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The following is information regarding a worthy citizen science project being undertaken by the people at Journey North.  I’m proposing to the board that we add this project to Loving Garland Green’s list of citizen science projects.  I would like to adopt a classroom of students from one of our local Garland schools to steward this project with us. 

We could either bring the garden to them or we could have them come to the Garland Community Garden and plant the tulips there.

Gardeners should plant tulips when the weather cools and leaves start to drop from trees. Most suggest the best time to get tulips into the ground is when nighttime temperatures drop under 50 degrees F. American Meadows suggests that planting should coincide with the first frosts in the area.

 Any planting should take place around the time of the first frost, which occurs as early as the second week of October in north Texas and as late as mid-December in south Texas.

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Tracking Change in Seasons and Climate Around the Globe

Each fall, people across the Northern Hemisphere plant Red Emperor tulip bulbs in Journey North Test Gardens to help monitor seasonal change in a scientific way. In the spring, when the plants emerge and bloom, test gardeners report their data to the maps. One garden at a time, the relationship between climate, geography and the greening of spring is revealed.

Local climate affects where, when, and how plants grow. Over time, the timing of plant growth can be used as an indicator of climate change. Everyone who participates in this international tulip test garden project contributes valuable information to a long-term database.

This fall, plant your own Journey North Tulip Test Garden so you can proclaim the greening of spring from your part of the world. Follow news updates and explore the maps to predict when tulip plants will emerge in your hometown.

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As a scientific experiment, all Journey North gardens must be planted with NEW Red Emperor tulip bulbs. Try purchasing bulbs in your community. If these tulips are unavailable locally, we can purchase through a supplier.

Bulb Supplier Information

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 PARTICIPATION REQUIRES ONLY A FEW STEPS

1. BEFORE PLANTING

  • REGISTER for Journey North 
    Registration is free.
  • ORDER Tulip Bulbs 
    Purchase new Red Emperor Tulip bulbs each year. Some discounts apply.
  • EXPLORE Fall Lessons 
    Plan pre-planting inquiry-based activities.

 

2. PLANT YOUR TULIPS

  

3. REPORT TO PLANTING DATES TO JOURNEY NORTH

  • REPORT to Journey North 
    After planting, report your garden to Journey North.
  • SEE YOUR GARDEN on the map.
    When you report, your garden appears on the map!

4. IN THE SPRING, REPORT TO JOURNEY NORTH TWICE:  

         1) When your tulips emerge

         2) When your tulips bloom

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Monarch Face Board at the Garland Community Garden.  Beside it is the Monarch Maniacs Live Here yard sign. 


Pick up a Cool Yard Sign and Free Milkweed Seeds while they last!

(And while you are at it, stop by the Garland Community Garden, 4022 Naaman School Road, to see all our great pollinators busy at work.  You can also have a friend take a photograph of you as a monarch.  If you do, please send a copy to Mayor Athas at Mayor@garlandTX.gov I know he would love to hear from you.

All 57 square miles of Garland is on a transformational path to becoming one giant habitat for pollinators. At the heart of this transformation is the leadership of our mayor, Douglas Athas.

In April, Mayor Athas presented the “Monarch Maniacs” initiative at a Dallas County Earth Day event. He was among mayors from cities across the state who took the National Wildlife Federation Mayor’s Monarch pledge in October 2015. Mayor Athas’ presentation won first prize and received a $5,500 grant for expenses associated with promoting the monarch butterfly and other pollinators in our community.

Learn more about the award by reading the press release here.   

The majority of the grant funds allowed for the purchase of 250 native Green Milkweed seed packets, the preferred perennial of monarch butterflies, and 250 yard signs that show support for bringing monarchs back to our community. These seeds will be dispersed throughout the community to allow residents to establish pollinator habitats in their yards, and participants will get a “Monarch Maniacs” sign to show they are contributing to the cause.

The remaining grant money will be used to promote the monarch butterfly at key community events, and assist groups such as Keep Garland Beautiful, Citizens Environmental and Neighborhood Committee (CENAC), and Loving Garland Green, to promote programs and community outreach. 

Create a Pollinator Habitat

Because of its beauty and elegance, the monarch butterfly, or Danaus plexippus, is the flagship species for all pollinators—from flies to bees.

