I got an email yesterday from the Neighborhood Vitality Office of Garland informing me they had received "several complaints" regarding the "trash bags" at the garden. [Personally, I think these complaints came from certain city employees (perhaps our ever vigilant code compliance police) and not from average private Garland residents. However, in complete fairness, I don't know that for certain--just a hunch. Somehow, I can't picture an average citizen actually being so intensely concerned regarding the appearance of these leaf bags. These bags are so far away from the road they blur into the background as most citizens speed at 50 miles an hour along this 30 mile an hour stretch of Naaman School Road. I sincerely doubt they would care one way or another about these leaf bags and they pose no health hazard to our community.]
Still, as President of Loving Garland Green, I would like to set my community straight regarding these bags so you don't think we are "trashing up the place."
First of all, they are not "trash bags". They are leaf bags that are filled with clean leaves that are being used to build up the soil of the existing beds and to build new beds down at the garden.
Second of all, they are not permanent fixtures on the landscape. Members of Loving Garland Green are emptying them daily into the garden. We hope to have them all blended into the garden by the end of January and we ask your patience for the next six weeks--a lot shorter time period, for example, than the ongoing construction of our City Hall.
Sign in the Back of the Garland Community Garden (posted September 2014) Explaining Creation of Garden Beds
And finally, we invite you down to the garden. There, you will find a sign in the back of the garden by the leaf bags that explains how the garden soil at the Garland Community Garden is created. We use an organic method called "the lasagna method." This involves putting down a layer of cardboard, wetting it thoroughly to create a barrier to sunlight that will kill the grass and weeds. On top of that layer we will put newspaper, leaves and green compost along with rabbit manure. We will cover these beds with black 6 mil plastic and let them cook until the first of March. At that time we will remove the layer of plastic and begin planting. Once the plants are established, we will mulch. If you would like more education on this method, you can access http://lovinggarlandgreen.org and search on our website under "lasagna garden." There you will find more information and even a video on the topic. This is the most economical method for creating healthy soil needed to grow healthy vegetables. Our organization could not afford to purchase as much soil as we would need to supply this garden. In addition, by using this method, we are an example for the community, showing them how to build a great garden with little or no money. We have presented demonstrations of these builds at various community events over the past year--including the Healthy Living Expo here in Garland this fall.
New Sign in the Garland Community Garden Installed Dec 16, 2014
In addition to the sign (which has been there for several months) explaining the Winding Garden and because of the report of the complaints "from several sources", I created two more signs today explaining the leaf bags and cardboard. One of these signs is in the back of the garden near the leaf bags, and the other one is in the front part of the garden. These new signs briefly explain the presence of the leaf bags and cardboard and simply request your patience over this transition period.
If you see me or another member of Loving Garland Green down at the garden dumping and watering leaves, please feel free to stop and help us--especially if you happen to be one of the complainers. That way you can assist in removing the source of your complaints and at the same time help to make your community better.