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Jeff McClure on left is the liaison from the Saturn Church of Christ who coordinates between the Saturn Church of Christ and the adjoining Orchard Hills Neighborhood.  Nancy Tunell from the Garland Neighborhood Vitality group took the photo.  In the center on the left is Jane Stroud, President of Loving Garland Green.  On the right, Liz Berry.  On the far right we have Rhonda who lives in the neighborhood and I believe, is a Master Gardener. The other folks in the photo are from the Church and the neighborhood.  And there will be more if you join and spread the word.

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A Phoenix arises--not from ashes, but from the soil and people's love of gardens.

It's official!  Orchard Hills now has its own community garden in partnership with the Saturn Church of Christ.  It is sandwiched behind the Saturn Church of Christ and a few residential homes that the Church owns.  Currently these homes are used for storage by the Church.  It is the back yards of these homes where the community garden is located.  I'm not sure regarding the exact details of the history of this space but two or three years ago several huge, lovely wooden raised beds were built and the first couple of years a great garden was grown.  Below is a photo of what once was. I believe that at the time the garden was tended only by members of the Church.  Then the garden fell into disrepair due to waning interest as sometimes happens with all human volunteer endeavors. 
 
Also community gardens that are tended by people within walking distance tend to be more successful.  Community gardens bring people together and improve neighborhoods--that's a proven fact.  They can even raise property values but the best reason, in my opinion, is that gardens bring people together.  Community gardens are each as unique as the community in which they are found.  The Saturn Hills Community Garden potential for uniqueness resides in the fact that it can feel like a large neighborhood backyard as it is located behind what were once homes.  Among other things, there are plans to add lawn furniture such as we would typically see in suburban back yards.  Who knows?  Perhaps later in the summer there will be an old fashioned ice cream social.
 
 
With leadership from Jeff McClure, liaison from the  Saturn Church of Christ, the garden membership is opened to all the folks who live in Orchard Hills.  Nancy Tunell, a Master Gardener and Naturalist from the Garland Neighborhood Vitality group, is assisting Jeff with successfully launching the newly christened Saturn Hills Community Garden.
 
Loving Garland Green is participating in this event much in the fashion of the peddler from the tale of "Stone Soup".  Yesterday we attended one of their meetings and came bearing plants and other items for their garden.  We will stay closely in touch with this lovely group of people and do all we can to see their garden becomes the neighborhood success that it deserves to be.  
 

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT MEMBERSHIP AND DONATIONS TO THE SATURN HILLS COMMUNITY GARDEN:

Send an email to Jeff McClure at:  
jamcclure@gmail.com
 

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON ESTABLISHING NEIGHBORHOOD GARDENS:

Contact Nancy Tunell from the Garland Neighborhood Vitality group.
 
ntunell@garlandtx.gov
 
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I'll attach one of the signs Loving Garland Green donated that is my favorite.  It is a recipe for Compost Tea.  If you use this instead of a popular commercial nitrogen-based garden fertilizer, you'll grow healthier, stronger plants and save yourself a lot of money.  
 
 

DIRECTIONS:

Use rainwater or fill up a 5-gallon bucket and let sit for

24 hour for chlorine to evaporate.  Add other ingredients.

Stir well to mix (make bubbles).  Pour on soil around plants.

A gallon or two for larger plants like blackberries. Use a quart for mature vegetables and down to a cup for small new transplants.

(Vinegar is to balance the pH of our soil, which is highly alkaline.)

Epson salts are for magnesium.  One of magnesium's well-known roles is in the photosynthesis process, as it is a building block of the Chlorophyll, which makes leaves appear green. Molasses is high in calcium, magnesium, iron and potassium. It also contains sulfur and a host of micronutrients. As a fertilizer, it provides plants with a quick source of energy and encourages the growth of beneficial microorganisms.  Since compost or rich garden soil has microorganisms, the molasses will stimulate them.

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In spite of a blustery Saturday, there was much to do and even more to see and learn in Garland Texas yesterday.  As jobs seem to grow scarcer than hen’s teeth, more and more folks in our area (and perhaps in the entire USA) are turning local and inward to their own creativity combined with friendly local collaboration to support one another in local job creation.

The folks in Garland are doing all they can to support our local job makers.  In addition to our MarketPlace, Garland also features a flea market (Urban Flea) the second Saturday of the month April through December. Yesterday was the kickoff for 2018.  I didn’t count the vendors; however, it took me an hour and a half to visit thirty stalls (not counting the politicians) and I was moving fast.

