In our modern food culture, most grocery shopper's attention tends to lean toward pricing, taste and labeling (not necessarily in that order). It's doubtful that many folks would be thinking much about dirt while shopping for the best price on a can of Beef-A-Roni at Kroger.
Be that as it may, nutrition comes from the ground. Healthy soil produces healthy nutritious food. At the downtown Dallas Urban FARM Park, we are building our own soil in what we call a Soil Reclamation and Healing Project.
The FARM Park sits atop a 2-acre asphalt and concrete parking lot at 700 S. Good Latimer Expressway in Dallas. Using donated wood chips, clay, shale and compost, FARM is engineering a thick layer of rich, living soil for growing and teaching others about fresh healthy organic food.
The base and foundation of our 1-acre growing plot is black clay donated from a local construction site during excavation. The clay itself is great, but it was filled with debris, such as concrete chunks, broken bricks, pieces of metal and even some glass.
Cleaning and recycling the clay was a painstaking process of sifting through the clay, and picking out the debris by hand. A large group of volunteers from different organizations showed up on the 17th Annual Freedom Day to help us speed things up.
Freedom Day Volunteers
Once cleaned, the clay is used as a moisture containing barrier, isolating the asphalt from the growing area. It will also be a component in the recipe for our soil planting mix of compost, shale and decomposed wood chips.
A group of volunteers from Tango Tab came by a few days later, after the soil was mixed and added to one of our growing areas, to help separate and husk our best homegrown organic garlic bulbs for planting while Steve prepared the finished bed.
Another year around the sun and North Texas Giving Day is only 6 days away!
Last year, with your help, F.A.R.M. raised $10,000. This year we are upping the challenge in hopes to raise $20,000! Help us make that happen!
What is North Texas Giving Day?
Communities Foundation of Texas’ North Texas Giving Day is an 18-hour online giving event designed to empower every person to give back to their community by supporting local non profits and causes the care about.
The event helps bring awareness and support to local non-profits. In its 9-year tenure, the event has raised a total of $195 million for the community, making it the largest community-wide event in the nation!
Who your donation helps
Since 2014, F.A.R.M. has been on the forefront of change in our local food system. In order to enact that change, we enlisted our fellow brothers and sisters in arms to take on their new mission of healing Americas distressed food system, their communities and the earth.
This is why we give…
On Tuesday, September 11th, Communities Foundation of Texas hosted its 17th annual Freedom Day, a community service event honoring the lives lost, and those forever changed by the tragic events of September 11, 2001.
This year, 50 volunteers and family members served side-by-side at the FARM Urban Park in downtown Dallas. In recognition of the courage and bravery of the men and women who fight for our freedom, and those first responders who protect us, we dedicate this day of service to you.
"Thank You!" to all who came out to celebrate this special day of remembrance with your service! SALUTE!
Steve Smith and Hyiat El-Jundi were the presenters to thirteen participants at the F.A.R.M. Hacks interactive Compost Tea workshop. Attendees got a hands-on demonstration of how to make this magic elixer. Click here for the compost tea recipe that we used in the demonstration.
Karl Falster of Falster Farms was generous in sharing his knowledge and personal experience with us about the benefits of using compost tea on his farm. It was a great workshop! Watch the video below.
To stay in the loop on our upcoming workshops and events, be sure to join our email list and 'Like' us on Facebook @farmingveterans.
Producing and selling fresh food definitely has its ups and downs. As growers, we are often more involved with our growing operations, than the business side of things like marketing and selling our products. Learning how to more effectively move our goods from the field to the consumer is critical to our success.
Join us as we team up with Susie Marshall of Grow North Texas to discuss ways to run your behind the scenes operations in a more efficient and effective manner to increase yield and profit.
Amanda Vanhoozier of Just Picked TX will be joining us and guiding us through the various ways of selling, markets and market research.
Marie Tedei of Eden's Garden CSA Farm is a one woman small scale farming operation and will discuss trials, tribulations, successes and failures of running a CSA.
Lastly, F.A.R.M. will talk about breaking new ground, and using various implements to work smarter along with our farming techniques to maximize profitability.
This workshop is for newbies and seasoned growers alike.
You wont want to miss this workshop!
Please register by clicking on the link below.
What to bring -
* Lunch will be provided
Hope to see you there!
The F.A.R.M. Team
Whiskey Cake Las Colinas, held their ribbon-cutting and grand opening ceremony July 25th with a great celebration and this generous contribution to F.A.R.M.
Whiskey Cake sources in-season fresh food from local growers, and prepares delicious farm-to-table dishes in their "from-scratch-only" kitchen.
We want to give a great BIG shout out to Whiskey Cake with a two-thumbs-up for the great food and drinks they serve, their unparalled customer service, and the love they showed to Farmers Assisting Returning Military with this check for $8,730.75
Thanks Whiskey Cake!
One of the first workshops in our F.A.R.M. Hack series was about Biochar - what it is, what it does, and how to make it. Stephen Smith, co-founder of F.A.R.M., used "hands-on" participation with a group of veterans to build and demonstrate a J-shaped rocket-stove Biochar cooker, or kiln, using metal drums, and fire brick.
Here's a link to the ATTRA - NCAT website with some important information about Biochar -