Female Monarch at the Garland Community Garden August 20, 2017

Sorry for the short notice but Monarchs have their own time schedule.

For the second time we've been waiting with Monarchs for Monarch to ship our tags and still no tags.  Jane and I ordered them in early July and were told they would start shipping in early August.  This is their third day of being in their condo.
These four (all females) will make a total of six Monarchs that Loving Garland Green has released at the Garland Community Garden in August:  Five females and one male.  In April when they came through here Jane Stroud, President Loving Garland Green rescued twelve as caterpillars. Seven were released. Thus so far in Garland we have rescued 18 caterpillars and released 13 Monarchs--and the so-called season for them in Garland has not even begun.  [Note: because it was early April, the caterpillars ate all the milkweed in Jane's garden. Seven of them made pupas but she still had five hungry caterpillars on her hands so she ran out to a local nursery and bought some milkweed that was likely tainted with pesticide as all five of the ones still in the caterpillar stage died.
We are releasing them at 1PM because 1) It's after the time when our mail comes and we will hold out hope for tags until then and 2) it gives the monarchs plenty of time to gather nectar before dark.
When you are at the garden you can also look at the three gigantic haystacks in the garden and have photos of yourself as a monarch taken.  Normally we would not accept hay because it usually has seeds associated with it.  However this hay is very dry and loose and movement to the Garland Community Garden makes its third move which means the largest portion of any seeds it may have had were left at its prior sites.  We will be using it for mulch that will enrich existing beds and also as material for new beds.


Please invite any staff or partners you feel may be interested in this update or those who have technical expertise regarding monarch butterflies and evaluating their population status. In addition to the update, we will provide information on the Monarch Conservation Efforts Database that we are developing and there will be time for questions and answers. We hope you can join us.

Tuesday, August 29   2:00 p.m. Central Time

Webinar and audio conference:


Conference number: PW5035962

Audience passcode: 7971644

Participants can join the event directly at:


Esperanza Farms had their usual beautiful selection of fruits and vegetables – Garland MarketPlace – August 19, 2017 – Garland Texas

Each MarketPlace Is Unique

The Garland MarketPlace is like a river or a garden:  You can never step into the same Garland MarketPlace twice, which is one of several reasons why I go there every first and third Saturday.  It’s a different experience every time.  Many of the same vendors are there and I enjoy chatting with them. And there are always new folks to talk with too.  No two markets are ever exactly the same--even the ones held in the same city.

If you think the American Dream is dead, you need to visit the Garland MarketPlace.  It is alive with the energy of people who are “out there” with their talent and dreams on display in real time, local time.  Their entrepreneurial spirit, hope and courage are the raw material of our nation’s backbone.  You can see it all even if your eyes are half-shut at the Garland MarketPlace.

Get inspired!  Visit the Garland MarketPlace the first and third Saturday of the month and see entrepreneurs of all ages, shapes, colors, religions, and ethnic backgrounds taking action to make their dreams come true.   Learn first-hand from the people who are doing it.


E-MAIL: Kirk.Eventive@Live.Com
PHONE: Tel: 469-275-9616


On Texas Day of Giving, please support Loving Garland Green

Speaking of LOCAL, allow me to take a little space here to promote my favorite local nonprofit in Garland Texas:  Loving Garland Green.  I am the past president and currently serve on its board as President Emeritus.  We are the official stewards of the Garland Community Garden at 4022 Naaman School Road.  Visit the garden any time.  It’s open to the public and children love it.  Take your picture and their photo in the Monarch face board when you are there.  Then send a copy of the photo to Mayor Doug Athas.

We do a lot of work for the local community of Garland—especially for our local students in Garland ISD, Home Schoolers and those in our charter schools.

Visit our website at

And our Facebook at

Beginning September 7, simply go to Loving Garland Green's information site  at North Texas Day of Giving  and you can schedule your donation for Loving Garland Green. 




Triniti Fisher and Kayli Denney provided the live music at the August 19, 2017 Garland MarketPlace event.

Like most of Kirk’s great Eventive Live productions, the Garland MarketPlace had live music.  We were entertained by the voices of Triniti Fisher and Kayli Denney—both talented musicians and singers who hail from Rockwall, Texas.  To get them to perform at your venue, please contact Kirk and I’m sure he will forward your request to the girls.  Take it from me:  these two young girls are great entertainers who very likely will make it to Nashville or Hollywood soon.  Hire them now for your club or party while you can still afford them.  Then you can say:  “I knew them when.”  Remember, you heard it here first on Eat Green DFW.



Coming Attraction to the MarketPlace in September:  Michael Burk -  Artist and Woodcarver and Garland resident – Garland MarketPlace – Garland Texas – August 19, 2017 [You can’t see it well in the photo but the cane he is holding has a black lab’s head for the handle.  Mr. Burk carved it out of wood.]

We could all take a few tips from Mr. Burk when it comes to Promotion!

Mike was leaning on a car as Charlie and I walked by. “Excuse me a minute,” he said, “are you the lady who wrote the article a couple of weeks ago about the Garland MarketPlace?”

“Yes,” I answered, as always surprised (and a little edgy) when a total stranger knows who I am because you can never know what or how much they know about you and/or even worse if they are perhaps basing their knowledge of you on the opinion of some one else who happens to hate your guts.  In other words, these kinds of acknowledgments always have the potential to go south in a few seconds.

“Well that was a good article and I enjoyed reading it.” He said.

Well that was it.  If you ever want to hook a writer, just tell them that you read what they wrote and liked it.   Sometimes it’s not even necessary to tell them that you liked it.  More often than not it’s enough to just mention that you read it.

Turned out that Mr. Burk had quite a story to tell and it was an interesting one to listen to.  I’ll try to do it justice by sharing some of it with you.  Seventeen years ago he was diagnosed with cancer that had metastasized.  As part of his healing process, he began to carve toys for children.  He would take them to the hospital and give them away to the children there.  He had never carved before.  Gradually he graduated to carving large pieces as you can see on his Facebook at .

The weather is too hot for his health at the moment, but Mr. Burk will be there with his woodcarvings at the Garland MarketPlace in September.  In the meantime visit him at his Facebook:



Salsa Texan had a booth at the Garland MarketPlace – August 19, 2017 – Garland, Texas

Salsa Texan

Local has gone uptown. These chips are sold to classy establishments like the Four Seasons and the Carlton Ritz.  No wonder!  They are good and they are healthy.




Anthony Nguyen and Hoan Vuong from The Dapper Doughnut – Garland MarketPlace August 19, 2017 – Garland, Texas

Just what the World Needs!  Great Gourmet Quality Donuts made Fresh All Day Long and catered to your doorstep.


Anthony and Hoan are high school buddies that reconnected in the DFW area after many years. They both were raised in the New Orleans area and graduated from John Ehret High School in Marrero, LA.  Hoan graduated from Loyola University in New Orleans with a B.S. in Computer Science. He is currently an IT Professional in the DFW Metroplex.

Anthony is a proud graduate of the University of Texas at Dallas with a B.S in Accounting and Information Management and is currently an Accountant in Dallas, TX.  They both enjoy food and fun. The Dapper Doughnut is the perfect combination of both. They look forward to sharing delicious mini-doughnuts with the community they now call home.

