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A Thriving Dallas Farm Feeds and Educates Year Round

A hydroponic farm on the grounds of the Texas State Fair helps residents in the food deserts of South Dallas.
September 24, 2018, 11am PDT | Camille Fink
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Kevin Brown

What started as 500 raised dirt beds in a parking lot in Fair Park in Dallas has evolved into an indoor hydroponic farming operation growing plants in nutrient-rich water. Big Tex Urban Farms has grown 600,000 servings of produce in two years of operation, says Karel Holloway:

The bulk of the farm's produce now comes from hydroponic systems in the fair’s big greenhouse. There's no dirt, and it's never too hot, too cold, too wet or too dry. Food can be harvested year-round, and it has boosted production more than fivefold, according to the State Fair. It also doesn't have to be moved in the fall and can act as an educational exhibit during the fair.

The farm has kept some of its original growing boxes to show the different ways food is grown. The others were distributed to organizations in the area so they could grow vegetables for the people they serve.

In addition, vegetables from the farm are taken to neighborhoods in South Dallas for residents, who might not have easy access to fresh produce, to pick up. The crops have included lettuce, peppers, potatoes, onions, okra, and other greens.

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Published on Tuesday, September 18, 2018 in The Dallas Morning News
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