The NRCS Dallas Urban Team, Dallas AgriLife Extension, and Southern Plains Climate Hub partnered to host a first of 3-part series Urban Ag Workshop which was kicked off on Earth Day.
The NRCS Dallas Urban Team, Dallas AgriLife Extension, and Southern Plains Climate Hub partnered to host a first of three-part series Urban Ag Workshop which was kicked off on Earth Day.
The workshop began as Michael Higgins, Urban Conservationist Arlington Field Office, gave an overview of the NRCS Urban Program and how the program can benefit urban clientele.
Next on the agenda was the newest member of the NRCS Urban Team, Michael Brooks, Urban Conservationist at the Dallas NRCS Office who gave an update of the new Dallas Urban Office and discussed utilizing the Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) as an option for urban agriculture.
Mikela Pryor, NRCS Urban Engineer, discussed common urban engineering practices that land managers can use, such as water harvesting and drip irrigation.
Dr. Joe Masabni, Urban Horticulture Specialist with Texas AgriLife in Dallas, discussed tips and tricks for growing backyard gardens including compost and pest control. Jacob Shaffer, NRCS detailee with the Southern Plains Climate Hub, wrapped up the lecture session with a presentation about harvesting rainwater in an urban setting and displaying a simple backyard rain barrel setup.
The group then walked a short distance to the outdoor garden where Dr. Masabni discussed crop rotation and integrated pest management. The group was able to taste test a few of the garden plants while learning about hydroponics and the use of tilapia waste as fertilizer. Before departing, the group was able to view a few rainwater harvesting systems collecting rainwater from the Dallas AgriLife Water Education Building.
For more information on urban ag and the Dallas Texas AgriLife Buildings, please visit: Dallas Urban Agriculture - Texas | Natural Resources Conservation Service in Texas (usda.gov)