SALADAY: The gift of healthy food

We all lead busy lives. And sometimes it’s difficult to take time for a healthy, nutritious lunch, isn’t it? At DFW Aquaponics Farms, we understand that all too well!

And we offer a solution. One day a week, you can have that healthy lunch delivered right to your door. You don’t have to go out; you don’t even have to take the time think about what you want! It’s as simple as signing up on a monthly basis for our “lunch club.”Every week, when SALADAY rolls around — Monday, Tuesday, SALADAY — you can work right through the lunch hour, take your lunch with you to a meeting, enjoy a day at the park with the kids, or catch up on paperwork and projects at home.

Whatever it is that’s keeping you busy just got easier as you enjoy a hearty, nutritious salad loaded with the great flavors of our naturally grown lettuce, other greens and fresh, organic fruits and vegetables.Every salad is hearty, wholesome and nutritionally balanced with seasonal ingredients; sometimes they include grains, nuts, crumbled cheese or other toppings. Your salad box comes with dressing on the side and utensils. You can also add salmon, tuna or chicken.  And we are happy to accommodate vegan diets and special requests with advance notice.  We’ll include a bottle of water and a sweet treat (a freshly-baked cookie, muffin or a slice of pound cake), or order only the salad.20171129_094920What could be sweeter than that?

Our fresh salad lunches are a great idea for “Secret Santa” gifts or for a holiday office party or special holiday luncheon at your home or school. (For large groups, ask about special pricing on a salad bowl that will serve 8-10 as part of a potluck meal.)

Standard delivery is to addresses in Burleson only. However, during December, we’ll deliver to locations within 10 miles; call 214-662-9767 to discuss your needs, or email saladay@dfwaquaponicsfarms.org.

December 2017 Menu

Wednesday, December 6 – Light, Fresh and Delicious

Who needs a heavy lunch? Especially now, between Thanksgiving and Christmas, a selection of our crisp, light salad greens topped with the fresh goodness of naturally-grown veggies and oh-so-good fruit is a real treat. We’re serving this one with traditional Organic French dressing, a topping of mixed nuts on the side, and a delicious muffin. Sound good? We think so!

Wednesday, December 13 – Simply Full of Natural Flavor!

A heaping serving of our mixed lettuces, heightened with tri-color pasta, cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, tiny green beans, chopped purple onion and Italian parsley. This one’s totally natural; simple, colorful, flavorful, filling and delicious! Traditional Italian dressing on the side, along with cheese bread in lieu of a sweet cookie.

Wednesday, December 20  —  A Colorful Treat

In addition to our beautiful lettuce, we’re adding rainbow chard, sliced radish, multi-colored sweet peppers, green peas and purple cabbage, along with sliced bamboo shoots, green onions and chopped fresh cilantro. Honey mustard dressing and blanched, slivered almonds add unique flavor to this unique salad that draws on many cultural traditions. Along with a special cookie, it’s a holiday treat!

Wednesday, December 27 – Simply Satisfying

To end the year in style, we’re bringing back one of our favorites: Red lentils join English cucumber, grape tomatoes, diced sweet onion, chopped fresh parsley and sliced Kalamata olives. On the side: a light garlic herb vinaigrette, and a bit of crumbled herb cheese. Happy New Year!

Remember, the best day of the week — SALADAY — comes in the middle of the week!

SALADAY Fare for November

20171108_085041Today’s Mediterranean Orzo Salad is one of our favorites, loaded with color and hearty goodness. If you missed out on ordering, we hope you’ll take a look at the upcoming selections for the balance of November, and get your orders in early!

We apologize for being late posting the menu for this month, but there’s still plenty of time to sign up for the remaining three weeks. Don’t miss out on our healthy lunches this month, and check back immediately after Thanksgiving to see what “gifts” to expect in December!! We’ve planned some special taste treats for the holidays.

We hope you’ll join our SALADAY lunch bunch! Every salad is delivered to your Burleson location with a bottle of water and a fresh-baked treat; all for the low price of $10 plus tax. Add protein in the form of tuna, salmon or chicken for a small additional charge. 20171108_083015

Remember, you can order salads for special holiday parties at your office as well. Just give us a call at 214-662-9767, or email saladay@dfwaquaponicsfarms.org to discuss your individual needs.

