Growing People Newsletter - May 2010

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    Ever GrowingGardeners in Community Development

    May 2010 Dallas Area Community Gardening

    Gardeners in CommunityDevelopment

    www.gardendallas.org

    Mailing address:

    901 Greenbriar LaneRichardson, TX 75080

    IN THIS ISSUE

    Starting a New CommunityGarden Every Week

    Meadows Funding

    Tool Bank Grant

    Community VolunteersSave the City of Dallas

    A Peep at the Coops Tour

    Checklist of Garden Work

    Mulch Pathways

    Pleasant Grove FoodPantry Opens

    Community Garden BikeTour, Oak Cliff

    Food For Good Farm at PaulQuinn College

    Plant Sale Suffers FromCold Weather

    East Dallas Gardens Leadthe Community Garden

    Struggle

    Starting a New Community Garden Every Week

    In the past few weeks, once the cold rainy weather let up, new community gardens have been start-ing up all over. A project called Healthy Harvest, in partnership with GICD, has helped five south-ern Dallas neighborhood groups begin construction of new gardens. These food production gardenprojects are hosted by churches for the benefit of members and neighbors:

    Saint Philips Community Garden, 1628 Panama StreetHighland Hills United Methodist, 3800 Simpson Stuart RoadGolden Gate Baptist, 612 N Cliff StreetChristian Stronghold Baptist, 6810 Samuel BoulevardFirst Christian Methodist Evangelistic, 7575 S Hampton Road

    Other new garden start-ups are in the planning

    stages. GICD is providing development exper-tise and training for these Healthy Harvest newcommunity gardeners. An orientation andtraining for garden liaisons, and garden bedbuilding workshop on March 13, kicked of thisseries. It is estimated that at least 250 house-holds will tend plots, and each garden hasplans to share their garden and the producegrown with neighbors far and wide. As groupsget better organized they hope to have a majoraffect on building better neighborhoods, pro-moting healthy lifestyles, and lessening hungerand food related diseases.

    The main training site for these new gardens isGICDs Center for Growing People, the com-

    munity gardening training center at 1616 N JimMiller Road (hosted by Church of Our Savour).Several other groups that trained at Our Saviour have recently started their own garden projects.These include:

    Acers Community Garden at Central Christian, 4711 Westside DriveCliff Temple Baptist, 125 Sunset Avenue

    While a dozen or so new gardens started in the last two years, that is 2008 and 2009 (see our linkFind a Community Garden at www.gardendallas.org), this year promises a bumper crop. We arehopeful that all these new community gardeners will learn from each other, take advantage of theexpertise accrued by GICD over the past 2 decades, become active with the American CommunityGardening Organization, and stand together as city hall begins to appreciate these wonderfulneighborhood projects that have been an ignored part of our history, and now are becoming hugelynecessary and popular.

    Meadows Funding

    GICD received a Meadows Foundation Grant just in time to keep our work going for this year. Find-ing funds has been difficult in these lean times, and shortfalls were beginning to threaten some ofour projects. Not only is fundraising a greater challenge now, but requests for help with new gardenprojects, volunteers wanting to participate, food pantries needing fresh vegetables, people lookingfor someway to grow vegetables to feed their family, have greatly stretched resources. Thankheavens for Meadows. At least we now have some means to provide a little of the much neededsupport that can help sustain communities through gardening.

    Mission: improving the quality of life in neighborhoods through community gardening

    Support CommunityGardening

    Your tax-deductibledonation will supportGICDs communitygardening programs.Donations are gratefullyaccepted. Please makeyour check payable toGICD and send to 901Greenbriar Lane,Richardson, TX 75080

    Building St Philips School Garden, March 27, 2010

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    Tool Bank Grant

    This past January the Professional Convention Managers Association held their annual convention in Dallas. At that eventtheir Education Foundation collected donations for local community projects. Working on behalf of GICD,Keep Dallas Beautifulsubmitted a request that funds be made available for a community tool shed to be established by GICD. Happily a check for

    $5,111.10 has been received. Our tentative plan is to purchase gardening tools that can be borrowed by established communitygardens and community projects. We are working on details for housing and managing this tool bank.

    We truly appreciate the PCMA Education Foundation and Keep Dallas Beautiful for their support and this generous gift.

