The Personal Farmer: Dallas Half Acre Farms

I had the privilege of touring Dallas Half Acre Farms with farmer Mike Bell, in Dallas, Texas. We talk tons of lettuce growing tips, varieties, challenges of growing in Dallas weather, and more. We also talk about how he got into farming, how he’s developing his land and how he got the name “Personal Farmer.” Tons of fun stories and great tips that all farmers and gardeners can learn from.

Follow Mike here:
https://www.instagram.com/dallashalfacrefarms/

MY RECOMMENDED PRODUCTS FOR YOUR GARDEN/FARM:
Drip Depot for best irrigation parts: https://aff.dripdepot.com/aff/idevaffiliate.php?id=251
Seeds from True Leaf Market: http://www.pjtra.com/t/8-11415-181670-153185
Hoss Tools & Seeds: https://bit.ly/2Jy5jpB
Bootstrap Farmer: http://shrsl.com/21bnf
Farmer’s Friend Tools: http://bit.ly/2GSKgMc
Earthway Direct Seeder: https://amzn.to/2KhFC8w
$20 off Coolbot: https://storeitcold.referralrock.com/l/859B32AC/

NAR Merch – https://naturesalwaysright.com/shop/

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RECOMMENDED READING FOR SMALL FARMERS & GARDENERS:
Mel Bartholomew’s “Square Foot Gardening” – Great for beginner gardeners – http://amzn.to/2ErtZOu
Toby Hemenway’s “Gaia’s Garden” – For everyone, learn ecology, soil building, permaculture, holistic garden design- http://amzn.to/2srS0PT
Masanobu Fukuoka’s “The One Straw Revolution” – Inspirational book, Introduction to natural farming/philosophy – http://amzn.to/2Et69BM
JADAM Korean Organic Farming: https://amzn.to/2V8bxye

-These are for farming/growing techniques and business/sales/marketing/operations strategies:
JM Fortier’s “The Market Gardener” – http://amzn.to/2GdYgfY
Curtis Stone’s “The Urban Farmer” – http://amzn.to/2Hg7AkM
Ben Hartman’s “The Lean Farm” – http://amzn.to/2HhetlZ

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44 Comments

  1. TerraPros on March 13, 2021 at 11:00 pm

    Appreciate the effort, great info, keep up the good work.

  2. Matthew Jackson on March 13, 2021 at 11:00 pm

    dude is using protein tub and barbell weight to hold down is tunnel. hardcore!

  3. Justin Zimmerman on March 13, 2021 at 11:03 pm

    Excellent work Rock Lee!

  4. carlos escobedo on March 13, 2021 at 11:04 pm

    I miss Dallas. Good video

  5. Rich Stone on March 13, 2021 at 11:06 pm

    Great interview and farm. Mike seems like a really good guy and I wish him luck. He’s got the right idea, "build an Empire." That’s the kind of positive, eye of the tiger attitude you have to have. Thanks.

  6. The Public Land Nomad on March 13, 2021 at 11:07 pm

    soo much good info in this episode!

  7. Nature's Always Right on March 13, 2021 at 11:09 pm

    TABLE OF CONTENTS: See description for more info!
    Support the Channel on Patreon – https://www.patreon.com/naturesalwaysright
    Donate via PayPal: https://www.paypal.me/naturesalwaysright
    00:28 Intro, Why am I in Dallas, what farm am I at?
    1:22 Let’s meet Mike of Dallas Half Acre Farms. When did he start growing
    1:55 When did he start this farm?
    2:36 What made me want to start farming as a business
    3:07 How did Mike acquire his land, great story.
    4:28 Touring caterpillar tunnel #2
    5:03 What varieties of lettuce does he grow?
    6:16 Heat tolerant lettuce varieties and strategies
    7:15 How many rows of lettuce per bed?
    8:11 Can salanova be harvested with greens cut harvester
    8:47 More heat tolerant varieties
    10:53 How he grows red russian kale in the winter
    12:49 How the wind knocked down his tunnels, and how he fixed it
    15:36 What are his summer veggie plans
    20:14 His unique irrigation set up. Gravity!
    24:38 Working with neighbors as urban farmers
    25:20 Interview – How are you selling your produce?
    26:23 How he uses Instagram to sell produce, and other ways
    29:15 Why Instagram is so important to use as farmers
    30:42 How he got the name personal farmer
    31:37 The perception of farmers and how we are changing that
    32:40 When is your off season in Texas?
    33:58 What does your bed prep look like?
    *34:58 The coolest no till landscape fabric trick ever!
    36:32 Worm castings and potting mix
    38:21 What’s the future plan for your farm?
    41:53 Final thoughts and goodbye

  8. Deana Lynn Allen Rogers on March 13, 2021 at 11:09 pm

    This Video was Amazing to a new Gardener and a Grand daughter of Farmers it was very informative as well. I am in the Fort Worth Area and someday want my own plot of land to live on and to grow all my food and food for my family and friends as well. Maybe do plots for them to come in a grow their own foods like they do in England. I need to go and check out your YT page in Instagram and learn some more. Happy Farming.

  9. 49testsamiam49 on March 13, 2021 at 11:09 pm

    mike’s instagram isnt working great interview

  10. Gardening In Dalmatia on March 13, 2021 at 11:09 pm

    Oh we got similar issues with strong northern winds and low poly tunnels. I think we are getting closer to some solution. It’s a constant adaptaion. We get 62 mph gusts and it get’s tricky to not lose the whole tunnel 😀

  11. Clinton DeWitt on March 13, 2021 at 11:11 pm

    Is the bootstrap farm light a 48” single bay LED light?

