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The Challenge: 

Developing farms in an urban setting present distinct challenges as compared to rural farm. The cost of developing land can be prohibitive and growing effective in North Texas requires a steady regiment of organic supplements to produce fertile soil. For urban farms embracing a socially centered mission, there can be unique challenges with serving communities a product that is comfortably affordable that does not infringe on the equity and viability of the local urban farmers. 


The Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) metroplex has some of the highest concentration of food deserts in the United States. These food deserts are characterized by limited access to fresh healthy food, low household incomes, limited economic opportunities, and limited access to transportation. In Southeast Fort Worth, food insecurity is experienced at a higher percentage as compared to the entire city.

Our Response:

As a part of SARE Project LS22-372 Sustainable Soil Resource Management and Produce Marketing on Resource-limited Urban Farms, CoAct in partnership with Texas Christian University, will be pursuing community centered research to best support the development of effective social enterprise farms in Fort Worth. This will encompass identifying the key day to day factors that influence resident food purchasing decisions, assessing open and underutilize land to aid community stakeholders in selecting viable sites for future farm development, and exploring subsidized revenue models to allow urban farms to serve communities in needs while sustaining healthy operational revenue. The project will focus on target zip-codes 76104, 76105, 76111, and 76119. 

Project Objectives

1) mapping and rating vacant lots in SE Fort Worth for urban crop production;

2) evaluating food-waste compost with a legume cover crop as low-cost sustainable soil amendment;

3) evaluate a proposed 75: 25% (for-profit: non-profit and visa-versa) selling model in the context of social entrepreneurship and available local markets;

4) using the results from objectives 1, 2 and 3 to develop outreach and training material to support peer-to-peer and community-based training for sustainable urban crop production in resource-limited areas.

Our Partners

This project would not have been possible without support from the following partners and funders. 

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