are we going to do? Where are we going to go?" Sayle said.
But she and other farmers are optimistic that city leaders will strike a balance between the concerns of neighbors and the desire to grow and sell food locally.
The City Council will take up the new rules for urban farms next month. A public hearing is expected on the issue Oct. 17.