Wednesday, November 15  —  Spinach & Mixed Greens

Fresh mustard greens and a bit of fennel add unique flavors to this mixed greens salad, spiced with sliced mushrooms, water chestnuts and heart of palm for a slightly exotic touch. Champagne vinaigrette and toasted sesame seeds on the side.

Wednesday, November 22 – “Everything but the Turkey”

Roasted sweet potatoes with baby red and yellow potatoes, green beans, dried cranberries and seasoned croutons — all atop our locally-grown fresh greens — make this a pre-Thanksgiving dinner par excellence! Tomato vinaigrette adds just a bit of punch, along with toasted sunflower kernels.

Wednesday, November 29 – Mixed Slaw on a Bed of Greens

One of our favorites makes a return visit – carrots, cabbage, broccoli, green onions, raisins and a light classic herb vinaigrette to end the month. We’ll add some crumbled goat cheese to top it off.

As always, we wish you good health and good eating, with fresh, naturally-grown produce from our Farm in Burleson and other ingredients sourced from local markets and select suppliers.

SALADAY: The best day of the week

 

Beginning August 9, in Burleson, each week will have a new day. SALADAY represents a mid-week break from normal routine; a treat for the palate, and a fresh, healthy option for a working lunch.

We will bring new taste treats to your office door — every week, all year long! We’re not only renaming that middle day of the week; we’re creating a whole new day!

DFW Aquaponics Farms is launching a delicious, delectable, delivery service. Every Wednesday, for a set monthly fee, you can have a hearty salad lunch brought directly to your office or shop in Burleson, a different selection each week, depending on the harvest and the season.

It’s our contribution to our city’s ongoing efforts to promote health and fitness; and we think it’s the neighborly thing to do! Our local Aquaponics farm is producing a bounty of goodness, and this is our way of sharing the bounty.

Saladay was announced publicly Wednesday, July 19, at the regular monthly meeting of the Be Healthy Burleson steering committee.  Each salad features Certified Naturally Grown lettuce and other salad greens from our farm in Burleson, along with a rotating selection of quality vegetables, fruits, nuts, toppings and unique dressings, many of them organic produce from our friends at Burleson’s City Market.

Our thanks to Kurt Jaeger of City Market, for allowing us access to his kitchen prep area and for allowing us to use a portion of his walk-in cooler for our salads and lettuce.

Why not assure your place at our community table by placing your order now? We’re working on a streamlined order form right here on the website — it should be ready for use within a few days. For now, though, email your intent to participate by sending your name, the name and address of your business, and the number of salads you’re ordering to saladay@dfwaquaponicsfarms.org. We’ll send billing information and a confirmation by return email.

Price per delivered salad is $10 plus tax; a total of $40 (or $50) a month. Monthly menus will be posted here on the website.

The inaugural salad was our version of a “summer light” potato salad, with a mix of perfect small heads of Butterhead and leafy Bibb lettuce, tiny potatoes, petite tri-color tomatoes, tangy radishes and green onions. Zesty mustard vinaigrette hints of the French countryside, and pumpkin kernels add a bit of crunch.

It’s just one of the special salads you can look forward to when you enjoy SALADAY with DFW Aquaponics Farms!

Bring holiday salads to the backyard

Cooking up a celebration isn’t only about firing up the grill and chilling the drinks. Why not bring a healthy variety of salad, fresh veggies and seasonal fruit to the mix. Colorful red, white and blue is as deliciously edible as it is appropriate for summer gatherings from Memorial Day through Labor Day, but they’re especially welcome on the Fourth! Here’s how to do it right without spending all day in the kitchen:

Whether you pick fresh from your own garden or shop at your neighborhood market, choose a variety of lettuce and other greens, fresh herbs that can include mint, lavender, tarragon or sage. Then shop for perfectly ripe watermelon, grapes, cherries or berries — wherever your taste buds lead you. Toss your ingredients together at the last minute, drizzle with a raspberry vinaigrette or a white balsamic vinegar and oil dressing, and top with crumbled feta or herbed goat cheese. It’s a sweet take on traditional; it’s a great side with brisket and fried chicken, or it can be a welcome palate pleaser between the meat course and the brownies.

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For another non-traditional option, create a lighter version of traditional potato salad using leafy lettuce in colors ranging from pale green to deep purple. Add miniature boiled potatoes (skin on) in a mix of white, red and purple, and then choose at least three different tomato families to add zest and more color. Rather than a creamy, mayonnaise-based dressing, whip up a light, flavorful vinaigrette of oil and vinegar, Dijon and either German or deli-style mustard and simple spices. Garnish with fresh parsley and you’ll have guests clamoring for seconds.

