With all the rain over the past two months, I was beginning to wonder if we were even going to have a harvest of anything this year, but it looks like it is slowly beginning.  This morning Charlie and I picked two and a half pounds of the most beautiful green beans I ever saw (each bean was perfect without a single flaw), some kale,  herbs, a few onions, some scant tomatoes and 2 pounds 6 ounces of blackberries.  We delivered our freshly picked produce to the Good Samaritans this morning. 

Don't hold back because you might think your offering is too small.  If you have a garden with a little extra bounty, bring it to one of your local food pantries.  It all adds up.  Together we can see that no one goes hungry in our community and that everyone has healthy food to eat.  Our offering today was enough for almost all the vegetable and fruit requirements for two families of four for one day.  It adds up quickly when we all share.

 Good Samaritans are located at 214 North 12th Street - Garland 75040
Phone:  972-276-2263


I have four thornless blackberry bushes in my yard.  The two in the front bed produce from the last week in May until just past the middle of June.  The the two blackberry bushes in the second bed start producing about the third week in June until the end of the first week in July.  

Sometimes the garden record is also a record of the gardener's life.  You can see from my chart that I didn't pick blackberries on June 2 and 3.  That's because we had 110 students from Watson Tech visit the Garland Community Garden and I was busy getting ready and helping host the event.  Too bad there are only so many hours in one day.

Two Blackberry Bushes in Front Bed

Thornless blackberry bushes planted late July 2013. (Two at $15 each.)

Market value for the blackberries is figured at 37 cents an ounce.

You can see at a glance how lucrative it is to grow blackberries in Garland Texas.  Also please keep in mind.  These two blackberry bushes still have at least as many berries that are still  ripening.  As we move more toward the end of the season the market value will increase.  I estimate that these four bushes will yield about $500 of blackberries this year.  But money is just part of this urban agricultural equation.  Health is another part.  Blackberries which are loaded with antioxidants are an extremely healthy fruit to eat and serve your family. Also they freeze easily and well--they taste as good as fresh when they are thawed.  They don't get mushy like strawberries.  Plant a thornless blackberry this year and you'll see what I'm talking about next year.  You'll be hooked for life.




May 28 2015

1 pound 5 oz

1 pound 5 oz

May 29, 2015

1 pound

2 pounds 5 oz

May 30, 2015

1 pound 14 oz

4 pounds 3 oz

May 31, 2015 AM

1 pound 9 oz

5 pounds 12 oz

May 31, 2015 PM

1 pound 4 oz

 7 pounds

 June 1, 2015 AM

1 pound 4 oz

 8 pounds 4 oz

 June 1, 2015 PM

14 oz

 9 pounds 2 oz

 June 2, 2015

didn't pick


 June 3, 2015

didn't pick


 June 4, 2015

2 pounds 4 oz

11 pounds 6 oz

  June 5, 2015

2 pounds 6 oz

 13 pounds 12 oz



A few of the 110 Watson Tech Students at the Garland Community Garden - June 3, 2015

Today, members of Loving Garland Green hosted a tour of the Garland Community Garden for the second-grade class of Watson Technology Center—a magnet school here in Garland.

If you are feeling hopeless and not very optimistic about the future, I highly recommend an hour-long visit from 110 second-graders to brighten your outlook. After that experience, you will know that everything is OK. The world will not only survive to the future, it will thrive.  

During the garden tour, the eight LGG members on the committee for this project took up positions in various places in the garden where they answered questions from the children about the garden. All the children were all extremely well behaved, inquisitive and fearless. For example, one little boy asked Charlie Bevilacqua, a Loving Garland Green board member, where the worms were. “Under the ground,” replied Charlie, “enriching the soil for the garden.”

The little boy enthusiastically replied: “Let’s dig them up and look.” Due to time constraints and lack of tools, they did not dig for worms. However, later as the children were leaving, the little boy told Charlie: “You can expect me back in the summer.” The children were told the garden belongs to them too and not only are they welcome to return with their parents and guardians any time they want, they are also welcome to plant vegetables and pull weeds in their community garden.

