Come to the Garland Community Garden and listen to the sounds of the garden.

We need to do much more than pay attention to the earth for one day. Honoring Earth Day this Saturday can be a beginning.
Do you feel generally happier and more peaceful when you’re out in nature, away from noise, traffic jams, and neon lights? It is not just that you left the city behind. Or that you’re a person who likes nature. In nature, you more easily tune into the Earth’s frequency and can restore, revitalize, and heal itself more effectively.
The Earth behaves like a gigantic electric circuit. Its electromagnetic field surrounds and protects all living things with a natural frequency pulsation of 7.83 hertz on average — the so-called “Schumann resonance,” named after physicist Dr. Winfried Otto Schumann, who predicted it mathematically in 1952.
When viewed through the lens of mythology, rather than the theories of science, many origin stories depict a living world that is conceived in sound with each thing having its own vibration. In the beginning was the sound that became the song of the earth, which continues in the whispering of the trees, in the winged nation of birds singing in the skies and in the mysterious incantations of whales in the oceans deep. If you've ever walked through an Aspen forest and listened to the song of its leaves, or walked in a garden and heard the flutter of wings, you know this.
I've been writing haikus for a few years.  Tonight, to honor upcoming Earth Day on Saturday, I wrote my 31st poem.  If I live long enough and get to my 100th haiku, I'll publish a book of them

I wrote a Haiku tonight in honor of Earth Day and took a photo of my lettuce bed at the Garland Community Garden to illustrate it.

listen to the sounds

of large lettuce whispering

wisdom to deaf ears


             Photo taken April 20, 2023 Garland Community Garden - E Berry



Bioplastics are a type of plastic that can be made from natural resources such as vegetable oils and starches. Since bioplastics are plant-based products, the consumption of petroleum for the production of plastic is expected to decrease by 15–20% by 2025.


Last year, Americans consumed over 6 billion avocados - leaving behind mounds of inedible pits. Now a company in Mexico created a method to transform avocado waste into “bioplastic” - which breaks down fast and requires less fossil fuels to produce.


Kaffeeform in Berlin, Germany makes coffee cups from spent grounds.  The cups are 100% recyclable.

Charlie and I go around to various coffee shops in the area periodically to gather their spent coffee grounds. We use them for fertilizer in the Garland Community Garden. Each trip to about five shops yields on average 150 pounds--quite a lot, especially if you consider this is usually only from five shops AND it is only about a 10th of their day as we usually gather them at 9AM.


Put coffee grounds in your compost bin. There are two types of compost material: brown and green. Your coffee grounds may be brown in color, but in compost jargon they are green material, meaning an item that is rich in nitrogen. Coffee grounds are approximately 1.45 percent nitrogen. They also contain magnesium, calcium, potassium, and other trace minerals. Other green compost materials include food scraps and grass clippings.
Adding coffee grounds and used paper coffee filters to your compost will provide green compost material. However, it must be balanced with brown compost material, which includes dry leaves and newspapers. There should be a 4-to-1 ratio of brown compost material to green compost material. If you have too much green material your compost pile will start to smell. If you don't have enough, the compost pile won't heat up.


April 16, 2023 in the Garland Community Garden with Ahmet Cetinkaya, his father and Vijval Byagari and his father

A Big THANK YOU to the Helping Hands in the Garden Today!

One of the many nice things about being a steward for a community garden is that you get to meet nice people of all ages and backgrounds. This afternoon was such a day. Ahmet Cetinkaya and Vijval Byagari came to the garden today to volunteer two work hours to the garden.  Both boys attend Harmony Science Academy here in Garland and both are members of the National Elementary Honors Society. Students who excel academically and model exceptional responsibility can become members through a local selection process that concludes with induction into the school’s National Elementary Honor Society chapter.  Membership provides an outstanding means to prepare and shape students for their middle level and high school experiences

Vijval Byagari and Amet Cetinkaya are good friends and both play soccer.  Today at the garden, Vijval wore his National Elementary Honor Society shirt and Amet wore his Rodolfo shirt. [Rodolfo is a Soccer player from Portugal.]

Vijval is 11 and Amet will be 11 in July.  While chatting with them, I learned they are involved in other community services as well. For example, twice a month they help make sandwiches for the homeless at On the Border and at Boomer Jack’s.

Today the boys chopped weeds and watered the entire garden.  If you’ve been down there, you know that’s saying a lot as it takes one person almost two hours to water it all. Both boys are absolutely great--not because they are so intelligent, although there is that, but because they are both obviously endearingly kind.  Intelligent and kind is an unbeatable combination.  Vijval is trilingual and Amet is bilingual.  Both boys were born in the USA.  Amet’s parents are from Turkey and Vijval’s parents are from India.

Elementary National Honor Students from Harmony Science Academy in Garland, Texas: Amet and Vijval give lessons in weed chopping and garden watering.


Celebrate this weekend by visiting the Garland Community Garden.



