Drew Demler, Community Growing, and Growing Community
What's it like, farming at the Texas State Fair... during a pandemic? Drew Demler is the head grower at Big Tex Urban Farms, which stands on the grounds of the Dallas State Fair. Drew joins Melissa and Wythe to talk about starting a farm in the middle of a giant concrete carnival. He talks about how his operation started in raised beds on a vacant lot and moved indoors to a hydroponic greenhouse—doubling his food production capacity. All of the food grown at the Fair is donated to local community centers. Drew also helps South Dallas churches build community gardens. It’s an inspiring conversation that covers a lot of ground, from technical talk about soil-free systems and farm management to working with non-profits and coming together—and keeping your plants growing—during the pandemic. If you’re in Dallas when Big Tex is open again, please stop by Drew’s greenhouse and say hey. Until then, give a listen and subscribe to Fields for more great conversations with growers like Drew.
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