Urban Gardens Stimulate Local Economies
Loving Garland Green continues to grow. Last night we had a surprise visit from our mayor--Douglas Athas. The Mayor has been very supportive of our group and its efforts to establish a community garden here in Garland. Our goal is to encourage citizens of Garland to plant gardens in their yards and to grow gardens on their patios and windowsills.
We are currently developing programs to assist in stimulating our local economy by increasing the number plant-based products created in our community. For example, there is the potential that bamboo offers Garland. You may not realize this, but we have large bamboo groves growing all along every creek within the 57 square miles that we call "Garland."
Last night we offered Mayor Athas a drink of iced bamboo tea which he enjoyed as did other members who also had their first taste of bamboo tea.
Garland is not limited to bamboo as a source for plant-based products. Look at all the possibilities shown in the chart below. Remember, these don't even include the potential revenue to be gained from cultivated urban crops. The chart below represents the potential to be realized from food in our community that is currently not being fully used. Over the coming year, Loving Garland Green hopes to rally local groups to join us in establishing some of these companies/cottage industries in our community.
Urban gardens save families hundreds even thousands of dollars annually.
As far as cultivated urban gardens are concerned, savings to people who grow at least some of their own food can be significant. In 2008, Rosalind Creasy, author of "Edible Landscaping" conducted an experiment in which she planted an organic garden in a space 5 x 10 feet (100 square feet).
She kept close records of her harvest and found that from April to September of 2008 she produced $700 worth of food. 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. [Source]
Bringing those statistics on home to Garland
What if 50,000 5 x 20 foot gardens were established in Garland Texas that saved each person approximately $700 in groceries? The total savings would be $35,000,000.00 in our economy.
Loving Garland Green's stated goal is to see that 50,000 urban gardens are planted in Garland by the end of 2015. "Another Urban Garden" is a new program that we will be launching this spring to support us in meeting this goal. In fact, we already have our first participant.