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Preparing for an Upcoming Garland Community Garden and more!

Excited! Excited! Excited!

In addition to decorating Urban Garden One for Halloween [the garden that now takes up about 1/3 of what was once my front yard lawn] I've also been busy talking with various members of the Garland city government regarding the establishment of a community garden which will be located at 4022 Naaman School Road near the junction of Brand and Naaman School Road.

One of my concerns was the area proposed for us for this garden would be a flood plain.  However, just yesterday I learned, after talking with Thomas Guillory from the Garland Engineering Department, the flood plain is primarily located on the other side of Spring Creek--not on the side designated for the garden. The garden site is three acres of non-flood plain area.

A planning committee is being formed and we will have our first meeting at my home at 6:30 On Thursday October 24.  Thus far, there are ten people from Next Door who  have expressed an interest in being on the planning committee.  All interested citizens from Garland are welcome to participate in this venture.  If  you wish to be on the planning committee, please call me at 972-571-4497.  We will have to close invitations at 20 people but I'm sure as the plans expand that these people will form subcommittes as well.  There will be lots of opportunity for citizen involvement.

My vision for this garden involves more than creating 40 to 50 garden plots, although that will be part of our plan. 

I am hoping that we can create a space that will serve as a living demonstration center and incubator for innovations that will inspire solutions to eliminate food insecurity in all of Garland; provide affordable housing solutions for all our citizens; and will inspire citizens to create new businesses to meet some of the new demands generated by focusing on building a local plant-based economy.

At the moment,  I would like to see a space with at least 50 traditional garden spaces; at least one small home located on the site*; an area that holds three aquaponic tanks that are growing plants; an area where solar products can be demonstrated;  a small covered pavilion that can be used as an outdoor classroom; and an area that is designed as a self-sustaining edible forest.  [Note:  that is eventually what my Urban Garden One will evolve into.  Presently it is in the first year stage and it contains annual vegetables along with other perennials.  Eventually it will be all fruit and nut trees along with perennial vegetables -- a self-contained eco-system.]

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*Hand in hand with re-thinking our food system is re-thinking other healthier and more affordable approaches to living.  For example, most of us don't need nearly as much square footage as we currently build into our homes.  I would like to have a living demonstration of that in our garden.

The Harbinger

Estimated material Costs: $26,000 for 310 sq feet

This small home features a bump-out on the front that can be used as a sitting area or a sleeping area. It is large enough to fit a Queen size bed. There are 2 versions of this home: one measuring 310 square feet, and a 2nd version with an additional downstairs bedroom totaling 404 square feet. The plans come with an option for a full loft over the great room, kitchen and bathroom, or a 1/2 loft with a cathedral ceiling over the great room. The house is 16' 7″ tall

*This home (open for tours on the site of the Spring Creek Garden) would perhaps inspire a developer to create a small village of 5 of these homes on a common green.  The aquaponic tanks would inspire people to build their own aquaponic tanks at home and could even inspire the establishment of a small local business to build them.  These are just a few examples of the potential to inspire that can expand from our community garden.

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Urban Garden One is all decked out for Halloween!

Located at my home 216 East Kingsbridge Drive Garland, this garden provides for about half of my meals and provides food for two other families.  Prior to my establishment of the garden beginning June 12, 2013, my lawn fed no one and cost me more to maintain than my garden.  It's interesting that previously I tried and tried to get a community garden going here in Garland. Then I gave up and out of frustration started my own version of one.  Lo and behold:  Four months later, I've gotten permission to establish a community garden on city-owned land. 

Here we have a glow-in-the-dark skull amongst the Okra.

Below we have a ghost amongst the eggplants.

No Halloween decorations would be complete without a zombie chasing a farmer.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013