Why should we care about monarchs and pollinators? Pollinators are critical to the continuation of life on the planet as they are responsible for one of every three bites of food we put in our mouths. Almost all species of pollinators are on the decline, primarily due to the destruction of their habitat through the relentless encroachment of urbanization and the misuse of pesticides. We need to make some space in our urban ecosystems for our pollinators.

The good news is it doesn’t take a lot of effort on our part. Creating pollinator habitats means we become better educated about some of their needs, such as food, water and nesting areas. As a reward for these efforts, we can continue to have food to put in our mouths and our yards will flourish with more flowers.

Join the Mission to Bring Back Monarchs

Participants will receive:
 - One seed packet of Green Milkweed (contains 10 seeds);
 - One 22-by-16 Monarch Maniacs yard sign (double-sided with stake); and
 - One information card with tips and tricks on how to plant your milkweed.

These items will be available for pickup at City Hall, 200 N. Fifth St. For more information about when to pick up your items, call the Office of the Mayor at 972-205-2400 or email Mayor@GarlandTX.gov

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Synchronicity (German: Synchronizität) is a concept, first introduced by analytical psychologist Carl Jung, which holds that events are "meaningful coincidences" if they occur with no causal relationship yet seem to be meaningfully related.  Another term for it might be:  “an idea whose time has arrived.”

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I thought of Carl Jung’s concept of synchronicity when a friend passed along an article from the Dallas Morning News this morning titled “Big Tex Urban Farms is the backbone of a budding southern Dallas food system”. This article describes a fabulous plan for people in south Dallas.  

“Coincidentally”, this email came just behind an email I received from a representative at Garland’s Harmony School informing me that we have all the necessary permissions and are ready to plan and schedule a kickoff party for what promises to be the establishment of one of the most unique local urban food systems in the USA—right here in Garland, Texas.  We plan to create an urban demonstration garden and a small (2-4 acre) truck farm in each of our eight districts—beginning in the beautiful space behind Harmony school.

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Successful urban farms are now dotting the landscapes of urban America—from New York to Seattle, from Minneapolis to Dallas.  None are the same.  Like the individual Americans who steward them, each is different.  However, they all have similar qualities: whether we are talking about Will Allen’s urban farm in Milwaukee or the Paul Quinn College urban farm right here in the DFW area.  A few years ago that school plowed under their football field into a huge urban garden. 

Stewards of these urban farms and gardens consistently demonstrate a commitment to grow organically produced food; to provide food and jobs for local residents: and a commitment to promote sustainable change in our food system.  Urban farms also provide opportunities for people to learn, share knowledge and grow their community.   

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Attend the Kickoff Event for Creating Urban Gardens and Truck Farms in Garland Texas.  Have fun and Learn more about how you can be part of this important community initiative and what’s in it for you.

RSVP to eebemma@yahoo.com

I will send you the details when they become available to me.

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Speaking of Community and Gardens . . .

Have you stopped by the Garland Community Garden at 4022 Naaman School Road and made your Monarch Postcard to send to Mayor Athas?  Ana Marie DeYoung did today.  Ana Marie is President of Flamingo Neighbors, a local neighborhood group here in Garland.  They installed a Little Free Library underneath our largest pecan tree—a great place to sit in the shade and read.  Charlie and I have already done that several times. It’s fun!  Leave your cell phone at home and try it.

 

Ana Maria DeYoung, President of Garland’s Flamingo Neighbors and Steward of the Little Free Library at the Garland Community Garden – August 9, 2017  

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David and Laurie at the Garland Community Garden August 9, 2017

Also when I was down at the garden today doing battle with the spider mites on our beans and tomatoes, David and Laurie stopped by.  I just met them a few days ago.  They live nearby the garden.

Today they came bearing gifts to donate to the garden—several potted vegetables, tomato cages, soil, and fertilizer.

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Display at the Wholesome Farms & Gardens booth – Garland MarketPlace August 5, 2017

The Garland MarketPlace is Garland's manageable answer to Marché  aux Puces de Paris/St.-Ouen  

That famous flea market is known more simply as the "Puces."  My favorite of all the 14 markets there is the Marché Vernaison which is the historic cradle of this flea market which was established in 1920.  Today that one market has over 300 stalls so you can see just how unmanageable the entire Marché aux Puces is with its total of 14 markets, each with hundreds of stalls.  Still it's a great place as is the Garland MarketPlace.  Regretfully, the vendors featured here in this post do not include all the vendors at the Garland MarketPlace as my time was limited.  You'll have to go the third Saturday of August and see them all and more for yourself.  Like the historic Marche aux Puces, the Garland MarketPlace is growing too!

