Photo from November 2016 Leaf Awareness Campaign – Last year We collected 713 bags at an estimated total of 21,290 pounds.  This may sound like a lot, but unfortunately 713 bags of leaves is tiny when measured against the bags of leaves that are likely taken each year from the homes of Garland residents to the Hinton landfill.  Given our approximate 80,000 households and estimating low at five leaf bags per household, we send close to a half million bags of leaves to the landfill each year.  Essentially what we are doing is removing potential soil from our community and sequestering it in a landfill where it cannot be used for many lifetimes—if ever.  It’s not a smart thing to be doing.

NOVEMBER IS LEAF AWARENESS MONTH – Our Second Year

A lot of people in Garland still mistakenly think the bags of leaves they put curbside are picked up by Garland Environmental Services and mulched.  We know because we’ve asked a lot of people.  Bags of leaves left curbside in Garland are taken to the Hinton landfill where they are added to the landfill mass.  This is not the best choice.

The tree limbs and shrub trimmings left unwrapped on the curb in Garland are picked up and mulched and made available to the citizens.  Perhaps this is where the confusion comes in.  People just assume because the City picks up the tree branches and mulches them that they do the same with the bags of leaves.  They do not.

We love Garland.  We also believe that people need to know the truth in order to make the best decisions—for themselves and for their community.  In regard to leaves, the most environmentally responsible decision is to recycle the leaves where they fall—either by simply leaving them alone, or by composting them and then using the compost to enrich the soil in the yard by replacing the nutrients and minerals that were used to make the leaves.  We are losing soil in our urban areas at an alarming rate. 

It is a serious ecological mistake for our city to carry an estimated 12,000 tons of leaves to the Hinton landfill each year.  Ideally leaves should remain very close to the place where they fall.  Decaying leaves are nature’s way of building new soil and replacing nutrients taken from the existing soil to grow those leaves.

This can be achieved simply through a public awareness campaign to:

1) Educate people that the leaves they put curbside go to the landfill. (Many of our residents mistakenly believe these leaves are recycled by Environmental Waste Services.)

2) Educate people regarding the better choices they have available to them.

When you have your leaves hauled off—whether it is to a landfill or to a recycle center such as they have in Plano Texas with their Texas Pure Products—you will still at some point in time need to replace nutrients and soil by purchasing it.  You will also deepen your ecological footprint by driving to the recycling center to pick up the soil (thus burning fuel for the trip and adding strain to the infrastructure and pollution to the air).

We are literally shipping the future soil out of our yards and to a landfill where no one can use it.

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Although we recommend you mulch the leaves and use them in your own yard, we prefer that you don’t leave them curbside for the landfill.   You can bring them to the garden and leave them beside the green fenced compost area.

We will pick up a few leaves as we have time and drive by homes but Loving Garland Green does not offer a leaf pickup service—although this would be a great idea for someone who had the acreage and wanted to go into the garden soil and compost business.

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BE SURE TO SHOP LOCAL WHENEVER YOU CAN!  IT HELPS THEM AND IT HELPS YOUR LOCAL ECONOMY!

Rohde’s Organic Plant Nursery

This eco-conscious garden center carries native plants and organic products such as fertilizer and pet food.

Address: 1651 Wall Street, Garland Texas 75041

Phone; 972-864-1934

MORE ABOUT THE GARLAND COMMUNITY GARDEN!

 

Symbolic Monarch Migration Teacher Packet

Measuring the Value of a Community Garden and Its Stewards 

Once in a Lifetime Opportunity to Become a Monarch Butterfly

Update on Plants in the Garland Community Garden

Garden Pests

Crop Rotation and Cover Crops

Upcoming Pole Bean Planting Class - April 13

Three Citizen Scientist Monarch Projects slated for the Garden!

Our April 1 plant sale was a great success!

We have been encouraging Citizen Scientist Projects in our Community.

We have been busy testing soil.

We have been conducting garden tours.

We have been meeting Garland Residents in the Garden.

We kicked off our own Citizen Scientist Project.

 

The Beans produced and produced!

Now we are looking forward to some English peas.

 

Signs at the Garland Community Garden

We’ve been experimenting with signage down at the garden for almost three years now.  I think we’ve finally hit upon a good solution that will hold up well through all seasons—we are using rocks and concrete. An example of our new signs is shown above.  This one is for our bean patch, which will feature Fort Portal Jade, Purple Hull Pinkeye, 1500 Year Old Cave Bean, Gold Marie Vining, Blauhilde, Pigeon Pea, Jacob’s Cattle (all grown from rare heirloom seeds) and speaking of beans . . .

