The Dallas Farmers Market has seen an incredible number of changes in the past few years. Pecan Lodge ditched the location for trendier pastures and the restaurant and invigoration project is well underway. The market just doesn’t look much like it used to, for better or worse. In a bright spot of good news, this week the market announced it would be adding a garden intended to educate Dallasites of all ages about gardening and local food.
On Saturday, the market will break ground on Mama Ida’s Teaching Garden, named for Ida Papert, a longtime local food advocate and founder of the Friends of the Farmers Market organization. Once it is completed, the garden plans to offer a comprehensive slate of educational programming focused on nutrition, math, science and, of course, gardening. The curriculum for the garden is being developed in conjunction with the American Heart Association.
The garden will also partner with the North Texas Food Bank, which will use the harvest to provide food to Dallas’ homeless population through Family Gateway. This partnership ensures that the farm will be maintained year-round by students and active volunteers. Downtown Dallas Inc. has provided much of the equipment and tools needed to build and maintain the garden.
The groundbreaking is October 3, but no word yet on when exactly Mama Ida’s Teaching Garden will open to the public. More than likely we can expect a spring opening, but perhaps they’ll get started early so we can try our respective hands at growing beets and kale instead of paying out the wazoo for them.