If you want to extend the boundaries of what you think you can do, then join a small group of people with a mission. I know. I just completed building the website for Loving Garland Green. It is the first website I've ever built.
Visit www.lovinggarlandgreen.org and see what you think.
If you like what you read and live in the DFW area, then join us! We will be putting in our plant beds in January.
We were inspired by the 2013 Garland Neighborhood summit that was hosted here in Garland by various city department employees. Peter Kageyama, author of "for the LOVE of Cities", was the keynote speaker. He spoke of the love affair between people and their places. We are all familiar with such love of place. Who among us does not have a special place we love to visit. Perhaps the two most beloved cities on the planet (at least by their residents) are New York City and Paris France. According to Kageyama, when we love anything, we cherish it and are also enabled to do extraordinary things for it. When we are loved we flourish as people and are enabled to achieve great things.
The members of Loving Garland Green would like to inspire residents of Garland to fall in love with their place and do extraordinary things for Garland. We believe that growing food is a direct path to the heart--not only for love, but for health as well.
Our core belief is that by increasing the number of urban gardens in our community, we will enrich and grow our local economy and increase the food security for all our residents.
According to statistics from Sustainable America, there are 10 million acres of front and back yards in the USA. That's enough to produce 43.5 million tons of food. Our community of Garland has approximately 36,480 acres of land within its boundaries. That's a lot of urban gardens. Loving Garland Green hopes to ensure that we have 50,000 urban gardens growing edible plants within the boundaries of our city by the end of 2016. That's our mission.
Gardens Bring People Together
Those of you who read my posts know me as the woman who dug up half of her front yard this June of 2013 and planted vegetables and fruit trees in place of the lawn. I've written of the magic of my urban garden in terms of attracting people. Over 70 people driving by stopped to chat with me between June 12 and August 6. Prior to that time, not one person in the eight years I've lived in Garland ever stopped to chat with me when I was out in my front yard.
I thought about that magic in the evening on Christmas Day. In somewhat of a Grinch mood, I was creating a wish list of resources on our website that we need to get our garden started when a knock at the door interrupted my work. Diane, a neighbor who lives about a block away from me on Kingsbridge, was standing there holding a bag from Arbor Day--our first gift of a plant. The bag contains two Crape Myrtles and six flowering trees. We will plant these trees at the edge of the flood plain on the site. No, they won't feed people, but they will feed the bees that we hope to eventually bring onto the property. You can see a photo of Diane on the Loving Garland Green website under "Resources." I only met her a few days prior when I was out going door-to-door selling pecans for Loving Garland Green. Again, without the magic of gardens, I likely would never know a lovely person like Diane. Gardens can make neighborhoods more friendly and cities more beautiful and beloved.