Three of the Four Fat Caterpillars  - November 14, 2015 Garland Texas

On November 14, 2015, I was surprised to find no less than four Monarch caterpillars on milkweed in my yard.  I rescued them and then a few days later they all turned into green jewel-like pupas.  Now this is the week they are to eclose.  Ideally they would at least a 100 miles south of here, but such is not their fate. They are lucky to be here at all.  I was out gathering milkweed seed when I discovered them and brought them in.  A few hours later we had one of our several monsoons this fall.  They would not have survived that, and if not that, then certainly not the two frosts we've had since then.

If you are driving somewhere to south Texas and would be willing to take responsibility for taking them and releasing them, that would be great.  Write to me within the next 48 hours at .

It is documented that Monarchs can fly up to 265 miles in one day.  Although 60+ is ideal for them, if the day is sunny, they can also fly in 50+ degree F temperatures. They have a chance to make it to the Mexican highlands.   Wednesday, December 2, according to weather predictions, would be the ideal day this week for their release here in Garland, Texas.

The "Loner" - This one attached to the corner of the mesh basket.  It was the first one to graduate to a pupa--about Nov 17, 2015

(Photos taken November 30, 2015)

"Three Peas in a Pod" - The other three caterpillars attached their pupas to the dish towel, draped across the opening of the laundry basket.

I’ve done all I know to prepare them for a successful journey.  I still wish I had some tags so they could be tracked, but I don’t.  It seems all the places I've contacted are out of them for the season.

Since most of my flowers are gone, I’ve prepared a small bouquet from the scant few left in my yard and I also made a feeding station for them according to a sugar water concoction I got from the Internet.  The recipe follows.

I made the feeding station from a small plastic glass filled with cotton balls and the sugar water.  I cut a hole in the center of a paper plate, covered it with photos of flowers, slid it over the glass and taped it in place.



Master Gardener Bobbie Truell from Texas A&M University recommends this simple alternative food source.

  • 4 parts water
  • 1 part granulated sugar

1. Boil the solution for several minutes until sugar is dissolved, and then let cool. Serve the solution in a shallow container with an absorbent material such as paper towels saturated with the sugar solution.

2. Bright yellow and orange kitchen scouring pads may be placed in the solution to attract butterflies and give them a resting place while they drink.


WHY BOTHER?  Isn't all this "interfering" with Mother Nature?

Pollinators are responsible for at least 1/3 of all the food we consume and one half of the fats and oils we eat.  In addition to that, we use their fibers for our clothing. Populations of the monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus plexippus) have dropped an astonishing 96.5 percent over the past few decades, from an estimated 1 billion in the mid-1990s to just 35 million in early 2014. Conservation groups have been worrying about this decline for several years
It is no surprise that communities are waking up to the importance of pollinators and are taking serious steps to protect them and increase the existence of their habitats.  The I-35 corridor from Texas to Minnesota is known as the pollinator highway.  A program is now in place and supported by several federal agencies as well as local communities along the way to plant 100 miles to either side of this roadway with pollinator-friendly plants including the milkweed in particular.

Yes, indeed rescuing Monarchs is a deviation from a natural process.  However, what I am doing and what hundreds of people like me are doing is a temporary intervention to correct and restore a natural process that has already been seriously tampered with and altered--primarily through the overuse of herbicides which have practically eliminated  milkweed all along the migration corridors of the Monarch.  

The milkweed is the only plant that Monarchs and 300 other species of butterflies (called "the milkweed butterflies") will deposit their eggs on.  Due to the indiscriminate use of both pesticides and herbicides, the Monarch population as well as the population of many of our other pollinators is dangerously threatened.  It is estimated that less than 5% of Monarchs are able to complete their lifecycle.  Most die as eggs or caterpillars.  Monarchs that are rescued have a 95% probability of survival to adulthood.

What can you do as an urban resident?

Plant a few milkweed in your yard this spring.




Liz Berry - November 21, 2015 Loving Garland Green Yard Sale

Loving Garland Green's Yard Sale was a Huge Success--thanks to people like you!

Given the cold north wind, and early morning clouds threatening rain, my expectations were lower than the snails in my garden in regard to sales.  But people came and they spent money.  In only five hours we were almost sold out and we were able to shut down two hours early with $213 for our coffers.  The left-overs were delivered to another local charity.

