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!