Tag Archives: local produce

Introducing Artisan Pizza & Ice Cream Sundays at the Farmstead

June 27th, 2014

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What do a secret pizza dough recipe, local grass-fed dairy, and the best Texas summer produce have in common?  Our new Artisan Pizza & Ice Cream Sundays at the UA Farmstead!  Come out for lunch on Sundays starting June 29th at 11am for the most unique and delicious organic pizza and ice cream you can get in Dallas, made fresh in the Farmstead kitchen.  And bring the whole family -  if your kids are gonna eat pizza and ice cream, at least it’s made with the best ingredients possible.  :)

We’ve been working ’round the clock on our pizza and ice cream recipes to make sure they’re the very best for ‘ya.  Here’s UA founder Steven Bailey tasting our demo of pizza with local cheese and local sorrel pesto…

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VEGETARIANS:  We do love our meat at Urban Acres, that’s for sure.  But we love our vegetarian friends too, and you’re going to be really happy with our pizza options!

VEGANS: We still have a delicious vegan lunch option on the menu each week.  And we’re cooking up something else special for you soon…stay tuned. :)

Welcome, New Farmstand Hosts!

June 26th, 2014

It’s officially summatime, and the beautiful Texas produce is flowing in.  We’ve added several new Farmstand locations where you can join and pick up your bi-monthly co-op style produce share.

We’d like to especially thank our new partners who are hosting the new locations…

Midtown Dallas @ Half Price Books Flagship Store (Map)

001-1The Half Price Books Flagship store just off Northwest Highway and 75 is a mecca for the Dallas bibliophile.  We love their involvement in the community and knew they’d be a great host for our friends in the Midtown Dallas area.

Produce pickup: Every other Saturday, 8:30am-10:30am

> Sign up now

Colleyville @ Total Body Wellness (Map)

total body wellnessWe’re proud to partner with Dr. Jessica Lynn Stangenwald and her team at Total Body Wellness in Colleyville.  She and her staff have been providing family wellness care since 2005, including chiropractic, pediatrics, pregnancy, woman’s wellness, weight loss and nutrition.

Produce pickup: Every other Saturday from 9:00am-11:00am

> Sign up now

Plano – Northwest @ Title Boxing (Map)

titleboxingIf you’re in the Northwest Plano area and are looking for a total body workout that is both fun and rewarding, head to Title Boxing Club.  They offer innovative boxing and kickboxing power hour fitness classes. Their trainer will have you punching and kicking bags in an energizing routine designed to help you lose inches and burn fat.

Produce pickup: Every other Saturday from 12noon-2:00pm

> Sign up now

TD Ameritrade Corporate Farmstand

imagesWe’ve also added a new corporate farmstand at the TD Ameritrade corporate office – welcome TD Ameritrade employees!

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Coming soon: pickup locations in East Dallas, Rockwall, and South Dallas – stay tuned…

Natural vs. Organic

June 24th, 2014

organic-vs-natural

As you walk through the grocery store aisles, food boxes, bags, and labels are bombarding you with their claims…natural, all-natural, 74% organic, certified organic.  What does it all mean?  Is it necessary to put the organic product in your basket, or is grabbing the “all-natural” product good enough?

“Natural” really means natural, right?

We thought we’d help you unpack the difference in natural vs. organic products, so you can be fully educated when buying food for yourself and your family.

In short, natural and organic are definitely not the same.

Here’s an NBC News article on Natural vs. Organic: How Food Labels Deceive.

What does NATURAL mean?

Unfortunately, it means very little.  In the U.S., neither the FDA nor the USDA has rules or regulations for products labeled “natural.”

It can be confusing, because foods containing natural flavors, sweeteners, or other plant-derived substances can be labeled “natural.” In addition, foods containing highly processed high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) can also be labeled “natural”, since the synthetic materials used to generate HFCS are not incorporated into the final product.  Shockingly, foods containing genetically engineered or modified ingredients can also be labeled “natural,” something California’s recently defeated Proposition 37 tried to prevent.  ~ Source: Nutrition.org

Because they can, food manufacturers often place a “natural” label on foods containing heavily processed ingredients.  For example, a prepackaged fruit bar made with a majority of fruit and nut ingredients could be called “natural” while still containing a large amount of added refined sugars, preservatives and chemical components. ~ Source: FitDay.com

That’s why we at Urban Acres never use the term “all-natural” because it’s just too low of a standard.

What does ORGANIC mean?

“Organic” is the most heavily regulated food system. The “organic” label guarantees the product contains no toxic synthetic pesticides, no herbicides, no chemical fertilizers are used in production, and no antibiotics or growth hormones are given to animals. Organic producers and processors also are subject to rigorous announced – and unannounced – certification inspections by third-party inspectors to ensure that they are producing and processing organic products in a manner you and your family can trust.

Check out the USDA website for the specifics on USDA Organic standards.

Even the “organic” label has some variations, though,…no wonder it’s so hard to keep it all straight!

Products labeled “100% Organic” contain 100% organic ingredients.

Products labeled “Organic” contain a minimum of 95% organic ingredients, and the remaining 5% are produced using no GMOs, sewage sludge or irradiation.z

Products labeled “Made with Organic Ingredients” contain a minimum of 70% organic ingredients, and the remaining 30% are produced using no GMOs, sewage sludge or irradiation.

