A few of the 54 Beaver Technology Center students from the URBAN GARDENS FOR KIDS botany elective Feb 27, 2015.
As part of the support network for our community, members of Loving Garland Green (stewards of the Garland Community Garden) interact with the youth of our community in various ways--from advertising and attending their various fund-raising events to participating in educational events related to gardening. For example, we have designed an 8 week course for elementary students at the Beaver Technology Center, a magnet school located here in Garland. When the course is completed in April, we will make all the course materials available on our website at Loving Garland Green and free to the public. Others can use these materials to create their own version of Urban Gardens for Kids classes. This course is designed to be taught twice a year: in the spring and in the fall.
Community connections often result in positive ripple effects. Our current connections with Beaver Technology Center are an example. Beaver Tech has a very large professional greenhouse, complete with a built-in watering system, fans, and heaters. It is very nice. The only thing bad that could be said about it is that it is currently under-used. That may change this fall. I would like to see two classes of Urban Gardens for Kids held. The first class would begin that last week of August when school usually starts. The children would install a winter garden in the outside garden area as the major project for this class. As part of this class, the students would learn how the American pioneers grew food in the winter as well as the various techniques such as root cellars they used to preserve the food.
The second class would begin in mid-October. This one we might name something like "Hothouse Tomatoes for the Holidays". This course would involve growing plants in the greenhouse--from seed to harvest. Just before holiday break in December the students could harvest their vegetables for holiday presents. I would love to see some of the neighbors in the area get involved in this project with the kiddos. It might even be possible to have a summer garden program as the greenhouse also has an outside, fenced area. All of these activities are hovering in the realm of community possibility, just waiting for someone like to step forward to lead them into reality.
All of this gardening activity must come with the approval of Mrs. Edith Beaver if she is looking down on us today. Beaver Technology Center, formerly Beaver Elementary, is named after Mrs. Edith Beaver. Mrs. Beaver and her husband, James Beaver, stalwart Garland citizens, farmed the land where the school stands. Yes, the very spot where the children and I planted seeds in a greenhouse this morning is on land that was once a farm.
Used feed bags soon to become pots for potatoes and carrots
Update on the Children's Garden Area at the Garland Community Garden
In spite of the snow today, we are moving forward, with our plans for developing the Children's Garden. One of the themes that we hope to demonstrate at our garden is affordability of gardening. If you've priced large pots lately, you know they can be expensive. Among our less expensive suggestions for containers include used feed sacks--particularly those made of plastic sheeting. The example of the sack with the deer's head above was secured at Roaches Feed and Seed and cost a whooping 10 cents. The beautiful rooster on the left we obtained from a local alpaca farmer for 50 cents. In the Deer's head bag we are planting potatoes and the rooster bag is destined to house carrots and beets. We have six of these bags that we will feature on the wooden pallets in front of our Children's Garden.
Other features in and about the Children's Garden will include a cotton patch in October. For this demonstration we will get permission from a farmer to pull up six to eight of his cotton plants after the bolls are open and insert them into a space reserved for this down the garden. [We won't plant and grow the cotton because it is against the law to do so in Texas unless you are a commercial grower due to issues with boll weevils.]
A butterfly garden will be installed in the spring and we will be sure to include literature to educate visitors regarding this special space.
And then there are the fairy houses. . .We will have fairy houses and tiny fairy gardens within the Children's Garden area. Below is one featured that is made from bark. It will be suitable for placing outside. Speaking of houses, one of our members, Colby Clark, has built and erected a blue bird house near the Children's Garden.