On Aquaponics and Earth’s sustainable farm, tilapia pools teeming with fish come up against rows of organic plants, which they hydrate via the farm’s energy-efficient growing and waste-recycling system. Founders and aqua-farmers John and Teresa Musser began experimenting with high-yield aquaponics in response to the crushing poverty they saw abroad and invented much of the equipment and methods they use in the search for a sustainable, affordable system they could share with the world. The Mussers have worked around the globe in orphanages and small villages since 1979 but began shifting their focus to infrastructure and education work to bring easy-to-learn agricultural techniques to impoverished areas.
The Mussers maintain their DeSoto farm not only to grow food, but to act as an educational resource for people who want to observe their methods and build their own aquaponics systems. Their organic microfarm, populated by rabbits, goats, microcows, and vermicomposting bins, harvests hundreds of pounds of produce each year on minimal substrate. Inspired by their frantic efforts one year to absorb a surplus of produce, the Mussers lead regular canning classes where students learn the proper ways to can seasonal veggies, meats, and blown kisses.
Every staff member at Shoot Smart attends NRA Range Safety Officer training, and each instructor passes a rigorous certification program. Only then are they ready to take students through Shoot Smart's proprietary training path. That curriculum encompasses five levels of firearms classes, starting with a New Shooter I session for complete beginners. From there, instructors cover more advanced skills, such as firing in the dark and operating an AR-15. Shoot Smart's team also includes a gunsmith, who is available to clean and maintain firearms Tuesday?Saturday.
"Gardens are a lot like people,” Marilyn Simmons told Now Magazines. “As they grow and mature, they come into their own.” Marilyn and her daughter Donelle, owners of Garden Inspirations, have their own unique plot. “A Radio Flyer wagon is home to an assortment of flowers and trailing potato vines and an herb garden is flourishing in a nonfunctioning barbecue grill.”
At their farm, the two work to show pupils how to plant their own beds with pesticide-free veggies, which blossom into sources of personal pride. The full schedule of classes includes introductory courses on overcoming the gamut of challenges that aspiring gardeners face, such as inhospitable soil, lack of time, and accidentally planting their car keys. Knowledgeable about diverse garden types—including rooftop, field, and aquaponic—the instructors impart their wisdom on the best kind of garden for each grower’s individual needs, as well as which vegetable varieties grow most readily in North Texas and how to plant them. When not brewing compost tea or working beneath trellises tangled in emerald wisps, the crew does a radio show which talks about how to obtain baskets of naturally grown peaches, cucumbers, and squash.
The Arts and Technology Institute readies kids for the digital age by equipping them with multimedia skills during hands-on, project-based classes that encourage creative thinking. During the encouraging lessons, a highly qualified instructor shows children ages 6?15 how to program games to play on an Xbox or computer, navigate 3-D modeling software, and design and build robots they can swap in for younger siblings. Whether they?re making a movie or creating digital art, students learn to problem solve, work as a team, and think outside the box. In addition to regularly scheduled course, ATI invites youth into afterschool and homeschool programs, and welcomes older pupils into a continuing-education program that can supplement art and technology learning at the high-school and college levels.
Fanny Kerwich, Lone Star Circus?s founder and current creative director, was born with the circus in her blood. An eighth-generation member of a renowned French circus family, she has been performing since age 6, delighting international audiences at Paris?s Lido and Moulin Rouge, Germany?s Circus Roncalli, and San Francisco?s Teatro ZinZanni.
Fanny?s performing experience and artistic vision now guide the nonprofit Lone Star Circus, which is a two-branched operation. Its performance troupe?s grace and athleticism shine during shows. The circus?s school hosts classes for adults and children throughout the week. Beginners? classes cover a variety of circus skills, from trapeze and aerial silk work to acrobatics and lyra, also known as aerial hoop. Learning to lift and hold your own body weight is a good way to get stronger and see muscle definition quickly.
A fleet of nine carriages bearing the NorthStar insignia clips and clops through the city streets of Dallas and Fort Worth, ferrying riders through historical tours and evenings filled with romance. Passengers watch the city skyline pan past their open-top carriage or opt for shelter beneath a cloth canopy as they visit historic locales. Ahead of them, a professional driver sports a white tuxedo shirt, boots, and Western hat, and his noble steed, trained at the company farm to be gentle and politely decline drag-race challenges, maintains a natural grace. Since its establishment in 1990, the company has had the honor of participating in a number of special local events, including football-victory parades and the Adolphus Children’s Christmas Parade.