Tour of the First Urban Flea for 2018 at the Historic Downtown Garland Square

THE POLITICIANS

May 5 we will have an important local election in Garland (Early voting is April 23 through May 1 at the Garland Branch of Richland College at Glenbrook and Walnut).  We are electing a new mayor, a new council representative for District 2 and we are voting on no less than 36 amendments the current City Council is proposing to our City Charter. One of them, Amendment G, is perhaps among the most controversial.  It is proposed that we allow the City Council to meet anywhere in Garland as long as it’s in the city limits.

One of the three candidates for Mayor, Louis Moore, showed up to support the makers in our area.  Deborah Morris, candidate for City Council 2nd District council representative, also supported local makers at her booth.  I commented on the lovely earrings Deborah was wearing.  She told me that she had purchased them from one of the local vendors just a few minutes before I walked up.

 

Deborah Morris 2nd District City Council and Louis Moore (white cap) Mayoral Candidate

THE MAKERS

If you want to see creativity and ingenuity in action, visit the Urban Flea and the Garland MarketPlace on Garland’s historic downtown square.  The Urban Flea is the second Saturday of the month and the MarketPlace is held on the first and third Saturday of the month.

  

Kevin C. Quattlebaum, a local Garland Maker and professional artist, displays one of his hand-painted silk scarves.  Visit Kevin’s work at QuattleProductions.com – Contact at 214-686-0502 and Kevin@quattleproductions.com – [Kevin hand painted the scarf he is holding.]

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Bobby Orozco, local Garland Pianist/Composer.  Visit Bobby at www.sailingwestmusic.com.  To schedule music for weddings, house concerts, private parties or instruction, call Bobby at 972-213-7398.  Write to him at bobby@sailingwestmusic.com.  Bobby and other local makers support one another by partnering with each other and using the products of other local makers to promote their own.  For example, Bobby has Rebel RIOT, a screen-printing company (www.rebelriotprinting.com) print T-shirts printed with copies of music sheets of some of Bobby’s original compositions. The shirts are very attractive.  Bobby and Jessica Orozco also support other local musicians at the MARIGOLD HOUSE 1414 Resistol-Garland 75042.  On Friday, April 20, if you get your tickets ($5) in time you can hear Harpist Haley Hodson in an intimate setting at the Marigold House. Call 972-213-7398 for tickets (if any are left).  Where else but in Garland, Texas could you have the opportunity to feel the music from harp strings vibrating your heart?

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Alli Clements, like many makers, encourages others to get into the fun of making.   In her own words:  “I love to serve the world by crafting handmade message boards so people like you can tell and awesome story, whether it’s a story for your home, work, small business, party or more.  All the love I have for making your message boards is sent to you so you can experience all the love too.”  Contact Alli at http://www.thecozykeep.com   Shop at ETSY:  https://www.etsy.com/shop/thecozykeep

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Lucky Franklin is a women's apparel company based out of Sachse, Texas. Sara Baggett and Deirdre Buchanan started it in 2013.  Sara and Deirdre are long time friends that both attended the University of North Texas and have degrees in Fashion Design.  A few years after graduating from college, Deirdre and Sara were working at the same manufacturer and realized that they wanted to have a company of their own.  So Lucky Franklin was started. Their beloved dogs, Lucky and Franklin, inspired the company’s namesake. Info@luckyfranklin.com – Etsy.com/shop/luckyfranklin – Pinterest.com/luckyfranklin – 101 S Coit Road – Richardson, TX 75080

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OTHER FANTASTIC MAKERS AT THE URBAN FLEA

There were so many other great makers at the Urban Flea that I could write a book on them if I just had the time and space:

KH2 Bakery

Fantastic baked goods!  I’m starting my second year of purchasing treats from this bakery and I’ve yet to be disappointed.  Yesterday I bought some carrot cake sandwich cookies and Katie Hornsby (owner and baker) gave me a loaf of Pina Colada bread. It is wonderful—a cross between short bread and a moist pound cake.  The Carrot Cake Cookies were good too! - Contact Katie Hornsby – 4721 Paradise Cove – Garland TX – 75043 – 469-951-6064 – Https://www.facebook.com/KHsquaredBakery/

DIRTY B Handcrafted natural soaps

Fantastic soaps!  I bought a bar as I love handmade soaps.  This couple even has their children making soap. Holly Arjoonsingh Co-Founder and Queen B - www.Etsy.com/shopDirtyBSoap - DirtyBSoap@gmail.com – Wylie, TX 75098 – 763-377-3654

The Pink Buffalo Store

Gemstones, crystal infused essential oils, jewelry and more – Sachse, Texas - www.thepinkbuffalostore.com - Elizabeth Allen – 972-955-4297 – beth.allen@verizon.net