The first Saturday in December we will be at it again.  Look for us at 4022 Naaman School Road from 10AM to 3PM.  It's also a workday in the garden.  While some of us are busy tending the garden, others will be selling goods.  We will be selling bird feeders for $2--a great holiday gift and also our great hand-picked by Loving Garland Green Members Texas pecans.  These pecans are shelled and we will be selling them for $1 more than you can find in the stores.  However, ours are local and they are fresh--picked this season.  AND ours provide the opportunity to support a local community nonprofit organization.

Money we make from our fund raisers goes to help support our many community programs--many of which involve the youth of our Garland.



A Planting Clock--one of hundreds of items for sale on Saturday.



Loving Garland Green is having a huge yard sale in the front yard of 321 Pebblecreek here in Garland this Saturday November 21. We are inviting all our neighbors in Garland and the DFW area.

If you have things that you would like to donate for the sale, please drop them by 216 East Kingsbridge Drive--either in my drive way in the back or on my front porch if I'm not home.

We have lots of great items and many of them still have the original price tag. For example we have Christmas ornaments marked at $4.99 that we are selling for only $1.00 a package of six to eight. Come at 9am to get a great deal. Come at 3pm to get an even better deal. After 3pm all items will be sold for 50% or less of their already bargain price. 

Where could you find a Planting Clock that tells you when to plant your crops, or where can you find Christmas ornaments valued at $4.99 for only one dollar? Only at the Loving Garland Green Yard sale! this Saturday.




From the Facebook of the Good Samaritans of Garland - November 11, 2015 - Liz Berry and Charles Bevilacqua deliver greens from the Garland Community Garden to the Good Samaritans of Garland.  For the month of November, Loving Garland Green has thus far delivered 78 one-gallon bags of greens to the Good Samaritans.


The Good Samaritans of Garland are an important link in our community chain of people who are dedicated to improving the health and well-being of our residents.

The Good Samaritans of Garland is a non-profit, locally-based, and community-supported agency desiring to help others through unexpected life challenges with food or utility assistance. They value their community and work together to serve the underserved community.  The Good Samaritan volunteers are people who are helping people in their community to move from dependence to independence.  They know that life crises often create chaos and confusion. By compassionately listening to their clients, they often are able to help with needs in addition to food by referrals to other agencies in their community of network partners. The Good Samaritan volunteers are people helping people move from dependence to independence.


People Can Move Toward Food Security and Independence with Container Gardens

Loving Garland Green is another link in our community chain of people who are dedicated to improving health and well-being of our residents.  We do our part in this as the appointed stewards of the Garland Community Garden, located at 4022 Naaman School Road here in Garland, Texas.  Through our work in this garden for the past 18 months we have learned a lot through our various garden experiments regarding what grows well (and easily) in our community.  Among the many things we've learned with our experiments and research is that people can grow a lot of food in small spaces with container gardens and by carefully planning the layout as well as the types of edibles to be placed in the small area.

Greens Are the Best Choice

We recommend that people with limited space for gardens can get the best bang for their buck, use of space, and resulting nutrition by planting and eating greens.  We have two 12-gallon pots of Kale down at the Garland Community Garden that have been producing kale for 18 months.  We estimate that these two pots, taking up approximately two feet by three feet produce enough kale for two people to each have a serving a day throughout the year.

We've also learned a lot about greens in general.  For example, it seems that as far as nutrition goes, we've been eating the wrong end of the sweet potato plant.  The leaves of this plant actually have more nutrition than the potato itself.  The great news about this is that you have have the best of both worlds with a container of sweet potatoes growing on your patio.  Three slips in a standard size plastic bin (the kind you store stuff in your closet) will produce enough leaves to supply a family of four with nutritious greens from June through November.  Also this plant will be a pretty addition to any patio or deck. [WARNING:  ONLY EAT THE LEAVES OF THE SWEET POTATO.  OTHER VARIETIES OF POTATOES ARE MEMBERS OF THE NIGHTSHADE FAMILY AND ARE POISONOUS.]

