Category Archives: Sort Team

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

photo 3

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!

Member Highlight: Kim Wilson // Glowing Green Smoothie Recipe

May 19th, 2012

I find a lot of joy knowing that I’m getting something different each week. Variety is the spice of life, right?   My best piece of advice is take this opportunity to cook at home! So many people are sick and tired because they eat out all the time. Cooking at home doesn’t have to be hard or time consuming! Keep it simple! My philosophy is ‘cook once, eat twice.’ Left-overs rock! ~ Kim Wilson

It’s time to get to know more of your fellow Urban Acres members(see how to become a member here.)

Today, we’d like to introduce you to Kim Wilson, a Holistic Health Coach who is a part of our Uptown location.  She’s also a member of our volunteer produce sort team!

Kim Wilson

Kim, tell us a little about yourself.
I’m 36 years old and live in Uptown. I currently own my own advertising sales company, but I am beginning a new business as a Holistic Health Coach. I will be working with people on how to reach their health goals, including stress reduction, increasing energy, losing weight and improving their confidence. My interest in health and nutrition began 6 years ago when my mom was diagnosed with Stage 4 ovarian cancer. She didn’t have anyone to take care of her, so I became her primary caregiver. I read every book on cancer/diet/nutrition that I could get my hands on. We immediately switched to all organic foods and started juicing and making green smoothies daily! Although my mom lost her battle with cancer last year, she remains my inspiration & light to motivate and help others live a more healthy lifestyle!

This year, I decided to increase my current health & nutrition knowledge by enrolling in the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. I am not only learning to improve my life, I am also receiving very detailed and careful instruction on how to coach others around food & lifestyle choices. It’s an exciting time!

What inspired you to become a part of Urban Acres?
I learned about Urban Acres when I was searching for an organic turkey for Thanksgiving a few years ago! I finally decided it was time to become a member of Urban Acres when my weekly produce expenditures at Whole Foods were getting obscene!! I love the fact that Urban Acres is affordable, that they support local farmers (it’s not easy to find local AND organic produce) and that they are just the nicest people on the planet!

When and why did you decide to start eating real, wholesome food?
My journey with real wholesome food began in 2006 when my mom was diagnosed with cancer. There was just so much research that pointed to eating real food like fruits and vegetables and cancer prevention, so we jumped right in. We became vegan and ate a mostly raw food diet. My mom went into remission for 5 years, I believe in large part to her nutrient dense diet. Over the years my diet has evolved and I am no longer vegan, but I lean towards a plant based diet full of freshly squeezed green juice and smoothies. I enrolled in the Institute of Integrative Nutrition this year and will begin my practice this Fall. My vision is to help change the way the way Americans eat and to have a positive impact on people who want to change their diet & lifestyle to prevent disease & cancer. You can check out my website or my Facebook page.

Kim sorting produce

What is your favorite part about the “co-op style” produce?
I love that everything in the bin is IN SEASON! It is so important to eat produce in the months that Mother Nature intended to provide it to us. I also volunteer and help sort the produce so it’s extra special knowing I helped fill the bins with all of the delicious produce!

What’s your favorite produce tip/trick?
I always hold off on going to the grocery store the week that I pick up my Urban Acres bin of goodies. That way my fridge is stocked with nothing but fresh vegetables and I have no choice but to use it all! I also save my produce bags from Whole Foods and use them to bag my Urban Acres produce so it stays fresh longer!

If/when you do eat out, what is one of your favorite restaurants in Dallas?
My favorite restaurant in Dallas is Spiral Diner. I always order Nachos Supremo and dessert (usually some sort of baked goodie)!! Company Cafe and Kozy Kitchen are also great options because they use a lot of local products.

Do you grow any food at home? If so, what’s growing in your garden right now?
I wish that I grew my own food at home. I live in an apartment building in Uptown that isn’t ideal for gardening! I did take an organic gardening class with my mom a few years ago. It was heaven. So much fun. I helped my mom with her above ground garden and she grew cucumbers, romaine, tomatoes and kale pretty successfully in her backyard! Keeping the critters away can be a full time job, but well worth it (a special shout out to “Garden Inspirations” – they are a mother/daughter team in Waxahachie that teach the class and they are amazing)!

What is your favorite fruit? Favorite veggie? Why?
My favorite fruit are goji berries because they are an incredible super food. They are probably the most nutritionally dense berry-fruit on Earth. Goji berries are a complete protein source, contain 21 trace minerals, promote longevity and healthy hormones, improve vision and boost the immune system!

My favorite veggie is kale. Dark leafy greens are cancer fighting and full of vitamins & minerals. I’m really a fan of any dark, leafy green. There are so many benefits to eating them such as blood purification, cancer prevention, improved circulation, strengthened immune system, promotion of healthy intestinal flora, lifted spirit and elimination of depression, improved liver, gall bladder and kidney function and cleared congestion (especially in the lungs by reducing mucus).

