Urban gardening can cure many things that may ail residents in a community.
Gardening will improve gardener's awareness of:
- healthy fresh food and thus improve their own health
- our connectivity to all living things and thus promote improved stewardship of the planet
- the value of the people in their community
In addition to all of the above, urban gardening also has been shown by many studies to improve local economies by creating new markets and supporting existing markets.
Do you know this fellow?
Well I didn't until yesterday when I was busy at work finishing up our latest installation--the Winding Garden--at the Garland Community Garden. I was on my way to get a bucket of water for my dog Bubbles who supervises my work down at the garden. I looked like a chimney sweep as I had already been shoveling compost for about 4 hours when Monroe drove up in his truck.
Turns out that Monroe's family once owned much of the land in the area around the location of the Garland Community Garden. There is even a street named after his family in the Firewheel residential area. Monroe lives on the corner of Talley and Todd. In addition to other land around here, his family once owned what is now the Provence area of Firewheel.
Talking with Monroe, I learned much about the history of the community in which I live. For example, I did not know that in 1927 a tornado wiped out a considerable part of Garland and several people, including a former Mayor of Garland, S.E. Nicholson, were killed in that tornado. In fact tomorrow will be the anniversary of that deadly event.
Around 3am on 9 May 1927 a terribly violent storm moved from southwest to northeast across Dallas County. People in Dallas were awakened and amazed at the ferocity of the clouds and near-constant lightning display. In Garland, the storm dropped a tornado that killed 13 people and decimated three city blocks. Monroe told me that he lost an uncle and an aunt in that disaster.
Monroe, the retired City Fire Marshall of Richardson, resides on 4 1/2 acres of land at the corner of Talley and Todd that he shares with chickens and 21 goats. He invited me over to meet the goats. I will be visiting them one of these days soon. In fact, I'm already considering the possibility of asking Monoe if he will loan Loving Garland Green two or three of his goats to keep the meadow down at our garden. Of course we would have to be very careful to tether them so they can't reach the produce.
When I look at the picture above, I'm now curious about those pieces of paper and the pens. I wonder what he makes notes about? I asked him if he used a computer, but he doesn't. I was going to tell him about Loving Garland Green.org, but I figured he knows where we really are--at 4022 Naaman School Road.
Do you know this fellow?
Well, I didn't either until yesterday and furthermore, if I hadn't been gardening, I still wouldn't know Dale.
Dale also saw me out urban gardening in the Garland Community Garden yesterday and stopped by for a chat. Dale is a chef by trade. Like many industrious Americans these days, Dale also has a second job. He drives a truck and delivers for Swan Food. Dale's dream is to teach people how to cook healthy food.
Dale is also interested in growing healthy food and has a garden at his home here in Garland. Recently he purchased some second-hand school lockers, laid them down on their backs, took the doors off, and converted them into almost ready-made raised beds. It's absolutely amazing the ingenuity of people when it comes to creating garden containers. Perhaps I can talk Dale into teaching us where to find old school lockers and teach us how to create these beds. With a little paint they could be quite attractive.
Dale took all the information about Loving Garland Green and said that he plans to attend our meetings.
Now do you see why I think Urban Gardening is a social cure-all?