Coming from a small town, Steel City Pops recognizes the importance and the value that being part of a community brings to a small business. One of the formative desires in the highly anticipated move to Dallas, Texas was the establishment of connections and relationships in the Dallas community. Steel City Pops felt as if the first step in the formation of these vital partnerships was to volunteer in a local community garden. Slow Food Dallas, and Eat the Yard were two organizations in particular who were beneficial in introducing this pop company to the Dallas community.
According to their website, “Slow Food Dallas supports activities and education to preserve biodiversity in the food supply, spread the education of taste and connect producers of excellent foods with the co-producers (consumers) through events and initiatives.” They strive to not only provide safe, sustainable foods for their community, but also to educate the coming generation about local, delicious foods in their environment. An international grassroots movement, Slow Food has made it their mission to show people it is important to eat foods that are both good for life and delicious. Dallas has begun to turn back to its roots with the support of this innovative organization. One of the formative players in this urban, green movement is Eat the Yard. Steve Smith and James Jeffers developed Eat the Yard as a way to combat PTSD for veterans and as an avenue to produce local, sustainable, good-for-you foods in their community. By not only selling produce to local restaurants, Smith and Jeffers make the transaction full cycle by also picking up food waste from these same businesses and utilizing it for biodiesel fuel and compost for their produce.
Our Steel City Pops team was able to get an up close and personal look at how Eat the Yard accomplishes this by tossing some dirt around ourselves. Jeffers explained, “Composting requires three basic ingredients: “browns”, “greens”, and water. Browns normally consist of items such as leaves and wood mulch, while Greens are materials such as coffee grounds, food waste, and grass clippings. Typically a layer of Browns, which provide carbon, are laid down, topped with Greens, which provide nitrogen, and finished off with another layer of Browns. Water is added, which aids in the breakdown of matter. By composting, we are essentially reducing the need for chemical fertilizers, which allows for our customers to enjoy a higher quality product. It’s pretty much self sustaining.” Steel City Pops is committed to using high quality, all-natural products in our pops, and it is encouraging to collaborate with groups who are passionate about producing those products.
Steel City Pops is thrilled to have been given the opportunity to interact with organizations like Slow Food Dallas and Eat the Yard. The support and excitement they have shown for a small pop shop from Birmingham, Alabama has been unbelievable. By welcoming us into their community and connecting Steel City Pops with locals in the area, Slow Food Dallas and Eat the Yard have made Dallas, Texas feel like a second home. We look forward to future opportunities to partner with these two businesses and many others like them.