Uppfoda

An ethically driven compassionate couple, whose spirited initiative is to nourish and provide plant-based food catering, wire sculptures, and jewelry for the Dallas-Fort Worth area had a booth at the Garland Urban Flea. - Contact ‘B’ Isaacson (Creator) at reachout@uppfoda.ninja - Visit their website at www.uppfoda.ninja – Call them at 817-204-4410

Jane’s Garden

Jane Brinkley, owner, makes lovely carved concrete stepping stones for the garden.  I was happy to see Jane again as she was featured at the Urban Flea last year as well.  I always like to see that yet another small business has survived.  www.JanesGardenStones.com – janejbrinkley@gmail.com – 214-354-6494 

Gypsy Heart Henna

Lori Coale is a henna tattoo artist and designer.  Call her for an appointment at 214-394-2911 - gypsyhearthenna@gmail.com

Southern Buttered and Whipped

I was glad to see these two artisan soap and skincare makers back again this year.  Tara Rodrigues and Marta Ledesma make fantastic soap.  Last year I bought some of their goat milk soap.  Yesterday they were giving away samples of their lavender bliss goat milk bar. Tara 214-577-4961 – Marta 972-750-9014 – www.southernbutteredndwhipped.com

 

On the Ball Momma

You have never explored the limits of what can be done with a plain baseball cap until you visit the booth of Mandy Harrell! She even has baseball caps with unicorn horns.  Facebook.com/ballmomma – 214-284-3474 – Fundraising and Group Discounts Available- Write to Mandy at OnTheBallMomma@gmail.com 

Read Aloud to a Child Today

This business is another variation of the franchise.  Usborne Books, a publisher in Oklahoma, hires independent consultants like Alyssa Peri to sell their books.  For more information, contact her at alyssaperi@gmail.com – c7169myubam.com

Be Good Designs

Handmade leather earrings, custom T shirts and decals – Shannon Robson – Rockwall, TX – Begooddesigns64@gmail.com – 816-719-5871 –Https://www.facebook.com/bgoodbhappy – “Be good and you’ll be happy.”

  

AngelsEverMore Jewelry

Among other things, maker Annemarie Boese creates jewelry and fridge magnets from vintage flatware.  I bought a little bud vase she fashioned from the handle of a knife.  Visit her site at angelsevermore.com  In addition to jewelry Anne also in a parter in Ia growth and recycle company that sells terrariums. – Call her at 214-356-6089.

Cheryl’s Bricolage

In case you don’t know, bricolage is the construction or creation of objects from a diverse range of materials.  Cheryl’s enterprise is nearly new and thus she is still the process of creating her website at www.cherylsbricolage.com – You can contact her by phone at 469-583-9622 – Email at Cheryl@cherylsbricolage.com

Tiaras and Denim

Mary Arispe – Visit facebook.com/tiarasanddenim – Phone 214-502-4614 – tiara.denim@gmail.com

Texas Pearl Jam

If you love pearls, be sure to visit www.texaspearljam.com – contact them at  texaspearljam@gmail.com

Totally Nutz

The owner of this franchise is Edward DuRoy. They sell various kinds of roasted nuts.  They have a crazy way of fresh roasing cinnamon glazed nuts and have been supplying these roasted nuts at events for over 26 years.    Edward can be reached at 214-517-2711 -  He is located at 1523 Startpoint Ln in Wylie, Texas – Visit Totally Nutx at www.totallynutz.com     

Chica & Burro

Unique and Rustic furniture and décor by Sheila and David Becerril (Rustic and custome furniture makers) – McKinney Texas – 903-271-7405 – Chica & Burro (facebook)  chicaburro@gmail.com 


TDS Woodcrafts

Adirondack furniture, gliders, rustic coolers, swings, signs and plaques—if that’s what you want, Teamon and Cheryl Smith can make it for you.  They are in Rowlett, Texas.  Contact them at owner@tdswoodcrafts.com and visit their website at www.tdswoodcrafts.com

Joyfully Made by Jenn

Jennifer Edwards is a good stop for customized signs.  joyfullymadebyjenn@yahoo.com - https://www.facebook.com/Joyfullymadebyjenn

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Plants for the Sale at My House - Other members also will be bringing their plants to the sale 

Saturday April 14 at 11AM to 3PM (or sellout)

Garland Community Garden

(Naaman School Road and Brand)

