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Commissioners approve major improvements to county's urban farm

Rendering of improvements planned for East Side urban farm
Office of Precinct 4 Bexar County Commissioner Tommy Calvert
Rendering of improvements planned for East Side urban farm

Bexar County Commissioners last week approved $2.3 million in improvements to the county's East Side urban farm at Sherman Road and Hudson Street.

The farm produces fresh vegetables for residents across the county who may otherwise live in areas that do not have easy access to healthy foods, sometimes referred to as "food deserts."

The Centers for Disease Control reports nearly 67% of Bexar County residents are overweight or obese.

The Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Office, San Antonio Food Bank, and University Health are partners in the county farm, which is also used to educate students about farming.

County Facilities Manager Dan Curry told commissioners the funding they approved will result in the construction of an open pavilion classroom with enclosed kitchen, as well as on-site restrooms, paved roads and parking, a tractor barn, perimeter fencing, a pedestrian bridge, lighting, and landscaping.

The ten acre farm is a bit rustic now, but it is already producing vegetables with crops like squash, pumpkins, and cantaloupes now in the field.

Bexar County Commissioner Tommy Calvert has been a major supporter of the urban farm located in his Precinct 4.

"We're really following in the national footsteps of having your ag extension centers in the inner city, where traditionally there have been food deserts. And so the food bank is supplying our constituencies across the county with the vegetables," he said.

The improvements will take about half-a-year to be constructed by the winning bidder, Structura, Inc.

Calvert invited commissioners to take part in a harvest at the farm this Nov. 4.

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