Category Archives: Farm Updates

Meet the Ladies ~ Winnie

February 4th, 2014

Another cold week to pull through for our ladies at the Farmstead. We are so thankful for Anita, our Urban Acres grounds keeper, for her dedication to keep these lovely ladies comfortable under these insanely frigid conditions. Anita prepares the coop for the night not only by covering the run with a tarp but also heating a brick in her oven that she later wraps in a blanket and puts in the coop for the ladies to stay warm.

Let’s meet the third “sister” in the group, Winnie…

Winnie

Winnie, just like Penny, came to us from Peace and Love Farms and is still young. She is an Araucana, has a noble gray color and a long neck. Naming Winnie was easy; she got her name after the Baileys’ daughter’s favorite cartoon character ~ Winnie the Pooh. After watching many episodes of the “tubby little cubby all stuffed with fluff”, naming her came naturally.

Winnie

Winnie

Winnie is shy of people, especially strangers. When it comes to feeding time, she is the last one to emerge after the greens (chard, bok choy or tatsoi), scratch, and pears have been spread out in the run. She lays green eggs and was the first lady to lay eggs in her new home – producing 4 eggs in one week.

Winnie's green egg

Winnie’s green egg

Please, be patient around Winnie when visiting the coop. Although, she will surely warm up to you after a few visits.

Meet the Ladies ~ Penny

January 27th, 2014

We started our four-week series on the chickens of the Urban Acres Farmstead last week. Cee-Lo has been a great big sister to all the other ladies. Let’s meet Penny…

Penny

Penny came to us from Peace & Love Farm. She is a young Rhode Island Red, with lovely auburn feathers. She was tiny and full of energy when we got her. While transporting the little chick in the van, we kept hearing a weird pecking sound from the box. Upon arriving to our destination, we realized she was pecking at a shiny penny. So we named her Penny.  She is expected to lay tan to brown eggs. When she feels comfortable in her new surroundings, she will lay at least 250-300 eggs a year.

Penny

Penny

Penny adjusted well to her new environment at the Farmstead and we sense she is one of our ladies that started laying eggs in the coop.

Penny's first egg at the Farmstead coop

Penny’s first egg at the Farmstead coop

Penny is somewhat shy of people but is always ready to sample pieces of pear. Come by and check out her beautiful plumage.

Meet the Ladies ~ Cee Lo

January 21st, 2014

Have you had the chance to visit the chicken coop at the Urban Acres Farmstead yet? Our 4 grown ladies have been busy clucking away. As the weather gets warmer, they have more and more to say. It’s a great feeling to provide these hens a home in an urban setting. Today, we’ll start a four part series to introduce you to the ladies of the Farmstead’s chicken coop.

Courtney Lorraine, a.k.a. Cee-Lo

It was a beautiful spring day when the Baileys, the founders of Urban Acres, made a visit to Gecko Hardware, which also happens to be our Lake Highlands produce pickup location. It was love at first sight when the Baileys’ young daughter spotted a chick with tiny fluffy, feathered feet –  a Black Cochin.  She hopped into their hands and was there to stay.  They named her Courtney Lorraine, a.k.a. Cee-Lo, because something about the Black Cochin‘s feathered swagger reminded them of the famous flamboyant pop artist.

Baby Cee-Lo with her new family, the Baileys

Baby Cee-Lo with her new family, the Baileys

The Baileys couldn’t stop loving on her. She settled into her new family and loved walking around the house while perched on Steven’s shoulder to get used to her new environment.

Checking out the house with Steven

Checking out the house with Steven

Fed on organic, non-GMO feed, Cee-Lo grew quickly.  She loved pecking and foraging in the Baileys’ backyard, and soon it was time to move her into her new home at the Farmstead.

She is a pullet, which means she is pre-egg-laying age. We’re expecting eggs from her any day now. Out of the four ladies, Cee-Lo is always first to investigate when fresh water is put out and loves to be the first to drink.

Cee-Lo

Cee-Lo perching on the ramp in the coop

Make sure you say hello to Cee-Lo when you visit the Farmstead. She will definitely cluck back to you.

Gluten Free, Please!