We recommend a pot of kale for each member of the family; a bin of sweet potatoes with three slips--enough greens for a family of four from June - November; and a pot with Malabar spinach--May to middle of November (Unlike other spinach that wilts in the heat, Malabar Spinach thrives in our triple digit summer heat.)


Hugelkultur Containers Are Best Choice 

 We recommend these containers are 10 to 15 gallon in size and they be built according to similar specifications for building a hugelkultur garden bed:  rotten logs on the bottom making one-fourth to one-third the depth of the pot; layer of brown organic matter such as dead leaves; about a cup of manure; layer of brown organic matter; thin layer of green organic matter such as green leaves or spoiled raw veggies; 8 inches of garden soil.  Once the transplants are installed, cover with mulch.  Read more about Hugelkultur Containers.


Loving Garland Green Will Work with the Good Samaritans of Garland to Bring Hugelkultur Container Classes to Garland in the Early Spring 2016

Yesterday when we delivered a fresh supply of greens to the Good Samaritan Center in Garland, we also delivered an experiment in gardening:  five hugelkultur containers.  Three containers contain kale and two are filled with pansies--a hearty annual that blooms all winter.  In the spring we will replace the pansies with another annual as feeding our pollinators is also important.  Over the months of December, January and February, we will stop in once a week to harvest from these pots and keep records of the crop yields so we can more closely estimate how many pots are needed for an individual and for a family.

Pam Swendig, the executive director of the Good Samaritans of Garland, selected the perfect site--a sunny spot just by the back door of the center--a space that had recently been concreted by a local scout troop.  Photos were taken and will soon be posted on the Good Samaritans of Garland Facebook page.  If you would like to see the container garden, visit their Facebook.  

Better yet, stop by to see the garden in person and then step inside to see how you might volunteer at this worthy nonprofit organization.


A Great Presentation by a Great Master Gardener

Janet D. Smith, Dallas County Master Gardener, delivered a fun, information-packed presentation for our Bud and Blossom Garden Club this morning on the topic of plants and their relationship with their pollinators.   In addition to being a Dallas County Master Gardener, Janet has a BA degree with majors in Russian and Spanish.
Just last night I attended an inspirational presentation sponsored by Garland ISD and delivered by Adolf Brown from Virginia Beach. His presentation focused on the importance of volunteerism in our public schools.  Fresh in my mind was Dr. Brown’s emphasis on fun in our relationships and especially in relating with kids.  Janet would be a perfect poster child for what Dr. Brown advocated because she was fun and funny.  Yet, in all the humor and entertainment, there was a lot of learning.
Janet was fantastic.  Her presentation stirred my mind once again in consideration of just how much of our world we are totally unaware of:  As Janet put it, there is a huge orgy going on in the garden that few people ever see.  There is an intelligence to plants that defies comprehension and leaves most of us able to do little more than stand back in awe and appreciation of all that is happening right under our noses in the garden.


1.  Did you know the size and type of pollen that is deposited on a flower makes a difference?  Female parts of flowers are made so they will not accept pollen that comes from another flower.  For example, a daffodil will not accept pollen from a tulip.  Furthermore, some plants such as zinnias won’t accept pollen deposited from their particular plant.  It must come from a different zinnia.
2.  Did you know that a bee must know when it is loaded for capacity?
Otherwise it could become too heavy to fly when loaded with pollen. Somehow they know and stop gathering nectar and pollen.  Too bad we humans don’t have that capability.
3.  Did you know there are 20,000 species of bees worldwide?
4. Did you know that Bumblebees only pollinate our native plants?  Janet compared them to the Bison of the bees.  Bumblebees use buzz pollination.  Their bodies vibrate and plants are tuned to release pollen according to particular rates of vibration.
5.  Did you know that the first settlers to the USA brought the dandelion to Jamestown with them as a food source?  Dandelions are a cool weather food source for pollinators.  We should not poison them out of our yards.  They will die when it gets hot.  Dandelion leaves are packed with nutrition.
6.  Did you know that pollinators support an $18 to $20 billion business?  They are responsible for at least 1/3 of all the food we consume and one half of the fats and oils we eat.  In addition to that, we use their fibers for our clothing.

Communities are taking steps to protect pollinators.