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Local is definitely where it’s happening—especially if you are talking Garland Texas local.  Charlie and I went downtown Saturday morning to support our local entrepreneurs selling their wares at the Marketplace on the square.  I bought two cinnamon rolls from Garland’s Swedish Cinnamon roll queen; two doggie mats from Deana of Jazzy Junk; some habanero pickles from my friend Stephanie Cole at Pinson and Cole’s Gourmet Pickles; a delicious lemon blueberry cupcake from KH2 Bakery; a bag of low carb gluten free chip; a jar of lemon lavender jelly; some delicious chicken salad from Texas Salsa.

If you think I’m buying local because I’m nice – you have the wrong reason. [Not that I’m not nice (most of the time)]  But I buy local whenever I can because it helps me as much as it helps the folks that I’m buying merchandise from. [Local usually translates sustainable; economic returns on your purchase; social and civic well being; etc.] It’s a proven fact that time and again more of your dollars spent on local purchases are re-circulated into your local economy than the money you spend in chain stores.

Key Studies:  Why Local Matters [accessed 8/05/2017] https://ilsr.org/key-studies-why-local-matters/#3

Two other reasons for buying local: fresh and original.   You want to see unusual and original, come to the next Garland MarketPlace on Saturday August 19.  If you have unusual, local and original for sale, contact Kirk.

MARKETPLACE EVENTS

First and Third Saturday of the Month 9- 2PM

Downtown Garland Square – Garland, Texas

WANT TO BE ONE OF THE VALUED MARKETPLACE VENDORS?

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

The Garland MarketPlace is THE place.  Just look at all these interesting people and their interesting products and please remember that I wasn’t able to stop at all the booths.  There is always more to see at the Garland MarketPlace!

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Peer-to-Peer Buddy System with Local Merchants and Entrepreneurs

I love the Garland Marketplace because it often inspires me with new ideas for growing the wealth and health of Garland.  Today with the Buddy League’s peer-to-peer system still fresh in my mind, I thought: Why Not have a Peer-to-peer buddy system for local merchants and entrepreneurs?

This could be a mutually beneficial arrangement whereby the owner of a small business provides a small space for one or even more local entrepreneurs to display and sell their goods.

What’s in it for the Merchant?

-Creates a good image for their business in the community.  We Americans like it when the “big guy” supports the “little guy.”
-Increases traffic in their business. Folks who might not otherwise stop in might stop by due the attraction of the buddy’s products.

What’s in it for the Entrepreneur?

-Another outlet for their products.  [Many entrepreneurs do not have the time or money to establish a storefront.  Although virtual storefronts on the Internet are great, they miss some of that market who want to buy now in real time.]

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Many of the vendors who were at Garland Marketplace last month were here on Saturday and there were new people that I had not chatted with before.  I’ll tell you about them first. Also I want to add my apologies to the vendors who are not featured in this article.  I made as many booths as I could but I had a prior commitment.  Don't worry though I'll get you the next time around as I'm sure to be there. 

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Live Music at the Garland Marketplace—How classy is that?

 

Live Music at the Garland Marketplace today from Acoustic Audiophile

https://www.facebook.com/acousticaudiophile

a father daughter acoustic duet that plays cover tunes that span the decades.

Tell me, how many grocery stores can you name who play live local music while you shop?  This father/daughter duo make awesome music. 

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How about the Classy Salsa Texan? 

Speaking of “Classy”—How about The Salsa Texan?  Stephen at the Garland MarketPlace August 5, 2017

I know you are probably scratching your head and wondering:  What’s classy about a taco chip?  The Salsa Texan has a lot of reasons to deserve the title of “classy.”  You can start with their classy mission statement:  to provide a delicious healthy alternative to the Texas tradition of chips, salsa and queso.

All products are Organic, Gluten Free and GMO Free.

The company was founded by Stephen as he is a type 2 diabetic and he found himself having to give up his favorite things chips & salsa.  Through research he found that he could eat organic corn chips made from scratch (not from a tortilla) as long as they were baked. The Salsa Texan was born. 
Product is local to Texas – made in Arlington area.