January 15th, 2014

More and more people are visiting the Farmstead looking for answers to their health-related questions, and our staff is eager to educate about non-GMO products, grass-fed/grass-finished beef, eggs from pasture-raised chickens, and low-pasteurized milk. Most of us don’t think about food making us sick, but sadly more and more people live with food-related allergies. We asked one of the Urban Acres staffers, Barbara Bailey, a few questions on her experience living with a gluten allergy.

Barbara, tell us how you realized that you have a gluten allergy.

Barbara Bailey

Barbara Bailey

I’ve lived my life extremely healthy, eating organic, non-GMO products, since the birth of my son. I’ve always tried to eat small portions to keep my body fit and trim. But while eating small portions, I did feel bloated and sick to my stomach at times. Two years ago I decided to go on a one-month cleanse – I was comfortable with the doctor led program. After the cleanse, the first thing I wanted to eat was the freshly toasted bagel my son was holding in his hands. Eating the bagel, I was savoring the salty taste of fresh smelling bread, but sadly my stomach didn’t agree with my taste buds. Within minutes, I knew something was going wrong. The memories of that first night after the cleanse helped me say no to bread, as I knew it, for the rest of my life.

What is celiac disease?

It is a genetic digestive disease resulting from not being able to tolerate gluten. The gluten is the name of specific types of protein in certain crops, such as wheat, barley, rye. A person’s immune system with this disease destroys the lining of the small intestine, causing poor absorption of nutrients. It is a genetic disease and can manifest itself anytime in a person’s life.

Were you diagnosed with celiac?

The actual diagnosis is done by a blood test. Since I was on a gluten-free diet due to my cleanse, the blood test was inconclusive. The only way the doctor was able to get a proper diagnosis was if I went back to eating products with gluten in them. I refused to make myself feel sick on purpose. Sadly, 1 in 133 Americans have this disease, and they do not even know it.

Can celiac be treated?

The only treatment is to eat a gluten-free diet.

What is a gluten-free diet? And do you miss eating old favorites?

A gluten-free diet is when you eliminate all sources of gluten. Eating out on a gluten-free diet can be a challenge at times, although thankfully there are more and more restaurants that try to cater to people with gluten intolerance. And if all else fails, you can always eat salad sprinkled with freshly squeezed lemon juice and salt. I used to miss bread but after two years of living without it, I am happier baking my own “stomach happy” version. Thankfully my baking skills improved tremendously since following Elana Amsterdam’s blog.  Here’s one of my favorite recipes…

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Barbara’s homemade bread

Elana’s Bread 2.0

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Thanks, Barbara. Check out our past blog posts under Gluten-Free Challenge for more recipes and Dallas restaurant suggestions.

 

What Is Kombucha?

December 30th, 2013

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Now on tap at the Urban Acres FarmsteadHoly Kombucha!  We’re thrilled to be able to provide our members and customers with this great health drink.  You can buy it by the cup to enjoy with your sandwich or in half-gallon glass “growlers” which are jugs that can be purchased and refilled at the Farmstead whenever you like.

{Random fact: kombucha can never be put in metal containers as it can damage the drink.}

So what is kombucha and why is it so great?  Kombucha has a uniquely tangy taste with an abundance of probiotic cultures in each bottle. Once referred to as the “elixir of life,” the health benefits of kombucha have been enjoyed by many cultures for centuries.

8 Things to Know About Kombucha:

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Ready to try some?  Come see us this weekend!

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

December 23rd, 2013

‘Tis the season to thank our volunteers and team members for all their hard work and continuous dedication to change how Dallas thinks about food. We welcomed them all at our Urban Acres Holiday Party this weekend at the warehouse where the co-op style produce shares are prepared every Friday morning.

Volunteers and Team members share experiences

Volunteers and team members share experiences

Our volunteers learned about the things that happen behind the scenes, mingled with our team members, and everyone enjoyed delicious personal pizza by the Costanzo brothers. Steven Bailey, founder of Urban Acres, walked around with a group of food enthusiasts showing them the warehouse “where magic happens”.

Chatting while personal pizzas were prepared

Chatting while personal pizzas are prepared

Personal pizzas were prepared by

Personal pizzas being prepared in a mobile wood-fire oven

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Mingling

We’re always humbled to see how dedicated our volunteers are. It’s a great feeling to hear them share the importance of fresh, local, and organic produce with others.

We’re looking forward to getting more involved with our communities in 2014.  Wishing you a beautiful holiday season!