Yesterday afternoon I spent a few hours in the garden putzing around.
Our garden is different from most community gardens in several ways: Every bed is different. [Some are pots and some are plots. Some are wooden box raised beds, some are lasagna beds, some are keyhole gardens, some beds grow vegetables and some beds grow food for pollinators.]
Our garden is located on a flood plain between a riparian area and a meadow. We are a certified wildlife habitat with a resident owl, several cardinals and a bluebird and at least one coyote who lived in the woods that we share a border with. Feral cats also often visit the garden. In the early spring people from our Asian community come to harvest new bamboo shoots. We have several chairs and two picnic tables. Many people have told us that our garden is a special, magical place and I know just what they mean. Families come down to look at our plants, read our signs and have picnics.
I helped to establish it in 2014 with several other people and I'm so glad I did.  Our mission is to encourage people in our community to grow some of the food they eat because we know of all the great benefits they and their families will get when they do this.  That is one of the reasons our garden features a variety of gardening places--from traditional in the ground plots to pots made from recycled containers.


BECOMING:  They may not look like it now, but the photo on the left shows  California giant zinnias that will bloom from June to November.
Cactus leaves or Nopales have sprouted all over the cactus in the Medicine Wheel. After they mature into full grown leaves people can eat them as a vegetable. Nopales have a moist crunchy texture with with a slightly slimy texture similar to okra. In terms of flavor, they are tart, with a slightly citrusy taste.
COMMON MILKWEED (Asclepias Syriaca). Our milkweed bed for the Monarchs is coming to life.  This plant is a perennial and its leaves are the only ones that the so-called milkweed butterflies will lay their eggs on.  The Monarch butterfly is a member of that exclusive club. The Black Swallowtail butterfly, of which we have plenty, lays its eggs on plants of the carrot family which includes fennel.  We also have plenty of fennel and carrots planted at the garden.
LETTUCE, KALE, CILANTRO - This has been a great spring for lettuce and cilantro--The best I remember.
Our greens patch would make Mr. McGregor jealous.
EXPERIMENTS IN ACTION - In the photo on the left we have a yellow plastic cup that is covered in vaseline.  The idea is that aphids and gnats and other pests will fly into and get trapped.  We will monitor it carefully to ensure that we don't trap too many pollinators.  But, if we have as many aphids as we did last year, there won't be room for any pollinators.  Just above the yellow cup is a pot with a huge sage  growing in it.  The photo on the right shows a trellis for zucchini plants that I installed yesterday.  It is a cattle panel (4 x 7 feet) folded in half and  wired to two T-poles..


Yesterday [April 10] in honor of coming Earth Day, The Nicholson Memorial Library System and Loving Garland Green, representing the Garland Community Garden, partnered to bring a gardening event to children in Garland, Texas.


Andrea Leon, Children's Librarian at Nicholson Memorial Library, and Jane Stroud, board member Loving Garland Green, and I were the official hosts. The event was held outside on the porch of the downtown Nicholson Library.


As always, with my many gardening interactions with the children of Garland, they were great--polite, attentive and intelligent. The age range for this group was 5 to 9.   The library is a wonderful place with lots of resources to add to the education of a community.  Although books to borrow are its main products, the library offers many more opportunities for fun and learning for people of all ages.  For example, in May, Loving Garland Green will be back to the library to lead a container gardening event for adults.

At the event yesterday, the children learned all about peas and container gardening. Some of the takeaways for them from the event included: a two-gallon pot with a month-old pea plant growing in it in addition to three seeds they planted during the event in the pot; a pan to keep it from leaking on the floor when watered; a trellis made of an upside-down tomato cage; a packet of goodies that included a zip-lock bag with snow peas and sugar snap peas; instructions for care of their plant; a pea recipe book prepared by Andrea that included a recipe for pea cookies; a journal for keeping track of their pea plant as it grows also designed by Andrea;  an information sheet about the Garland Community Garden.


During the presentation, the children learned they can grow just about any vegetable from a five-gallon bucket--provided it is the right size and has good drainage holes and the soil is properly amended.  They were also introduced to books that teach children more about gardening.  After they planted their seeds, Andrea passed out stickers of rainbows, butterflies and flowers and the children decorated their pots.  It was interesting to see their designs emerge on the pots.  Although the children had the same sticker resources to choose from, there was not a design on a pot that was like another--just more evidence for the fact that we each have something unique to bring forth to the world. 


It was a great day and once again an honor to interact with the children In our community.  In closing, I leave you with this garden riddle: 

How is a seed like a book?

Answer:  BOTH CONTAIN INFORMATION.  The seed provides all the information needed to produce a plant and it is specific to a topic. This is sometimes referred to as genetic coding.   For example, a pea seed will never instruct the development of an oak tree.  A squash seed will never grow a tomato.  The same may be said for a book.  It too contains information specific to a topic.  You'll never learn how to repair a car by reading a cookbook for making desserts.