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Building a Stronger Community Food System One Urban Garden at a Time

Charles Bevilacqua, member of Loving Garland Green begins installation of a raised bed

Yesterday, members of Loving Garland Green installed two more urban gardens.  These gardens were installed in South Garland at the homes of Marie Mathes and Sandra Dinkins.

Jeane Shortsleeve (Member of Loving Garland Green) and Marie Mathes view Marie's finished 4' x 8' square foot garden.

 Sandra Dinkins and Liz Berry (Member of Loving Garland Green) stand beside Sandra's finished square foot garden.

 

Chickens from Eric's yard. 

Note on Eric:  Eric is Sandra's neighbor.  About a month ago he attended one Loving Garland Green meeting.  Until that time, Eric had never heard of Square Foot Gardens, but I showed Eric the ones in my yard and loaned him my copy of Mel Bartholomew's book "Square Foot Gardens". In less than a week Eric built a square foot garden for his family and it is now filled with thriving vegetables. Word of good things spreads fast.  Currrently Loving Garland Green has three more urban gardens to install.  To find out more about our program, visit the home page for our website. Loving Garland Green http://www.lovinggarlandgreen.org/ 

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These urban gardens are part of our mission to register 50,000 urban gardens in Garland by the end of 2015. No, of course, all these installations will not be done by members of Loving Garland Green, but we do anticipate installing several hundred gardens over a period of two years. ;Our program, Another Urban Garden, is designed to raise awareness of all the benefits to be derived from gardening and thereby encourage more residents in our community to join in. Participants in our program are required to keep crop records of their harvests and are encouraged to send in photos as it progresses. In addition, we ask them to pass their gardens forward by encouraging another resident to plant a garden.

Here are a few of the benefits of increasing the number of urban gardens in your communiy:

  • Increased food safety.  Food grown organically means safe, healthy food for you and your family.
  • Increased food security. Food grown locally increases chances of its availability and reduces the susceptibility to disruptions to market delivery (such as natural and man made disasters). Today, most of the food in grocery stores is shipped on average from 1,500 miles away. Furthermore, as part of their efficiency model, most grocery stories only stock their shelves 3 days out before being replenished. As a result of this model which is still followed today, after Katrina, grocery store shelves stayed empty for weeks and people went hungry.
  • Increased monetary benefits for residents and businesses in the local economy.  Urban gardens create new markets and strengthen existing markets.
  • Increased sustainability and self-reliance. Urban agricultural gardens such as those advocated by Loving Garland Green, follow agricultural and food system practices that do not compromise the ability of future generations to meet their food needs. Sustainability of the food and agriculture system is increased when a diversified agriculture exists and when members of a community have more input in building that food system.
  • Increased community awareness and bonding.  Gardening is a common bond that makes it easy for people from all walks of life to talk with one another and share ideas.

 

 

Friday, April 11, 2014