So who buys the Salsa Texan products?  In addition to ordinary people, they are also purchased by classy establishments such as the Four Seasons Hotel and The Ritz Carlton.  I asked him how he was able to make such contacts.  Guess what?  The chef was at a local market such as MarketPlace and sampled Stephen’s chips.  Local fairs like MarketPlace can have far-reaching results for vendors—beyond the dollar value of their sales at the event..  Stephen told me that a chef from the Four Seasons was at an outdoor market event where Stephen was hawking his wares and the rest is history.

Contact: 

https://www.facebook.com/thesalsatexan/
wendi@thesalsatexan.com   

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 The Garland MarketPlace has its own Classy Texas Version of a Bouquiniste (dealer in secondhand books)

 

Paul Himmelreich—writer, archeologist, bouquiniste -  Garland Texas MarketPlace  8/5/2017

If you’ve ever spent time in Paris and walked along the Seine you will remember all the booksellers that line the walkway. These booksellers are among the many iconic symbols of Paris. Bouquinistes is a trade that began around 1450 when the printing press was invented.  This trade is unique to Paris.  The story has it that a boat transporting books sunk near Notre-Dame Cathedral. The sailors swam ashore taking as many books as they could.  They sold these books to the people passing by to make up for the wages they lost.  Some stayed on and made a living as a bookseller.  The bouquinistes, as they became known, sold bouquins, small, old bashed books.

Our Garland version of the bouquiniste is Paul Himmelreich.  If I hadn’t already spent a lot of money (by my budget standards) I would have definitely purchased a book from him—one that he wrote titled:  Images of America Garland.  What really caught my eye on the cover of this book was the subtitle:  “Garland and Roy Rogers.”  Apparently in 1937, before the time when most of us were born, Roy went on a promotional tour with stops in Dallas, Ft. Worth and Garland.  I believe he put in a live appearance at our theater here on the square.

Paul told me that he has about twenty books that he wants to write before he passes on to that other place where we go.

 

Front cover of Images of America Garland – Author Paul Himmelreich told me there are some photos in this book that have not been published before.  The book, “The German Texans” fits into the category of a bouquin.  Nearly all the books in Paul’s book stall were bouquins that dealt with Texas specific topics.   – Garland MarketPlace-  Garland Texas 8/5/2017

CONTACT INFORMATION:  PAUL HIMMELREICH

PO BOX 494373 – Garland, Texas 75049

himmeltx@gmail.com

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Classy and Eclectic:  Alexandria Elkwood

Medicine Woman, Drum Maker Herbalist, Lecturer, Consultant

 

Alexandria and her herbal remedies.  In the foreground left, you will see herbal products that have been made by the hands of this medicine woman.  Garland Texas Marketplace – August 5, 2017

Contact Information:

Alexandria has a great website.

Visit and learn about:

  • American Shaman products
  • Mother Earths Apothecary Plant Medicine Remedies
  • Elkwood Studio Designs
  • Online Store containing Handcrafted Art 
  • Native Hand Drums
  • Beadwork
  • Buckskin
  • Intuitive Reader
  • Intuitive Healing Services
  • Wise Woman Program 

http://www.alexandriaelkwood.com

alexandriaelkwood@gmail.com

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Another Local Original and Eclectic Woman at the Garland Marketplace.

 

Stacey Smith of ZenTala in front of her unusual bracelets, earrings, necklaces and amulets –all handmade by Stacey -  Garland Marketplace August 5, 2017. [Yes the eye on Stacey’s hand is as permanent as her own two eyes. At least no one can debate the fact that Stacey has a third eye.]

Visit www.facebook.com/ZentalabyStacey

Call Stacey at 214-502-5673

Like Alexandria and many Americans, Stacey has many skills: Reiki Master, Empathic Healer, Jewelry Artist and Orgonite Healing Artist. 

In case you need definitions as I did:

Reiki master--a healing technique based on the principle that the therapist can channel energy into the patient by means of touch, to activate the natural healing processes of the patient's body and restore physical and emotional well-being.

Empathic healer—the power to heal other people’s emotional wounds

Orgonite Healing Artist-- Orgonite is primarily made from metals chips (Copper, Brass, Aluminum curls & etc), polyester resin (fiberglass resin) and a quartz crystal.

Orgonite however, works continuously to transmute or process negative orgone/chi/qi or other energies into positive form only.  Thus if you wear Stacey’s jewelry lemons will turn to lemonade in your life.