Meet the Bean Man

Have you heard of John Withee (1910-1993)?  He grew up in rural Maine.  Every Friday his family chore was to clean out the bean hole and start a fire in it.  This pit in the Withee’s backyard was used an earth oven.  When the coals in the pit got hot, a Dutch oven was placed in the coals and then dirt piled over it.  The beans baked in the pit for an entire day. Then they were eaten for the Saturday evening meal.  Leftovers were eaten on Sunday.  If there were any remaining beans from Sunday, they would be spread on bread with mayonnaise and eaten for school lunches.

 

Jacob’s Cattle—the best beans for baking according to the Bean Man.  This variety is available through Baker Seeds and organizations such as Seed Savers Exchange

After living in crowded urban areas with little yard space for years, in the early 1970’s, Mr. Withee moved to a place in Massachusetts where he had a little land.  Thus he decided to create a bean hole in his backyard and invite a few of his friends over for a “bean bash.”   According to John Withee, the best beans for baking are called “Jacobs Cattle.”  As things turned out, he could not find any beans of this variety so he had to substitute a less desirable variety.

It was this event that stirred his interest in seed saving and became what was to be a 20-year quest for different varieties of beans.  He amassed nearly 1,200 varieties of beans and formed an organization called ‘Wanigan Associates”—a network of bean growers who helped him maintain his collection of 1,186 species of beans.  The entirety of Withee’s collection of bean species today is at Seed Savers Exchange’s Heritage Farm in Decorah, Iowa.

[Read the full story of the Bean man at Seed Savers.]

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Gardeners To Do List for November in North Texas

 

Planting

Continue refrigerator chilling of tulips and Dutch hyacinths in preparation for late December/early January planting.

Plant pansies, flowering kale and cabbage, dianthus, cyclamen, violas, and other cool season annuals. Plant daffodil and grape hyacinth immediately after purchase.

    • Divide and replant perennials such as Iris and daylily.

 

Pruning

Prune evergreen trees (as needed) such as magnolias, live oaks, and wax myrtles to minimize possible ice damage.

    • Cut back dormant perennials such as lantana and salvia after the first freeze.

Trim back tropical plants such as cannas, banana and elephant ears after their foliage freezes down.

    • Do major re-shaping of shade trees as needed after the first freeze when plants go dormant. This is a good time to remove mistletoe that stands out on bare limbs.

 

Plant Care

Mulch leaves on your lawn. Shred excess leaves and add to planting beds or compost pile.

Replenish finished compost and mulch in planting beds, preferably before the first freeze.

  • Harvest pecans after mid November.
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Fertilize new fescue and ryegrass lawns at one half the rate recommended.

  • Apply your favorite fertilizer to pansies and other winter color plants to promote strong growth if needed.

Harvest fall vegetables before the first freeze.

Remove and drain garden hoses from outlets and cover faucets to prevent freeze damage.

 

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We are pollinator friendly!

Pollinators are responsible for one out of every three bites of food that we eat. We are lucky that we even have any left considering some of the horticultural and agricultural practices over the past 75 years.  

NATIVE BEES

A lot of folks don't realize that here in North America we have over 4,000 species of native bees.  Unlike the honeybee which was brought to North America by European settlers, most native bees of North America are solitary, not social.  The bumblebee, one of our natives is the only native bee that is social, colonizes and lives in groups.  Our gentle-natured native bees are extremely more efficient pollinators than their European cousins.  For example, one tiny Mason bee pollinates as much as 100 foraging honey bees. 

 

Did you see a Monarch?  Report your sighting.  Click on the Map below and follow the instructions.

Monarch Butterfly Migration Map

What can you do to help the Monarch?

The Remarkable Story of the Monarch from Garland Texas

Building a Monarch WayStation

List of Milkweed Native to Texas

Milkweed Alley

Milkweed Seed Is Expensive

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Learn All About Milkweed!

Re-establishing the presence of Milkweed is critical to bringing the Monarch back from the brink of extinction.  Fortunately for us, Brianna Borders and Eric Lee-Mader have written a definitive text titled: Milkweeds--A Conservation Practitioner's Guide.  This 156-page text surely must be among the most informative texts on the topic.  It is available free as a download from the Xerces Society website.  This text covers information on plant ecology, seed production methods, and habitat restoration opportunities.

Native seed producers, restoration practitioners, land managers, monarch conservationists, gardeners, and landowners will all find this guide valuable.

