Tag Archives: local produce

Welcome Our New Chef, David Rodriguez

August 28th, 2014

Urban Acres Chef David Rodriguez taking a photo op in front of the #UAtractor

We’re pleased to welcome our new head chef, David Rodriguez!   David brings his creativity and passion for farm-to-table cuisine to our Urban Acres family, further advancing our mission to change our community through real food that supports Texas agriculture.  Please give David a friendly hello or high-five when you see him hustling behind the counter in our open kitchen at the Farmstead!  David was most recently the Executive Chef at Oddfellows in Bishop Arts and previously spent several years in Denton working under Chef Sheena Croft at Hannah’s Off The Square. He was born and raised in Dallas and began cooking with his father at age 13.

With David’s addition to the team, we’ve also expanded our Farmstead breakfast and lunch menu, as well as our hours…now open Tuesday through Thursday!

NEW HOURS

  • Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday: 8am-2pm
  • Friday: 8am-8pm
  • Saturday: 8am-6pm
  • Sunday: 9am-5pm

If you dined under the misters on our patio last weekend, then you’ve already tried some of David’s new weekly-revolving menu items that showcase what the seasons and our Texas farmers and artisans have to offer: the “Pig and Fig” sandwich, pastured chicken salad, squash quiche, and organic artisan pizza with garden sorrel pesto, to name a few.  Coming soon: housemade chorizo tacos with pastured pork.  Yum.

New quiche on the Farmstead menu

New squash quiche on the Farmstead menu

David says the menu was also inspired by recent trips to Portland, San Francisco, and Berkeley.

“We’ve spent some time traveling and researching what the best chefs are doing on the West Coast, where they set the standard for cutting-edge local and organic cuisine – pizza at The Cheeseboard Collective in Berkeley, quiche at Tartine in San Fran’s Mission District, sandwiches at Lardo in Portland. My hope is to take this little urban farm in Dallas and use the eggs from our chickens, the honey from our bees, the veggies from our greenhouse, and other honest ingredients to put our unique spin on Dallas’ food scene.”

Our Farmstead is committed to using 100% organic produce and dairy, fair-trade spices, pastured meats, and products that do not contain pesticides or hormones, artificial flavoring, hydrogenated oils, MSG, or GMOs.  Bring your friends, family, and kids, and dine on our patio at communal farm tables and tour the on-site chicken coop, herb garden, flower garden, and aquaponics greenhouse, as well as sign up for one of our Farmstead classes including knife skills, cooking, canning, and gardening.

See ya this weekend, friends!

Meet Our Friends At Highway 19 Farms

August 14th, 2014

Supporting local farmers is one of our greatest passions at Urban Acres.  The more small-scale family farmers we get to know, the more we understand the many risks associated with going into farming as a career.

For example, one of the realities facing a local farmer is that they may grow an entire field of produce and then not be able to sell it to anyone. Frequently, local farmers take their produce to a local buyer, only to have it rejected due to size and appearance stipulations.  As we continue to grow, we’d like to pay it forward and continue to help young farmers remove some of those risks, making it easier for them to successfully pursue their passion and be able to provide for themselves and their families.

Thanks to your support, we’re able to “incubate” young farmers like Bobby Bevers from Highway 19 Farms in Athens, TX. When we incubate a new farmer, we give them the peace of mind that they have a partner to “go to market” with, freeing them up to focus on what they do best – growing delicious, organic food.

Bobby from Hwy 19 Farms

Bobby from Highway 19 Farms

Bobby and his crew are currently cultivating 8 acres of land near Athens.  If you tasted the juicy watermelon we had at the Farmstead this summer, you enjoyed some of the fruit of Bobby’s labor.

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Watermelon in the fields at Highway 19

Tomato plants at Hwy 19 Farms

Tomato plants at Highway 19 Farms

Charleston Grey watermelons from Hwy 19 Farms

Highway 19 Farms’ Charleston Grey watermelons at the Farmstead

The mild summer has been treating our friends at Highway 19 very well, but the dry and hot weather the past few weeks has been challenging for them and their crops.  They just planted another round of summer produce such as yellow squash, pickling cucumbers, and slicing tomatoes and are also gearing up for the fall.  Their greenhouse is filled with trays of broccoli and cabbage seeds.  They’ve been doing constant ground prep and just planted pumpkins in hopes of having them ready by Halloween.  We can’t wait!

This is hard to believe, but the team is also already planting fruit for next summer! They’re about to plant strawberries in hopes of harvesting the first crop as early as March, depending on when it gets warm.  We look forward to tasting those beautiful berries next spring.

With your dollars and your voice, you can continue to do your part to support start-up local farmers like Bobby at Highway 19 Farms.  Thank you so much for being on this journey with us!