As you can see, the little girl is taking advantage of the water that was brought by one of our members, Burgi Bartlett.  All bottles of water disappeared before the tour was over.  Burgi sent me an update on what she saw:  "The magic carpet was a great hit with the kids.  Some said they did not feel anything while on it. Three students did yoga while sitting on the magic carpet, and several had quite a few good destinations: Paris, Disneyland and Hawaii.  One kid spotted the Mona Lisa on the Butterfly Fairy Garden and knew what it was."

How the Tour Happened:  and the difference between “a” class of second-graders and “the” class of second-graders.

About 10 days ago Jennifer Clements, a bright, enthusiastic teacher from Watson stopped by the garden. After showing her around, Jennifer asked if her second-grade class could stop by in a week or so and tour the garden on their way to the class picnic at a park. Of course I said yes.

Then about three days before the event I sent Jennifer an email asking for the exact number of children as we wanted to give each child a handout and a rock. When she responded “110”, my heart went into its panic mode. Until that moment I was thinking the number would be 25 to 30 students. I had no mental/visual concept of what 110 children plus 20 adults would look like in the garden or even if our licensed area could hold that many. We’ve never had that many people at once down at the Garden before. As it turned out, we had plenty of room. My guess now is that we could easily accommodate 200 people down at the Garden.

The event was a huge success—not only with members of Loving Garland Green, but also the students, teachers and parents. We all had a great time. Our agenda was three-part: 1) A welcome, which included a brief introduction to the various parts of the garden, and an introduction to LGG members on this project team 2) a forty-minute tour of the garden and 3) the conclusion, led by Loving Garland Green member, Nancy Seaberg.  Nancy gave a garden mobile coloring project and 110 rocks to Ms. Clements to distribute to the other teachers and then to the students after they returned to the school from their picnic.

The Loofah Tunnel was one of the popular attractions on the tour--even if the loofah vines have barely begun to climb the wire trellis constructed by Charlie Bevilacqua.  Jane Stroud, another of our board members, printed several copies of a photo of a loofah when it is in the stage of a large green gourd. We tied the photos to the trellis for the children to see.  By mid-July the trellis should be covered in vines and large yellow blooms.  We also hope to have the walkway inside of the tunnel paved with a yellow brick road.  In addition to the photos we also hung five loofah sponges (the fibrous inside of the gourd after it has dried out).


Along with, the Loofah Tunnel, the Magic Carpet, the Butterfly Fairy Garden (constructed by one of our members, Cheryl Andres) and the Hops pots, the Medicine Wheel was another popular attraction today.  The children enjoyed walking on the stepping stones of the spokes that divide the wheel into four quadrants.  The original medicine wheels constructed by Native Americans sometimes had a diameter of 70 feet.  They were used for various purposes.  Many were used as herb gardens where the medicine men planted herbs that were used for medicinal and ceremonial purposes.




After the children had gone, Jean Shortsleeve, one of our members came up to me and said:  "What do you want me to do with the snail? "  

"Snail?" I asked.  You brought a snail?"  

"Yes," she replied.  

"Well I don't care, but don't leave it in the garden.  I'll smash it if you are too squeamish."  

"No, if you feel that way, I'll just take it home." she said.

Finally after a few more clarifications, we learned the snail is not a real one, but a work of art.  This snail is now the latest addition to our growing yard art collection in the garden.  Thank you,  Jean, for your lovely donation.


Special Thank You's

First we thank our guests--the students, teachers and parents of Watson Technology Center--for caring enough about urban gardening in our community to come to the Garland Community Garden to visit.  We look forward to working with you in the coming school year on other educational projects related to increasing the number of urban gardens growing edibles in our community!