To download a pdf of the report, click here.Screen_Shot_2016-01-21_at_1.04.14_PM.png

About the Xerces Society

The Xerces Society is a nonprofit organization that protects wildlife through the conservation of invertebrates and their habitat. Established in 1971, the Society is at the forefront of invertebrate protection worldwide, harnessing the knowledge of scientists and the enthusiasm of citizens to implement conservation programs. Butterflies, dragonflies, beetles, worms, starfish, mussels, and crabs are but a few of the millions of invertebrates at the heart of a healthy environment. Invertebrates build the stunning coral reefs of our oceans; they are essential to the reproduction of most flowering plants, including many fruits, vegetables, and nuts; and they are food for birds, fish, and other animals. Yet invertebrate populations are often imperiled by human activities and rarely accounted for in mainstream conservation. The Society uses advocacy, education, and applied research to defend invertebrates. 

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The butterfly is but one of many important insect pollinators.  In fact, the bee is perhaps one of the most important.  Unlike the butterfly and many other insects pollinators whose acts of pollination are incidental to their gathering nectar, the bee deliberately harvests pollen and takes this protein rich substance back to the hive to nourish its young.

 

Many do not realize that the honey bee is not native to the USA.  It was brought here by European settlers.  However North American has over 4,000 species of native bees.  The only native bee that is social is the bumblebee who make their nests in the ground.  

The bee uses it proboscis (long straw-like tongue) to transfer pollen to its pollen sacs. 

Learn about elderberries and then add some to your edible landscape.  

Recently we discovered an elderberry bush near a pawpaw tree down at the garden.  Elderberries are an easy to grow shrub that  you can include in your edible garden.  According to Charlie Nardozzi of Edible Gardening:  

"The dark purple berries contain vitamins A and B, and more vitamin C than oranges. They are also high in cancer-fighting antioxidants. In fact, elderberry fruits have historically been used to treat many ailments, such as respiratory problems, colds, and flus. Plus, they are tasty when used in juices, jellies, jams, teas, pies, and wine. You can use the umbrella-shaped, elderberry blossoms for making a delicious fritters or even champagne." 

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 Makerspaces

Loving Garland Green will be working with others to bring a makerspace to our community.  Makerspaces provide the opportunity for people to work with the latest technological tools such as 3D printers that they might not otherwise have access to.

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Featured Garden Bed Formats

Sustainable is key to our gardening practices.  Diversity is another key that fits into just about any activity promoted by Loving Garland Green.  We display many different formats for garden beds down at the Garland community garden:  square foot beds; keyhole bed; hugelkulturs; containers; and more.

 

 

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Education--A Key Component for Loving Garland Green Members

Sharing our own personal enthusiasm for urban gardens and its promise for the health of our residents as well as the health of our local economy is our gift.

Over the past year members of Loving Garland Green have participated in several community events where we have made presentations regarding gardening techniques and the importance of urban dwellers growing at least some of their edibles. (See our project updates below for more information.)

There is lots of opportunity down at the garden.

Currently we have approximately 3,000 square feet of garden beds, of which some are still available to those who are interested in gardening at the community garden.  The sizes of the beds range from small to large.  If having a garden plot sounds like too much work for you, then we invite you to plant something in a container and bring that down to the garden.  We have lots of room for containers.  The only "work" involved is that you must agree to visit the garden once a week to take care of your plant.

The best way to learn more about us is to attend one of our meetings.  We meet every first and third Monday from 6:30 to 7:30 PM at 216 East Kingsbridge Drive Garland Texas 75040.  We would love to meet you.

Why would someone want to belong to Loving Garland Green?

That's a good question and one of the best answers I can think of is:  "because that person understands the extreme value of gardens--particularly gardens that grow edibles."  

MORE BENEFITS COMMUNITY GARDENS PROVIDE FOR YOU

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LOCAL GARDEN INFORMATION

If you would like assistance on where what when to plant, check out these free handouts from our website:

Vegetable Planting Guide

 Growing Grapes in Garland

Hops in the Back Yard

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GARDEN FORMATS  
 

Square Foot Gardens

 All American Gardens

Cook's Garden

Kitchen Herb Garden
 

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Who is Loving Garland Green?

We are a dynamic group of people who are dedicated to increasing the number of urban gardens in Garland. We have joined together to form a nonprofit organization. Membership in our organization is open to the public as are our meetings and related documents. There are limitless ways to increase the number of urban gardens in a community.  MORE