We sampled these recipes and have to testify that they’re both good enough to eat! They can also be the base formula for healthy food any night of the week. Just add a hamburger, grilled chicken or fish, and ice cream and cookies. Use what you have at hand; keep it simple and fresh and it’s sure to please. 100_5628

The garden bounty is all around us now — cucumbers, red and daikon radish, leeks, avocado, squash, zucchini, cauliflower and a whole host of others. If you get tired of salad, toss a few vegetables on the grill!

Pull out your colorful linens and serving pieces, and your favorite grilling book, and move to the backyard for a homemade feast, for a special occasion or just for a weekend with the family. It’ll lift your spirits and satisfy your appetite!

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If you’ve been out to The Farm recently, or visited us at either Grand Prairie Farmers Market or Tyler Street Market, you may know that we have two greenhouses with lettuce and other greens in various stages of growth. We are discontinuing our kale and chard for a bit — there hasn’t been a lot of call for them at the markets and they don’t much like the heat. We’ll plant new varieties in the fall.

We also have tomato vines that we’re vining in the demonstration greenhouse. Stay tuned for further information about our “Training Day.”

For now, though, the news we’re just bursting to share is all about salads. Watch for the big announcement next week. Until then, we hope your holiday was safe, and filled with friends, family and good food. Enjoy the rest of the week.

 

The Farmstand opens June 21

DFW Aquaponics Farms plans to welcome summer in a big way this year. Lettuce and other salad greens growing in both our demonstration greenhouse and production facility are thriving, so we’re making “fresh from the farm” produce available to local residents on a limited basis beginning the first day of summer, Wednesday, June 21.

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DFW Aquaponics Farms is the only Certified Naturally Grown aquaponic facility in Texas, and one of only 12 in the nation.

Although popular in more rural areas, there aren’t a lot of farmstands around the Metroplex. This is a great opportunity to pick up fresh local greens, possibly some tomatoes, and “picked from the source” herbs without straying far from home. Availability of specific greens will depend on plant maturity.

The farm is located at 7512 FM 2738 in east Burleson, and it’s easily accessible off Rendon Road at 1187 South.

Farmstand hours will be 5 to 7 p.m. each Wednesday and 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday.

In addition, we will have local eggs and perhaps honey from a local beekeeper! We hope to establish this as a true Community Farmstand and we welcome inquiries from other local growers. All produce offered will be farm fresh and naturally grown! We hope the Wednesday and Sunday operating hours will make good food more readily available for local residents and we hope to get to know many of you as friends during the season.

Lettuce, salad greens and herbs are also available from DFW Aquaponics Farms each Saturday through mid-December at Grand Prairie Farmers Market, and soon at select other markets in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. We’ll keep you updated on locations and times, and hope to see you wherever and whenever it’s convenient!

A unique urban agricultural facility, the farm began operation with an aquaponics teaching and demonstration greenhouse in December 2016. The 20×120-foot commercial production greenhouse was completed in May 2017. Ultimate production capability will be approximately 1,000 heads of lettuce each week, along with varieties of chard, kale, bok choy, spinach and herbs, including basil, mint and chives.

David Cohen and Loretta Messinger, principals in the unique farm, also operate a smaller demonstration greenhouse on the property. It serves as a workshop for collection of hard data on costs, crop yield, water quality, system operation, and energy consumption. It also serves as a teaching facility and includes both deep water troughs and media beds, allowing cultivation of varied produce that might include beans, vining tomatoes, cucumbers and even root vegetables on a limited basis.

The Farm invites inquiries from school groups, garden clubs, community organizations and interested area residents. Tours are available for a nominal fee, and a series of classes is offered for individuals interested in aquaponics as a hobby or a small business enterprise. Call or email for additional information.

We look forward to having you stop by DFW Aquaponics Farmstand!

 

 

Certified Naturally Grown

Exciting News!

There’s a lot of exciting news from The Farm these days, and we’ll share more in coming days.

First, though, DFW Aquaponics Farms, LLC has received official acceptance to the Certified Naturally Grown family of farmers nationwide. We are the first aquaponics facility in Texas, and one of only a few farming operations in North Texas to receive acceptance.