It is no surprise that communities are waking up to the importance of pollinators and are taking serious steps to protect them and increase the existence of their habitats.  The I-35 corridor from Texas to Minnesota is known as the pollinator highway.  A program is now in place and supported by several federal agencies as well as local communities along the way to plant 100 miles to either side of this roadway with pollinator-friendly plants including the milkweed in particular.

Another interesting coincidence along the serendipitous path of life

I was reminded again today of the inherent reciprocity of volunteerism.  We often get back more than we give.  The meeting for today’s Bud and Blossom Garden Club (the oldest garden club in Garland) was held at the home of Dianne Nadolsky.  Her husband, Nicholas Nadolsky, former Chairman of the Board at Micropac Industries, was born in Turkey of Russian Parents who had fled Russia at the time of the Russian Revolution.  The Nadolsky home is filled with Russian icons and treasures from his family who were part of the Russian aristocracy.  The Nadolsky home is like a museum of Russian artifacts.  Imagine Janet’s surprise and enthusiasm as Nicholas took her on a tour of his and Diane's lovely home. 
Diane Nadolsky and Yvonne Divine chat at the Bud and Blossom meeting today.
Donna Bentley, President Bud and Blossom Garden Club read a thank-you letter from Loving Garland Green for a donation we received.  If you’ve never seen rubber cowboy gardening boots, then you’ve never seen Donna.
Dallas County Master Gardeners are trained volunteers who support Texas A&M AgriLife Extension
If you have a group with at least 10 members, you can choose from many garden topics offered by the Texas Master Gardeners of Dallas Texas, trained volunteers supporting Texas A&M AgriLife Extension.  Call the Master Gardeners Help Desk at 214-904-3053.  They have many topics and speakers.  I’m hoping to be able to get Janet to make a presentation to Loving Garland Green near the end of March on the topic of Monarchs.  I’m sure that presentation would be as fabulous as her “Sex in the Garden.”  I almost forgot to mention:  Janet is also an accomplished photographer and her slides are great.



In the photo above are three urban hugelkultur containers that I built this afternoon and planted with greens that will last all winter.  We will deliver these three pots to the Good Samaritans of Garland as a demonstration for the folks who go to the center.  I’m hoping that we will be able to have a class at the Good Samaritan Center one warm day in February and show folks how to make these small gardens.  If all goes according to plan, these containers will need little if any water beyond that provided by nature and no fertilizer.

Four pots such as these could provide a family of four with their weekly requirements for greens—and more if one of them is planted with sweet potatoes.


 Background on Hugelkultur Container

Urban hugelkultur containers may be my invention—but perhaps not so don’t quote me because, as some say, everything under the sun has already been invented.  Regardless, I’m proud to report that I built three urban hugelkultur containers today.

Our mission at Loving Garland Green is to pass on our enthusiasm and inventions for growing edibles to others in the DFW area.  To that end we realize that urban residents are busy and don’t have a lot of time.  We also realize that a lot of people in our community live in town homes and apartments and have limited room. 

The hugelkultur is a gardening method developed in Germany hundreds of years ago.  These beds are created by piling rotten logs on top of the ground and then layering with various kinds of organic matter:  brown leaves, green leaves, manure and garden soil.  The rotten logs hold water and also release nutrients as they decay.  This is a no-till method of gardening that imitates what happens in nature on the forest floor.  Many claim that hugelkultur beds are self-sustaining for up to twenty years and require no fertilizer and no additional water except in cases of extreme drought.




1.  Get a large pot. [We got ours for free as they were donated to the Community Garden.  But if you cruise the neighborhood you might find some curbside.  Two of the pots I used are 18 inches in diameter and 18 inches tall.  The smaller pot I used in 12 inches in diameter and 13 inches tall.]

2.  Put rotten wood in the bottom of the pot.  I put between one-fourth to one third of the total depth--about five inches.  [Walk through the woods and you’ll find plenty of rotten logs.]

