With our nations distressed food system, food insecurity, food deserts, and the threat of some SHTF scenario, we should all take full advantage of the smartest thing we could possibly do to avoid a food crisis – grow food.
Since eating is such an important piece of our existence, why wouldn't everybody be growing food? Even living in a small space, patio and container gardening can be a source of fresh food. Microgreens are another easy way to keep a fresh supply of healthy food on hand, all the time. If you live in a home with an actual yard and dirt, you can even grow enough food to supply your family, share with neighbors and sell at the local farmers market.
Community gardens, farmers markets, urban farms and agrihoods are on an upward trend. Eco-tourism is a thing. Woofers and farm internships are increasingly popular, and more home homeowners are now converting their lawns into edible landscapes. Some cities are even supporting the movement toward converting vacant lots into food forests. All of these are giant steps in the right direction.
But in a real food crisis, are those things enough to sustain the nation’s population of over 320,000,000? Probably not. Would a garden sustain you and a few neighbors? Probably so. The more gardens we have, the more neighbors we can feed in a crisis.
Eighty percent of the U.S. population lives in an urban or metropolitan environment. Compared to the number of residents abiding in the city, we simply do not have enough urban food producing spaces to avert a food crisis scenario. Every apartment complex is a prime candidate to replace grass with food for its residents. Vacant city lots scattered throughout every city are perfect for growing food. Every housing development and subdivision should have a community garden and farm stand at its hub.
Community gardens not only supply healthy fresh food and help combat preventable diseases, they provide a neutral, safe space to cultivate friendships and build stronger communities. In a food crisis, local community gardens would be a lifeline for survival.
Experts agree, gardening is an excellent de-stressor too. It is great exercise, improves physical and mental health, it’s calming for those suffering with anxiety and depression, it helps manage PTSD, and more. So why isn’t there one on every corner in the city?
A successful community garden involves a lot of work, and teamwork. It is a community project, and must be managed properly by committed members. Educational workshops, cooking and food preparation classes, and volunteer days help to build a team of engaged community partners and gardeners.
The Michigan Urban Farming initiative has proven the positive effects of community gardening and urban farming in Detroit’s North End Neighborhood. MUFI grows and distributes over 50,000 pounds of produce (grown using organic methods) to over 2,000 households within 2-square miles at no cost to the recipients. They do this on a 3-acre vacant lot. Read more . . .
Farmers Assisting Returning Military – FARM, is actively engaged in a similar project in the Farmers Market district of downtown Dallas, TX. FARM is converting a 2.5-acre asphalt parking lot into an urban farm park, This project not only reclaims asphalt into a green space to grow and distribute food, it is an agricultural learning experience for all who want to learn about growing food.
Organics 101 Workshop
Saturday, March 23, 2019
9:00 AM – 1:00 PM CDT
F.A.R.M. Urban Park / 700 South Good Latimer Expressway / Dallas, TX 75226
Understanding the basics of organics is understanding your soil. In this hands on workshop, Co-Founder James Jeffers, will be discussing:
This class is a great opportunity for both, beginners and seasoned growers! Bring your gloves and come prepared to get your hands dirty.
For an accurate participant count, and so we are better prepared, please be sure to register for the class. Midday snacks will be provided.
Click here to register for the "Organics 101" workshop.
The 3rd Saturday of Every Month
There is always plenty to do on the farm, so we have lots of great volunteer opportunities for individuals, clubs, corporations, etc. Come join us at the F.A.R.M. Urban Park every 3rd Saturday from 9:00 til 3:00 and let's get our farm on.
The F.A.R.M. Park is located in the Farmer's Market District at 700 South Good Latimer Expressway, Dallas, TX.
Greetings F.A.R.M. Family & Friends!
2018 was an amazing year for Farmers Assisting Returning Military. The urban farm is coming together nicely, as we reclaim and re-purpose a 2-acre parking lot from asphalt wasteland into a productive urban farming operation to teach farming to veterans, provide education to the public and produce healthy fresh food for the community.
We could not have accomplished all that we did this past year without our amazing volunteers, veteran participants, and the financial contributions we have received from our generous supporters. We are humbled by the love you all have shown toward the FARM organization and its mission.
We hosted several volunteer days with excellent participation, and we served 32 veterans by providing hands-on workshop experiences, securing property leases, and providing temporary housing with tiny homes.
As the FARM Park progresses toward a more efficient and productive urban farm, we are rolling out new programs and securing new partnerships in 2019 to increase the number of veterans we can introduce to "dirt therapy."
We thank you again for all you have done to help, and ask that you continue the journey with us by supporting F.A.R.M. financially with a gift of any size, and/or volunteering your precious time to help us fulfill our mission and promise to America's heroes.
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!