WHAT IS A COMMUNITY GARDEN?
Judging from several posts that appeared recently on NEXT DOOR, there are quite a few folks in Garland who do not understand what a Community Garden is and who “owns” the produce--It’s the gardeners who own the produce, not the visitors. As shown in the U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE definition below, community gardens are for the benefit of the people caring for the garden.
The “community” referenced in the title “Community Garden” is the “community of gardeners”. Not the community at large. Thus, members of the community who do not have a plot at the Garland Community Garden are not free to come and pick the produce that others have worked hard to grow. I think the concept of the children’s tale about the Little Red Hen applies here.
In addition to taking care of our personal plots, the care of the garden also includes taking care of other plots such as our pollinator beds, the luffa tunnel, the Medicine wheel and the Multicultural plot. Layered on top of that members mow to keep the weeds down.
That said, Loving Garland Green, the official stewards of the garden space at the junction of Brand and Naaman School Road, do offer many benefits to the community at large. Here are a few:
A FEW BENEFITS FROM THE GARLAND COMMUNITY GARDEN FOR ALL
- If you are a resident of Garland, you can obtain a plot by contacting Loving Garland Green. Unlike many community gardens, our plots are free but you do have to plant in them and keep your bed up or you will lose it and you do have to give 50% of your produce to a local food bank.
- If you are interested in growing some of the food you eat (a good idea) you are welcome to the garden any time to look at the various urban garden formats we have that range from lasagna beds to pots to homer buckets. You do not have to create a raised bed with wooden sides, although we even have a few of those at the garden.
- If you just want peace and quiet, the garden is a great place for that. Unlike most community gardens, we have picnic tables, chairs and shade.
- If you want to learn fun things such as--Did you know you can eat some weeds? You can come down and see the Purslane we have growing along with a sign explaining what it is. In another area of the garden, we have a sign that educates the public on the topic of growing hemp in Texas.
- Later on, in the fall, our members will leave seed packets from plants that we grew in 2022. We encourage our neighbor gardeners to do the same. The very best seeds to plant are from healthy plants that were grown in your community.
- As for more giving to the Community, Loving Garland Green’s policy is to donate 50% of all we grow to the Good Samaritans of Garland. In 2019 we donated approximately 600 pounds of fresh produce and hard goods. With COVID, unfortunately, our gathering and donating was not allowed. In 2022 we are picking up speed again. Despite our severe drought, to date for this year we have a total donation of 256 pounds of produce and dry goods. We gather the produce from the garden every Friday and deliver it to Good Sam’s of Garland--a great organization that can always use volunteers