Eat the Yard is a veteran-owned urban farming business in Dallas, TX. We grow a diverse selection of produce and herbs, using equally diverse methods. We strive to minimize our environmental footprint as much as possible. Whether it’s using biodiesel in all our equipment, picking up compost while simultaneously dropping off veggies to the restaurants we cater to, or rainwater harvesting along with other evaporation prevention systems which are not only good practices but also extremely useful during times of drought here in Texas. We self-evaluate every day to see where we can reuse, repurpose, recycle, and reduce impact.
ETY evolved organically. Co-founders Steve and James were both passionate about growing food and spending time outdoors. Returning from military service, Steve and James found farming to be therapeutic and grounding. Their gardens grew and grew, until they shifted towards permaculture and dense plantings with heavier relays. Suddenly, they tore up the grass and created diverse edible landscapes out of their yards. Eventually, making use of community gardens and any viable space, James and Steve had enough production to make a business out of. They had discussed selling to restaurants and community members for quite some time; ultimately, they did it greener than anybody else.
ETY has a closed-loop system to keep a sustainable, environmentally conscious farming model. We use restaurants' vegetable waste to create compost. We use this compost to grow more vegetables. Additionally, we collect food grade buckets to make water-efficient Earth Buckets. We primarily use Earth Buckets for roof top farming and locations that could be a brown site (i.e. potential contamination). Resultant of our practices, we divert large quantities of food and waste from our land fill. We help ourselves and our business, local restaurants, and the environment. It’s a win-win-win situation
Initially, Oak Cliff was our farm. We used spaces creatively on residential and commercial properties, community gardens, and a few rooftops in the design district. Each site requires different methods, including container farming, SPIN (Small Plot Intensive) farming, aquaponics, hydroponics, and vertical growing to name a few. No matter the technique, we are always mindful of materials and inputs. We are not certified “Organic”, but assure you that our practices are far beyond the standards for certification. ETY products are beyond organic and ABSOLUTELY pesticide free.
At our inception we received the inspiration and support we needed from the Farmer Veteran Coalition (FVC), a nonprofit organization that guides Veterans to step up and fill the boots and tractors of the Great American Traditional Farmer. They are very passionate about what they do, not just for Veterans but for agriculture, the environment, and the localization of food. We sit on the board of the Texas FVC chapter and we too have ventured to create an outreach program for veterans. Our sister company and non-profit organization is Farmers Assisting Returning Military. We help veterans at risk of homelessness, addiction, suicide, and PTSD through our multi faceted agricultural training and therapy program. We have established networks through other veterans organizations that also provide professional medical treatment to veterans in our program. Please find out more about F.A.R.M. by going to www.farmvet.org or liking us on facebook @farmingveterans.