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 KH2 Bakery – a local bakery family business

 

Katie Hornsby (in the red apron) is the Baker/Owner.  Katie once worked in a commercial bakery and then decided she could do much better on her own.  She is flanked on the right by her mom and on the left by her husband and a niece –Garland MarketPlace August 5, 2017

I think Katie made the right decision after purchasing and eating one of her delicious lemon blueberry muffins!

Folks on their Facebook seem to agree with me.  Here is one comment:

 

CONTACT

Katie Hornsby
469-951-6064
4721 Paradise Cove
Garland, TX  75043
Https://www.facebook.com/KHsquaredBakery

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And the Ruby Funnel Cake Business is Born!

 

Ruby and Randy show off one of their special funnel cakes at their Garland MarketPlace booth. – August 5, 2017

Randy and Ruby most often are the Kettle Korn providers for events like the Garland MarketPlace, but about a month ago they were turned down for an event because a kettle corn vendor had already been secured.  However the person setting up the event asked if they made funnel cakes—of course, the answer was “yes.”   And here they are.  Of course Randy and Ruby still provide Kettle Korn at events.

CONTACT:

214-801-1017

Rubyanncostanza58@gmail.com

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Baking Buns

 

Abigail Courtney—Baker/Owner on right – Garland Marketplace August 5, 2017

Among a wide range of baked goods you can also find great pies and cobblers.

Not the kind your mother would have made had I been your mother. 

CONTACT

Cheerfulbaker1722@gmail.com

Follow on Instagram:  baking_buns_03

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/bakingbuns03

Cell:  214-535-2146

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Jazzy Junk

 

Deanna J. Zuniga, Owner and Designer – Garland MarketPlace – Garland Texas August 5, 2017

Deanna, like many entrepreneurs, is sustainable and self-sufficient.  She decided that she didn’t want her kids to have large school loans so she starting sewing aprons to help put them through school

CONTACT

Deanna J. Zuniga

210-326-0709

deezun@yahoo.com

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Ama’s Kitchen


Ama in her booth at the Garland MarketPlace – Garland, Texas August 5, 2017

Ama comes to Rockwall Texas by way of Michigan.  Yesterday I purchased a jar of her lemon/lavender jelly—it was the last jar on her shelf of this jelly.  I had some this morning on toast.  It was delicious!

CONTACT

923 W. YELLOW JACKET LANE
ROCKWALL, TX 75087

770-378-5510

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Siham Gourmet Desserts – Gluten Free Mediterranean Desserts

 

Display of baklava from Siham Gourmet Desserts – Garland MarketPlace –Garland, Texas August 5, 2017

Lisa was  at the booth selling her mother's baked goods.  I tried to coax her into a photo but she was too modest.  The baked good are very tasty.  If you serve these at a party, you can keep all sides happy.  Even though you may not be gluten intolerant, you will still like these desserts.

CONTACT

P.O. BOX 460012

Garland, TX 75040

sihamdesserts@gmail.com  

424-230-4207

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Wholesome Farms and Gardens

 

 Craig Turczynski, Ph.D. poses for our camera at the Garland Marketplace- Garland Texas  August 5, 2017

Wholesome Farms and Gardens is a private label for the meat and other food produced by Country Workforce.  They are a small faming operation who are perfecting natural methods for local consumption here in North Texas.

Their operation uses 100% natural methods including no chemical herbicides, pesticides or synthetic fertilizer on their land nor antibiotics or hormones given to their animals.  For feed, they use non-GMO feed alternatives.  Their chickens, cows and pigs are given 100% access to grassland that is frequently rotated.  And the grazing animals are protected from predators.

Many purchasing options are available to their customers.

CONTACT

info@countryworkforce.com

https://www.countrworkforce.com/reserve-your-order  for pricing and more information

1233 Eagle Point road

Van Alstyne, TX 75495

Phone:  903-482-6287

www.facebook.com/wholesomeFarms 

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 Miss Margie’s Spicy Pretzels

“Miss Margie” a.k.a. Margaret Chaps – Garland MarketPlace Garland Texas August 5, 2017

I asked Margaret how she got started in her business.  She said that her friends kept telling her that her pretzels were so good that she had to sell them—so here she is, selling her pretzels.  [Her friends may be sorry now that they’ll have to pay for Miss Margie’s Spicy Pretzels but they are worth it—very yummy!]

