January 3, 2015 - Kevin Keeling, a member of Loving Garland Green creating the lasagna bed for what will become the "Three Sisters Garden" down at the Garland Community Garden
Loving Garland Green is moving into 2015 with many projects on our map for this year, and many more to come. We are inviting Garland residents to join us in making this unique community garden the success it deserves to be. Our community garden is not like the typical community garden where residents sign up for a small garden plot and pay $40 to $70 a year to raise a garden there.
The Garland Community Garden offers a much broader range for community participation than the average community garden. These opportunities are available through Loving Garland Green who are the official stewards of this garden. We do offer garden plots (4 x 8 feet) to any Garland resident who wishes to maintain that plot by growing edibles. We do not charge fees for this, but the resident does have to volunteer one hour a week to do other maintenance work in the garden or to work on one of the many garden-related projects. Many of the various plots in our garden are designed to be managed as projects demonstrating various gardening techniques and formats. We have many of these projects for 2015 already defined and waiting for project leaders.
Among these exciting projects waiting for a project manager is the City-Approved Free Compost PickUP Service for a Garland grocery store. (City-Approved means the mayor backs this project and it is within the guidelines of the Garland Health Department.) This will be a high-visibility project for the grocery store, the project leader and team, and for our community. It is a pilot project designed as a proof of concept for possible broader application in our City. Details, including the selection of the grocery store and the project leader are to be decided. The team appointed for this project will pick up spoiled produce from the grocery store on a regular basis, yet to be defined. This produce will be taken to the Garland Community Garden and properly stored in covered bins. This produce will be used in a method called "trench composting" in the beds down at the garden. We have wire feeding baskets already inserted in some beds for this purpose and we also will dig a twelve-inch deep five inch wide trench the length of the beds in the Winding Garden. Spoiled produce will be put into the trench and covered with dirt. Other produce will be put in composting bins at the garden, and the rest of the produce will be available for Garland residents to pick up from their gardens. The team in charge of this project will keep records on this project that they will then share with City leaders at the end of six weeks. These records will include such data as total pounds of produce collected, time, number of pickups of produce at the Garden from Garland residents, etc.
Note: This project has particular importance for a number of reasons. Currently more than 150 American cities offer curbside municipal compost pickup, but some places are taking the initiative even further by mandating composting. Of the millions of tons that we waste in America each year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates 96% ends up in landfills. And currently, food waste is the number one material taking up landfill space, more than paper or plastic. Since it looks highly likely that mandated composting will be part of our future, we may as well get ahead of the 8ball. Perhaps information from this pilot study could be used to help establish a cooperative here in Garland to pick up the spoiled produce curbside and take it to a processing site where it is turned into garden compost sold to local gardeners in the region? We need more cooperatives in Garland to help stabilize our local economy.
To find out how you might get involved in Loving Garland Green projects and programs, you have two opportunities coming up in January:
1. Monday January 5, 2015
WHERE: 216 East Kingsbridge Drive - Garland Texas 75040
TIME: 6:30 to 7:30 PM
Elizabeth Berry, President of Loving Garland Green, will present a brief summary of Loving Garland Green's programs and projects currently planned for 2015. If you decide at the meeting that you want to be the project leader for a particular project, you will need to join Loving Garland Green and sign our liability agreement. We already have project leader packets available for you to help you get started. There will also be information for your review after the regular meeting. Most of this information is available on our website homepage at www.lovinggarlandgreen.org.
2. Tuesday January 27, 2015
Loving Garland Green will be represented at the 2015 Board, Leadership, and Volunteer Fair is an opportunity for Garland residents to meet and be recruited by the non-profits, neighborhood groups, civic organizations, and City committees that serve our community. Representatives of more than 30 organizations will be on-hand to meet and recruit potential board candidates and volunteers.
The Atrium at Granville Arts Center
200 North 5th Street
Garland, Texas 75040
TIME: 6:00 to 8:00 PM