Category Archives: Park Cities

#myUAshare

December 13th, 2014

What’s cookin’?  The Urban Acres family is a unique one, and we can receive ideas and inspiration from each others’ perspectives. We want to know what you’re making with your Urban Acres produce share and see photos of what’s on your cutting board, your plate, your dining room table.   So when you tweet, Facebook, or Instagram photos of what you’re doing with your share, use hashtag #myUAshare so we can see!

Here’s some of the goodness people have been sharing so far…

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@organicstine: Detoxifying green juice courtesy of #myUAshare: apples, oranges, limes, tatsoi, and kale. Added my own celery and ginger and sucked down as much as possible. This is what’s left.

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@bethketx: Beets! #myuashare

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@grassfedbeef: Kale, cranberries, sliced almonds, lime juice, evoo, s&p. #myUAshare

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@bethketx: Fresh squeezed orange-grapefruit blend. #myuashare

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@snugglebandit: Green curry with organic: totsoi, sweet potato, diakon, kohlrabi, and Pederson’s sausage! #myuashare

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@jackierparr: Bourbon sweet potato casserole for #thanksgiving using local sweet potatoes from #myuashare. I’m so #grateful to have such beautiful, pure ingredients for my thanksgiving meal this year! @urbanacres

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@bethketx: Adventures in canning: Beets! #myuashare

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@organicstine: @urbanacres share frittata: onions, tatsoi, sweet potatoes, dill. Added leftover chicken from last night’s dinner. #myUAshare #urbanacres

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@j_pharr0122: A lovely vegetarian meal from my lovely UA share #myUAshare

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@j_pharr0122: Kohlrabi Fritters #myUAshare

Inspired yet?  We look forward to seeing your photos!

Reserve Your Holiday Ham

December 5th, 2014

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Make your Holiday Dinner extra special this year…

Treat your guests to a delicious smoked holiday ham from Pederson’s Natural Farms in Hamilton, TX. This uncured, boneless smoked ham is all-natural with no preservatives or MSG.

  • Hams are $40 each
  • Average weight for each ham is 5.5-6.5 lbs
  • You will pick up your ham the Friday (12/19) or Saturday (12/20) before Christmas at one of our pickup locations.

Hurry ~ very limited quantity available!

>> Order Now

Common Questions: “Why do I often see the same items repeated in my share?”

November 28th, 2014

Here at UA, we feel that education is key.  So in this new blog series, our CEO Joe Chou will answer common questions we receive from members and customers.

Our first question:

Why do I often see the same items repeated in my share?2014-10-24 08.50.54

“Collard greens, again?  More kale?” Yes, you’ve likely noticed that in certain seasons, the produce shares will have an abundance of items such as kale, collard greens, squash, etc.  When you’re eating seasonally and locally, you’ll often see many of the same items repeated for weeks in a row.

Why?  Probably the biggest reason is that the ability for a small local organic farmer to plant, grow, tend, and harvest one variety of plant is vital to their ability to sell in large quantities.  Our farmers work on a fraction of the acreage compared to most commercial farms, and the ability to use the same equipment, tools, containers, and same methods to harvest for a few weeks in a row greatly helps efficiency and revenue capabilities of that farm.  We’re also working with so many new, smaller farmers that mastering and being successful with just a few items alone can be a challenge.

Another factor that affects what we can source locally is simply the Texas climate and agricultural landscape.  We hope to get enough organic farmers on board in the years ahead that diversity isn’t so much an issue.

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So eat your greens, make sure to check our Recipes page for inspiration, and keep an open mind.  And when all else fails, there’s a “swap bin” at your pickup location so you can always swap an item you don’t want for something else. :)

The next question Joe will be answering is, “Why do you bring in out-of-state produce?”  Stay tuned…and feel free to comment below if there are certain questions you’d like us to answer in a future post.

Roasting Whole Pastured Chickens: Everything You Need To Know

July 31st, 2014

In case you haven’t heard, the Urban Acres Meat Share is here!  If you’re already receiving a produce share, you can now add on a meat share of 100% Pasture-Raised Chicken and/or Grass-Fed/Grass-Finished Beef.