What is your favorite site to get recipes from?
I get most of my recipes from books actually. Is that totally lame of me?? Ha! I buy a new book every week on Amazon. I just have an intense thirst for any and all health & wellness information. My favorites lately are the The Blood Sugar Solution by Dr. Mark Hyman, Superfoods by David Wolfe and Super Immunity by Dr. Joel Furhman. All three of these books have amazing recipes, plus are packed full of great advice for people that want to live a healthier lifestyle.

What would you say to inspire other members who are still trying to figure out this “co-op style produce” thing?
A co-op is an amazing thing. Yes, it is different that going to a regular grocery store and picking out your own produce. But I find a lot of joy knowing that I’m getting something different each week. Variety is the spice of life, right? I certainly know that your body gets tired of being fed the same old thing, day after day! My best piece of advice is take this opportunity to cook at home! So many people are sick and tired because they eat out all the time. Cooking at home doesn’t have to be hard or time consuming! Keep it simple! My philosophy is “cook once, eat twice.” Left-overs rock!

Please share your current favorite “real food recipe” with us.
My favorite Green Smoothie recipe is from a book called The Beauty Detox Solution by Kimberly Snyder.  It is called the “Glowing Green Smoothie” (or GGS for short). I lived on this smoothie when my mom was in and out of the hospital (and I had no time to cook) because it delivers so many nutrients and is very filling. I make a big batch in the morning and drink it all day long! I always tweak it according to what is in our bin each week, so here is the version based on this past weekend’s pick-up!

Glowing Green Smoothie

(yields 64 ounces)
1 ½- 2 cups very cold, filtered water
3 cups spinach, chopped
1 cup organic green kale, chopped
2 cups organic green lettuce, chopped
2 cups organic rainbow chard, chopped
2 stalks of organic celery
1 organic apple, cored and chopped
1 organic pear, cored and chopped
1 organic banana
1–2 Tbs. fresh organic lemon juice
Handful of cilantro (optional)
1/4 inch of ginger, chopped (optional)

Blend spinach, kale, chard and lettuce with water on low. Then add chopped celery, apple and pear and blend on medium. Lastly, add the banana and lemon juice and blend on high! A Vitamix blender works the best, but any blender will do!

Thanks so much, Kim!  We are so glad to have you as a part of Urban Acres!

What the Produce Sort Looks Like

May 12th, 2012

Here’s a video of our volunteer team sorting the co-op style produce shares yesterday morning.  This “dance” happens every Friday morning and is one of the most fun parts about what we do!

Notice the first step before adding produce to the bin is steam cleaning it with our trusty Italian steam cleaner machine, who we’ve lovingly named Giuseppe.  :)  Yes, Giuseppe disinfects thousands of bins every month, freeing them from dog hair, moldy leaves, and all other kinds of “gifts” some people leave us in the bins!   The best thing is that this cleaning method is totally sustainable – zero cleaners or chemicals of any kind are used.  Just good ‘ole fashioned steam.

[vimeo 42033854 w=500 h=282]

Photos From The Produce Sort Team This Morning…

April 27th, 2012

Our volunteer produce sort team is hard at it this morning and just sent over these photos…look at all the lovely spring produce being sorted into co-op style produce shares for tomorrow’s pickups!

Showing some of the LOCAL items…

Rainbow chard from Blooming Grove, TX

Spring onions from Yantis, TX

Red radishes from Cleburne, TX

Greens from Yantis, TX

Shiitake mushrooms from Denison, TX

Sort Team Fun

December 9th, 2011

Lots of fresh goodies going into the bins today for this Saturday’s co-op style produce shares.  Check out these photos from the sort team…

Beautiful local radishes from Morrison Organic Farm

Lovely sort team volunteer, Leila

Juicy in-season grapefruit

Chase sorting kale

We ♥ our volunteers!

Thank You From Our Produce Sort Team…And Lots Of Recipes

October 28th, 2011

At this very moment, our produce sort team is working hard getting all the co-op style produce shares ready for tomorrow’s pickup.

When they began to stack the bins today, they found this sweet thank you note from a member in the bottom of one of the bins…

Thank you note from members, The Martins

Sweet Martin family!  Right back at ya!

Starting front center and going clockwise: Thorne, Angi, Pam, Lelia, Saul, and Nicole

Eat your GREENS!  This weekend’s share is full of them…

Nicole shows the difference between lacinato kale (left), dandelion greens (center), and red chard (right)

We’ll also be including delicious fingerling potatoes and some fresh herbs…

Try These Recipes…

Sort Team Welcomes A Very GREEN Fall Share

October 7th, 2011

Our Urban Acres sort team is hard at work at this very moment, putting together all the bins of co-op style produce for tomorrow’s deliveries!  Hope you like GREEN because this fall share happens to be very full of it!

Some of the green items included in the October 8th share…

Angi shows the difference between chard (left) and collards (right). Chard has a white stalk.

Nicole sorts a softball-sized Reed avocado

Kael sorts Texas purple hull peas

Lots 'o green!

Tommy stacking bins

Assembly line