After many false starts and one canceled date, Loving Garland Green is having their annual plant sale.  We will have one of the largest if not THE largest selection of different varieties of heirloom indeterminate tomatoes.  Indeterminate tomatoes grow as spreading vines, unlike those that grow in neat bushes like Celebrity or Big Boy determinate tomatoes. Indeterminate tomatoes produce all season until frost while the determinates produce their crop and stop producing.   We will have Black Prince, Matts Wild Cherry, Valencia, Carbon, Nepal, Purple Bumble Bee, Black Cherry, Godzilla, Yellow perfection, Old Ivory Egg, Big Orange, Chocolate Striped icicle, Wild tiger, Atomic Grape, Napa Rose Blush, Honkin Big Black Cherry, Black Vernissage, Hartman’ Yellow Gooseberry, Raspberry Lyanna Tomato, Chadwick Cherry Tomato, andBetalux Tomato.

In addition to the tomatoes we will have about 10 blackberry bushes, four lemon balm, bee balm, mint, zinnia, purple coneflowers, heirloom squash, and more.

Hope to see you there!

Please pass the word on via Facebook and Next Door to all your gardener friends.

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There is a saying that has unfortunately become a wise admonition over the years as our society more and more comes to consider multinational corporations as "people":  BUYER BEWARE.  Don't count on folks to tell the whole truth because they don't always do that any more.
 
I would like to make a similar admonition to the voters in my community of Garland.
 
1.  First of all this year we will be having a special election to finish the term of Mayor Athas who has resigned.  We have three to choose from.  I'm hoping to soon get yard signs from all three and put in my yard.  No, I won't tell you who I'm voting for--that's none of your business.  I want to encourage more voters in my community to get out and vote for the candidate of their choice. I want them to know that we are voting for a mayor.  The more people who vote, the better off we all are.  I believe that because I believe in our system and it can only work if we vote and exercise our rights.
 
 
2. Second of all we have a most peculiar situation in second district city council race. There will be two names on the ballot for 2nd district council representative.  One is a person on the ballot who withdrew his name from the race too late for it to be removed.  Thus his name will be there and people can check it.  If he gets more votes than the woman candidate on the ballot, he wins, in spite of the fact that he has done no campaigning and he had not been thoroughly vetted by the people through the campaign process.   If this happens, he can either serve as council member or he can refuse in which case the current city council member for second district can serve another year--in spite of the fact that this May is the end of her six year term limit.
 
3.  All of our other City Council members running for re-election are running unopposed which is unfortunate in terms of the health of our systems.  (As far as I'm concerned the Candidate for 2nd district definitely has an opponent--albeit it somewhat of a shadow.)
 
 
4.  The fourth thing about our upcoming election that I find disturbing is that our current City Council is proposing no less than 36 changes to our City Charter and I would bet that only a handful of citizens are even aware of this. Also this is where my " voter be aware" campaign comes in:  All Garland voters should make an effort to find out what these changes are BEFORE you step into that voting booth.  The City Charter is a guiding document for our city.  It can be compared to the bylaws of an organization.  Please pass this information on to friends you may have in Garland, Texas.  Thank you.  Informed voters are good for all of us, good for our city and good for our country.
 
 
PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO THE GARLAND CITY CHARTER
Members of the Garland City Council are proposing no less than 36 changes to our City Charter.
General/Special/Charter Election Ordinances    To see what these proposed changes are, start reading on page 25.  If you start at the beginning, your eyes may be glazed over by the time you get to page 25.
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Alice Offord, a youthful committed spirit, despite the cold, stands in support of her grandmother Suzanne’s booth - Granny’s Gourmet and Gifts. https://b-m.facebook.com/grannysgourmettx

A Day for Committed Spirits in North Texas

Today, with its early morning almost freezing drizzle, was the opening day of the Garland MarketPlace, held on the first and third Saturdays of the month from April through October at the downtown Garland square.  I blame it on the weather but I’m embarrassed to say that I totally forgot the opening day! 

You would think that since it’s only been about 10 days since I posted my readers a reminder of this event that I would have remembered . . . This time I’m blaming it on the weather--not old age or my overstuffed calendar.  It was so cold that we even cancelled our Loving Garland Green Plant sale that was to be held this morning. 

However, I was reminded by accident, as I was downtown this morning to attend a local candidate forum at Rosalind’s Coffee.  The music that is always part of our MarketPlace wafted across the street to my ears as I walked toward Rosalind’s.  I looked over and there I saw a group of seven booths. It was then that I remembered the importance of this day. Before going into Rosalind's I made a mental note to visit the MarketPlace after the meeting.  I have a soft spot in my heart for the sticklers and "against all odds" people who show up in spite of all common sense to the contrary.  In my mind these people are our heroes.