They can cater their mini donuts for your special event! They can provide specialized color and flavor themes for weddings, birthdays, showers and promotional events. They also deliver to corporate offices, hotels and local businesses!


Anthony Nguyen

Hoan Vuong



$8 custom handmade and cut 3x8 inch classroom door sign from Dripping Rhinestones Garland MarketPlace – August 19, 2017 Garland, Texas

Dripping Rhinestones

We stopped by but Jimmy was busy talking to paying customers so we didn’t interrupt.  Visit their Facebook for more information.  This little dad/daughter operation turn out lots of wall art AND they will custom make signs and wall art according to your specifications.


Krystal Aguado  214-934-6019

Jimmy Clark  303-332-3195


Stacey Smith of Zen Tala is one of the few people I know with a third eye – Garland MarketPlace – August 19, 2017 – Garland Texas

Zen Tala

We stopped for a moment at Zen Tala’s booth, but owner and creator of all the beautiful jewelry and other charms, Stacey Smith, was busy talking to customers.


Call Stacey at 214-502-5673



Roger and Mary Grider – Owners of Grider’s Specialty Gifts – Garland MarketPlace August 19, 2017 – Garland, Texas

Grider’s Specialty Gifts

Like several of the people I talked with today, the Grider’s have some challenges in dealing in managing health care expenses.  Roger recently got out of the hospital and needs to use a walker to get around.  Mary who is a school bus driver is looking forward to school starting soon so she can get to work and start bringing in some income.  In the meantime they have depended on their business to help tide them over.

They have a website that is coming soon.

Their gifts include various scented products such as air fresheners for the car and home.  They also sell Bath salt.  I purchased a tub of Grider’s Specialty Gifts Tranquility Bath salt.  I can’t testify as to whether It will make me tranquil or not.  You’ll have to ask my friends after I have a few showers.  However, I can tell you that I used a little on my hands and they feel and smell great.  And the price is right at $5.00 for a pound and a quarter of bath salts.





Paul Himmelreich—writer, archeologist, bouquiniste -  Garland Texas MarketPlace – August 19, 2017


I stopped in and chatted with Paul for a few moments.  You may remember I wrote a piece about him in my last post on the MarketPlace.  He didn’t read it.  LOL.  Of course that earned him a black mark with me.

He did mention that he was busy working on a new book about all the ghost towns of Dallas County.  Apparently over time more than 200 towns/villages have been sucked into the black hole of history, but Paul is pulling them all back into the light of day due to his diligent research.

Here is another fact I learned about our main Garland Post Office when talking with Paul.  The post office was built on the site of the first pickle factory in Garland that was built in the 1930’s and lasted until the early 1960’s when Joe Craddock, owner, sold it to the government.  Over the years, the plumbing pipes on that site have been replaced many times due to all the brine in the soil.  It simply eats through the pipes.  Paul also reported that when it rains, birds descend on the place to drink the brine water.  Read more about Joe Craddock and the pickle industry in Garland, Texas at the Landmark museum site:  Pickles spiced city’s economy.  

I swear, the next time I visit his booth that I’m going to break down and buy a copy of his book, IMAGES OF AMERICA GARLAND.  (Among other things it includes the story of Roy Rodgers’ visit to Garland.)


PO BOX 494373 – Garland, Texas 75049


Margaret Chapa holds down her Spicy Pretzel booth – Garland MarketPlace August 19, 2017 – Garland, Texas

Miss Margie’s Spicy Pretzels

I was very happy to see Margaret Chapa.  Her business, as you may recall if you read my last Garland MarketPlace report, was only a few weeks old.  Apparently it is surviving and thriving.  It will do even better if more folks get down to the Garland MarketPlace and purchase some of her spicy pretzels.


Margaret Chapa



Julia Pitts, owner and creator of Velma Mae Vintage Designs – Garland MarketPlace August 19, 2017 – Garland Texas

Velma Mae Vintage Designs

It was interesting and fun to chat with Julia.  Not only is she local, but she is our neighbor who lives in our same Coomer Creek neighborhood. We got to hear the story that here home was the one in our neighborhood that was recently struck by lightening.  She reported that it knocked a big hole in her roof, but thankfully no one in her family was hurt.

Julia is the perfect example of that that old cliché:  If you want something done, ask a busy person.  As I looked around her booth with hundreds of handmade items, I asked her if she made all of them and she said that she did. 

I was even more amazed to learn that Julia has two school age children and one two year old!





Stephanie Cole with her two grandsons at the Garland MarketPlace August 19, 2017 – Garland, Texas

Pinson & Cole’s Gourmet Pickles

It was nice to stop and chat a few minutes with Stephanie.  She has been featuring her marvelous pickles at the Garland Market Place for several years now and I’ve been stopping in at her booth for just about as long.  At the Garland MarketPlace a couple of weeks ago Charlie bought a jar of her Mexican Habanero and Chilies pickles that he is still working on as a little goes a long way.


214-670- 2042



Christy and Michael Funke, owners of Bubba Funke Jelly – Garland MarketPlace August 19, 2017 – Garland, Texas

Bubba Funke Spicy Jelly

I enjoyed saying howdy for the third time this summer to this delightful and talented couple.  Michael is a full-time fifth grade teacher and Christy is a Safari Classics production manager. Their jellies are great.  Come to the next MarketPlace and buy some.  Then you’ll know from experience what I mean.

Imagine this:  You have a Mexican restaurant in Garland, Texas.  You have some Bubba Funke Jelly on your table along with a small sign.  “This restaurant supports LOCAL Garland.  Try some of our locally made Bubba Funke jalapeno jelly and then buy some at the counter on your way out—but this is only if you are able to hold onto your sombrero because it is spicy.”  People like the big guy who supports the little guy especially when the little guy is local.

Here is a video that was likely created by Christy.




Abigail Courtney sits amongst her and Holly Brewer’s wonderful bakery goods in her booth at the Garland MarketPlace – August 19, 2017 – Garland, Texas

Baking Buns

I was happy to see Abigail again.  Like Miss Margie who sells spiced pretzels, Baking Buns is also just out of the incubator and little more than a month old.  It’s great to have new local business startups in the Garland area.  We need to support them as best we can because what’s good for one local is good for all locals.



Abigail Courtney 213-535-2146
Holly Brewer 504-638-3078



Ruby Costanza and her funnel cakes at the Garland MarketPlace – August 19, 2017 – Garland Texas

Ruby’s Funnel Cakes

One of our first stops was at Ruby’s booth to see how well she has been doing with the sale of her new product offering of funnel cakes.  It turns out that business is booming and we can see why.  Although we didn’t taste one on Saturday, we did at the last Garland MarketPlace and the experience is unforgettably yummy.  Order some for your next party!





Laurie Lanehart’s Swedish Cinnamon Buns – Garland MarketPlace

 Swedish Cinnamon Buns

We stopped by Laurie’s booth momentarily.  As I may have mentioned Charlie and I are counting calories these days and Laurie has a new shaped cinnamon bun for sale.  We knew if we stuck around too long that we would succumb to the temptation and besides, Lauri’s booth was crowded with customers.

