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For two Army vets, Dallas urban farming offers purpose and therapeutic value

Eat The Yard co-founder James Jeffers (left) and a group of volunteers recently planted a rooftop garden on at Mecca Design. Watermelon seedlings, spinach and cucumbers were planted in repurposed buckets. Photo by Mona Reeder.

The work ethic instilled by the military makes vets a good fit for farming, advocates say.

By Marc Ramirez
Dallas News
May 19, 2013

An assemblage of soil-filled plastic buckets stood at the ready, and Operation Rooftop was officially underway. For former soldiers Steve Smith and James Jeffers, it was just another mission in their quest to change Dallas’ eating habits through an urban farming enterprise they call Eat The Yard.

With the aid of a winch, a scissor lift and a half-dozen volunteers, they hoisted buckets of soil 30 feet up through an opening in the ceiling of a West Dallas design studio. There, on the roof, the buckets would be dotted with the starts of watermelons, lemon cucumbers and Malabar climbing spinach.

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May 22, 2013   Comments Off on For two Army vets, Dallas urban farming offers purpose and therapeutic value

Urban farming invigorates Detroit neighborhood

Donovan Eason, 11, of Brightmoor asks if his plant is root bound while planting tomatoes at the Brightmoor Youth garden in Detroit. The garden is a part of the Brightmoor Farmway, a neighborhood development project that encourages neighbors to turn vacant land into food-bearing gardens. The youth garden has a stand at the Northwest Detroit Farmer’s Market. Photo by Kimberly P. Mitchell/Detroit Free Press.

“A sense of accomplishment in a community that has seen so much divestment.”

By Megha
Detroit Free Press
May 20, 2013


n front yards, backyards and on vacant land where nothing but weeds and debris used to be, an urban farm belt is forming, bringing neighbors back to the earth where just a few years ago, no one would come outside.

“In 2006, there was nobody on these streets. Some people had lived here for 30 years and were utterly discouraged,” said Riet Schumack, the woman at the center of the farmway taking over the area near Fenkell and Eliza Howell Park.

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May 22, 2013   Comments Off on Urban farming invigorates Detroit neighborhood