Urban Acres held a ribbon cutting at their new location on Beckley Avenue on Jan. 31.

Photos courtesy of Barbara Bailey.

Feb. 17, 2014

Since 2009, Urban Acres has been bringing locally grown produce to city dwellers. Now it’s brought the rural experience into town to connect its health conscious customers to their food's roots. 

Last month, a ribbon cutting was held at the new Urban Acres farmstead at 1605 N. Beckley Ave. in Dallas’ Oak Cliff neighborhood. The co-op moved from its location on nearby Davis Street in November and expanded its storefront to create a little bit of country in the city. 

Urban Acres owner Steven Bailey with celebrity farmer Joel Salatin and Steven Schenck from Dallas City Councilman's Scott Griggs office at the ribbon cutting last month.

“We wanted our new farmstead to have a quaint, comfortable atmosphere that invites community members to engage in an agricultural experience in the heart of Dallas,” said owner/founder Steven Bailey.

Barbara Bailey, marketing coordinator, said that the concept of the urban farmstead was created to educate the public, versus just selling them goods. 

To that end, this winter, visitors will find a chicken coop and chickens, and in the spring there will be a flower garden and herb garden. 

Also in the works: an aquaponics center, where fish live on the bottom and hydroponic plants thrive in the water, and a greenhouse. Classes on juicing and canning are already scheduled. 

The market is open for business Friday through Sunday, offering locally-grown organic produce that customers have come to expect,100 percent pasture-fed chickens and beef and many other organically oriented foods.

In addition, there is a front porch, which patrons can enjoy, and the café serves sandwiches, bakery items and breakfast tacos. 

Meanwhile, the co-op membership, which is the heart of the business, continues to grow. Initially 19 families joined. Today, about 3,000 families participate. Produce pick-up is every two weeks at a customer's chosen location. Pick-ups can also be made at the storefront.  

Farmers bring their goods to the Oak Cliff location on Thursday mornings and on Friday mornings, a team of volunteers separate the produce into bins and then pack the bags; 1,200 to 1,500 shares are packed every other week. A truck goes out to the communities on Saturday mornings where members pick up their shares at designated locations.  

“Anyone can come and shop at our store,” says Barbara Bailey. “However, to purchase our co-op style produce and receive exclusive access to certain local produce items, you must become a member of Urban Acres."

Minnie Payne is a Carrolton-based freelance writer. She’s written for Pegasus News, Frisco Style Magazine and Seedstock. She presently freelances for Living Magazine, The Senior Voice and Your Speakeasy. She can be reached at jdpmap@verizon.net.

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