Laurie makes special orders for parties.

Call her at 972-816-3698

Or write to her at 



Katie Hornsby owner of family-run KH2 Bakery right here in Garland, Texas at the Garland MarketPlace August 19, 2017

KH2 Bakery

We stopped by to see how one of our great local bakeries, KH2 Bakery was doing.  Since Charlie and I are trying a little harder these days to watch our calories, with the exception of some honey, we purchased mostly non-food items from the vendors.  However we could not resist a sample taste of Kh2 Bakery’s latest creation—an Elvis cupcake.  Like all of their baked goods that we’ve tasted—it was delicious.

“The Elvis” -

a banana cupcake with peanut butter honey icing and maple syrup drizzle.  According to information on their Facebook last night, it had many people go bananas for them. Even had someone order a dozen of them on the spot.


4621 Paradise Cove
Garland, TX 75043



It pays off to be a vendor at the Garland MarketPlace!  Call Kirk today at 469-275-9616 to reserve your spot for September!



Ama in her booth at the Garland MarketPlace – August 19, 2017 – Garland Texas

Ama’s Kitchen

We stopped in to see Ama again.  At the last Garland MarketPlace we purchased a jar of her wonderful Lemon/Lavender jelly.  On Saturday we tasted a sample of her latest product—lemon basil jelly.  It was delicious too.  Here is a hint to the local restaurants around the square:  Why don’t you call up Ama and buy some of her jelly for your restaurant.  You could even put a small sign in the middle of each table that reads “We support Local and that’s why offer you local jelly.” You could even keep a few jars up on your counter to sell for Ama. Customers like merchants who support local—that’s a proven marketing fact.


Ama’s Kitchen

923 W. Yellow Jacket Lane

Rockwall, TX 75087




Bob Michel Beekeeper – Garland MarketPlace August 19, 2017 Garland Texas

Charis Honey Farms

Bob sells local honey that is raw, unfiltered and 100% pure.  I didn’t realize this until Charlie told me yesterday and Bob confirmed it:  Honey lasts forever as a food.

If you are among those who adhere to the notion that we need to store food for a long-lasting disaster, then honey should be on the top of your list.  We tasted samples of Bob’s honey and the most wonderful of all to us was the Rockwall honey.  It is absolutely the best honey I ever remember eating and my father was a beekeeper too so I’ve had many samples over the years.  Rockwall honey is in a league by itself.


Bob Michel

972-412-1861 (Home)

469-233-2870 (Cell)



Maria Lunger, owner of  Toni’s Korner – Glass Fusing and Stained Glass – Garland MarketPlace – August 19, 2017 – Garland, Texas

Toni’s Korner

We stopped by Toni’s Korner to view all the amazing glassware made by Maria Lunger.  Below are additional samples of her amazing work:


Handmade glass pieces from Toni’s Korner at the Garland MarketPlace August 19, 2017 – Garland, Texas





The Tin Lizard – Make Garland Weird – 507 W. Walnut Street – Garland Texas 75040 – Owner Billy Miller


Our local shopping adventure ended at the Tin Lizard where Charlie spent about $100 and I spent $2 for a Luciano Pavarotti Mesa Di Requiem CD in perfect condition.  Charlie is a knife hound and is especially addicted to Case knives.  We spent about two hours in Billy’s wonderful and quite large store.

Billy rents the property, which is located at the corner of Walnut and Fifth.  Prior to the Tin Lizard, an upholstery shop—another local business, occupied the building.  It moved to a new location near the police station. Billy said that even after three years people stop in to ask upholstering questions.  He joked and said that if his business failed he could always upholster.


Billy Miller, Owner THE TIN LIZARD – the store with everything that you didn’t realize you wanted until you saw it – August 19, 2017 – Garland, Texas

If you love the unusual, the artistic, the one-of-a-kind pieces, you’ll be hooked on the Tin Lizard!



Billy Miller Owner


Corner of 5th and Walnut - 507 Walnut Street - right across from the train station in downtown Garland, Texas

Here are a few of my favorite things from the Tin Lizard:


Ceramic steer’s head and platter – Tin Lizard – Garland Texas

The steer’s head is hollow and fits exactly on the platter.  Its purpose is to keep the meat warm and away from flies.  I consider it as a functional art piece.


Beautiful guitar with pearl inlay at the Tin Lizard – Garland, Texas


A pair of paper mache flamingos in mint condition from the 1950’s – made in Mexico, their legs are painted rebar – The Tin Lizard – Garland, Texas


Wall hanging at the Tin Lizard – Garland Texas

I’ll have to ask Billy about this wall hanging the next time I’m in his shop and yes, there will be a next time.  Phil Graves is somewhat well-known in advertising circles.  He was once quoted as saying “there is no bad publicity.”  Perhaps this wall hanging is a tongue-in-cheek pun to prove him wrong—but then again I may be reading way to much in this.

When you visit Tin Lizard be sure to ask Billy to direct you to the lovely painting of poppies, snakes and frogs.  Better yet, buy it and send it to me.  It’s only $250 and worth every cent.


Closing note on Local entrepreneurs and local businesses

These people take their local community very seriously and they are very generous. They deserve our support in every way that we can provide it.  They support other locals in many ways.  For example, when it comes to things like hiring a lawyer, or an advertising agency, more often than not, they use local people.  Thus, most of the money you spend at a local establishment gets re-circulated back into your local economy. 

I happen to know via Loving Garland Green and the Garland Community Garden that Billy supports local artists by selling their work and they in turn share with the community.  That’s how local works.  A few months ago, one of the local artists associated with The Tin Lizard dropped off four children=sized chairs and a large wooden trellis for the Garden.


Female Monarch on Milkweed 9:20 AM August 18 – Garland Community Garden

Garland Community Garden is a great place for Monarch Watching! 

You are guaranteed to see more Monarchs and other pollinators in the Garland Community Garden than any other place in Garland.  It is also the only place where you and your family and friends can take a photo of yourself as a Monarch.  We hope that you will and that you will send the photo to Mayor Athas in support of his Mayor’s Monarch Pledge.  The Garland Community Garden, stewarded by Loving Garland Green,  is located at 4022 Naaman School Road at the intersection of Brand and Naaman School Road in Garland Texas.

Please remember Loving Garland Green on Texas Day of Giving.  Beginning September 7, simply go to Loving Garland Green's information site  at North Texas Day of Giving  and you can schedule your donation for Loving Garland Green.


Progression in Our History of Monarch Care

I was thinking this morning about how Charlie’s and my care of the Monarchs is advancing with each year.  It seems like once you begin paying attention to these beautiful creatures, you are hooked.

Our first year to rescue Monarch caterpillars and then release them was 2015.  The big event that year was when one of our members, Cheryl Andres, found a Monarch Caterpillar on a dead milkweed leaf on December 5th in the Garland Community Garden.  We kept the caterpillar that ended up eclosing on New Years Eve.  We named the female “Happy 2016” and drove her all the way to Raymondville to release her. 

The next year we shared many of the caterpillars we rescued with students in our local Garland Schools and we began tagging the butterflies prior to releasing them by participating in a citizen science project sponsored by Monarch Watch Org., an organization affiliated with Kansas University. 