    GICDGardeners in Community

    Development

    A 501(c)(3) non-profit organizationfounded in 1994 to promote

    community gardening in north Texas.

    Board of DirectorsLeo GuitierrezAmanda BrownCarolyn Bush

    Azenath WrightPinkie WhiteLee Govidnia

    Executive DirectorDon Lambert

    Educational AssistantRebecca Smith

    GICD training center:Center for Growing People

    1616 N Jim Miller RoadDallas, Texas

    GICD mailing address:901 Greenbriar Lane

    Richardson, TX 75080

    grower@flash.net

    Peep at the Coops TourBuys Chicken Tractor

    The recent self-guided Peep at The Coops Tour, held on Saturday, April 18, gavefolks an opportunity to visit chicken projects in 10 backyards and at the award win-

    ning Stonewall Jackson Elementary School Garden. It was a tremendous success,and hundreds of people came out to have a look and talk about urban chickens.Funds raised from sponsors and raffle donors went towards establishing chickencoops at local schools and community gardens. GICD and Stonewall Jackson Ele-mentary were honored to be recipients of this years tour. Weplan to build a mobile coop, commonly called a chicken tractorso that hens at the Center for Growing People can spend sometime eating weeds, bugs, and scratching around in the commu-nity gardens at Our Saviour. A big thanks goes to tour organiz-ers, sponsors, and all who donated to this great cause.

    And, speaking of chickens, the Growing Peoplechickens started laying their first eggs about a week ago. Thisproject was funded as the last of the projects made possible byGICDs multiple-year support of the Dallas Urban Gardening Initiative from HeiferInternational.

    Volunteers constructing garden at the First ChristianMethodist Evangelistic Church, May 8, 2010

    Groundwork Dallas youth volunteering. Live OakCommunity Garden, East Dallas, May 8, 2010

    Volunteers transplant tomato seedlings in the Grow-ing People greenhouse, March 29, 2010

    Community VolunteersGive to the City of Dallas

    Community Gardens are possi-ble because volunteers plan,build, plant, weed, harvest,and have a self-interest inkeeping the garden in goodshape. Some gardening volun-teers have years of experience,and some are new. Their lovefor others and gardening growsfood in neighborhoods thatlack grocery stores, bringsfresh produce to the needy,and enables children and fami-lies to grow their own lettuce,tomatoes, and squash. This isthe best kind of self-help andworking together to bring posi-tive change. Citizens cleaningup unused spaces, strugglingwith scarce resources, bearingexpense, blisters and sorebacks, and exalting in joy thatcomes from knowing that ac-

    tion and shared passion makesthe city a better place.

    Dallas city officials should bejumping at the opportunity tosee vacant space taken care ofat no expense to the city, andshould not be trying to create

    barriers and charge fees to people that volun-tarily are doing so much good. This is espe-cially true in neighborhoods where extremepoverty is the norm. Let gardening thrive!

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    Mulch Pathways Deeply withFree Wood Chips

    Nothing does more good for long term garden soil quality andmaintenance than applying mulch deeply in pathways. Thebest mulch available can be obtained for no money, deliveredfree to your community garden from local tree trimming ser-vices. This is not imported bark mulch, or ground wood likeproducts that are shipped and sold locally, but an opportunityto recycle the chopped trimmings from local trees within oururban forest.

    Deep wood chip mulch does many things:1. It suppressed weeds. It must be at least 6 deep sosunlight does not go through, and works best if applied on topof cardboard or several layers of newspaper. This will stopeven Bermuda grass.2. Weeds that grow in the mulch layer are easy to removebecause their roots grow into the soft mulch layer.3. Instead of removing plant materials to a compost pile, you can add them into your pathways.4. This mulch all becomes compost in a few months. It nurtures beneficial soil life forms. This compost can be easily dug,screened, and added to adjacent beds. Free compost!5. Deep mulch absorbs rain water and controls erosion. Pathways in a well mulched garden can hold several inches of rain tonaturally water your garden and leach slowly into the water table. This saves money and protects water quality in streams, lakesand rivers.6. Well mulched gardens look great! They are neat, clean, and never muddy.7. Mulch moderates temperatures in your plants root zone, which increases yields.8. Saves you money. You will save on fertilizer costs, need less disease and pest controls, and use less water.9. Saves you work. Spreading mulch to control weeds is far less work than digging weeds out, and making compost in