Products with less than 70% organic ingredients may list organic ingredients on the package’s side panel, but may not make any organic claim on the front of the package.

~ Source: Stonyfield.com

The bottom line?  As a consumer, you should know what you’re buying!  Don’t just trust the front packaging of a food that shows glowing berries and wheat fields in the sun.  Read the ingredients.  Be educated on what you’re putting in your body.

Our Standards at Urban Acres

always organic

In our Farmstead kitchen,

  • We bake with organic flours, butters, and sugars
  • We use only organic produce
  • We never use GMOs, artificial junk, or MSG

Be assured that all produce you get from Urban Acres will always be organic.  It’s a commitment we made from the beginning and one we intend to keep.

Pig Pickin’ & Popsicles – Join Us This Sunday, June 22nd

June 17th, 2014

A roasted pig, live music, and popsicles…does summer get much better?  Hope to see you this Sunday at the Farmstead!

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My Father’s Farm – “Our Veggies Don’t Do Drugs”

June 17th, 2014
Dayana and Pedro from My Father's Farm from Seguin, TX showcases their microgreens at UA Community Day // Photo: Travis Lilley

Dayana and Pedro from My Father’s Farm showcasing their microgreens at UA Community Day // Photo: Travis Lilley

Today we’d like you to meet another one of our farmers – Pedro Schambon of My Father’s Farm in Seguin, TX.  My Father’s Farm provides our produce shares with vibrant, organically grown microgreens.  Here’s a little Q&A we did with Pedro so you can get to know him and his wife better…we think you’ll love them as much as we do.

Pedro, why did you decide to grow produce organically and sustainably?

At first, we did it out of necessity.  When we started building orphanages in Colombia, we realized that the kids were not looking to have good quality clothes.  They only needed two basic necessities – love and food.  And that is how it started…

For us, sustainable farming means living within our means.  When we sit at our table, we know that we grew most of what we are eating.   If something is not in season, we wait until the season comes.  Then we enjoy those organic heirloom tomatoes or broccoli even more.

We feel we must be good stewards of our God-given land by treating it with respect and returning to it what we took out of it by composting, using organic, natural fertilizer, crop rotation, and resting the land.  We do not have “dirt,” we have “soil,” which is full of life.  My Father’s Farm veggies don’t do drugs!

My Father's Farm microgreens // Photo: Travis Lilley

Dayana and Pedro of My Father’s Farm with UA staffer James // Photo: Travis Lilley

What does Urban Acres mean to your farm and your family?

My wife Dayana and I could go on and on, but just to name a few ways…

We bring in homeless friends from a ministry in San Antonio to do some of the work on our farm.  Before Urban Acres, we could only afford to bring them in maybe once or twice a month.  Now, we can bring them in regularly on a weekly basis and sometimes even twice a week.  More than 10 beautiful homeless guys come to work, and believe me, they do work their hearts out.  They pull weeds, incorporate compost into the fields, set up new beds inside the greenhouse, set irrigation systems, clean after we harvest, and more.  I really doubt we could bring our produce to Urban Acres without their help.  We’re able to give them a second chance, pay them, feed them, and then send them back with organic fresh veggies and money in their pockets.  It’s great.

Also since partnering with Urban Acres, we’ve been able to buy a new harvester for the salad mix, sealers for the bags, a label machine, new tools, and hopefully soon a refrigerated truck that we’ve needed for over five years.   I was also able to take my wife on a most deserved vacation after so many years of hard work.  THANK YOU to Urban Acres and your members for blessing us so much.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with our members?

We believe that our veggies and herbs really come from God’s hands.  Without His intervention and provision we couldn’t bring anything to your table.

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Thank you Pedro and Dayana for your stewardship in bringing such wonderful organic produce to us and our members.  We appreciate you!

What’s Green Garlic?

June 5th, 2014
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Green garlic

Looking through your produce share, you might mistake green garlic for the spring onions you’ve been receiving the last few weeks. Green garlic is a rarity in grocery stores but a great addition to farm-to-table cooking.  Green garlic is simply young garlic which is harvested before the cloves have begun to mature. What results is a vegetable with a deep green stalk and a pale white bulb.  The flavor is that of mild garlic.

How to cook green garlic?

Chop or slice the white, light green, and the first few inches of the dark green leaves (as long as they are tender).  Sauté as you would regular garlic.  When cooked, your green garlic will sweeten a bit.

You’ll also love the health benefits of green garlic…

“Garlic is notable for its immune-boosting qualities, is a natural antibiotic and can help the body block infections. If you suffer from anemia or low iron levels, garlic also helps to keep iron levels high. Most people know that vitamin C helps increase iron metabolism, but garlic contains the protein ferroportin that carries stored iron from inside a cell to outside of the cell, assisting the body as needed.

Due to its richness in polysulfides, garlic also helps protect against heart disease. And if that’s not enough, garlic is rich in manganese, a mineral linked to HDL or ‘good’ cholesterol. When manganese levels are high, HDL is high, and vice versa.” ~ FitSugar.com

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Try these easy green garlic recipes…

Spring Garlic Fried Eggs

Courtesy of Sylvie

Image source: thecrepesofwrath.com

Green Garlic Stuffed Mushrooms

Photo by inpatskitchen

Photo by inpatskitchen

Grilled Green Garlic

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Photo credit: 8ateateight.com

>> Get more green garlic recipes on our site <<