Andy trying a Gundermann fig

Andy trying a fresh fig at a local farm

In honor of the new meat shares, we thought that everyone should know how to perfectly roast a whole pastured chicken.  Here’s a tutorial straight from our UA staffer and food connoisseur, Andy Minton.

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Whole Roast Chickens

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Mike and Connie Hale and family

Mike and Connie Hale and family

The chicken we sell at Urban Acres is 100% pasture-raised from Mike and Connie Hale’s Windy Meadows Family Farm in Northeast Texas.  Their chickens are hatched on site, ensuring a stress-free start. They are not only cage-free and free-range, but pastured, meaning that the chickens live out their days in fresh air and sunlight. They receive organic feed free-choice to supplement the nutrition they receive from their natural diet, which includes insects and their pasture grasses, which have been pesticide and herbicide free for nearly thirty years.

Most of Windy Meadows’ whole chickens are called “fryers.” This means they’re between 2.5 and 4 pounds total. They are sold without gizzards/innards for ease of roasting (they use these components in-house to reduce waste). If you’re looking for gravy, they are all sold neck-on. Keep the neck for gravy. Seriously.

Roast these whole chickens. This is the recipe to use.  Know this concept. It is the best way to cook a whole chicken. End of story.

Don’t bother trussing the old way with butcher’s twine. Do this. It’s easy.

If you’re not cooking for a family/new girlfriend, let it rest for 15 minutes under an aluminum foil tent. Then eat it with the fingers. Don’t forget the “oyster.” It’s the best part. If you don’t roast chickens, you’ve never eaten one. The cooks eat them before plating.

Or carve them this wayCarving will look ugly your first 5-10 times, but then it magically becomes showroom pretty.

Keep the bones/carcass to make your own chicken stock.  Here’s a great tutorial.

Summer Squash From The Morrisons

June 4th, 2014
The Morrisons' incredible squash

The Morrisons’ incredible squash

Summer squash season is about to be in full swing!   Soon, the produce shares will be seeing a bounty of beautiful zucchini and yellow squash, all Texas-grown by our farmers, Jacky and Cindy Morrison of Morrison Organic Farm in Comanche.

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Look for a postcard from The Morrisons in the bin of your latest produce share.  Here’s an excerpt from the letter they wrote…

The Morrisons

“You have no idea how much the partners at Urban Acres help & inspire us!  As a member, when you get your produce from Urban Acres, like us, you become ‘stewards of the land’…We are so grateful for being able to continue to do what we love and promise to strive to grow an abundant supply of fresh organic vegetables for you.”

 

 

They’ll also be supplying us with local radishes and okra.  We hope you enjoy this produce that was grown for you with love!

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To help you anticipate all the fresh summer squash coming your way, we’ve put together some easy recipe ideas.  In case you’re wondering, here are some tips on how to cook summer squash, and yes, they can be used interchangeably in recipes.

Zucchini Ribbon Salad

Image source: prouditaliancook.com

Image source: prouditaliancook.com

Italian Style Zucchini Boats

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Image source: prouditaliancook.com

Baked Yellow Squash with Mushrooms

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Image source: myvegancookbook.com

>> Get more squash recipes on our site here <<

Member Highlight: Elaine Villarreal

November 21st, 2013

It’s time to get to know more of your fellow Urban Acres members!  Today we want to introduce you to Elaine Villarreal who volunteers at our Park Cities farm stand location.

elaine villarreal 4Elaine, tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am from all over Texas and have been living all over Dallas since 2003. I’ve been a career flight attendant for United Airlines (legacy Continental) since 1996. My sons Jake (age 5) and Hudson (age 3) are my life when I am not flying. We three give our time to family, friends, First Unitarian Church of Dallas and the Dallas Moms Club.

What does Urban Acres mean to you?   What makes you want to spend your Saturday morning with us when you do volunteer?

Urban Acres means strength in community to me. It’s a real organization created by people who care and make a difference for people in our community who also care and make a difference.  It shows how a cycle of giving back to man and nature can be accomplished and successful on so many levels. I volunteer to show my boys that we all can help. Urban Acres provides the avenue that shows them that they can make a difference in this world, great or small, young or old, it’s never too soon or too late.