Certified Naturally Grown (CNG) represents a grassroots network of farmers and beekeepers who are dedicated to producing and supplying fresh, natural, healthy food for local communities. It is distinctive in that it does not rely on government regulation, but rather on a model of peer inspections and voluntary compliance known as a participatory guarantee system. It’s an approach that works for thousands of farmers nationwide and in global markets. One of the basic tenets is that peer associations promote networking, advocacy and education efforts, help to strengthen the idea of sustainable farming and provide better access to fresh, locally-grown food.

Certification types include Produce, Lifestock, Apiary, Mushrooms and Aquaponics. The process includes a declaration that indicates a willingness to meet and uphold certain standards. Then, because Certified Naturally Grown is an interactive association of committed farmers, there is a requirement not only to submit to inspections, but also to perform inspections.

WP_20161210_007We at DFW Aquaponics are pleased to be the first in our area, and we look forward to being joined by other North Texas aquaponics growers in coming months. We have always believed that networking is valuable. We now encourage other aquaponics enthusiasts – as well as other local farmers – to get on board with Certified Naturally Grown!

Loretta and I hope that the Certified Naturally Grown label will become widely accepted as a measure of quality – for produce sold at area farmers’ markets and in independent grocery stores throughout the country.

After all, we’re in the business of producing good food. And we’re serious about it! We view CNG as a supplement to the “Organic” label, not as a substitute.

We hope you’ll join us in supporting the Good Food Revolution by looking for and buying Certified Naturally Grown products whenever possible!

We’ll give you more information soon, but DFW Aquaponics Farms has also just been approved as a vendor at the Grand Prairie Farmers’ Market. We’ll be there with our lettuce beginning Saturday, April 1. We’d love to have you come visit us!

David Cohen

Growing , growing, grown!

The frame is finished for our new production greenhouse
— thanks to a great group of volunteers.

It didn’t start out as a wonderful day. In fact, it was chilly and foggy, damp and drizzly.

Saturday, January 14, became a wonderful day, though, in every way!

The new greenhouse frame at DFW Aquaponics Farms in Burleson is now at its full length of 120 feet. The hoops are standing. Over the next week, we will attach the purlins to support the hoophouse covering. It’s a major step along the path toward commercial production of fresh, locally grown produce for our local communities.

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Thank you to all who helped!

We consider ourselves fortunate to have a group of Aquaponics enthusiasts who come out on a regular basis to exchange information, to participate in classes, to share experiences, and to support one another in the effort to grow fresh, healthy food. We are proud to be among the growing number of Aquaponics growers throughout the country.

Our 20 x 50 Aquahouse in Burleson has served us well — just this month we began supplying City Market Burleson with a variety of fresh, leafy greens and the response from the community has been gratifying. But the smaller greenhouse was always intended to be an R&D facility rather than a commercial enterprise. It is and will continue to be available for school tours, ongoing classes and a variety of learning experiences. It has been a great beginning; we also look forward to transitioning into some new areas of urban agriculture. More on that subject later.

Our new 20 x 120 greenhouse will allow us to supply fresh produce in a variety of ways — to local groceries, restaurants and nearby farmer’s markets — as well as to grow a wider variety of greens, fruits and vegetables. Now that the frame is nearly complete, the next steps will begin — building the growbeds and installing the systems, the plumbing lines and the electrical service.

We look forward to upcoming Saturday workdays. Anyone interested in learning about Aquaponics is welcome, both at our First Saturday Gatherings and at other events, including workshops and seminars.

Let’s all work together to assure the success of the Good Food Revolution!

 

 

DFW Aquaponics — Growing the Farm

Preparing to build a 20 X 120 foot production greenhouse at DFW Aquaponics Farm in Burleson. Classes begin in January.

We’re ending the year on a high note at the Farm in Burleson — and we can’t wait for the new year to begin! The land is cleared and our new 20 X 120 foot production greenhouse is about to become a reality!

Want to be a part of making it happen as you learn how to build your own? Enroll in one of our January classes.

Lettuces, cabbage and tomatoes are thriving in our smaller demonstration greenhouse; and our fish are fat and happy. We have more seedlings ready to take their places in the rafts, and a lot of new seeds to plant.

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We thought you might enjoy seeing the crops that are nearly ready to harvest — just a teaser. More to come!

2017 is going to be a banner year for DFW Aquaponics Farms. We hope you’ll join us in the great Aquaponics adventure. Come see us at our First Saturday Gathering January 7. Just sign up through Meetup.

Why not make a resolution join the good food revolution in 2017!