  12. Tiger 864 on March 13, 2021 at 11:12 pm

    Hey i enjoyed the video. What where the lettuces that he recommended most for hot weather? Thanks

  13. Terrance Layhew on March 13, 2021 at 11:17 pm

    Awesome video! Great job!

  14. James Palmer on March 13, 2021 at 11:23 pm

    I’m proud of your effort, but your use of plastic that will eventually end up in the landfill, can’t give you the props. Keep working toward your "green" goal.

  15. Backside5150 on March 13, 2021 at 11:25 pm

    Great video. People deal with different situations depending on their environment. We need to learn from one other to make this farming better and more accessible to the beginners. Great job.

  16. Remm on March 13, 2021 at 11:27 pm

    Thanks for sharing! Teacher here too! 🙂

  17. Cavett Ishihara on March 13, 2021 at 11:27 pm

    water story is fantastic!

  18. ivy and roses on March 13, 2021 at 11:28 pm

    Your best posting.
    Excellent content and production.
    Thanks , Very informative !

  19. icolak on March 13, 2021 at 11:29 pm

    Why don’t you use regular LED sold online, for only 7 dollars for 16 feet?

  20. Garden Girl on March 13, 2021 at 11:29 pm

    Where do you get sweet cress lettuce seeds?

  21. Shook Homemade on March 13, 2021 at 11:30 pm

    Ahh the hoodie and shorts outfit. Such a familiar sight in Texas. LOL

  22. Scott Goodwin on March 13, 2021 at 11:30 pm

    Can I ask whats the time in days from the first cut to the second cut please

  23. FlowerGrower Smith on March 13, 2021 at 11:32 pm

    Great interview – enjoyed that!

  24. Joan Smith on March 13, 2021 at 11:32 pm

    A 1/2acre for $7500, 6 miles from downtown Dallas. I can’t get over that. Must be in a flood plain or something.

  25. charlie hobson on March 13, 2021 at 11:33 pm

    awesome enthusiasm, great he got his little bit of land, deserves it more than anyone, there are people like him everywhere, just waiting to get access to land and have a go, policies should be encouraging such start ups. peace from the UK.

  26. Browntown Organics on March 13, 2021 at 11:34 pm

    Great video! I love following Mike on Instagram and seeing his passion and how he’s growing! Yep, I feel the same way as him if I won the lottery I’d still be farming.

  27. Zach Lloyd on March 13, 2021 at 11:34 pm

    @8:35 "Whatever the customer says they want" That right there is amazing! Greetings from Oklahoma, we have similar shifts in temp/weather, this guy might be someone with usefull info for my area.

  28. Baker Wannabe on March 13, 2021 at 11:36 pm

    Such awesome information! Amazing what he can do with 1/2 acre!

  29. Steph Rager on March 13, 2021 at 11:37 pm

    Welcome to Dallas. Hah! Thanks for this video. I’m in DFW so I’ll be following him too. 🙂

  30. Suburban Microgreens on March 13, 2021 at 11:38 pm

    great video, just FYI you posted his instagram wrong, take the s off the end

  31. Sławek Survivor on March 13, 2021 at 11:41 pm

    Great content 👍 especially for those who want to move out.

  32. Timothy Lovegrove on March 13, 2021 at 11:41 pm

    Love that path of least resistance technique of moving the weed matt for leaving in the lettuce roots. Thats a Dallas half acre idea for sure.

  33. Laura Cruz-Smith on March 13, 2021 at 11:43 pm

    What is a five row Jane Cedar or chain seeder? Lol

  34. Connor O'Malley on March 13, 2021 at 11:47 pm

    Nothing funnier than SoCal people braving frigid 40 degree temps. Great video thanks.

  35. Perpetual Learning on March 13, 2021 at 11:47 pm

    I’m living in Dallas and will slowly build my farm in East Texas and I love this guy! I’m glad I came across this video. My favorite part was at the end when I win a million dollars, I’ll still be out here. But, I’ll have top of the line equipment. That was hilarious!

  36. midijeep on March 13, 2021 at 11:48 pm

    When he is talking about "Mir Lettuce" does he mean Mirlo Lettuce?

  37. Hot Off The Vegan Press on March 13, 2021 at 11:49 pm

    Ok, I subscribed b/c you withstood the cold just for us! I’m a new gardener in LA, so I understand the sacrifice. Love your content too.

  38. Kendall Wright on March 13, 2021 at 11:50 pm

    Great video! I learned so many little tricks and ideas to try thank you both!! Nature’s Always Right – really digging these interviews and tours or other people’s farms! You’re kicking butt and I can’t say it enough – much appreciated! I watch these a couple times because there’s so much good info in them.

  39. Hong Shi on March 13, 2021 at 11:51 pm

    HIGHLY APPRECIATED ! Great you found this guy, god bless

  40. Jane Wilson on March 13, 2021 at 11:52 pm

    What variety of tomatoes does Mike have on his Instagram?

  41. Mark Probert on March 13, 2021 at 11:53 pm

    Great episode, so on return visit is the next episode going to be the Empire strikes back?

  42. XaViEr3520 on March 13, 2021 at 11:55 pm

    Welcome to Texas!!! You get all seasons in the same week!!! Sometimes in the same day 👀

  43. Rosy Side Farm and Homestead on March 13, 2021 at 11:55 pm

    Doing a lot with a little bit f land. Love it!

  44. Albert Beauchesne on March 13, 2021 at 11:57 pm

    Mike, I have no doubt you will achieve Empire !

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