North Texas Daily

Denton’s local food market continues to grow

Denton’s local food market continues to grow

October 23
23:20 2012

Nadia Hill / Senior Staff Writer

Andrea Buxton and Matt Gorham live in a pastel pink house with a modest entryway featuring a small sign that says “Denton’s Backyard Farms.”

Behind their home are rows and rows of locally grown vegetables, complete with hens roaming the lot and laying fresh eggs.

The couple’s passion for food – and knowing where it comes from – led them to start their business in January and sell their harvests at the Denton Community Market.

Starting Nov. 3, Denton residents can purchase farm shares from the backyard farm for $10, as part of their community supported agriculture group.

“We’ve always had a garden and decided to go as big as we could,” Buxton said. “A lot of people are concerned about where their food is coming from, and this helps the local economy.”

Photo by : Michelle Heath

As the community market comes to an end this Saturday, Denton’s Backyard Farms will profit from farm shares and selling produce straight out of their home.

The seeds for their crops, including peppers, tomatillos, lettuce and okra, are donated to them or purchased at local stores.

Many other organic produce businesses in Denton either import their food from farms in Texas or are in more rural parts of the county.

Denton’s Backyard Farms is one of the only produce farms within Denton city limits that produces and sells its own harvest.

“There’s a need for local produce in Denton,” said Daniel Moon, farm manager for Cardo’s Farm Project. “There’s a problem with the conventional method of farming that pushes young people away. It’s this idea that you have to be big or you can’t exist.”

Urban and small farms have flourished in recent years as part of the Slow Food movement, said nutritionist Jodi Duryea, hospitality and tourism management lecturer.

The concept is based on taking the time to understand and prepare food, instead of racing through meals.

“When you grow your own food, you grow for flavor rather than looks,” she said. “You eat less, and you eat better. Your brain actually gets the message that you’ve eaten, and you’re valuing what you put in your body.”

Duryea, as well as Buxton and Gorham, encourages everyone to grow, whether it’s using a farm in their backyard or a pot in a windowsill.

“When I make a salad, I can just reach over and cut a piece of bok choy,” Buxton said. “It’s fresh, it’s still alive. What you eat is pretty intimate, so businesses like ours are going to do well.”

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