Now, in 2017, in addition to rescuing caterpillars, we are rescuing Monarch eggs, netting Monarchs (then tagging and releasing), and of course, still rescuing caterpillars and releasing them as tagged Monarchs.  We are also participating in a caterpillar and milkweed monitoring citizen science project sponsored by the University of Minnesota.  Our Monarch world has certainly expanded. 

Two eggs rescued from the Garland Community Garden August 18, 2017 - Photo Jane Stroud

Two Female Monarchs at the Garland Community Garden Yesterday Deposited Eggs

Yesterday morning when I was down at the Garland Community Garden I saw two female monarchs in both of our Monarch patches and then about an hour later before leaving the garden I examined the underside of several milkweed plants and found two eggs near the top of two of our tropical milkweeds.  I rescued the eggs and brought them home.  The eggs are so tiny, I can’t imagine them becoming caterpillars, but we will see in a few days.

I feel a little more confident since receiving a link from Jane yesterday as to how one should take care of Monarch eggs.

Jane downloaded a new app for her phone that can be used with the phone camera to magnify photos.  She came over and took photos of the two eggs I rescued yesterday.  We are not entirely certain the egg on the left is a Monarch egg as they are oval shaped and this one appears more rounded, but we shall see.

And then there is the continuing saga of the four caterpillars rescued by Loving Garland Green Board member, Burgi Bartlett on August 7, 2017. . .



Female Monarch - Garland Texas - August 18, 2017 -  shortly after eclosure

First of Four Monarch Caterpillars Rescued by Loving Garland Green Board Member Burgi Bartlett on August 7th became a Female Monarch Butterfly on August 18th!

Female Monarch rescued as a caterpillar on August 7, 2017 by Loving Garland Green member, Burgi Barlett, eclosed on August 18th.


Tally of Garland Resident Rescued Monarchs Thus Far in 2017

As mentioned in a previous article, we have already released two other Monarchs that eclosed in August in Garland, Texas.  Kala King, a Garland nature photographer, rescued those in late July.  

Thus far for August of 2017: Loving Garland Green has released two Monarchs (one male and one female); we have one female Monarch butterfly; three more caterpillars close to eclosure; and two eggs waiting in the wings.  These late July/early to mid August rescues are most likely fourth generation Monarchs.  They will be laying eggs for fifth generation Monarchs right here in Garland, Texas.  The fifth generation lives six to eight months and flies to Mexico to overwinter. They then return in late March of the next year to deposit eggs for the first generation of that year.

This year was our first year to rescue Monarch caterpillars and release first generation Monarch butterflies at the Garland Community Garden.  Jane Stroud, President Loving Garland Green, had rescued four from her home garden in early April of 2017.  We were fortunate to be able to share the release of five Monarch butterflies with 69 First Graders from Beaver MST here in Garland.

There you have it.  That’s why Garland, Texas is such an important way station for Monarchs.  We are home to many first and fifth generation Monarchs! 

Rescuing Monarchs is important for so many reasons.  The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has petitioned to protect the monarch butterfly under the Endangered Species Act.  Although other factors are at play, habitat loss is one of the major causes for declines in Monarch population,  Increasing habitat by planting milkweed is one easy way to help the Monarchs.  Rescuing them as eggs and caterpillars is also important.  It is estimated by most sources that in the wild less than 5% of Monarchs make it from egg to butterfly due to their large number of predators whereas the ratio is reversed for rescued Monarchs as 95% of those rescued at their early stages survive to eclose as butterflies.  Thus rescue and planting milkweed are the two best ways we can help bring back Monarchs.



Join Monarch Maniacs in Garland Texas and Bring Back Monarchs!

Participants will receive:
 - One seed packet of Green Milkweed (contains 10 seeds);
 - One 22-by-16 Monarch Maniacs yard sign (double-sided with stake); and
 - One information card with tips and tricks on how to plant your milkweed.

These items will be available for pickup at City Hall, 200 N. Fifth St. For more information about when to pick up your items, call the Office of the Mayor at 972-205-2400 or email


The following is information regarding a worthy citizen science project being undertaken by the people at Journey North.  I’m proposing to the board that we add this project to Loving Garland Green’s list of citizen science projects.  I would like to adopt a classroom of students from one of our local Garland schools to steward this project with us. 

We could either bring the garden to them or we could have them come to the Garland Community Garden and plant the tulips there.

Gardeners should plant tulips when the weather cools and leaves start to drop from trees. Most suggest the best time to get tulips into the ground is when nighttime temperatures drop under 50 degrees F. American Meadows suggests that planting should coincide with the first frosts in the area.

 Any planting should take place around the time of the first frost, which occurs as early as the second week of October in north Texas and as late as mid-December in south Texas.


Tracking Change in Seasons and Climate Around the Globe

Each fall, people across the Northern Hemisphere plant Red Emperor tulip bulbs in Journey North Test Gardens to help monitor seasonal change in a scientific way. In the spring, when the plants emerge and bloom, test gardeners report their data to the maps. One garden at a time, the relationship between climate, geography and the greening of spring is revealed.

Local climate affects where, when, and how plants grow. Over time, the timing of plant growth can be used as an indicator of climate change. Everyone who participates in this international tulip test garden project contributes valuable information to a long-term database.

This fall, plant your own Journey North Tulip Test Garden so you can proclaim the greening of spring from your part of the world. Follow news updates and explore the maps to predict when tulip plants will emerge in your hometown.


As a scientific experiment, all Journey North gardens must be planted with NEW Red Emperor tulip bulbs. Try purchasing bulbs in your community. If these tulips are unavailable locally, we can purchase through a supplier.

Bulb Supplier Information




  • REGISTER for Journey North 
    Registration is free.
  • ORDER Tulip Bulbs 
    Purchase new Red Emperor Tulip bulbs each year. Some discounts apply.
  • EXPLORE Fall Lessons 
    Plan pre-planting inquiry-based activities.





  • REPORT to Journey North 
    After planting, report your garden to Journey North.
  • SEE YOUR GARDEN on the map.
    When you report, your garden appears on the map!


         1) When your tulips emerge

         2) When your tulips bloom


Monarch Face Board at the Garland Community Garden.  Beside it is the Monarch Maniacs Live Here yard sign. 

Pick up a Cool Yard Sign and Free Milkweed Seeds while they last!

(And while you are at it, stop by the Garland Community Garden, 4022 Naaman School Road, to see all our great pollinators busy at work.  You can also have a friend take a photograph of you as a monarch.  If you do, please send a copy to Mayor Athas at I know he would love to hear from you.

All 57 square miles of Garland is on a transformational path to becoming one giant habitat for pollinators. At the heart of this transformation is the leadership of our mayor, Douglas Athas.

In April, Mayor Athas presented the “Monarch Maniacs” initiative at a Dallas County Earth Day event. He was among mayors from cities across the state who took the National Wildlife Federation Mayor’s Monarch pledge in October 2015. Mayor Athas’ presentation won first prize and received a $5,500 grant for expenses associated with promoting the monarch butterfly and other pollinators in our community.

Learn more about the award by reading the press release here.   

The majority of the grant funds allowed for the purchase of 250 native Green Milkweed seed packets, the preferred perennial of monarch butterflies, and 250 yard signs that show support for bringing monarchs back to our community. These seeds will be dispersed throughout the community to allow residents to establish pollinator habitats in their yards, and participants will get a “Monarch Maniacs” sign to show they are contributing to the cause.

The remaining grant money will be used to promote the monarch butterfly at key community events, and assist groups such as Keep Garland Beautiful, Citizens Environmental and Neighborhood Committee (CENAC), and Loving Garland Green, to promote programs and community outreach. 

Create a Pollinator Habitat

Because of its beauty and elegance, the monarch butterfly, or Danaus plexippus, is the flagship species for all pollinators—from flies to bees.

Why should we care about monarchs and pollinators? Pollinators are critical to the continuation of life on the planet as they are responsible for one of every three bites of food we put in our mouths. Almost all species of pollinators are on the decline, primarily due to the destruction of their habitat through the relentless encroachment of urbanization and the misuse of pesticides. We need to make some space in our urban ecosystems for our pollinators.

The good news is it doesn’t take a lot of effort on our part. Creating pollinator habitats means we become better educated about some of their needs, such as food, water and nesting areas. As a reward for these efforts, we can continue to have food to put in our mouths and our yards will flourish with more flowers.

Join the Mission to Bring Back Monarchs

Participants will receive:
 - One seed packet of Green Milkweed (contains 10 seeds);
 - One 22-by-16 Monarch Maniacs yard sign (double-sided with stake); and
 - One information card with tips and tricks on how to plant your milkweed.

These items will be available for pickup at City Hall, 200 N. Fifth St. For more information about when to pick up your items, call the Office of the Mayor at 972-205-2400 or email


Synchronicity (German: Synchronizität) is a concept, first introduced by analytical psychologist Carl Jung, which holds that events are "meaningful coincidences" if they occur with no causal relationship yet seem to be meaningfully related.  Another term for it might be:  “an idea whose time has arrived.”


I thought of Carl Jung’s concept of synchronicity when a friend passed along an article from the Dallas Morning News this morning titled “Big Tex Urban Farms is the backbone of a budding southern Dallas food system”. This article describes a fabulous plan for people in south Dallas.  

“Coincidentally”, this email came just behind an email I received from a representative at Garland’s Harmony School informing me that we have all the necessary permissions and are ready to plan and schedule a kickoff party for what promises to be the establishment of one of the most unique local urban food systems in the USA—right here in Garland, Texas.  We plan to create an urban demonstration garden and a small (2-4 acre) truck farm in each of our eight districts—beginning in the beautiful space behind Harmony school.


Successful urban farms are now dotting the landscapes of urban America—from New York to Seattle, from Minneapolis to Dallas.  None are the same.  Like the individual Americans who steward them, each is different.  However, they all have similar qualities: whether we are talking about Will Allen’s urban farm in Milwaukee or the Paul Quinn College urban farm right here in the DFW area.  A few years ago that school plowed under their football field into a huge urban garden. 

Stewards of these urban farms and gardens consistently demonstrate a commitment to grow organically produced food; to provide food and jobs for local residents: and a commitment to promote sustainable change in our food system.  Urban farms also provide opportunities for people to learn, share knowledge and grow their community.   


Attend the Kickoff Event for Creating Urban Gardens and Truck Farms in Garland Texas.  Have fun and Learn more about how you can be part of this important community initiative and what’s in it for you.


I will send you the details when they become available to me.


Speaking of Community and Gardens . . .

Have you stopped by the Garland Community Garden at 4022 Naaman School Road and made your Monarch Postcard to send to Mayor Athas?  Ana Marie DeYoung did today.  Ana Marie is President of Flamingo Neighbors, a local neighborhood group here in Garland.  They installed a Little Free Library underneath our largest pecan tree—a great place to sit in the shade and read.  Charlie and I have already done that several times. It’s fun!  Leave your cell phone at home and try it.


Ana Maria DeYoung, President of Garland’s Flamingo Neighbors and Steward of the Little Free Library at the Garland Community Garden – August 9, 2017  



David and Laurie at the Garland Community Garden August 9, 2017

Also when I was down at the garden today doing battle with the spider mites on our beans and tomatoes, David and Laurie stopped by.  I just met them a few days ago.  They live nearby the garden.

Today they came bearing gifts to donate to the garden—several potted vegetables, tomato cages, soil, and fertilizer.



Display at the Wholesome Farms & Gardens booth – Garland MarketPlace August 5, 2017

The Garland MarketPlace is Garland's manageable answer to Marché  aux Puces de Paris/St.-Ouen  

That famous flea market is known more simply as the "Puces."  My favorite of all the 14 markets there is the Marché Vernaison which is the historic cradle of this flea market which was established in 1920.  Today that one market has over 300 stalls so you can see just how unmanageable the entire Marché aux Puces is with its total of 14 markets, each with hundreds of stalls.  Still it's a great place as is the Garland MarketPlace.  Regretfully, the vendors featured here in this post do not include all the vendors at the Garland MarketPlace as my time was limited.  You'll have to go the third Saturday of August and see them all and more for yourself.  Like the historic Marche aux Puces, the Garland MarketPlace is growing too!


Local is definitely where it’s happening—especially if you are talking Garland Texas local.  Charlie and I went downtown Saturday morning to support our local entrepreneurs selling their wares at the Marketplace on the square.  I bought two cinnamon rolls from Garland’s Swedish Cinnamon roll queen; two doggie mats from Deana of Jazzy Junk; some habanero pickles from my friend Stephanie Cole at Pinson and Cole’s Gourmet Pickles; a delicious lemon blueberry cupcake from KH2 Bakery; a bag of low carb gluten free chip; a jar of lemon lavender jelly; some delicious chicken salad from Texas Salsa.

If you think I’m buying local because I’m nice – you have the wrong reason. [Not that I’m not nice (most of the time)]  But I buy local whenever I can because it helps me as much as it helps the folks that I’m buying merchandise from. [Local usually translates sustainable; economic returns on your purchase; social and civic well being; etc.] It’s a proven fact that time and again more of your dollars spent on local purchases are re-circulated into your local economy than the money you spend in chain stores.

Key Studies:  Why Local Matters [accessed 8/05/2017]

Two other reasons for buying local: fresh and original.   You want to see unusual and original, come to the next Garland MarketPlace on Saturday August 19.  If you have unusual, local and original for sale, contact Kirk.


First and Third Saturday of the Month 9- 2PM

Downtown Garland Square – Garland, Texas


E-MAIL: Kirk.Eventive@Live.Com
PHONE: Tel: 469-275-9616

The Garland MarketPlace is THE place.  Just look at all these interesting people and their interesting products and please remember that I wasn’t able to stop at all the booths.  There is always more to see at the Garland MarketPlace!


Peer-to-Peer Buddy System with Local Merchants and Entrepreneurs

I love the Garland Marketplace because it often inspires me with new ideas for growing the wealth and health of Garland.  Today with the Buddy League’s peer-to-peer system still fresh in my mind, I thought: Why Not have a Peer-to-peer buddy system for local merchants and entrepreneurs?