Why does local/organic/real food matter to you?

Real, local organic food is important to me for my growing boys, for my health and for the fact that I know we can make a difference on so may levels just with the purchase of local groceries like this. But it is important to our whole world, and it will take each community, including ours, to help the world to understand this. In the long run, because of organizations like Urban Acres, we will get there. We will show the world good food matters.

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Tiny Produce Model

May 8th, 2013

How cute is this?   Here are some photos of little Sky Jisha, 3-years-old, daughter of our local farmer Kent Jisha at Texas Daily Harvest in Yantis, TX.  She’s modeling the Jisha’s locally grown broccoli rabe and green leaf lettuce/red leaf lettuce that we’ll be including in this weekend’s co-op style produce shares. Let’s be honest though – all we want to know is, does Sky come with it?  :)

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March 2nd Share

March 1st, 2013

To help you identify the items in the March 2nd co-op style produce shares
3.2.13 share

Need recipes?  Our recipes page has got ya covered.

Follow us on Instagram for more in-the-moment photos from the UA team.

833.5 Miles, 51 Hours, 9 Farms Visited…

February 20th, 2013

This week, some of the UA team drove 833.5 miles for 51 hours and visited 9 farms all over Texas. Every single one of our farmers wanted to say THANK YOU to Urban Acres members for making this possible!

We’re taking farm trips right now because it’s planting time and we need to work with the farmers to get seeds in the ground for our spring and summer harvest. Once the harvest hits we try and stay out of their way. :)

Here are some photos…

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UA Marketing Director Brandon Perez with baby goat at Caprino Royale goat cheese farm in Waco

Eric-Caprino

Eric, owner of Caprino Royale Farms. Finest goat cheese in Texas! They have a brand new batch of blue cheese aging right now that should be ready this summer. We’ll keep you posted.

Ben from Sand Creek Farms holding organic aquaponics green onion grown in one of his four greenhouses, two of which are dedicated to grow exclusively for you, the Urban Acres member. Ben and his family thank you.

Ben from Sand Creek Farm in Cameron, TX holding organic aquaponic green onions grown in one of his four greenhouses, two of which are dedicated to grow exclusively for you, the Urban Acres member!  Ben and his family thank you.

Kevin & Malachi of Loaves & Fishes farm in Cameron, TX

Kevin & his dog Malachi of Loaves & Fishes Farm in Cameron, TX showing his aquaponic lettuce.  Coolest dog ever.

Amber the very friendly horse at Loaves and Fishes Farm

Amber the very friendly horse at Loaves and Fishes Farm in Cameron, TX

Jim Richardson of Richardson Farms in Rockdale, TX. Jim has some of the finest pastured pork and turkey in Texas. Check our store in Oak Cliff soon to pick some up.

Jim Richardson of Richardson Farms in Rockdale, TX. Jim has some of the finest, humanely raised pastured pork and turkey in Texas. Check our store in Oak Cliff soon to pick some up.

Up next in our crazy potato lineup Pink Rose Potatoes

First we had Purple Majesty Potatoes.  Up next in our crazy potato lineup: Pink Rose Potatoes from Yellow Prairie Farm in Caldwell, TX

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Garrett & Stacie Gundermann of Gundermann Acres in Wharton County, TX.  Fourth generation organic farmers with the fifth generation on the way!

brandon celery

Brandon tastes Texas celery straight out of the ground coming soon from Gundermann Acres

Just a little more time in the ground at Gundermann Acres and you'll find these in your share

Just a little more time in the ground at Gundermann Acres and you’ll find these in your share

Fresh dill from Gundermann Acres coming this weekend!

Fresh dill from Gundermann Acres coming this weekend!

The Gundermann Acres crew

The Gundermann Acres crew

Thank you for being a part of Urban Acres and supporting Texas farmers and local, organic produce!  We  our farmers, and we you!

Farm Stand Hand Update – For February 16th

February 15th, 2013

This video is for our Farm Stand Greeters, but we figured we’d let everyone get a sneak peak of what to expect in this week’s co-op style produce shares…some unique items!

Farm Stand Hand Update February 15th 2013 from Urban Acres on Vimeo.