Loving Garland Green at the Garland Marketplace
Today (July 19) was the third Saturday of the month and thus the monthly Garland Marketplace. It was the first time that Loving Garland Green had a booth there--actually, we shared a booth with Fresh Connections who have a community garden located at the Buckingham United Methodist Church on 1212 West Buckingham Rd. Garland. TX - 75044.
If you missed the Marketplace today, you'll have a second chance on Saturday, August 16. We plan to have two booths. side by side on that date. I hope you'll be there.
In addition to fresh produce, both Loving Garland Green and Fresh Connections brought live plants to sell. These plants were cuttings from our own gardens. Below is a photo of 12 blackberry plants that I brought for Loving Garland Green. We sold out at $4 dollars a plant. Margie and Gene brought pecan and apricot trees; Marie and Jean brought a plethora of aloe plants; members of Fresh Connections brought numerous varieties of flowering plants for sale. Residents who are interested should mark their calendars for August 16, the date for the next Garland Marketplace as there is likely no place in the DFW area where you can purchase plants at such discounted prices.
One of the ongoing goals of Loving Garland Green is to show our community, by example, just exactly how gardens can enrich the local economy by creating new markets and supporting existing markets. Today, solely through the sale of locally grown produce, cuttings from our garden, and an organic plant spray we made from cayenne pepper and water, we earned $97. As each new garden is installed in our community, our local economy will be enriched--not only in measurable dollar and cents value, but in other values as well that are not so easily measured. For example, how do you measure the value of the satisfaction you feel when you eat a tomato or a peach from your garden? How do you measure the value of feeling connected to the people in your community? How do you measure the value of improved health?
Kirk Lovett, owner of Eventive Marketing Solutions, has worked hard for over a year now to attract vendors selling local produce at this marketplace. At last it looks like all Kirk's hard work is paying off. It's also nice to remember that a portion of the proceeds earned by the vendors at the Garland Marketplace go to support the Good Samaritans--a local nonprofit dedicated to giving a hand-up to the working poor in our community.
I didn't count the vendors, but an eyeball survey tells me that at least 50% of the vendors were those selling edibles. And many vendors such as Melyssa Childs-Wiley, owner of Fat Lady Foods who makes delicious jams, purchase the goods they don't grow themselves from local folks. As for her commercial kitchen, Melyssa goes to the Hour Kitchen right here in Garland where she lives. That's how things work in a healthy local economy. Most of the money spent in a healthy local economy stays and is recirculated in that economy.
Visiting a Few of My Old Friends at the Marketplace
That's the only bad thing for me about helping out in a booth at the marketplace--I don't have much time left to visit with all the other vendors, but I did make it around to a couple of the booths today.
Naturally I had to stop by the Ragsdale Farms booth and chat with Paul Ragsdale and his son, Zach. They reported to me that today was their most successful sales event at the marketplace since they began participating last summer of 2013. I was so happy to hear that as I cannot think of any two people more deserving of success. Ragsdale Farms is located in Caddo Mills and they sell aquaponic produce, fresh farm eggs, mesquite wood and Moringa trees. Sounds like Zach is moving closer to commercial production of his Moringa Oleifera health products. The Moringa is tropical plant said to have over 46 antioxidants and 92 nutrients. It also contains 36 anti-inflammatory and over 20 amino acids. Moringa leaves also contain vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6, B7, C, D, E and K, Moringa has many medicinal uses and has been used to treat conditions such arthritis, rheumatism, anemia, cancer, diabetes, epilepsy and stomach complications such as spasms, ulcers, stomach pain and constipation. It is said that Moringa can also help to boost the immune system. Zach grows Moringa trees at the farm and he sells them at the Garland marketplace. I traded him a blackberry plant for a Moringa today.
Stephanie Cole of Pic-licious
Stephanie also uses local sources for her supplies. Her food products are all pickle-based and quite interesting combinations. For example, she makes sweet and savory, "guilt-free" dessert pickles. featuring: Caramel English Toffee, Dutch Chocolate, French Vanilla Ice Cream, Banana Cream Pie, Cheesecake and Peach Cobbler. She makes beverage pickles such as Pina Colada and Hurricane Rum. She makes fruity pickles such as strawberry and grape.
The sample I had was a chocolate pickled cucumber--same as last month. I know, it sounds awful, but guess what--as Stephanie says at her site, it was Pic-licious. Her pickles will add a new twist to any meal. To contact her directly, call her at 214-670-2042 or you can write to her at firstname.lastname@example.org. She already has a restaurant in Irving that is serving her zesty marianades. Even more business will come her way as Stephanie is soon to be joined by her daughter from Colorado who is marketing professional. She has promised her mom to grow the business into a "real" company. Near as I can tell, Stephanie's company is already real--real good and pic-licious.
Delia Mora of Pura Life (Homemade Soy Candles)
All of the lovely scented soy candles you see in the photo above were made in the home of Delia and Randall Mora. In addition to these candles, they also create interesting pictures with dried flowers and leaves. Below is my favorite one of a little creature. Visit their website at Pura Life.