Ed Browning and Cary Majors, members of Loving Garland Green, assist Jack Morgan in planting seeds while Jack's sister, Erin, patiently waits her turn.
Welcome to the Garland Community Garden - 4022 Naaman School Road
The Welcome to Our Garden sign was purchased by Board Member Charles Bevilacqua from Alston's Old Home Place, a local Garland antique store located at 212 Seventh Street. Charlie will bring it to all Loving Garland Green official functions. In addition to organic gardening, we encourage citizens to buy local at locally owned businesses and locally managed chain stores. When you shop at a chain store located in your city, 2% of the Texas sales tax on taxable items you purchase goes to the city where the chain store is located. This sign will be a reminder to support local. Speaking of Local: All the mulch featured in the photo below was given to us by the city of Garland. Support your city, support yourself and your family.
If you are interested in supporting the efforts of Loving Garland Green to grow our local economy, please call us at 972-571-4497. You can also visit our website for information on donations, sponsorship and membership. Loving Garland Green.
Four Raised Beds Installed at the Garland Community Garden
The installation of the first raised beds was completed yesterday! Loving Garland Green members all congregated at 4022 Naaman School Road to install a 4' x 7' raised bed. The larger of the four beds is divided by twine into 28 squares and each of our members brought a plant or seeds for planting.
The three smaller beds are each two-foot squares--made from untreated pine that we were given. In them we planted sunflowers, corn, marigolds and blackberry vines. In a few weeks we will install the trellis for the blackberry plants as well as a trellis for the cucumber plants in the larger bed.
Gene Rogers, one of Loving Garland Green members, has designed a drip watering system that we are experimenting with--or I should say "Gene is experimenting with." Ollas are filled with water and then connected with small hoses to a larger reservoir which for now is a 5 gallon bucket.
Gene Rogers, Loving Garland Green member, connecting Ollas with tubing for underground irrigation.
Perhaps in the future we will install a 55 gallon reservoir for each garden plot. That is another design Gene, a retired mechanical engineer, is working on--free-standing rain barrels. Of course, the design would be a mosquito safe design. When needed, we would have a bucket brigade to bring water from home. However, with appropriate rain harvesting techniques and given the annual rainfall here in Garland, there is more than enough water to nourish a garden for every family in Garland. The rooftop of a 1,200 square foot home has the potential, given our annual rainfall, to yield 26,000 gallons of water annually.
We have not yet officially applied for water service for the garden. At least for now we are experimenting with the option of not being connected to city water. As part of our mission to inspire and encourage Garland residents to grow their own food, we want to provide examples of creative ways to garden and produce more food from smaller spaces and with more self-reliance.
Initial watering system at Garland Community Garden.
More Scenes from Yesterday's Happy Opening of the Garland Community Garden
Loving Garland Green members converge before planting begins. At the right are clay pots to be used as ollas, an ancient manual underground watering system, in this raised bed.
Burgi Bartlett, one of the very active members of Loving Garland Green, plants 16 radish seeds. If you visit the garden five days from now, be sure to look for sprouts. Radishes are fast and reach maturity in 21 to 25 days.
Margie Rogers, a Loving Garland Green board member is directing the placement of a tomato cage. In the middle of the photograph, laden with camera equipment we have Anita Opel, our treasurer. Photographs of Anita are rare because she is most often behind the camera.
Jeane Shortsleeve, one of the great recruiters for Loving Garland Green, getting ready to plant some of the Red Bell Peppers she brought to the opening of the Garland Community Garden.
Cary and Regina Majors, Loving Garland Green members, survey the 4' x 7' bed. (Cary is an officer of our board.)
Ken Dyer, Vice President of the Board of Directors for Loving Garland Green, plants sixteen onion plants.
Among the plants installed in our garden was this heirloom tomato (shown above) which is especially developed to be hearty in drought conditions. This plant was donated by Nancy Lovett, an active member in the Greater Dallas Organic Garden Club--an organization that has been in existence for 21 years now.
Join Us for Our Next Big Garden Adventure
While most of our gardens will be raised square foot beds ( 4' x 8'), our first garden plot (about 1/20th of our total space of 17,000 square feet) will also contain a Keyhole Garden. We plan to construct this 6 ' diameter garden the first weekend in May. The walls of the keyhole garden vary. The ones which are more permanent are built from stone. Some, like the design above, can be purchased commercially as a kit. Our design, due to our license agreement with the city, will be more like the illustration shown above. Keyhole gardens are another water-efficient garden design. Typically they are a circle six feet in diameter with a wedge cut out of the circle to provide access to a wire container in the center of the circle. Leaves, vegetable table scraps, banana peels, etc. are put into the center wire container to nourish the plants. Very little water is needed to maintain these kinds of garden.
Texas Coop Power recommends the soil is developed thusly according to Texas Coop Power: Layering is proven to enhance soil health. Layering suggestions: wood on very bottom, next cardboard, next a bit of compost, next petroleum-free newspaper, manure, worms, wood ash, straw, topsoil. Repeat, compost, straw, topsoil or some such combination until you reach desired height. texascooppower.com