3.  Soak the wood with water.

4.  Add a layer of brown organic matter. [I heaped in some dead leaves.]


5.  Add a layer of green organic matter.  {I heaped in some sweet potato vines from a recent harvest.]


6.  Add some manure.  {I put in some alpaca pooh.]


7.  Cover with another layer of dead leaves and water all thoroughly.


8.  Add garden soil that has been amended as needed.  {I added molasses granules and perlite to the soil I used.  It was already rich as I took it from a healthy bed that had previously been amended with Azomite.  For potted plants the soil should always be loose and light so it will drain well. ]

9.  Install your transplants.  [For veggies in pots, I recommend beginning with healthy transplants as opposed to beginning with seeds.  Instant gratification is always so much more fun.]

10.  Complete the build with mulch.  (I used straw.)




More Praise for Container Gardening

Just so happens, today was the day that Jane and Bob Stroud decided it was time to harvest their sweet potatoes down at the Garland Community Garden. 


This growing space of about four feet by six feet (two plastic bins) yielded twenty sweet potatoes.  However there was a lot more nutrition produced by those two bins than the twenty sweet potatoes.  The trellis behind the boxes was filled with sweet potatoes vines.  The leaves from these vines from just one bin would be sufficient to supply a family of four with greens from June until the middle of November. Sweet potato leaves a highly nutritious but remember:  don’t eat the leaves from the white potato, as it is a member of the nightshade family.  The sweet potato is not.



My Lemon tree has faithfully produced between 25 and 32 lemons every year since 2004.



I’m looking forward to harvesting horseradish from this pot shortly after the first killing frost.


Monarch Caterpillar Garland Texas November 14, 2015 - 216 East Kingsbridge 75040

Monarchs must really like Garland Texas!  

This morning I thought I would gather in the last of the seeds from the milkweeds in my garden before the rain.  To my surprise I found a small Monarch caterpillar!  He looked somewhat puny.  I broke off the stem and carefully brought him into my house.  He fell off the branch onto my concrete floor before I could get him into a Monarch Condo.  I thought the caterpillar was a goner for sure, but ever the optimist,  I picked it up and put it in the condo.  Then I went back to the garden to gather more seed.

Was I surprised to find three more Monarch caterpillars!  These are larger than the first one I found.  They are all now warm and snug in my dining room happily munching milkweed leaves.  I have all four of them in the same Monarch condo and will keep you posted on their progression to adulthood as best I can.  By the way, the runt survived.  He was probably lethargic from the cold this morning because after about 30 minutes in my house he is munching away at the milkweed.

November 12, 2015—Near Princeton Texas:  Judy Li holds a Moringa Oleifera leaf.  A few seconds after I took this photo, Judy shoved it in my mouth.
Be forewarned:  This story as it is told here will be patchy and incomplete.  I was only at her place for a scant 40 minutes yesterday and I had no paper for writing notes.  I’m hoping to write Judy’s story in its full and complete richness over the coming year.   Perhaps I’ll write monthly installments to post here as my knowledge of Judy and her story become more complete.  Perhaps I’ll save it all up for a book and screenplay ☺.

Auspicious Beginning - Perhaps

Three Deity Mandala of the Auspicious Beginning – Tibetan Mandalas: The Ngor Collection
Yesterday may have been an auspicious beginning to a new chapter in my life unfolding on my way to Fay’s farm somewhere between Princeton and Farmersville to pick pecans on the halves for Loving Garland Green’s annual pecan fundraiser.  The journey is seldom about what we think it is about.
Charlie had been out to Fay’s a few weeks before and he told me about this place on the country road to Fay’s where he saw a loofah tunnel that is three times longer and much wider than the one we have at the Garland Community Garden.  Yesterday we stopped in and met Judy Li—possibly a life-changing experience.

Judy’s Cursory Biographical Footprint

Judy is Chinese, born in Taiwan in the late 1940’s, early 50’s.   

