In this episode of the Small Scale Life Podcast, we are going to discuss how Michael Bell is Building an Urban Farm from Scratch.  

It’s been a while since we had Michael on the show!  The last time he was on the show, we discussed the Soup Gardening Concept in Spring 2019.  In case you are new to Small Scale Life, the Soup Gardening Concept is growing vegetables and herbs which are ingredients needed in a hearty vegetable soup.  Michael Bell and I came up with the concept, and it was a lot of fun growing those vegetables last year!  I will be doing a follow-up episode on that topic soon, and you can find the original episode on

The Only Constant is Change….

Building an Urban Farm from Scratch, tunnel

My how times changed since the Spring of 2019!

Since that episode, Michael Bell changed jobs, sold his old house, moved to a new house, sold his old half acre farm and found new farming properties. These new farming properties have provided new challenges and opportunities, and there are some clear take-aways from this conversation if you are starting your own garden or urban farm.  In this episode of the Small Scale Life Podcast, we are going to discuss how Michael Bell is Building an Urban Farm from Scratch. 

Remember: it always comes back to the three basic elements to grow plants:

  • Light
  • Nutrients and
  • Water

If you have the right balance of these three elements, you can grow plants anywhere! When you are out of balance, you need to adjust, adapt and overcome to get back into balance again.

Topics Discussed on Building an Urban Farm from Scratch

Building an Urban Farm from Scratch, Container Tomatoes

During this episode, Michael and I discussed the following topics:

Let’s Celebrate!

Introductions – Who is Michael Bell?

Change is in the Air

Looking For Land

Salad Outpost

  • Power of Networking and Community
  • Bed Preparation in Clay
  • Nutrient Poor Compost
  • Adding Nutrients – Compost Testing with Big Box Store Brands
  • Water – Rainwater Solutions

Starting the New Dallas Half Acre Farms

  • Found a New Property
  • Soil Conditions = Less than Optimal
  • Adding Nutrients – Compost from Testing at Lettuce Outpost
  • Water – Rainwater Solutions
  • Growing Philosophy – Lettuce Outpost vs. Main Farm
  • Available Markets – Housing Development, Vegans, Grocery Store
  • What is Michael growing for CSA Boxes?  Vegetable Fresh List

Future Projects

  • Cover Crop Testing and Success
  • Expand with Tunnels and Tarps
  • Shed Project
  • City Water (Future)


Listen to this Episode!

Building an Urban Farm from Scratch, gardening, Michael Bell

Listen to the Small Scale Life Podcast on any of the following apps:

To download and listen to this episode, click this text.


Small Scale Life, Small Scale Life Podcast, team, family, tribe, blogging, urban farming, blogging, preparedness, brewing, gardening, food preservation, healthy lifestyle, about

Dallas Half Acre Farms

Where can we find more of Michael Bell?  The following links take you to his Instagram pages:

Dallas Half Acre Farms Instagram Page

Michael Bell’s Personal Page (Coaching and Weightlifting)


Small Scale Life Podcast Episodes

Michael Bell has been a frequent guest on the Small Scale Life Podcast!  Here is a list of the podcasts where he has been a subject expert on urban farming, gardening and wellness topics:

Soup Gardening with Michael Bell

Urban Farming in Dallas with Michael Bell

Growing Salanova Salad Empires 

Urban Farming Advice with Bell and Hebert

Profitable Urban Farming

Winter Urban Farming Blues

Grow Easy with GrowOya at Dallas Half Acre Farms


Day 3: Basic Nutrition with Michael Bell

Day 2: Basic Movement with Michael Bell

Healthy Lifestyle Advice from Michael Bell

Reviews on iTunes

How to Complete an iTunes Review

We love reviews!  It helps us grow the show.  To leave a review of the Small Scale Life Podcast on iTunes, please follow these simple steps:

  1. Click on this link or the image above.
  2. Go to ratings and reviews.
  3. Click on the number stars.
  4. Subscribe to the podcast (optional, but appreciated)!
  5. You can also write a quick review or some words of encouragement (optional, but GREATLY appreciated)!

You can also write a longer review, though it’s not necessary.  Again, thank you for listening and your review!

Ratings and reviews help us grow the podcast and the blog, and I appreciate your reviews.  I will be reading reviews out on future episodes of the Small Scale Life Podcast!

Special Thanks

For Small Scale Life Podcasts, I would like to thank Sean at Osi and the Jupiter for the intro song "Harvest."  Sean wrote this specifically for us, and I really enjoy all of his work.  You can find more Osi and the Jupiter at their Bandcamp site:

I would also like to thank Austin Quinn at Vlog Vibes for the intro and outro music. For more information abut Austin and Vlog Vibes, please see the Vlog Vibes YouTube Channel: