Do you know how to keep your basil growing strong until the fall frost?

If left to its own ways, basil will burst into flowers about now, with almost every stalk sporting buds that will soon bloom and stop your supply of basil leaves, as the plant’s energy is redirected to flowering instead of leaf production.

The way to stop this and extend the glorious fresh basil season is to pinch the buds off, keeping the energy in leaf production.

The top photo shows where to pinch the buds from the stem, and the photo below shows what a few buds look like.

Don’t throw those buds away! If you smell them, they have a wondrously dense basil aroma that is perfect for perking up summer salads, boosting fresh-made mayonnaise, or adding anywhere the heavenly aroma of fresh basil will be appreciated.


Linsey Gilbert, School Nurse and Founder of the Parkcrest Elementary School Garden shows one of at least 100 gourds growing in their garden.  To the right is one of many cantaloupes. August 15, 2019

Last spring I was among several adults from the community who supported Linsey and the students at Parkcrest Elementary here in Garland, Texas in putting in their school garden.  Nancy Tunell from our Neighborhood Vitality group; Reba Collins from Keep Garland Beautiful; David Parrish from the Garland Park Board; and Matt Clennan were among the others. 


Althaea officinalis, or marsh-mallow thriving in the Parkcrest Elementary Garden.=August 15, 2019


Lindsey called yesterday and asked if I would come over and identify a plant so I dropped by this morning.  As it turned out the plant was a marshmallow plant. I was surprised to see it as it had been started from seed.  I remember joking with the students in the spring when we planted them that they could pick marshmallows from it in the fall.

The plants were quite healthy and thriving.  Althaea officinalis, or marsh-mallow, is a perennial species indigenous to Europe, Western Asia, and North Africa, which is used in herbalism and as an ornamental plant. A confection made from the root since ancient Egyptian times evolved into today's marshmallow treat.  However today’s marshmallows are not made from the plant.  The leaves and flowers are edible and may be put in salads.  As an herbal remedy, the leaves, roots and stem are sometimes boiled and used as a gargle to treat mouth ulcers.

Okra, lush and healthy was not a surprise—both red and green varieties.  Okra grows well everywhere—even west Texas.


Rudbeckia hirta, commonly called black-eyed Susan, is a North American flowering plant in the sunflower family.  Reba Collins and her team of students planted some of these lovely plants in the pollinator garden at Parkcrest and look at them today!  August 15, 2019.

Gourds, gourds and more gourds! 

Linsey mentioned they would be making a lot of birdhouses at Parkcrest this fall.

I was particularly amazed at the huge number of plants from the Cucurbitaceous family (gourds, cantaloupes, watermelons were abundant) in the garden.  I told Linsey that the North Texas squash bugs must not have their address yet since it is a new garden.  She smiled shyly and then spoke of her de-evolution as a human being.  First she said she had a battery-operated vacuum and she would vacuum them up and then release them in the woods.  Then as they increased in number she started squishing them between her fingers. As a last and Linsey-recommended resort, she got a sharp pair of scissors and just snipped them in half.

Linsey is an inspiration and a lesson in rewards of persistence in the garden. I don’t think I’ve ever grown a squash to maturity since I moved here. Tell your friends you can defeat the squash bugs—better called curcubit bugs because they don’t limit their destruction to squash—if you are diligent and persistent and a tad mean, although I never would have thought that of Linsey as she is extremely nice.  Linsey gave me a cantaloupe and a tomato from the garden.

Lesson from the Garden: Like people never judge a food by its exterior appearance because you never know until you look at what lies within.  The melon was great and I saved the seeds.


  • Linsey is looking into starting an after school club based on Jane Goodall’s Roots and Shoots.  More about this program at

    221 South 9th Street Garland 75040

    We will be building Garden Boxes for PAC on the 18th this month (Sunday) from around 10:30am to 12:30pm. The garden is off to the side of the parking lot, which is at the corner of Avenue A and S Tenth St. in Downtown Garland.
    Drills and 3-inch deck screws would come in handy just in case we don't have enough there. Feel free to bring other garden goodies, soil etc. as there is already produce growing that could use it.  We are also slowly building a media folder to document all our Garden/Nature projects around town which you can find here -
  • Garden Day at Lister Elementary School – September Friday 13.  This would be a back to school all day event similar to the one held at Parkcrest Elementary this spring.  They are looking for volunteers for the following stations at this event:
    =Insect or Butterfly Station
    -soil types and composting information
    =vegetable garden
    -nutrition testing
    -wildlife habitat/native prairie
    CONTACT:  THELMA MOORE 2nd Grade – Lister Elementary, Garland Texas.
    Thelma Moore

    NOTE: Just arrived on my email:   Reba Collins, Master Naturalist volunteered to head up the butterfly station and Holly Frias from our Garland ISD Student Nutrition Services is sending two interns to assist with the nutrition testing.



NUMBER 1:  If you have been recently awarded your 501 C 3 Nonprofit status from the IRS.  Go to GuideStar and update your information.

This company does not inform nonprofits that they have uploaded your information from the IRS into their database that donors use to find information about nonprofit organizations.  Worse:  on the very front page of your company's information page.  In lieu of your mission statement you will see:  "This organization has not provided  GuideStar with a mission statement."  As if somehow you were supposed to intuit they had done this.

It is unfortunate that you must play along with their schtick but you do as thousand of potential donors are sent to this database to find information about donors.  If they don't find any information about you and worse, information that looks like you've been derelict, you can kiss that donation goodbye.



Many fundraising authorities advise small local nonprofits to not even waste their efforts on participating in these campaigns.

The people behind #GivingTuesday are in it for the right reasons.  But for small and mid-sized nonprofit organizations who don’t have lots of extra time or staff to run projects and campaigns that aren’t going to pan out, it’s a waste of their time and money.   Here are a few of the reasons that expert fundraisers give:


1.  Your Message Will Get Crowded Out

Non-profit direct mail fundraisers know that one of the worst times to send a fundraising letter for a charity is in the couple of weeks before a major election.  Why?  Because the candidates and their supporters are going to be flooding mailboxes with oversized postcards, self-mailers, and every other type of direct mail communication possible.

Take a cue from direct mail experts, and send your fundraising communications on a day when your communication can be the star of the show…  not a day like #GivingTuesday when you will be one of dozens of requests your donors receive.


2. Giving Tuesday is Primarily a social media activity. 

Social media is good for  sending people over to your organization’s website by posting links to interesting, compelling and informative content.  Then, when donors click over to your website, you should be doing everything possible to get them to give you their email address—by signing up for your newsletter or to receive a free e-book or some giveaway.  Email is still the killer fundraising app on the Web.  Read Figuring Out Your Non-Profit’s Social Media Strategy to learn how to use social media the right way for fundraising.

3. Giving Tuesday encourages spot giving

Spot giving tactics are fundraising strategies that encourage one time gifts or gifts that are so tied to an external event as to take them out of the normal giving pattern for a non-profit’s donors.


4. You won’t raise a lot of money on Giving Tuesday

In 2012 donors gave over $10 million to nonprofits online on #GivingTuesday.  However, $10 millions spread out over thousands of nonprofit organizations is not that much—especially considering the lion’s share of the donations go to the larger fish in the sea who have both the time and the money to launch more extensive media appeals.


SOURCE FOR SOME OF THIS INFORMATION:  [ Accessed 7/29/2019 at 7:18 AM}

Recommended Reading:

How to Raise More Money for Any Non-Profit.




Send out your solicitations and plan your fundraising drives for late July to early August.  If you are a small local nonprofit, then make as much of your appeal face to face with small local businesses.  Like you, they too are small fish in an ocean filled with big box competition.  You are not going to have much appeal at a national level and you not going to have a lot of appeal even at a regional level when you are competing head on with large multinational nonprofits such as Habitat for Humanity or the Cancer Society.





Update the information for your organization on GuideStar.

What?  You never heard of GuideStar?  Well you can get in line with hundreds of other new small nonprofit organizations.  GuideStar is a nonprofit organization that is currently merging with another nonprofit called “Candid”.  But GuideStar has been around for at least 5 years that I know of.

GuideStar is a database with the names of all the nonprofit organizations who have registered with the IRS.  If you have registered and been certified as a 501 c3 nonprofit organization, you are in their database.  GuideStar is the database that many donors use to check up on a nonprofit that is asking them for money.  For example, it is reported that 55,000 from Facebook used GuideStar to check on organizations asking for donations on Facebook.

Big problem with GuideStar

They download the IRS files but the information is not sorted into a format that most donors will understand.  But more importantly GuideStar does not notify the nonprofit organizations that they have downloaded half-baked information about the organization and uploaded it to their database.  You have no way of knowing this has been done.

I never heard of GuideStar until almost three years after founding Loving Garland Green and we participated in North Texas Day of Giving and we were told we had to update our information in this database.  At that point in time we had already been in operation for almost three years.  So, for almost three years when any potential donor would look up Loving Garland Green on GuideStar, they would see a screen that looked like the following example.  [I’ve blanked out name of Nonprofit, Ein number and name/address of a member that appears on this page.



Notice in the image above, for the Mission statement GuideStar has taken it upon themselves to write in:  “This organization has not provided GuideStar with a mission statement”  --as if somehow this is all our fault that we didn’t write a mission statement to be included in the database of GuideStar, an organization we never even heard of.  But that doesn’t matter.  And even worse, the whole tone of this implies the nonprofit is somehow out of compliance, or lax in their duties—which is totally false.

This is just another example of how small fish swimming in the sea of multinational corporations have the odds stacked against them when it comes to fundraising in competition with large nonprofit organizations such as the American Heart Association, the Cancer Society and others.

It’s the same story in the world of for profit organizations. Mom and Pop local operations face the same one-sided type of competition with large corporations.  For example, here in the USA our government defines a “small business” as any company with fewer than 500 employees.  This means that subsidiaries of large multinational corporations like Bechtel can compete with small mom and pop operations for government subsidies.  As far as the true definition of a small business in the USA is concerned:  Of the 28 million small businesses in the USA, 22 million are individually operated without any employees. The United State’s small business community contributes roughly half of the total $17 trillion GDP (approximately $8.5 trillion.)


ADVICE TO DONORS:  Give more to local nonprofits!

Make a special effort to learn about and seek out your local nonprofits this year.  Like any local organization, more of the money you give to them will stay and directly benefit the people in your community and less of it will go for operating expenses for the nonprofit. If you come across a profile in GuideStar that looks like the one in this article, don’t just automatically write them off.  Seek them out.  Make a small effort to find their website or Facebook and learn who they are.  Don’t just depend on one source.  It’s to your advantage and to your community’s advantage to do this.  My three favorite nonprofits in my community of Garland:

Garland Area Makerspace (

Loving Garland Green ( )

Good Samaritans of Garland (


TIP 1 FOR LOCAL NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS: Update your GuideStar information.

I know, it’s not fair but if you want to give your organization the best chance possible to profit from fundraising efforts, you’ve got to go to GuideStar and update the worse than non-information that may be showing there for your nonprofit organization.

Go to this link and search under the name of your organization.


TIP 2 FOR LOCAL NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS:  Use technology to help contact donors.

Visit this Nonprofit Tech for Good.  It has some fabulous information to help you.





This is what a GuideStar listing for a nonprofit organization looks like after the members of the organization update it:


Below you can see what the Dallas Makerspace looks like.  Keep in mind Dallas Makerspace has been a nonprofit for almost 10 years and has over 400 members.I don't know why their site has SEE SCHEDULE O instead of  “This organization has not provided GuideStar with a mission statement”   as does the current site for Garland Area Makerspace.  I do know that Schedule O is the form for submitting supplemental information to the IRS Form 990.  I couldn't tell you why they have not updated their site in this database as did Loving Garland Green and others.  Perhaps they are less like sheep.  Perhaps their update is to simply reference donors to this IRS supplemental form--which is a little like saying "go play 52 card pickup" because that information really isn't very helpful--not that I would blame them for doing this at all.    

if nothing else this is a testimony to the reliability of the information in the GuideStar database.  The Dallas Makerspace has been around for almost 10 years has over 400 members and is a great organization deserving of community support but you wouldn't learn that here.

SO ONCE AGAIN, DONORS:  Please don't rely on one source when seeking information regarding nonprofits who deserve support.



Patriotism is, according to Merriam Webster, a "love for or devotion to one's country." Nationalism is a "sense of national consciousness exalting one nation above all others and placing primary emphasis on promotion of its culture and interests as opposed to those of other nations or supranational groups."

A flag is merely a symbol.  it is not THE nation nor is it THE people.  Its reverence should never be put above that of "we the people."



This 1920 depiction of Betsy Ross in the company of George Washington is most likely historically inaccurate.

About the Origin of the USA Flag

Once again it would appear that we've been sold a bill of goods when it comes to the history of our flag.  Most of us believe the story that Betsy Ross was visited by George Washington and sewed up the first flag in June of 1776.  There are no historical documents to substantiate this.  In fact, there is much to refute this claim.This pattern of the thirteen stars in a circle is now commonly called the "Betsy Ross flag", although claims by her descendants that Betsy Ross contributed to this design are not generally accepted by modern American scholars and vexillologists.  

  • There is no evidence to show that Betsy Ross and George Washington knew each other, or that George Washington was ever in her shop.
  • The Flag Resolution of June 1777 was the first documented meeting, discussion, or debate by Congress about a national flag.

Burgi and Liz with some of the harvest


Today was a harvest morning in the garden.  It always takes longer than I expect.  We started at 7:30 and finished at about 9:30.  Then we delivered to Good Samaritan's of Garland--as always a lovely place to visit.   Pam Swendig and the volunteers at Good Sam's do such a great job of managing the place.

Burgi and I picked three containers of blackberries; 12 grocery bags of Kale (about 4 servings each); four bags of red spinach; one bag of Malabar spinach;  two bags or oregano; four bags of basil and two bags of mint.  Our total count in weight this visit was 13 pounds.  But it all adds up over our long growing season.  For the past three years Loving Garland Green has averaged 450 pounds of produce a year.  Never hesitate to give because you think the gift from your garden is too small.  Feeding even one person one meal is never small.


"Ole Blue" loaded with fresh produce from the Garland Community Garden.



With a makerspace, creating prototypes for new Inventions and getting them to Market is not as difficult as it once was.

Elizabeth Berry

Since the time of Thomas Edison, invention has been as much about manufacturing and marketing inventions successfully as about having great ideas in the first place.

Some of the most famous inventors in history have developed existing ideas and made them successful. Edison didn't invent electric light, but he did develop the first commercially successful, long-lasting electric light bulb.

In much the same way, Italian inventor Guglielmo Marconican't really be credited with the invention of the radio. Other people, such as German Heinrich Hertz and Englishman Oliver Lodge, had already successfully demonstrated the science behind radio and sent the first radio messages. What Marconi did was to turn radio into a much more practical technology and sell it to the world through bold and daring demonstrations.

Successful inventions often have to dislodge existing ones, both from our minds (which often find it hard to imagine new ways of doing things) and from their hold on the marketplace (which they may have dominated for years or decades).

In the past it was difficult and expensive for an individual to create the prototype and then launch a new invention.  Thus, such activities remained largely the province of giant corporations with the expensive tools and space to build.  Our modern technology and the Internet today have changed all that.  And now with makerspaces to bring these expensive tools and latest technology together in a collaborative diverse environment we have the potential of a fast track the world has never seen for new inventions and technology.

Makerspaces Do Not Replace Manufacturing Companies

In conclusion, it is important to note that while makerspaces can spawn new inventions and technology, they are not in competition with manufacturing firms.  Makerspaces are not there to mass-produce items.  Makerspace are there to create one-of-kind things—as art or as prototypes to be produced in a manufacturing environment elsewhere.  A makerspace could not afford to allow one or two of its members to tie up use of their shared tools and technology for the ongoing mass production of one product.  If a maker invents something, they must approach a manufacturer to mass-produce it.


John Jones (Jonesy), Vice President of the Garland Area Makerspace, at our table.  Our theme was answering the question:  What is a maker?  The answers featured included Community Colleges; members of our makerspace; and two of the several local merchants in our area who have sponsored events for us:  Artie Moskowitz of 3D Printer Farms and Jeff Arrendell from Rockler Woodworking and Hardware of Garland.


The event, sponsored by our Garland Chamber of Commerce was a great success. I did glimpse into the room where the fashion show was taking place from time to time and saw some fantastic fashion outfits—some of them designed by the models.  Ana Maria DeYoung a volunteer from our local Chamber and one of my friends, worked with others from the Chamber to make this event the huge success it was.  The turnout was to capacity. 

As a vendor representing the Garland Area Makerspace, most of my time was spent chatting with people who came to our table so I’ll tell you about them.

I’ll begin by mentioning the two local vendors on either side of us:  Alma’s sweet treats and Catering on one side and Lush and Plus on the other side. 

Apparently owner Alma Espinosa not only caters events by providing sweets, she also can create decorations for the event as well.  When we arrived to set up our table, Alma was busy creating a giant balloon entrance to the event with what appeared to be at least 100 balloons.  The effect of walking through the archway was like walking through the bubbles of champagne.   Jonesy and I each ate one of her delicious cookies.  If you need catering for your event, you can call Alma at 972-621-9884.

Lush & Plus Boutique, a new local business in downtown Garland, were our neighbors on the other side.  Sonya Owens, owner, has located her business at 804 West State Street.  Be sure to stop by to see some fantastic one-of-a-kind items.




Herb Moncibais – Chairman, Founder, and Creator of the Tri-County Regional Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

The Tri-County Regional Hispanic Chamber of Commerce has 17 Branch Hispanic Chambers serving 5 counties in North Texas and has Branch Chambers in 6 Latin American countries.

The Tri-County Regional Hispanic Chamber is expanding in many cities in North Texas and in Latin America offering its members tremendous economic growth here in Texas and Latin America. Herb’s expertise is in marketing and sales, specializing in product branding and visibility for international companies in the United States. The huge growth of the Hispanic market and the untapped market between the Americas (North, Central and South America) could be the tipping point advantage for the Tri-County Regional Hispanic Chamber in Texas 2020 and beyond.

Herb is an extremely personable man who is easy to talk with—a visionary who sees things and opportunities that others might miss.  For example when he stopped at our table, one of the things he picked up was an architectural model of the City of Dallas that had been created on a 3D printer.  When we explained to him how it had been created, Herb immediately saw the application of this technology to assist some people he is working with in Frisco to create some models for their projects.  Then we showed him two of the prosthetics for children also created on a 3D printer and he was even more intrigued, saying “This is exactly the kind of technology for the future that we need to be teaching our kids how to use today.  By the time they are adults, many of jobs today won’t even exist.”


Herb is right and creating jobs and technology of the future is part of the work of makerspaces.  Our schools and community colleges prepare them for jobs that exist now.  However, the unique environment of a makerspace is that it is also a laboratory for creating things of the future.  It is a place where people can tinker and talk to one another.  A makerspace is a collaborative environment that encourages people to experiment and tinker with new ideas.  A makerspace is a place where it’s OK to make mistakes and try again.  Already some of our technology of the future has come from a makerspace.  For example, The SQUARE , a device that allows business people to easily swipe credit and debit cards on their phone to building out a custom solution on their payment platform, or even selling online—was created in the tinkering/collaborative environment of a makerspace. When people get together and tinker and talk—especially in an environment that provides tools such as 3D printers they might not otherwise afford—all kinds of magic begins to happen.

We hope to talk more with Herb in the future to see how we can work together to support our common efforts.



 Of course, everyone who was anyone was there.


Garland City Council Members: Deborah Morris (Second District) and Robert Smith (Eighth District) 

I don’t know how they do it but it seems that these two council members manage to stop by every single Garland event.  And they always have time to talk with me.  I love them both—not only for what they do for me, but for what they do for our City.  


Deborah with the delightful Somprasong



Kay Moore—Kay is one of the most vivacious and active members of our community.  She wrote the lyrics for a Becoming Garland Avenue, a musical drama set in the early days of the last century and performed on the downtown square at the Plaza Theater.  The drama featured an original script and musical score. Not one to rest on her laurels, Kay is now planning a huge Christmas event for the historical district of Garland.




No community should be without a makerspace.  It's the place where new technology and new jobs are born.

Visit our website at 

We need you.




Interesting how political cartoons can resurface as real life.  Theodor Geisel created this cartoon almost 80 years ago as satire.  Just the other day we heard similar words from a US newscaster (Brian Kilmeade). The only difference is that Mr. Kilmeade was not being satirical when he said: “Like it or not, these are not our kids.  It’s not like he’s doing this to the people of Idaho or Texas.  These are people from another country.”