Secondly I thank all the Loving Garland Green members whose suggestions, input and service helped to make this event the success it turned out to be. Thanks to Charlie and Cheryl who worked with me to get the garden in shape prior to the event.  Thanks to our VP, Chris Savage, for his helpful suggestions for the event. Chris, like other of our members was not able to attend the event due to work commitments.  Thanks to Nancy, Jane, Burgi, Colby, and Jean who showed up and helped to teach our guests about the garden and what it represents for our community.  [Note:  Colby, a member of Loving Garland Green and a Garland Fireman, stood guard by the beehive to make sure no children wandered off in that direction.  In addition, Colby is another of our hard-working gardeners down at the community garden.  He puts in many hours a week down there as do Charlie, Cheryl, Burgi and others.]  Also a special thanks to Nancy Seaberg who coordinated the gift of the comfort rocks for the children.

And finally, a special thank-you to Robin from Laser Printing, Inc.  3002 West Campbell Road Garland 75044  214-501-4265.  Robin donated 110 copies of the Garden Mobile coloring project that we gave to the children.  Remember, help yourself and grow your local economy by supporting local businesses.


The Garland Community Garden Is Open to the Public

As we told the children today:  This garden is open to the public.  To learn more about taking care of it, please attend one of our meetings.  We meet the first and third Monday of each month at 216 East Kingsbridge Drive - Garland Texas.

Our mission is three-fold:  First and foremost we want to increase the number of urban gardens growing edibles in our community.  We believe that by doing this we will increase the prosperity of our local economy.  Second of all, many of the plots at our garden are experiments and demonstrations to illustrate (and find out for ourselves) just exactly what edibles grow well in our community.  Finally, as part of our mission, we hope to increase our production to donate 50% of all our produce to local food pantries.



The Magic Carpet, fueled by the imagination of the children who sit on it, is now dried out and ready to be replaced on its wooden pallet platform which was also scrapped to remove mud and dried out.

After a natural disaster is spent, things sometimes are restored to better than their original condition and that is what I’m seeing down at the Garland Community Garden. Before the Garland monsoon months of April and May 2015, we had a lovely fairy house down in the area we call “The Children’s Garden.” However, the protective coating of acrylic varnish over the bark of the dwelling was no match for the relentless pounding from Mother Nature. After five weeks of rain, we had to say good-by to the fairy house as it had totally fallen apart. But the magic has returned.

Cheryl Andres--a very active member of Loving Garland Green

One of Loving Garland Green members, Cheryl Andres stepped up to the plate to return magic to the Children's Garden area. Cheryl has built a wonderful creation that will serve not only for the entertainment and wonderment of fairies, children and adults, but also for pleasure and happiness of butterflies. This work of art created by Cheryl is made entirely from found objects, in keeping with Loving Garland Green’s commitment to sustainable living.

The Keeper of the Marbles appears to be quite satisfied with his new elegant home and its water feature

A few of the original features around the original Fairy House structure remain. For example, as you can see in the photo, the Rabbit Keeper of the Marbles and his abiding companion, the headless jester cat have survived.


Moving Onward and Upward

110 school children stopping by for a tour of the Garden
These students are from Watson Technology Center, a magnet school here in Garland. If you 110 of something that you think would be an appropriate giveaway for second graders, or if you would like to donate to support this event, please call Elizabeth Berry at 972-571-4497. [All donations are tax-deductible according to tax laws governing the operations of 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organizations.

Another Rain Barrel Designed by Ken Risser Installed
The rain barrel is beside the Loofah Tunnel, on a brick platform constructed of bricks donated by our local Kaiser Baptist Church, you’ll now see a lovely rain barrel, our second one in the garden that was designed by Ken Risser, a local Garland entrepreneur. This one has a dragonfly on it, along with the Loving Garland Green logo.

First Level of Hops Trellis Built On May 31
Charlie, with assistance from me, build the first trellis level for our hops plant. Eventually this trellis will reach approximately 10 feet high.

Wire Trellis Installed by Purple Hull Pea Patch On May 31
I installed this trellis in the pea patch. Thank you Colby for cutting the wire for me. Thank you also Colby for your generous donations of expanded shale.

Wednesday June 3 Meeting to Discuss Proposed Gutter Installation
Project Members of Loving Garland Green (LGG) may be meeting with a representative from the Garland Parks and Recreation Department to discuss permission to install a gutter system on the existing shed located on this property. The LGG Water Harvesting Team had already obtained estimates from three different gutter experts for this project.