This could be a mutually beneficial arrangement whereby the owner of a small business provides a small space for one or even more local entrepreneurs to display and sell their goods.

What’s in it for the Merchant?

-Creates a good image for their business in the community.  We Americans like it when the “big guy” supports the “little guy.”
-Increases traffic in their business. Folks who might not otherwise stop in might stop by due the attraction of the buddy’s products.

What’s in it for the Entrepreneur?

-Another outlet for their products.  [Many entrepreneurs do not have the time or money to establish a storefront.  Although virtual storefronts on the Internet are great, they miss some of that market who want to buy now in real time.]


Many of the vendors who were at Garland Marketplace last month were here on Saturday and there were new people that I had not chatted with before.  I’ll tell you about them first. Also I want to add my apologies to the vendors who are not featured in this article.  I made as many booths as I could but I had a prior commitment.  Don't worry though I'll get you the next time around as I'm sure to be there. 


Live Music at the Garland Marketplace—How classy is that?


Live Music at the Garland Marketplace today from Acoustic Audiophile

a father daughter acoustic duet that plays cover tunes that span the decades.

Tell me, how many grocery stores can you name who play live local music while you shop?  This father/daughter duo make awesome music. 


How about the Classy Salsa Texan? 

Speaking of “Classy”—How about The Salsa Texan?  Stephen at the Garland MarketPlace August 5, 2017

I know you are probably scratching your head and wondering:  What’s classy about a taco chip?  The Salsa Texan has a lot of reasons to deserve the title of “classy.”  You can start with their classy mission statement:  to provide a delicious healthy alternative to the Texas tradition of chips, salsa and queso.

All products are Organic, Gluten Free and GMO Free.

The company was founded by Stephen as he is a type 2 diabetic and he found himself having to give up his favorite things chips & salsa.  Through research he found that he could eat organic corn chips made from scratch (not from a tortilla) as long as they were baked. The Salsa Texan was born. 
Product is local to Texas – made in Arlington area.

So who buys the Salsa Texan products?  In addition to ordinary people, they are also purchased by classy establishments such as the Four Seasons Hotel and The Ritz Carlton.  I asked him how he was able to make such contacts.  Guess what?  The chef was at a local market such as MarketPlace and sampled Stephen’s chips.  Local fairs like MarketPlace can have far-reaching results for vendors—beyond the dollar value of their sales at the event..  Stephen told me that a chef from the Four Seasons was at an outdoor market event where Stephen was hawking his wares and the rest is history.



 The Garland MarketPlace has its own Classy Texas Version of a Bouquiniste (dealer in secondhand books)


Paul Himmelreich—writer, archeologist, bouquiniste -  Garland Texas MarketPlace  8/5/2017

If you’ve ever spent time in Paris and walked along the Seine you will remember all the booksellers that line the walkway. These booksellers are among the many iconic symbols of Paris. Bouquinistes is a trade that began around 1450 when the printing press was invented.  This trade is unique to Paris.  The story has it that a boat transporting books sunk near Notre-Dame Cathedral. The sailors swam ashore taking as many books as they could.  They sold these books to the people passing by to make up for the wages they lost.  Some stayed on and made a living as a bookseller.  The bouquinistes, as they became known, sold bouquins, small, old bashed books.

Our Garland version of the bouquiniste is Paul Himmelreich.  If I hadn’t already spent a lot of money (by my budget standards) I would have definitely purchased a book from him—one that he wrote titled:  Images of America Garland.  What really caught my eye on the cover of this book was the subtitle:  “Garland and Roy Rogers.”  Apparently in 1937, before the time when most of us were born, Roy went on a promotional tour with stops in Dallas, Ft. Worth and Garland.  I believe he put in a live appearance at our theater here on the square.

Paul told me that he has about twenty books that he wants to write before he passes on to that other place where we go.


Front cover of Images of America Garland – Author Paul Himmelreich told me there are some photos in this book that have not been published before.  The book, “The German Texans” fits into the category of a bouquin.  Nearly all the books in Paul’s book stall were bouquins that dealt with Texas specific topics.   – Garland MarketPlace-  Garland Texas 8/5/2017


PO BOX 494373 – Garland, Texas 75049


Classy and Eclectic:  Alexandria Elkwood

Medicine Woman, Drum Maker Herbalist, Lecturer, Consultant


Alexandria and her herbal remedies.  In the foreground left, you will see herbal products that have been made by the hands of this medicine woman.  Garland Texas Marketplace – August 5, 2017

Contact Information:

Alexandria has a great website.

Visit and learn about:

  • American Shaman products
  • Mother Earths Apothecary Plant Medicine Remedies
  • Elkwood Studio Designs
  • Online Store containing Handcrafted Art 
  • Native Hand Drums
  • Beadwork
  • Buckskin
  • Intuitive Reader
  • Intuitive Healing Services
  • Wise Woman Program


Another Local Original and Eclectic Woman at the Garland Marketplace.


Stacey Smith of ZenTala in front of her unusual bracelets, earrings, necklaces and amulets –all handmade by Stacey -  Garland Marketplace August 5, 2017. [Yes the eye on Stacey’s hand is as permanent as her own two eyes. At least no one can debate the fact that Stacey has a third eye.]


Call Stacey at 214-502-5673

Like Alexandria and many Americans, Stacey has many skills: Reiki Master, Empathic Healer, Jewelry Artist and Orgonite Healing Artist. 

In case you need definitions as I did:

Reiki master--a healing technique based on the principle that the therapist can channel energy into the patient by means of touch, to activate the natural healing processes of the patient's body and restore physical and emotional well-being.

Empathic healer—the power to heal other people’s emotional wounds

Orgonite Healing Artist-- Orgonite is primarily made from metals chips (Copper, Brass, Aluminum curls & etc), polyester resin (fiberglass resin) and a quartz crystal.

Orgonite however, works continuously to transmute or process negative orgone/chi/qi or other energies into positive form only.  Thus if you wear Stacey’s jewelry lemons will turn to lemonade in your life.


 KH2 Bakery – a local bakery family business


Katie Hornsby (in the red apron) is the Baker/Owner.  Katie once worked in a commercial bakery and then decided she could do much better on her own.  She is flanked on the right by her mom and on the left by her husband and a niece –Garland MarketPlace August 5, 2017

I think Katie made the right decision after purchasing and eating one of her delicious lemon blueberry muffins!

Folks on their Facebook seem to agree with me.  Here is one comment:



Katie Hornsby
4721 Paradise Cove
Garland, TX  75043


And the Ruby Funnel Cake Business is Born!


Ruby and Randy show off one of their special funnel cakes at their Garland MarketPlace booth. – August 5, 2017

Randy and Ruby most often are the Kettle Korn providers for events like the Garland MarketPlace, but about a month ago they were turned down for an event because a kettle corn vendor had already been secured.  However the person setting up the event asked if they made funnel cakes—of course, the answer was “yes.”   And here they are.  Of course Randy and Ruby still provide Kettle Korn at events.




Baking Buns


Abigail Courtney—Baker/Owner on right – Garland Marketplace August 5, 2017

Among a wide range of baked goods you can also find great pies and cobblers.

