Dallas-based Urban Farming Operation Seeks to Reduce, Reclaim and Repurpose its Way to Profitability
The co-owners got a thorough education in farming from the Farmer Veteran Coalition (FVC), a nonprofit that helps get returning veterans funded and into farming.
By Abbie Stutzer
June 20, 2013
Since Eat the Yard’s inception, Jeffers and Smith have worked to make the organization a complete, closed-loop system. “[We thought that] if we were going to sell to restaurants and were going to get into urban farming, we wanted to do it as off the grid and as green as we possibly could,” Jeffers said. To achieve a closed-loop system, the co-owners take compost and oil-waste from one of the Dallas restaurants with which Eat the Yard does business. Jeffers and Smith then break the materials down into compost, and grow more vegetables to sell back to the restaurant. Eventually, the duo wants to use the oil to make biodiesel to run the organization’s truck.
Over the past year, Eat the Yard has set up numerous farm, rooftop and yard growing operations across the Oak Cliff, Dallas, Texas, area. “We have almost seven plots now in various places. Three or four of them are in the immediate area of Oak Cliff. There are three properties that are under some pretty intense production, and there are some community gardens that we are involved in. Another friend of ours owns a 200,000 square-foot warehouse in the design district and we started farming his rooftop. We put a watermelon patch up there and some Earth Buckets,” Jeffers said.