Reading between the lines:  [For those who may not know, this was a very bleak time period for the people in Taiwan.  It may have been good for “business” but it was a very bad time for the Taiwanese people—the ordinary folk.  Military outbreaks between the mainland and Taiwan were common in the 1950’s and 1960’s—the time of Judy’s childhood.  I can imagine she has many stories to tell of that life. Chiang Kai-shek was quick to crush political dissent.  If anyone spoke out against the government, they were either shipped to Green Island or executed on the spot.  Taiwan was under marshal law from 1949 to 1987.  This time period became known as the White Terror.  It is estimated that 140,000 Taiwanese were imprisoned during this time and that 3,000 to 4,000 were executed.  The KMT imprisoned mostly Taiwan's intellectual and social elite out of fear that they might resist KMT rule or sympathize with communism. ]
From Judy’s Childhood:  Loofah Leaves and Chicken Livers
We talked with Judy about all the loofahs she grows (2,000 a year that she sells to grocery stores). In addition to mentioning their many medicinal and cosmetic values, she told us a story from her childhood.  
When Judy was a little girl.  Food was scarce in Taiwan as it is on most islands, even in the best of times.  To help stave off hunger pangs, she ate clover. Clover is high in protein, has beta-carotene, vitamin C, most of the B vitamins, biotin, choline, inositol, and bioflavonoids.   However as with many good things, even clover is devalued by excess.  
Due to the concentration of coumarin found in the blossom it can thin the blood.  As a result of a diet high in clover content, Judy had frequent nosebleeds.   One of her Aunts prepared the following concoction of which one cup cured Judy of nosebleeds:
[Note:  all and any recipes in this or any article I write about Judy Li are not to be considered as “medicine”  or medical advice but rather as healthy food to eat, given certain circumstances.]
1. Place one Loofah leaf in a steamer with a cup of water in the pot.
2.  Place one chicken liver on top of the loofah leaf.
3.   Steam until the chicken liver is well cooked.
4.  Pour the water into a cup and drink it.
According to Judy, you will have no more nosebleeds—ever.   Judy pointed out the scientific basis of this.  Warfarin, a pharmaceutical that is used to thin the blood, contains coumarin, which is found in clover.  The chicken liver and the loofah leaf contain vitamin K, which is present in medications used to thicken the blood and help it to clot and thus stop bleeding.

Judy moved to Chicago in 1978. 

Reading between the lines:  [Judy must have been in her early to mid thirties when she moved to the USA.  I will need to learn why Judy decided to come to the USA in 1978 but I suspect her motivations may have been politically founded.   The late 1970’s saw increasing political dissent in Taiwan.  One of the most noteworthy uprisings of the late martial law period happened in December of 1979.  Also it was in 1979 that the USA switched official recognition of the Republic of China to the People’s Republic of China and Beijing was recognized as the official capital of China.]
Judy is a registered pharmacist who currently works in a VA hospital.
Reading between the lines:  [Judy is especially unique in that she is trained in traditional western pharmacology and also has extensive knowledge at least of the Chinese folk medicine (and has likely formally studied this branch of medicine as well).  She is a great bridge between Eastern and Western medicine.  She has the education and the skill to explain Chinese medicine using Western medicine vocabulary.]

Judy Li moved to the Princeton, Texas area in 2009.

When I look at all Judy has accomplished on this property in only six years, I’m amazed—especially considering she also has a full-time job as a medical professional elsewhere.
I’ll finish this beginning piece with some photographs I took yesterday November 12, 2015 at Judy Li’s place. It is here on a few acres beside a County Road near Princeton that Judy Li is well on her way to achieving her dream of establishing a place of health in a country setting where people can come for healing and peace.   
November 12, 2015 – Pile of Jujubes at Judy Li’s place.  We can grow jujube trees in our area and I hope to plant some this spring at the Garland Community Garden.  I ate several fresh ones while at Judy’s and she also served Charlie and me some delicious hot Jujube tea.  Jujubes are sometimes called red dates or Chinese dates.  They are great!
November 12, 2015 – Judy Li is slicing a loofah.  Yesterday I learned many things about loofah.  1.  They can be sliced and rubbed on your face as a wrinkle treatment.  2.  You can grow Loofahs in soil that is no more than six inches deep. (I’m going to learn more from Judy regarding what she puts in that soil, if anything special.)  3. There are many varieties of loofah and according to the type of loofah, its uses vary.
November 12, 2015 –Judy Li inside her loofah tunnel cutting a loofah for Charlie and me.
November 12, 2015 –Moringa Oleifera trees growing at Judy Li’s place. [I’ve written about this miraculous plant in previous articles here on Eat Green DFW.   My friends Paul and Zach Ragsdale also grow this plant at Ragsdale Farms in Caddo Mills.  The Moringa is tropical plant said to have over 46 antioxidants and 92 nutrients.  It also contains 36 anti-inflammatory and over 20 amino acids. Moringa leaves also contain vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6, B7, C, D, E and K.  Moringa has many medicinal uses and has been used to treat conditions such arthritis, rheumatism, anemia, cancer, diabetes, epilepsy and stomach complications such as spasms, ulcers, stomach pain and constipation. It is said that Moringa can also help to boost the immune system.]
November 12, 2015 – One of two huge hoop houses at Judy Li’s place.  All the produce grown at Judy Li’s is organically grown.  She must sell these vegetables to grocers.  We didn’t get around to talking about this.
November 12, 2015 – Perhaps a Future Retreat? - Next to Judy’s own home is a large structure she is building that she calls her “bed and breakfast to be.”  Personally I think it needs to be marketed as a healing retreat where people can come to rest and recuperate from their fast paced urban living.  Judy Li could teach Chinese medicine and also cooking.  She told us that she is a great cook, and if her cooking is anything like the jujube tea she served us, it is delicious!  The foreground features one of Judy’s two beautiful white German Shepherds. 