Dr. Seuss (Theodor Geisel) served in the army during World War II as a Hollywood propagandist for the war effort.  On January 7, 1943 Geisel reported for duty leaving behind New York apartment and his budding career writing and illustrating children’s books under his distinctive pseudonym—Dr. Seuss. 

Actually Geisel had already put behind his children’s projects three years prior to joining the army.  When Paris fell to the Nazis, he began to create political cartoons aimed at Adolf Hitler and American isolationists such as Charles Lindbergh who wanted to keep the country out of the war in Europe.  In  1941 and 1942 he drew over 400 editorial cartoons for PM. (PM was a liberal-leaning daily newspaper published in New York City by Ralph Ingersoll from June 1940 to June 1948 and financed by Chicago millionaire Marshall Field III.)

Following are a couple of my favorites from his time at PM:

[From:  Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego, La Jolla}

This one, featuring the USA as the Thanksgiving roast turkey being served up by Hitler was created by Geisel on November 20, 1941--just a few weeks before Pearl Harbor was attacked.


The following one was created on February 10, 1942--only about two months after the USA entered into World War II.  its purpose is of course to warn against over confidence.  There are many ways in which this cartoon could be applied to today's world--depending of course on your world view.


Poverty, even more than race or ethnicity determines who ends up in prison in the USA.  And, there is a connection between poverty and lack of education in the USA:  the less education one has, the poorer one will be and thus more likely to end up in prison.  This is the biggest and most important reason I can give people for doing all they can to keep our kids in school and to help those between the ages of 18 and 29 who have dropped out of school.  [Note:  even if you don’t like kids you should contribute in any way you can to this effort because people in jail cost taxpayers billions of dollars every year.]

Our jails and prisons are mostly filled with America’s poor. Since black people are far likelier to be impoverished or low-income, they’re also far likelier to be locked up.

The probability that a low-income black man has been jailed is around 52 percent; for an upper-income black man it’s 14 percent. That statistic reveals a lot about the role of poverty's relationship to those in American prisons.

Most of the people in prison in the USA are poor. The prison population of 2.2 million is evenly divided between black and white.  But one thing the overwhelming majority of inmates have in common is lack of education and poverty.

Year after year, the United States beats out much larger countries -- India, China -- and more totalitarian ones --Russia and the Philippines -- for the distinction of having the highest incarceration rate in the world. According to a 2018 report from the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), nearly 2.2 million adults were held in America's prisons and jails at the end of 2016.

Another way to put America's love of prisons in a global perspective: While the United States represents about 4.4 percent of the world's population, it houses around 22 percent of the world's prisoners. The American criminal justice system’s glaring racial disparities are well known: Black people make up nearly 40 percent of America’s incarcerated population and only 12% of our population at large. Black people are more than five times as likely than whites to be behind bars.  Thus, to say that racism does not play a part would be inaccurate; however, as noted by the fact that only 14% of educated black men could expect to go to prison compared to 52 percent for low-income black men. Education plays the overriding prominent role in what a person can expect for their income over their lifetime.  In most cases people with a good education earn twice that of people with no education.

The American prison system is bursting at the seams with people who have been shut out of the economy and who had neither a quality education nor access to good jobs. In 2014 dollars, incarcerated people had a median annual income of $19,185 prior to their incarceration, which is 41% less than non-incarcerated people of similar ages.




1. Garland ISD is hosting Community brainstorming sessions to get ideas from our community as to how we can improve our schools for our kids.

2. Richland College, Garland Branch, is teaming with Texas Workforce and local Garland businesses to provide free and meaningful training that will be a stepping-stone to a job that pays a living wage for youth between the ages of 18 and 29.  Often the students they serve are dropouts from high school—kids who were left behind.

3. The Gilbreath-Reed Technological Career opened its doors two years ago to offer training and education in a makerspace environment that appeals to students with the kind of intelligence that likes to learn by doing.  The classes at Gilbreath-Reed are open to Junior and Senior students in the Garland ISD. Many of these classes lead to certifications that can open doors to a good job when the student graduates.  Gilbreath-Reed is an educational facility that among other things also helps to keep at-risk kids in school and learning and preparing in meaningful ways for adulthood.


Private probation companies charge excessive fees to low income people who can't pay small fines like traffic tickets.  If they can't pay they go to jail.