Growing The Role Of Urban Farming In Dallas County


A partnership between county officials and Texas A&M AgriLife is producing tons of fresh food for local shelters.

From concrete jungle to bountiful urban garden, the 12-acre Urban County Farm in Garland teaches Texans about the farm-to-plate journey in an urban environment. Teaming up with Dallas County officials, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service mobilized the strong, local Texas Master Gardener volunteer network to combat local food insecurity by teaching residents about vegetable farming on a small scale.

Ultimately, the partnership has inspired urban agriculture across the county and provided food for several Dallas-area homeless shelters in the process. Fruit and vegetables planted at the location, including tomatoes, peppers, okra and onions, have provided 2.5 tons of fresh, farm-to-plate produce to six shelters so far this growing season.

“Our fruit and vegetable harvests go to a central distribution hub, then it is distributed to shelters and community centers with food kitchens,” said Jeffrey Raska, AgriLife Extension horticulture coordinator, Dallas County. “From our garden to the shelters, it is a perfect example of farm-to-plate for an urban county.”

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