Fig Frenzy

August 7th, 2014

fig basketWhoa!  Local figs from Gundermann Acres are back (both in the produce shares and for sale at the Farmstead), and our Facebook and Instagram are blowin’ up with ideas on how you’re enjoying your local, organic figs.  We thought we’d share them all here so you can get some great ideas and inspiration…

From our Facebook page

  • Ellen G: Ate them fresh over the weekend. I made the fig tart on the Urban acres website today! Tomorrow in a salad. We got two baskets!
  • Karrie S: I’m raw vegan.. just gonna eat them plain.. I love them!
  • Dena J: They are incredible and we are just eating them plain.  What a treat!
  • Carol K: Love figs, we just ate them.  Like them just the way they are.
  • Chris C: Roasted Sweet Potatoes & Fresh Figs Recipe | Epicurious.com
  • Sherlie B: Wrapped with prosciutto, fresh basil, and goat cheese inside, drizzle with balsamic glaze and EVOO.
  • Animal Rights & Rescue of North Texas: Gone the first day.
  • Sherri M: Planning on grilling ours to serve with steak at my daughter’s suggestion (a dish she had at Uchi in Austin)
  • Kathy T: Loved them in our share.  Just ate them fresh & they didn’t last long!  Hope we get more!
  • Laura D: Fig Frangipane Tart
  • Mary M: I was lucky enough to get some in my share last week and we loved them!!
  • Parigi Restaurant: We did them like this…y.u.m.

parigi figs
From our Instagram

  • christinaisblue: I made jam with them! Can’t wait to put it in my coconut yogurt.  I found an easy recipe here.
  • bmkphotog: Fig Swirl Ice Cream.
  • tracy1314: Roast pork with fig sauce!
  • mamasimpson: I made a fig tart with honey yogurt sauce.
  • bananarama427: Goat cheese, fig and pancetta pizza!
  • raquel81: i was wondering what to do with mine. i cannot wait to eat them!

* * *

>> Get more fig recipes here on our site.
The figs are gonna go fast at the Farmstead this weekend – get them before they’re gone. :)  And please chime in below and let us know how you’re enjoying your fresh figs!

Summer At The Farmstead

July 29th, 2014

Have you been by the Farmstead lately?  On one side of the building, the edible cactus and container gardens are flourishing.  While you’re there, take a photo op on the tractor donated by Farmer Dan.

farmstead tractor summer 2014-2

On the other side, “the girls of the coop” are enjoying their summer too, especially when they get organic food scraps from our kitchen.  We swear those chickens eat better than us sometimes!

farmstead chickens july 2014

The patio is constantly evolving, surrounded by reclaimed wood planters full of native plants and herbs.

farmstead flowers

farmstead chocolate mint

Feel free to touch and smell them…they’re for you to learn!    We also use these fresh herbs in our Farmstead kitchen.

farmstead rosemary

And don’t worry about the heat – our new mister fans will keep you cool while you enjoy some good eats…

farmstead misters

…like our new homemade quiche made with local and organic ingredients.

farmstead quiche

And Artisan Pizza & Ice Cream on Fridays & Sundays…

farmstead pizza

We also have locally-brewed kombucha, Crazy Water, refreshing salads, plentiful local produce, and more to help you beat the heat.

Follow us on Instagram @urbanacres for more photos and current happenings.  Hope to see you this weekend!

Local Figs Are Back!

July 24th, 2014

Figs from Gundermann Acres

Exciting announcement: for the first time in two years, all the co-op style produce shares this weekend will have local figs from Gundermann Acres in Wharton County, TX!  We’ll also have extra figs for sale at the Farmstead.  If you’ve never had these local, sweet delectable figs from the Gundermanns, you’re in for a treat, friends.

Here are some photos we just received from the Gundermanns showing your figs in the field… gundermann figs july 2014-1

gundermann figs july 2014-2

gundermann figs july 2014-3

gundermann figs july 2014-5

Can’t wait to get our hands on these!

Bonus: figs are super nutritious too.  Figs are high in natural simple sugars, minerals, and fiber. Figs are fairly rich in potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, copper, and manganese.

Figs are often recommended to nourish and tone the intestines because they are a very good source of fiber. They are also a good source of potassium, an important consideration in helping to control blood pressure. Figs are among the most highly alkaline foods, making them useful in supporting the proper pH of the body.

You’re probably just going to want to pop these in your mouth and eat them whole…but if you want a recipe, here are a few ideas…

4th of July BBQ, Plant Sale, & Raffle Supporting our Veterans

July 4th, 2014

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Finish off your Independence Day weekend celebrating the men and women who helped make it possible, our veterans! This Sunday, July 6th, we’ll be hosting an event at the Farmstead benefiting two organizations that empower our warriors back into society through sustainable agriculture – Eat the Yard and Warriors that Farm. This event will allow you to fill your stomach with some delicious eats and go home with some treats, while celebrating and supporting our brave countrymen and local farmers.

What to expect (besides a good time!):

Explore Your Green Thumb

  • Organic transplants and seedlings provided by Eat the Yard and Urban Acres
  • Victory Seeds offers rare, open-pollinated, non-GMO, non-hybrid, heirloom organic seeds to home gardeners. All seeds are harvested locally by Eat the Yard.

Raffle

  • 1st prize: chicken coop installed in your backyard (Urban Chicken Ranching)
  • 2nd prize: raised garden bed installed in your back yard (Eat the Yard)
  • 3rd prize: Compost Tumbler (Eat the Yard)

Good Eatin’

  • Beef Brisket Sandwiches from Falster Farms, a nonprofit “Healing the Man by Healing the Land.” Find out more about this incredible organization empowering our veterans and future farmers.
  • Homemade BBQ Sauce from UA chef Kent using local tomatoes.
  • We’ll also have our Homemade Artisan Pizza & Ice Cream that we have every Sunday.  Special chefs Steven (UA founder) and Joe (our CEO) will be jumping in the kitchen to help out!

1495532_244750075710118_163715541_nProceeds from seeds, plants, and raffle tickets will benefit Eat the Yard, a veteran owned and operated urban farming business right here in Oak Cliff!  Find out more about them on their Facebook page or website.