The season for rescuing Monarchs has transitioned into the season for rescuing bags of leaves—not quite as glamorous, but just as beneficial for our environment and the people who live in your community.  This photo shows the growing pile of leaves in my backyard.  Some go into containers and other leaves such as the ones shown above are just heaped in a large pile.  Underneath this layer of brown leaves lies a deep green layer of sweet potato leaves from vines I recently yanked up to harvest the sweet potatoes. - Taken November 11, 2015

Once you rescue a leaf in Garland, then what?

Here in Garland, residents have several choices for their rescued leaves:

1.  Residents can keep them and start a compost pile in their backyard.

If you don’t know how to make a compost pile, the City of Garland offers Compost 101 twice a year in the spring and in the fall.  If you don’t want to wait, you can come to a Loving Garland Green meeting and we will point you in the right direction.  We meet the first and third Monday of the month at 216 East Kingsbridge Drive Garland, Texas.

2.  Residents can offer their leaves for adoption by the City of Garland.

To do this, residents simply place their bagged leaves at the collection point between the sidewalk and curb in their front yard.  It is important that you have the bags of leaves in a pile that is distinctly separate from for any other bulky items that you may be tossing.  I recommend the two piles be at least 10 feet apart.

Your leaf bags should not contain anything other than leaves and small twigs:  No paper, plastic or other trash and especially no animal feces should be in these bags.  ONLY leaves should be given over for adoption.

What happens to your leaves after they are adopted by the City of Garland?

Our Environmental Waste Services employees will take very good care of them.  All clean brush and leaves are transported to the Wood Recycling Facility located at the C.M. Hinton, Jr. Regional Landfill site where it is ground into mulch.  This mulch is then made available free of charge to Garland residents.

3. Residents can drop their bags of leaves off at the Garland Community Garden.

 Loving Garland Green will compost the leaves for use in the Garland Community Garden.   


Opening Season for Leaves:  November 11, 2016 - Loving Garland Green's official truck seen in the Firewheel neighborhood adopting bags of leaves. 



Perhaps it might make things easier for our city workers if residents who rake their leaves would also make homemade labels for their bags of leaves so our city workers will know for certain what’s in the bag.  If you have small children, this might even be a fun activity to create these labels on bright paper (about 81/2 x 11 inch size so they are easy to see and so the children have room to get creative with their signs).


Here are two inspirations for creating identity tags:







November 9, 2015 - Garland Texas
Sharon, one of the many volunteers at Good Samaritans of Garland receives 23 one-gallon bags of greens from Loving Garland Green

This morning I harvested a few greens from the Garland Community Garden to take to the Good Samaritans of Garland.  As I was driving home, it occurred to me that people at that very moment all over Garland were also giving their time for the benefit of others.  Most volunteers, like Sharon, will remain unknown to the majority of the community, yet it is people like her who are the true heart of any community.

 On April 20, 2016, you can celebrate National Volunteer Recognition Day by thanking volunteers for their work, by donating to a volunteer group, and by joining a volunteer group.

Volunteering a few hours of your time each month to help someone in your community is one of the best ways to show your love for your community. As we lift others up, we also lift up our entire community.