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Sharing the harvest: Fort Worth family’s produce stand thrives

Posted July 29, 2019

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Dietary surveys of the world’s longest-lived people show that their diets are primarily plant based.

Gardens have always been part of Meagan Warminski’s life. Raised in a small farming town near Amarillo, Warminski has long savored fresh produce.

“I have fond memories of shucking sweet corn on the tailgate in the middle of the field and shelling black-eyed peas on the front porch with my great-grandmother,” Warminski said. “And growing up on farm-fresh foods, I know nothing tastes better.”

When Warminski and her husband moved to Fort Worth, they established a garden on their 10-acre plot in east Fort Worth and began working an additional 20 acres around them. Through MegPie Farms, as they christened their venture, Warminski cultivates everything from cabbage and kale to okra and jalapenos.

She began offering veggies to neighbors a few summers ago through a bike-delivery service. But as the garden expanded, Warminski needed another approach.

Fortunately, Blue Zones Project had been at work in Fort Worth, advocating for measures that improve access to nutritious foods. In 2016, Blue Zones Project worked with the city to adopt an urban agriculture policy designed to encourage residents to turn vacant and underused lots into urban farms. The changes also allow gardeners to create temporary stands to sell their fare.

To learn more about Fort Worth’s urban agriculture ordinance, download the city’s Growing Good Food guide.

That’s just what the Warminskis did. But with their home tucked away in an area with just a half-dozen neighbors, the location wasn’t ideal. So this year, Warminski started selling her items once a week in Ryan Place, south of downtown, near the home of a friend with a garden of her own. With a corner spot and advertisements on the neighborhood’s Facebook page, the stand is getting plenty of attention — and bringing the benefits of locally-sourced produce to more Fort Worth residents.

“My vegetables have required no pesticides,” Warminski noted. “If you want organic, that is what we have.”

The stand is a family affair. Warminski’s 12-year-old son does most of the setup and sales, while the younger children sell lemonade, run a photo booth, turn cartwheels and help spread the word.

“Our family has truly benefited from it and hopefully the community has too,” Warminski said. “We love sharing what we grow. I am glad we can bring a little of our harvest to others.”

She encourages others in Fort Worth to develop their own green thumbs. “The truth is, a garden can be a lot of work, but it’s worth it. At the very least, grow a few tomatoes in a pot on your back porch. It’s so rewarding.”

When in season, the MegPie Farms produce stand is located at 2748 Sixth Ave. The stand is closed for the remainder of the summer. It will reopen on Mondays from 4:30-5:30 p.m. when the fall crop is available.

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