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Bailey, a Garland First Grader holds a worm as her father watches. One of the many garden experiences made possible by our Garland Texas Noon Exchange Club and Loving Garland Green at the Garland Community Garden on Saturday.  Margie Rodgers, one of Loving Garland Green founding members, helped make this lifetime memory for Bailey by handing her the worm.

And a Big Texas THANK-YOU to our Garland Noon Exchange Club!

Our Noon Exchange Club of Garland made yet another great event possible in our community on Saturday October 28, 2017.  They donated $250 for expenses of things such as color markers, printing for educational handouts, rocks to build a caterpillar, gift bags (with free seeds, handouts, loofahs and sweet potatoes) and refreshments for guests at the Garland Community Garden’s Fall Harvest Festival.

The Garland Texas Noon Exchange Club has been hosting great events for our community since 1982.  They are affiliated with the National Exchange Club.  This great organization has been serving their communities for 104 years.  For example, we have our Garland Noon Exchange Club to thank for Garland’s annual Labor Day Parade—one of the best and longest Labor Day Parades and celebrations in the USA.  They plan ahead!  If you are interested in being part of the Labor Day 2018 parade and celebration: Contact Rosie Neely, Secretary noonexchangeclubofgarland@yahoo.com

Another outstanding event hosted by the Garland Texas Noon Exchange Club is their annual Kids Christmas Party.  They provide gifts for over 100 students in Garland who would otherwise have no Christmas.  This event is also about teaching the children in our community about the value and pleasure in giving and serving others as well.  Students in our local schools are involved and, along with citizens like you and me, they help in the fund-raising for this event.  This year Loving Garland Green will be sponsoring some children for this event.

To quote Javier Solis, Club President:   “Students from across the district who normally would not come together outside of competition work side by side to serve the children. The excitement of serving others helps plant the seed of community involvement, which we hope will carry on after they graduate from GISD.”  If you would like to be part of this great event, contact Rosie at the link above.

IN GARLAND WE ARE PROUD OF OUR FLAG, OUR COUNTRY AND OUR MONARCHS.  Yvonne Divine, a member of the Garland Noon Exchange Club donated an American Flag to the Garden and Javier Solis, Noon Exchange Club President installed it.  To date members of Loving Garland Green have tagged and released almost 100 Monarchs.  Burgi and Jim Bartlett have 18 Monarch pupas that are almost ready to eclose.  These will definitely be the fifth generation that will fly to Mexico soon.

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A Great Event for Families, Children and Youth!

Children and adults posed as Monarchs at the garden.  Above we have Jack and Erin.   

HARVESTING THE SWEET POTATOES

This year in the Garland Community Garden we had eleven large pots of sweet potatoes growing.  On Saturday we harvested all but three of them which we are saving for a class of elementary students this week.  When harvesting sweet potatoes, there are a few rules:

1. Do not leave them in the ground after the leaves die because, unlike other root crops such as carrots, sweet potatoes will rot.

2.  Be gentle when removing them from the soil.  Their skin is tender and thin at first.

3. Gently brush off as much soil as possible with your hands.  Don’t wash.

4.  Put in a dry place and leave them alone for at least a week. 
     [Sweet potatoes need at least a week to toughen their skins and develop their flavor.  When eaten right away they will be tasteless.]

 

DUMPING A SWEET POTATO POT - The sweet potato pot shown above is from the North Garland High School Environmental Club’s garden.   Beaver MST first grade students decorated this pot for the club in April at the Garland Community Garden.

 

DUMPED POT - We planted 14 different varieties of sweet potato slips this spring at the Garland Community Garden.  Some varieties are darker than others.  As you can see the difference:  the dark red potato is at the left as compared to the orange one on the right.

 

Sweet Potatoes from the Garland Firewheel Farmers’ Market- One never knows what will happen with a root crop.  Thus we purchased some organic sweet potatoes to make sure there were enough for all guests to have one to take home.

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ROCK AND WIRE CATERPILLAR-  This new addition to the Garland Community Garden was created by the children visitors with a little assistance from Margie Rodgers, an officer of Loving Garland Green’s board and a founding member.  We decided to put it in the spiral herb garden—appropriate since Margie is one of the members who built this bed.

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Jane Stroud, President Loving Garland Green, assisting students from North Garland High School Environmental Club in weighing the harvest from their garden.  Their garden plot of 100 Square feet has produced 140 pounds of produce this year and over 80% of it has been donated to the Garland Good Samaritans.  The Garland Community Garden has produced approximately 600 pounds of produce this year and approximately 70% of that has been donated to the Garland Good Samaritans.

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A FLAMINGO IN THE GARDEN - Yes that’s Anna Maria DeYoung, president of Flamingo Neighbors, a local nonprofit here in Garland Texas who promote neighbors getting to know neighbors as a means of fun and crime prevention.  Anna Maria acquired an old Dallas Morning News stand from our Vital Neighborhoods City Department.  Then together with Loving Garland Green, we got the newsstand transformed and registered as a Little Free Library down at the Garland Community Garden.

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