CONTACT

Margaret Chaps

missmargies@outlook.com 

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THE GOOD WATER

If you haven’t tried infused water, I recommend it.  You can do it yourself, or if you want it in large quantities for an event such as a birthday party or other celebration, call up THE GOOD WATER folks.  It’s a healthy way to drink more water and you will because infused water is so tasty.

Bryan Jones (owner) 214-524-4929

Thegoodwater17@gmail.com

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 Pinson & Cole’s Gourmet Pickles

 

Stephanie Cole (owner/CEO) and her daughter at a Garland MarketPlace booth Garland, Texas August 5, 2017

Stopped by Stephanie’s booth as I always do when I visit the MarketPlace.  I am not a pickle fan (but don’t tell Stephanie).  Charlie, however, is a great pickle fan so we bough a jar of Mexican habanero and Chili pickles.

CONTACT

Stephanie Cole

214-670-2042

www.pic-licious.com

stephaniepcole@yahoo.com

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Drippin’ Rhinestones – Custom and handmade home décor.

 

Jimmy Clark - Drippin’ Rhinestones – Custom and Handmade Home Décor – Garland MarketPlace August 5, 2017

I stopped by this booth and chatted a bit with Jimmy.  I asked him how he got started. Jimmy said that his stepdaughter asked him to make some thing for her and from there to Drippi’ Rhinestones! 

That’s another great thing about most local businesses:  they do not operate from a “one-size-fits-all perspective.  Because they are small, they are usually able to customize their product to suit their customer exact needs.

Here are what some happy customers have said about them on their Facebook  

CONTACT:

Krystal Aguado  214-934-6019

Jimmy Clark  303-332-3195

drippinrhinestones@yahoo.com

https://www.facebook.com/DrippinRhinestones1111

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 The Queen of Swedish Cinnamon Rolls

 

Laurie Lanehart

I stopped by to visit Laurie's booth.  The last time I stopped by in July in the early afternoon there was only one Swedish cinnamon bun left.  Saturday, since I arrived in the morning, there were still about 14 rolls left.  This time, instead of free-loading (Last time Laurie gave me one) I purchased two of these delicious rolls and shared on with Charlie.

Laurie makes special orders for parties.

Call her at 972-816-3698

Or write to her at

cinnamonbunsbyLaurie@gmail.com 

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La Esperanza Farm

 

Fruit from La Esperanza Farm displayed at the Garland MarketPlace August 5, 2017 

No self-respecting local market would be without its fresh produce and the Garland MarketPlace had some beautiful examples on Saturday from La Esperanza (the hope) farm located in Nevada Texas.

CONTACT

La Esperanza Farm
Phone: (214) 843-2089
  • Name: Jesus Dias
    Job Title: Principal

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    Jebediah's Pottery

    Handmade stoneware from the heart of Texas!

    I am so sorry I was not able to visit Jeff Beaty's booth on Saturday, but three times I went by it and it was too crowded for me to but in.  Judging from the comments on Jeff's Etsy site [ https://www.etsy.com/shop/JebediahsPottery ] his customers love his work and he makes all kinds of stoneware objects--from bird houses to planters.

    Here is Jeff's (Jebediah) story in his own words:https://www.etsy.com/shop/JebediahsPotteryHand Made Stoneware From Texas

    When I was in my early twenties, I apprenticed to a potter in Philadelphia for several years. Unable to make a decent living, I decided to pursue a different career path and went into the electronics industry.

    In 2010, with my eye firmly fixed on retirement, I began to rebuild my studio. To my surprise even after nearly forty years of no pottery I was able to pick up the skill at a pretty rapid rate.

    I retired in 2016 and set up my Etsy shop, registered the name Jebediah's Pottery and here I am. The name arose from my childhood. One of my Mother's nicknames for me was "Jebediah". I work out of my garage which can be a challenge as there's barely enough room to swing a cat (and, No, I don't swing cats).

    My work tends to be simple and utilitarian. Nothing fancy. I throw most of my work on the heavy side as I prefer things with weight and substance.
    I hope you like what you see in my shop. I am always open to any questions, comments or suggestions.
     

     

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Mayor Douglas Athas gives a high-five to one of the Buddy League Players - Garland Texas

Last night, as a member of the Garland Park Board, I attended our regular meeting and learned about yet another reason to celebrate the community I live in:  The Buddy League.

The Buddy League, unique to our community, was founded by Heather Miller—a local resident who grew up in Garland.  Unlike most buddy organizations that pair adults with children, the buddy league is a peer to peer buddy system. The buddies are children from ages 8 to 18.  Not only is the Buddy League a life changing experience for the children with special needs, it is also a life-changing experience for their buddies as well. 

