Sharing Gardening & Food Education In North TexasWed 08 Feb 2012
Story by Donelle Simmons
When Marilyn & Donelle Simmons from Garden Inspirations, decided to incorporate the DFW Truck Farm as part of their garden education program, one good garden deed led to another. The DFW Truck Farm, educates local schools and communities about gardening in small spaces and fresh, local, real food all in the back of an old pick-up truck. The duo have decided to add one more aspect to their DFW Truck Farm educational platform, The North Texas Food Revolution. With the efforts of the DFW Truck Farm and the goals of the North Texas Food Revolution, they decided it was a perfect match.
The DFW Truck Farm
What is a truck farm? A truck farm is a vegetable garden planted in the bed of a pickup truck, yes it’s that simple! The DFW Truck Farm is the 25th truck farm in the Nation, the fleet began in Brooklyn, New York by Ian Cheney. What does a truck farm do? The DFW Truck Farm educates, empowers, and encourages its audience on gardening topics. The opportunity of bringing a garden on wheels into the community through events or schools, is a powerful message of fresh, local, and real food. Running the program are two dedicated women, Donelle Simmons and Marilyn Simmons. These ladies are a mom and daughter team and own a garden education company, Garden Inspirations that is located in Waxahachie, Texas. They are both passionate about gardening and finding fresh and local food. When Ian Cheney and Natalie Morris from Truck Farm in New York approached Garden Inspirations about becoming the DFW Truck Farmers, Marilyn & Donelle sat on the tailgate of their pick-up truck and smiled knowing that another way to garden was a wonderful addition to their company.
Challenges of their ambitious educational program came in extremes, like Texas temperatures. Most of the challenges are keeping the truck on the road, funding the educational materials, and driving the truck down the highways with tarps to keep the gardens safe from the wind. "We have been fortunate to have a corporate sponsor, Nature’s Guide, that helped keep the truck rolling into schools in 2011," recalls Marilyn. The rewards of visiting a school or setting up a booth at a local community event seem to deflate these challenges. “The interest we receive is worth the long drives on county roads in the old truck,” Marilyn states. Establishing a DFW Truck Farm curriculum, the mom and daughter team drive down the Texas Highways bringing mint, basil, oregano, and vegetables in 4” pots along with a vegetable garden in the bed of a truck to share the experience of gardening in a positive and healthy manner. To continue the program, the DFW Truck Farm needs to be fully funded. The upcoming DFW Truck Farm 5k Fun Run at Earth Day Dallas Sunday, April 22, 2012 is the fundraiser for the 2012-2013 school year.
The North Texas Food Revolution
The North Texas Food Revolution group is affiliated with the Food Revolution Movement through Jamie Oliver, this new food revolution group will be based in Dallas, Texas. "The DFW Truck Farm has made us more aware of the work to be accomplished with bringing awareness of real food to the public, more importantly our children,” Donelle Simmons states, who is starting The North Texas Food Revolution group. The main goals of the North Texas Food Revolution group is to bring awareness of fresh and local food, working with local schools and local farmers connecting them together, and plans to work with FoodDay Dallas to create events to help revolutionize North Texas food.
The North Texas Food Revolution plans to kick off in February of 2012. Donelle plans to have the DFW Truck Farm Program and the North Texas Food Revolution group work on projects together. Find North Texas Food Revolution on Facebook and find out how you can be more involved.
About the authors: Marilyn Simmons and Donelle Simmons have a busy schedule with the DFW Truck Farm, but feel the program is important and want to pave the way to bring awareness and stimulate our local food system. You can learn more about what they are up to through their website and tune in on Fridays at 1PM to KAAM 770 AM to listen to their organic garden radio show or stream online. They will have DFW Truck Farm weekly updates and will keep the details of The North Texas Food Revolution events on the program.
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