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No one who has talked to a member of Loving Garland Green--that's for certain!

from my seedling greenhouse - Flamenco Tomatoes are part of my ongoing quest to grow a decent tomato in Garland.  These open-pollinated seeds I purchased from www.nativeseeds.org.  I also planted seeds I saved last year from a small, pear-shaped tomato that was prolific and delicious.

Our members are busy busy busy:  Starting seeds, installing beds for urban gardens in people's yards, working on the papers for our 1023 filing as a nonprofit with the IRS.  We completed and received notice of our certification as a nonprofit in the state of Texas last week and hope to have waded through all the required paperwork for the IRS by March 1.  In the meantime, we are also registered as a Neighborhood Based Group with the City of Garland.   This entitles us to apply for grants under the Neighborhood Vitality program and currently we are writing a proposal to submit on or before March 1 to help fund a program we are developing as part of our Another Urban Garden.  This program segment is designed to create square foot gardens for children ages 4 to 12,  adolecents ages 13 to 18, handicapped adults any age, and seniors.  [Square Foot Gardening is a successful gardening format that was created by Mel Bartholomew in the 1980's.  It is a revolutinary way to grow more in less space.]

My Seedling Greenhouse - purchased from a local garden store for $29.00

Another Urban Garden Installation

My urban garden is registered as the first one with Loving Garland Green's Another Urban Garden program.  My garden was installed six months before Loving Garland Green came into existence.  We are hoping that urban gardener residents of Garland will also register their gardens with us and I did and share records of their crop yields and experiences with us.  Our ambitious goal is to have 50,000 urban gardens registered by the end of 2015.  We are convinced that increasing urban gardens not only reduces food scarcity, it also boosts the local economy by creating new markets and by supporting existing markets.

Part of the Another Urban Garden program includes helping citizens of Garland to create their own gardens.  To do this, a volunteer from Loving Garland Green meets with an interested citizen to help them plan their garden.  For beginning gardeners we recommend starting small the first year with a raised bed no larger than 4 x 10 (40 square feet).  We help the resident build the bed, plan the contents of their garden, set it up with some type of water conservation device, plant seeds, and monitor the garden throughout its first season.  Eventually we hope to develop this program into a local business that will support 5 to 15 new jobs for our community.

Last week, Charlie Bevilacqua, one of the founding members of Loving Garland Green, helped Ed Downing, one of our new members, to put together the frame for a raised bed (12 feet x 4 feet).  Charlie and Ed also selected large clay pots for Ed's container garden surrounding his patio.

Below Ed is watching Charlie put together the sides of the raised bed for his urban garden.

 

Below is a snapshot of what will eventually be Ed and Becky Browning's raised garden bed.  The sides of the bed were made with reused, found lumber.  The soil beneath the bed will not be tilled.  Instead, about 9 inches of amended soil (compost and vermiculite) will be placed right on top of the grass inside the box.  At the end of each growing season, a layer of compost will be added to the top layer of soil before planting the new crop.

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