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Jeff McClure on left is the liaison from the Saturn Church of Christ who coordinates between the Saturn Church of Christ and the adjoining Orchard Hills Neighborhood.  Nancy Tunell from the Garland Neighborhood Vitality group took the photo.  In the center on the left is Jane Stroud, President of Loving Garland Green.  On the right, Liz Berry.  On the far right we have Rhonda who lives in the neighborhood and I believe, is a Master Gardener. The other folks in the photo are from the Church and the neighborhood.  And there will be more if you join and spread the word.

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A Phoenix arises--not from ashes, but from the soil and people's love of gardens.

It's official!  Orchard Hills now has its own community garden in partnership with the Saturn Church of Christ.  It is sandwiched behind the Saturn Church of Christ and a few residential homes that the Church owns.  Currently these homes are used for storage by the Church.  It is the back yards of these homes where the community garden is located.  I'm not sure regarding the exact details of the history of this space but two or three years ago several huge, lovely wooden raised beds were built and the first couple of years a great garden was grown.  Below is a photo of what once was. I believe that at the time the garden was tended only by members of the Church.  Then the garden fell into disrepair due to waning interest as sometimes happens with all human volunteer endeavors. 
 
Also community gardens that are tended by people within walking distance tend to be more successful.  Community gardens bring people together and improve neighborhoods--that's a proven fact.  They can even raise property values but the best reason, in my opinion, is that gardens bring people together.  Community gardens are each as unique as the community in which they are found.  The Saturn Hills Community Garden potential for uniqueness resides in the fact that it can feel like a large neighborhood backyard as it is located behind what were once homes.  Among other things, there are plans to add lawn furniture such as we would typically see in suburban back yards.  Who knows?  Perhaps later in the summer there will be an old fashioned ice cream social.
 
 
With leadership from Jeff McClure, liaison from the  Saturn Church of Christ, the garden membership is opened to all the folks who live in Orchard Hills.  Nancy Tunell, a Master Gardener and Naturalist from the Garland Neighborhood Vitality group, is assisting Jeff with successfully launching the newly christened Saturn Hills Community Garden.
 
Loving Garland Green is participating in this event much in the fashion of the peddler from the tale of "Stone Soup".  Yesterday we attended one of their meetings and came bearing plants and other items for their garden.  We will stay closely in touch with this lovely group of people and do all we can to see their garden becomes the neighborhood success that it deserves to be.  
 

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT MEMBERSHIP AND DONATIONS TO THE SATURN HILLS COMMUNITY GARDEN:

Send an email to Jeff McClure at:  
jamcclure@gmail.com
 

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON ESTABLISHING NEIGHBORHOOD GARDENS:

Contact Nancy Tunell from the Garland Neighborhood Vitality group.
 
ntunell@garlandtx.gov
 
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I'll attach one of the signs Loving Garland Green donated that is my favorite.  It is a recipe for Compost Tea.  If you use this instead of a popular commercial nitrogen-based garden fertilizer, you'll grow healthier, stronger plants and save yourself a lot of money.  
 
 

DIRECTIONS:

Use rainwater or fill up a 5-gallon bucket and let sit for

24 hour for chlorine to evaporate.  Add other ingredients.

Stir well to mix (make bubbles).  Pour on soil around plants.

A gallon or two for larger plants like blackberries. Use a quart for mature vegetables and down to a cup for small new transplants.

(Vinegar is to balance the pH of our soil, which is highly alkaline.)

Epson salts are for magnesium.  One of magnesium's well-known roles is in the photosynthesis process, as it is a building block of the Chlorophyll, which makes leaves appear green. Molasses is high in calcium, magnesium, iron and potassium. It also contains sulfur and a host of micronutrients. As a fertilizer, it provides plants with a quick source of energy and encourages the growth of beneficial microorganisms.  Since compost or rich garden soil has microorganisms, the molasses will stimulate them.

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