Heather’s son, Ben Miller was born March 1991 a normal healthy little boy.  At age three months, following his first immunizations his life was changed forever.  He began having seizures.  Ben is now twenty-six and his seizures are severe and frequent.  Sometimes he can’t remember his parent’s names but he never forgets during baseball season that Saturday is baseball day.

Until age 11 Ben played baseball with his three brothers.  He played with the younger kids and he loved it. He laughed, smiled and for one hour a week he was just like everyone else.  Then one day Heather got a phone call that the league could no longer make modifications for Ben and he could no longer play—another dream shattered for Ben.

In the fall of 2002 the Buddy League began.  It was for all the kids out there who, like Ben, needed the chance to be just regular kids, if only for one week.  It was for all the other parents who watch helplessly as their children are excluded and shunned.  A safe, accepting place, the Buddy League was created for them—free from teasing and failure.  In Buddy League sports, everyone plays, everyone is cheered, and everyone is a winner.

WHY STOP AT BASEBALL AS A NORMAL EXPERIENCE FOR THESE KIDS?

After hearing Heather Miller’s presentation last night, I sent her the following email and copied a few of my friends on it:

Thank you, Heather, for sharing your beautiful story with us last night.

You are a great example of how one person can change the lives of so many.  As Molly said last night, you touched the hearts of all the Garland Parks and Recreation staff and the folks on the Parks and Recreation Board.

We live in such an interactive world and your story reminded me of that.  So often we forget that when we do something for others, we end up being the ones who derive the most benefit from the interaction. I thought about that when you spoke of the volunteers and their experience.

It is such a brilliant idea to use peers ages 8 to 18 as baseball buddies to children with special needs.  As you said, this experience will change the hearts and attitudes of those volunteers forever.

Please let me know when your next game will be.  I would love to come and watch the kiddos play and interact together.

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Speaking of Creating Ripples in the Universe, Heather, you created some in my universe too! 

You created some ripples in my own world.  Much of my own heart and soul belong to the world of urban agriculture.  As we move more and more into the 21st century and urban living, I believe it is ever more important for us to grow some of the food we eat and to do what we can to restore habitat for creatures in our yards and parks that has been destroyed by our encroaching urbanization.

Baseball is a great activity for kids and so is gardening.  Kids love gardens, worms, butterflies and nature in general.  I am one of the founding members of Loving Garland Green and the Garland Community Garden located at 4022 Naaman School Road.  Over the past three years I've had the pleasure to watch the unbridled joy of classrooms and indeed even entire grades with 112 students romping in the garden.  In addition I've taught several special horticulture classes at Beaver MST and Watson MST.  All kids love nature and they love learning about it and experiencing it.

So, after your presentation, I've been thinking:  How can we turn these kids into urban farmers/nature lovers?  I don't know how wheelchair accessible the Garland Community Garden is, but it might be more so than I think.  It would take a knowledgeable person like you to check it out.  In addition, it's possible we could build some beds at wheelchair accessible height on the outer edges near the driveway (which is mostly covered in grass that we keep mowed but there is a hard gravel surface underneath).

Then I happened to think of three of our schools that have great gardens and also greenhouses: Watson MST; Beaver MST; and Harmony School.  These might be great places for the kids to garden and experience nature as you already have the built-in buddies with the students and they would be wheelchair accessible.  It would be a great program for learning all kinds of good values--not to mention gardening skills.

In case you don't already know, it's a proven scientific fact that interacting with nature improves our health and sense of well being.  There is even a science, Biophilia that is dedicated to the study of the relationship between our health and our interactions with nature.

Any way,  we'll just see where this goes.  In the attempt to create more ripples to support your kids and broaden the scope of Buddy League, I've copied folks on this email who can not only create ripples, but also waves.   

Thank you again, Heather, for sharing your beautiful story.  You are truly a great example of what good one person can accomplish.

Sincerely

Liz Berry (member of Garland Park Board and founding member of Loving Garland Green

For those who are not familiar with Garland's Buddy League:

 The Buddy League, Inc.

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Send a Monarch to Mexico! 
You're invited to participate in the 21st annual Symbolic Monarch Butterfly Migration.

Download the instructions:

Teacher Packet


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This invitation comes from: