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Natural Awakenings Dallas -Fort Worth Metroplex Edition

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Eating Healthy in the City

Mar 04, 2013 10:48PM

Perhaps only serendipity could empower friends seeking the good stuff on the back roads of North Texas in a Volkswagen Rabbit to evolve into one of North Texas’ preeminent destinations for local, fresh organic foods. Started in 2009, the homegrown phenomenon called Urban Acres, brainchild of owner and founder Steven Bailey, has become a friend and resource to Texas farm families, local agriculture and local artisans.

Urban Acres was initially created as a co-op-style produce system, with pickup locations all over Dallas to provide the community with the very best local and organic foods in a convenient way at convenient locations. Their initial operations were organized around volunteers and farm stands, but with a passionate commitment to knowing where all the food they deal with comes from, the operation has grown to thousands of members. Farm stand locations can now be found in West Richardson, Addison, Arlington, Uptown, Southlake, Park Cities, McKinney, Lake Highlands, Lakewood, Frisco and Fort Worth.

Today, Urban Acres operates a market store at 1801B North Davis Street, in North Oak Cliff, which allows small farmers and local artisans to share their gifts with the community. It also serves as a co-op-style produce pickup location and regional clearinghouse for food that’s authentically wholesome, healthy, organic, natural and local. Many of the items sold at the market store cannot be found anywhere else locally. Anyone can shop there, but to purchase co-op-style produce and receive exclusive access to certain local produce items, individuals must join the membership of Urban Acres, which stands at more than 1,200.

Bailey explains that Urban Acres currently maintains relationships with more than 50 local farmers and artisans, but in North Texas it sometimes difficult to get a consistent variety of organic produce, saying, “To insure their commitment to providing a variety fresh, healthy and organic to DFW, Urban Acres searches the country to find and connect with qualified suppliers to fill in the gaps. In order to get things like broccoli, avocados and Pink Lady apples, we have to reach out to states like California, Florida and Colorado.”

Sometime this spring, Urban Acres Market hopes to move into the old gas station next to Mama Connie’s Diner, on the corner of Beckley and Greenbriar. Bailey and the Urban Acres team is also planning a unique gourmet benefit dinner to coincide with the visit of Joel Salatin, featured in The Omnivore’s Dilemma and Food, Inc., to the Dallas County Community College Sustainability Summit, March 28.

For more information call 469-248-2270 or visit UrbanAcresMarket.com.

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