Not the kind your mother would have made had I been your mother. 


Follow on Instagram:  baking_buns_03


Cell:  214-535-2146


Jazzy Junk


Deanna J. Zuniga, Owner and Designer – Garland MarketPlace – Garland Texas August 5, 2017

Deanna, like many entrepreneurs, is sustainable and self-sufficient.  She decided that she didn’t want her kids to have large school loans so she starting sewing aprons to help put them through school


Deanna J. Zuniga



Ama’s Kitchen

Ama in her booth at the Garland MarketPlace – Garland, Texas August 5, 2017

Ama comes to Rockwall Texas by way of Michigan.  Yesterday I purchased a jar of her lemon/lavender jelly—it was the last jar on her shelf of this jelly.  I had some this morning on toast.  It was delicious!





Siham Gourmet Desserts – Gluten Free Mediterranean Desserts


Display of baklava from Siham Gourmet Desserts – Garland MarketPlace –Garland, Texas August 5, 2017

Lisa was  at the booth selling her mother's baked goods.  I tried to coax her into a photo but she was too modest.  The baked good are very tasty.  If you serve these at a party, you can keep all sides happy.  Even though you may not be gluten intolerant, you will still like these desserts.


P.O. BOX 460012

Garland, TX 75040  



Wholesome Farms and Gardens


 Craig Turczynski, Ph.D. poses for our camera at the Garland Marketplace- Garland Texas  August 5, 2017

Wholesome Farms and Gardens is a private label for the meat and other food produced by Country Workforce.  They are a small faming operation who are perfecting natural methods for local consumption here in North Texas.

Their operation uses 100% natural methods including no chemical herbicides, pesticides or synthetic fertilizer on their land nor antibiotics or hormones given to their animals.  For feed, they use non-GMO feed alternatives.  Their chickens, cows and pigs are given 100% access to grassland that is frequently rotated.  And the grazing animals are protected from predators.

Many purchasing options are available to their customers.

CONTACT  for pricing and more information

1233 Eagle Point road

Van Alstyne, TX 75495

Phone:  903-482-6287 


 Miss Margie’s Spicy Pretzels

“Miss Margie” a.k.a. Margaret Chaps – Garland MarketPlace Garland Texas August 5, 2017

I asked Margaret how she got started in her business.  She said that her friends kept telling her that her pretzels were so good that she had to sell them—so here she is, selling her pretzels.  [Her friends may be sorry now that they’ll have to pay for Miss Margie’s Spicy Pretzels but they are worth it—very yummy!]


Margaret Chaps 



If you haven’t tried infused water, I recommend it.  You can do it yourself, or if you want it in large quantities for an event such as a birthday party or other celebration, call up THE GOOD WATER folks.  It’s a healthy way to drink more water and you will because infused water is so tasty.

Bryan Jones (owner) 214-524-4929


 Pinson & Cole’s Gourmet Pickles


Stephanie Cole (owner/CEO) and her daughter at a Garland MarketPlace booth Garland, Texas August 5, 2017

Stopped by Stephanie’s booth as I always do when I visit the MarketPlace.  I am not a pickle fan (but don’t tell Stephanie).  Charlie, however, is a great pickle fan so we bough a jar of Mexican habanero and Chili pickles.


Stephanie Cole



Drippin’ Rhinestones – Custom and handmade home décor.


Jimmy Clark - Drippin’ Rhinestones – Custom and Handmade Home Décor – Garland MarketPlace August 5, 2017

I stopped by this booth and chatted a bit with Jimmy.  I asked him how he got started. Jimmy said that his stepdaughter asked him to make some thing for her and from there to Drippi’ Rhinestones! 

That’s another great thing about most local businesses:  they do not operate from a “one-size-fits-all perspective.  Because they are small, they are usually able to customize their product to suit their customer exact needs.

Here are what some happy customers have said about them on their Facebook  


Krystal Aguado  214-934-6019

Jimmy Clark  303-332-3195


 The Queen of Swedish Cinnamon Rolls


Laurie Lanehart

I stopped by to visit Laurie's booth.  The last time I stopped by in July in the early afternoon there was only one Swedish cinnamon bun left.  Saturday, since I arrived in the morning, there were still about 14 rolls left.  This time, instead of free-loading (Last time Laurie gave me one) I purchased two of these delicious rolls and shared on with Charlie.

Laurie makes special orders for parties.

Call her at 972-816-3698

Or write to her at 


La Esperanza Farm


Fruit from La Esperanza Farm displayed at the Garland MarketPlace August 5, 2017 

No self-respecting local market would be without its fresh produce and the Garland MarketPlace had some beautiful examples on Saturday from La Esperanza (the hope) farm located in Nevada Texas.


La Esperanza Farm
Phone: (214) 843-2089
  • Name: Jesus Dias
    Job Title: Principal


    Jebediah's Pottery

    Handmade stoneware from the heart of Texas!

    I am so sorry I was not able to visit Jeff Beaty's booth on Saturday, but three times I went by it and it was too crowded for me to but in.  Judging from the comments on Jeff's Etsy site [ ] his customers love his work and he makes all kinds of stoneware objects--from bird houses to planters.

    Here is Jeff's (Jebediah) story in his own words: Made Stoneware From Texas

    When I was in my early twenties, I apprenticed to a potter in Philadelphia for several years. Unable to make a decent living, I decided to pursue a different career path and went into the electronics industry.

    In 2010, with my eye firmly fixed on retirement, I began to rebuild my studio. To my surprise even after nearly forty years of no pottery I was able to pick up the skill at a pretty rapid rate.

    I retired in 2016 and set up my Etsy shop, registered the name Jebediah's Pottery and here I am. The name arose from my childhood. One of my Mother's nicknames for me was "Jebediah". I work out of my garage which can be a challenge as there's barely enough room to swing a cat (and, No, I don't swing cats).

    My work tends to be simple and utilitarian. Nothing fancy. I throw most of my work on the heavy side as I prefer things with weight and substance.
    I hope you like what you see in my shop. I am always open to any questions, comments or suggestions.




Mayor Douglas Athas gives a high-five to one of the Buddy League Players - Garland Texas

Last night, as a member of the Garland Park Board, I attended our regular meeting and learned about yet another reason to celebrate the community I live in:  The Buddy League.

The Buddy League, unique to our community, was founded by Heather Miller—a local resident who grew up in Garland.  Unlike most buddy organizations that pair adults with children, the buddy league is a peer to peer buddy system. The buddies are children from ages 8 to 18.  Not only is the Buddy League a life changing experience for the children with special needs, it is also a life-changing experience for their buddies as well. 

Heather’s son, Ben Miller was born March 1991 a normal healthy little boy.  At age three months, following his first immunizations his life was changed forever.  He began having seizures.  Ben is now twenty-six and his seizures are severe and frequent.  Sometimes he can’t remember his parent’s names but he never forgets during baseball season that Saturday is baseball day.

Until age 11 Ben played baseball with his three brothers.  He played with the younger kids and he loved it. He laughed, smiled and for one hour a week he was just like everyone else.  Then one day Heather got a phone call that the league could no longer make modifications for Ben and he could no longer play—another dream shattered for Ben.