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Among the Committed Spirits at the Opening Day for the Garland MarketPlace

 

Deborah Morris and Lori Dodson step off their campaign trail for a few minutes to show support for the makers and produce providers of our area.  They chat with Bradon and Chris, the two young men holding down the fort for Esperanza Farms today.  I purchased several golden apples and some squash from them.


Pinson & Cole’s Gourmet Pickles

They are loyal vendors at the Garland MarketPlace and have been featuring their marvelous pickles at the Garland Market Place for several years now.  I recommend a jar of their Mexican Habanero and Chilies pickles.  

CONTACT INFORMATION:   http://www.pic-licious.com     -    214-670- 2042  -  stephaniepcole@yahoo.com


Ama’s Kitchen

I stopped in to say hello to Ama. Her wonderful Lemon/Lavender jelly has my highest recommendation. Ama’s skills have earned her blue ribbons at the Texas State Fair.  

CONTACT INFORMATION:   Ama’s Kitchen   -   923 W. Yellow Jacket Lane - Rockwall, TX 75087  - 770-378-5510


Velma Mae Vintage Designs

It was fun to chat with Julia Pitts briefly today. I was glad to see her there and know that her small business has survived yet another year, but I was sad to learn that she has moved to Forney.  Last year she was not only local, but she lived in my neighborhood. Julia is the perfect example of that old cliché:  If you want something done, ask a busy person.  Her booth is filled with hundreds of handmade items—all of which she has made—even more amazing when one considers that Julie has two school aged children and one two year old.

CONTACT INFORMATION:  https://www.instagram.com/velmamaevd  -  214-998-1415  velma_mae_vintage_designs@aol.com

https://www.facebook.com/velmamaevintagedesigns


Dripping Rhinestones

Another great small business survivor was there today—Dripping Rhinestones.  Visit their Facebook for more information.  This little dad/daughter operation turn out lots of wall art AND they will custom make signs and wall art according to your specifications.

CONTACT INFORMATION:    Krystal Aguado  214-934-6019   -   Jimmy Clark  303-332-3195  -  drippinrhinestones@yahoo.com   -  https://www.facebook.com/DrippinRhinestones1111


Charis Honey Farms

Bob Michel sells local honey that is raw, unfiltered and 100% pure.  If you are among those who adhere to the notion that we need to store food for a long-lasting disaster, then honey should be on the top of your list as it lasts forever (until you eat it).  I’ve had Charis honey before and my favorite is their Rockwall honey.  It is absolutely the best honey I ever remember eating and my father was a beekeeper too so I’ve had many samples over the years.  Rockwall honey is in a league by itself.

CONTACT  Bob Michel  -  972-412-1861 (Home)   -  469-233-2870 (Cell)  - www.CharisHoneyFarms.com  -   CharisHoneyFarms@gmail.com


A & J Produce

A newcomer to the Garland Marketplace:  A & J Produce are two young brothers (Jake and Austin Heddin) who are selling produce raised by their grandfather who owns Mill Creek Farms in Canton.

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And Speaking of Committed Spirits . . . Let’s remember Kirk Lovett

Kirk and his company are the ones who organize MarketPlaces for communities in our area.  He is not only a committed spirit; he is also a responsible one.  Today because of the weather they decided to close early but I overheard Kirk talking to someone on his phone saying that he would be staying there until adults came to pick up the two teenagers who were manning one of the produce booths.

The Garland MarketPlace is like a river or a garden:  You can never step into the same Garland MarketPlace twice, which is one of several reasons why I try to go there every first and third Saturday.  It’s a different experience every time.  Many of the same vendors are there and I enjoy chatting with them. But there are always new folks to talk with too.  No two markets are ever exactly the same--even the ones held in the same city.

If you think the American Dream is dead, you need to visit the Garland MarketPlace.  It is alive with the energy of people who are “out there” with their talent and dreams on display in real time, local time.  Their entrepreneurial spirit, hope and courage are the raw material of our nation’s backbone.  You can see it all even if your eyes are half-shut at the Garland MarketPlace.

Get inspired!  Visit the Garland MarketPlace the first and third Saturday of the month and see entrepreneurs of all ages, shapes, colors, religions, and ethnic backgrounds taking action to make their dreams come true.   Learn first-hand from the people who are doing it.

WANT TO BE ONE OF THE VALUED MARKETPLACE VENDORS AND START TAKING ACTION TO MAKE YOUR DREAM COME TRUE?

E-MAIL: Kirk.Eventive@Live.Com
PHONE: Tel: 469-275-9616