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A few members of Loving Garland Green take a break for chatting on Feb 7 down at the Garland Community Garden.

Members of Loving Garland Green have been busy over the winter amending existing beds and adding new ones to the Garland Community Garden.  Our membership is growing.  Over the past two months we have added five new members and four of them are now stewarding beds down at the garden and two of them are leading three of our many projects. In addition to all this work, we are continuing our outreach to the youth of our community with a new program titled URBAN GARDENS FOR KIDS.  We are presenting this class at Beaver Tech, a magnet school here in Garland.

Yesterday, down at the garden, I ran into Carol Garrison and Daniel Bell, two friends of mine and members of Loving Garland Green.  They were taking photos of the garden for a nomination for our Garland Community Garden that "Keep Garland Beautiful" is submitting on our behalf.  Carol requested some photos of our garden from last year and in the process of looking over our website, I updated the site and also revisited some information that I want to share with you on the economics of gardening.

One of Loving Garland Green's many goals is to inspire people to plant edibles because we know these efforts will improve our local economy.  There is the possibility to supplement your annual income with a garden and in doing this, it has the ripple effect of also enriching your local economy and local prosperity.  Following is information I wrote last year and posted on our website.  Guess what folks?  It's still true--only considering how the prices of food continue to rise, I'll bet that a 100 square foot garden will save your family more like $800 this year.  If you add the fact that you could plant seedlings (get a load of how much these sell for at retail prices), you might be able to add $2,000 or more by selling your seedlings at yard sales.

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You Can Grow $700 of Food in 100 Square Feet

In 2008  Rosalind Creasy, author of one of the best books on gardening, "Edible Landscaping", set out to prove what would happen if Americans set aside just part of their lawns to grow edibles.  She took a 5 x 20 foot section of her lawn and turned it into a garden.  The result was that in that small 100 square foot area she was able to grow $700 worth of food.

From April to September, her little organic garden produced 77.5 pounds of tomatoes, 15.5 pounds of bell peppers, 14.3 pounds of lettuce, and 2.5 pounds of basil — plus 126 pounds of zucchini.  At the current local prices for this produce in 2008, Ms. Creasy calculated the little garden produced $746.52.  However, after expenses of seed and compost she figured the costs at $63.09. Thus $683.43 for her savings. However, a woman from Iowa calculated that this organic produce would have  cost $975.18 to purchase in a store.

A 100 Square Foot Garden is a Win-Win for the Planet

According to the Garden Writers Association, 84 million U.S. households gardened in 2009. Ms. Creasy reasoned that if just half of them (42 million) planted a 100-square-foot garden, 96,419 acres (about 150 square miles) would no longer be in lawns.  Thus there would be no need for the tremendous resources used in keeping them manicured. If folks got even one-half of the yields Ms. Creasy obtained, the national savings on groceries would be about $14.35 billion!  

Read the entire story on this garden and view the spreadsheets of its related records at Mother Earth News.

Then get started now.  Keep coming back!  Gardening works--for you, your family and your community.
 
If you live in Garland, consider joining Loving Garland Green.  We meet every Monday from 6:30 to 7:30 PM at 216 East Kingsbridge Drive.  We are open to the public and membership is free.
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