In the fall of 2002 the Buddy League began.  It was for all the kids out there who, like Ben, needed the chance to be just regular kids, if only for one week.  It was for all the other parents who watch helplessly as their children are excluded and shunned.  A safe, accepting place, the Buddy League was created for them—free from teasing and failure.  In Buddy League sports, everyone plays, everyone is cheered, and everyone is a winner.


After hearing Heather Miller’s presentation last night, I sent her the following email and copied a few of my friends on it:

Thank you, Heather, for sharing your beautiful story with us last night.

You are a great example of how one person can change the lives of so many.  As Molly said last night, you touched the hearts of all the Garland Parks and Recreation staff and the folks on the Parks and Recreation Board.

We live in such an interactive world and your story reminded me of that.  So often we forget that when we do something for others, we end up being the ones who derive the most benefit from the interaction. I thought about that when you spoke of the volunteers and their experience.

It is such a brilliant idea to use peers ages 8 to 18 as baseball buddies to children with special needs.  As you said, this experience will change the hearts and attitudes of those volunteers forever.

Please let me know when your next game will be.  I would love to come and watch the kiddos play and interact together.


Speaking of Creating Ripples in the Universe, Heather, you created some in my universe too! 

You created some ripples in my own world.  Much of my own heart and soul belong to the world of urban agriculture.  As we move more and more into the 21st century and urban living, I believe it is ever more important for us to grow some of the food we eat and to do what we can to restore habitat for creatures in our yards and parks that has been destroyed by our encroaching urbanization.

Baseball is a great activity for kids and so is gardening.  Kids love gardens, worms, butterflies and nature in general.  I am one of the founding members of Loving Garland Green and the Garland Community Garden located at 4022 Naaman School Road.  Over the past three years I've had the pleasure to watch the unbridled joy of classrooms and indeed even entire grades with 112 students romping in the garden.  In addition I've taught several special horticulture classes at Beaver MST and Watson MST.  All kids love nature and they love learning about it and experiencing it.

So, after your presentation, I've been thinking:  How can we turn these kids into urban farmers/nature lovers?  I don't know how wheelchair accessible the Garland Community Garden is, but it might be more so than I think.  It would take a knowledgeable person like you to check it out.  In addition, it's possible we could build some beds at wheelchair accessible height on the outer edges near the driveway (which is mostly covered in grass that we keep mowed but there is a hard gravel surface underneath).

Then I happened to think of three of our schools that have great gardens and also greenhouses: Watson MST; Beaver MST; and Harmony School.  These might be great places for the kids to garden and experience nature as you already have the built-in buddies with the students and they would be wheelchair accessible.  It would be a great program for learning all kinds of good values--not to mention gardening skills.

In case you don't already know, it's a proven scientific fact that interacting with nature improves our health and sense of well being.  There is even a science, Biophilia that is dedicated to the study of the relationship between our health and our interactions with nature.

Any way,  we'll just see where this goes.  In the attempt to create more ripples to support your kids and broaden the scope of Buddy League, I've copied folks on this email who can not only create ripples, but also waves.   

Thank you again, Heather, for sharing your beautiful story.  You are truly a great example of what good one person can accomplish.


Liz Berry (member of Garland Park Board and founding member of Loving Garland Green

For those who are not familiar with Garland's Buddy League:

 The Buddy League, Inc.


Send a Monarch to Mexico! 
You're invited to participate in the 21st annual Symbolic Monarch Butterfly Migration.

Download the instructions:

Teacher Packet


This invitation comes from:



Anita Opel, Officer of the Board of Directors for Loving Garland Green, gets her play on at the Garland Parks and Recreation event in Central Park—Garland Texas July 29, 2017

The day began in the beautiful Garland Community Garden at 8 AM!  Saturday, July 29, 2017 was an important date:  Last Saturday of the Month cleanup at the garden; First day of the International Monarch Monitoring Blitz - Bio-surveillance of Monarchs in summer habitat to measure Monarch density in the garden. We will check milkweed in the garden and in our home gardens between July 29th and August 5th.  [Specifically, we will look for monarch eggs, caterpillars, and chrysalises, and report our observations to the Monarch Larva Monitoring Project (MLMP) at the University of Minnesota]; and finally we ended the day by attending a GET YOUR PLAY ON event Family Night Out in Garland’s Central Park with food, fun, fireworks and a live band, “Downtown Fever.”   This was the last in a series of events hosted throughout the month of July by the Garland Parks and Recreation team. 


 Morning in the Garden 


Burgi and Charlie show off the Monarch that Charlie netted in the Garland Community Garden – July 29, 2017

When you are with friends, even pulling Bermuda grass can be fun—well almost fun.  By the time noon rolled around the Garden looked great; Jane had single-handedly laid the drip irrigation lines for four beds; Charlie had netted his first Monarch ever and the first Monarch netted in the Garland Community Garden.  [The first migrating south Monarch in the Garden was seen yesterday on July 28, 2017.]

First Monarch  (male) confirmed in Garland Community Garden, migrating south – July 28, 2017 – First migrating Monarch confirmed in Garland July 14, 2017 – a female who also laid eggs, which are now pupas (July 29th).

Along with all the work we were able to have fun too.  Among other things we captured a few more Monarch postcards to add to the growing collection. We hope that visitors will continue to stop in at the garden, pose as a monarch, and then send the photo to Garland Mayor Athas at 


Cheryl Andres, Loving Garland Green member, looks rather stunning as a Monarch. July 29, 2017 Garland Community Garden


Regarding monarch eggs, caterpillars, and chrysalises

There were none observed on the milkweed stands we are monitoring down at the garden today.  However, I’m guessing that we will have some caterpillars to report before the end of the observation period (August 5) associated with the Citizen Science project.  It is a blitz observation time with the purpose of capturing a snapshot of what is happening—not only in Texas, but all along the Monarchs migration corridor which in the USA runs roughly 100 miles either side of Interstate 35.



Jermel Stevenson (on left)Managing Director of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts for the City of Garland Texas and staff member at a Get Your Play On event in Garland’s Central Park. July 29, 2017


There is lots of opportunity to have fun, get healthy and learn in our community.  These opportunities are ongoing throughout the year and the invitation is extended to residents of all ages.  Jermel Stevenson is the man who brings it altogether with his leadership and wide experience in city parks and recreation services.

The Parks, Recreation & Cultural Arts Department (PRCAD) manages and oversees programs at City recreation facilities, including the Granville Arts Center and Plaza Theatre. The park system contains more than 2,800 acres of parks and open spaces. PRCAD operates six recreation centers, two senior centers, three swimming pools, Surf and Swim wave pool and Jack Coleman tennis center. 

It was fun to listen to live music and watch families having fun tonight in Central Park, our oldest City park—a lovely expanse of fifty acres.  Although there were several hundred people there, we all had plenty of room—just the way we like it in Garland.  As always, I enjoyed visiting with my friends from Keep Garland Beautiful and catching up on the news in their organization and their lives.

Garland is a great place to live if you like the advantages of a small town without sacrificing the conveniences and other benefits offered by an urban setting.