Friday, March 7, 2014

Reminder: Potluck and Planting Session, Saturday March 8

A friendly reminder to all our gardeners and gardening friends: tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. we'll have our potluck and planting session.

Ellen will host a drawing for some prizes she received at last night's garden meeting. She'll also share news and knowledge from other gardens in our area.

Hope you can make it!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Invitation To Hear a Master Gardener on March 6

Hello all,

Sandy Lottes, Ben's mother has invited us and anyone who would like to attend to come to the event listed below. Not only would this be a good time to get to know other gardeners and learn more about veggies, it's a time for fellowship with new people near our Garden location.

Grace-Full Community Garden, 4740 Western Center, Haltom City is hosting a program for gardeners on Thursday, March 6 at Grace Methodist Church at 6:45 pm.

Master Gardener, Bill Vandever, Coordinator of the TCMGA Demo and Resource Garden, will be speaking on vegetables and answering questions for all interested gardeners at 7:00 pm

The church is just past Haltom Road on the south side of the street. You have to pass the church
if coming from the direction of Alliance and make a u-turn just after the church. I hope your gardeners will join with ours for refreshments and the program. 

Thank you,

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Spring Gardening...Here We Go! (A note from Ellen)

Alliance Community Garden
Planting and Pot Luck Sandwiches 
Saturday March 8th
11:00am -  ? When ever you need to leave go for it!
Invite people to come and help. Listed at the bottom is a list of items that still need to be worked on.
Please bring food to eat and we will also have a little extra for anyone that does not have time to get anything ready.

Work day of planting at the garden on Saturday March 8th. Please let me know what you would like to plant so I can get additional seeds. I will list the items that are best to plant during this time frame below. I have started a few items in my kitchen and I am in hopes we can make it work. One of the master gardeners suggested if we have a few plants already started we could always seed beside the plant and if the plant does not survive then we have hopes that the seed will be a back up. If both comes up then we need to thin the rows out a little. Thinning out your garden is so hard because you want them all to live however, this step is important to get a good crop.
I do have peppers and tomatoes started in the house and they look great however, planting them before March 31st is not suggested by the master gardener.
Plan out your garden how and when you are going to plant. Use your calendar that you received to help get organized. I know a few of you did not get your calendars and if you need them I still have them. I will place them in my car tomorrowfor church and I will keep them there so when we run into each other you can get it or I could leave in the church office for you.

The month of March
Broccoli - I have some started in containers
Brussel Sprouts
Cabbage - I have a few started at home for everyone and they are very little at this time.
Swiss Chard - I have some started but they are not looking very good at this time.
Cilantro - This is something we need to check on in the spiral garden.
Kale - In the fall it did well for us but we did not plant in the spring before.
Garlic and Onion - This is the last month suggested to plant. I do have a few onions left. The ones in the community garden are coming up now. :)
Lettuce - I have some started.
Peas - I have sweet peas started and they are looking really good.
Parsley - Does well.

The month of April
Big hitters with the community store house.
If we do not have all the beds filled at that time we can plant Peppers tomatoes and Squash. 1 bed for each item. But please let friends and family know we have just a few left.
Lima Beans
Cucumber - Hit or miss for us in the garden.
Okra - which grows well for us.
Peas - Did well for us but only had a few planted.
Squash - Did well for us.
Eggplant - these did not do well for us in the past.

Work item list.
* Prepare the work area at shed. Paint the record board which has already been placed under the roof on the outside of the shed. We just re-purposed one that the youth were throwing out which did not cost us anything. Place cardboard down and place mulch on top to keep the grass out.
* The bricks need to be straightened and leveled at the spiral garden.
* Need to clean out the BIG corn/okra bed.
* Need to clean out the bricks around the baseball field behind home plate and fill with dirt.
* Need to lay a few bricks around the area where we have planted the Jerusalem Chokes or Sun Chokes.
I hope everyone can make it and please pray that this year will leap with Gods help so we can supply the store house with many items that will help with our community.

Thank you,

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Spring Prep and Spring Classes

Hello Gardeners!

I hope you're all enjoying this gorgeous weather. We've ordered spring plants for everyone (courtesy of Tarrant Area Food Bank), and Kern and I will be at the garden tomorrow, Sunday February 17, at 5:00 p.m. with seeds for anyone who is interested.  Be on the lookout for a spring class on Square Foot Gardening, taught by Mike Mullins. I've also included an upcoming schedule for spring classes through the Tarrant County Master Gardeners association (please see below).

I've heard from many of you to reserve your beds, but I still need confirmations from a few more. Please let me know if you plan to garden with us this spring--it'll be a blast!

Also, our plant seedlings will arrive in March, so now is the time to prep your beds. Compost and dead and/or non-producing plants (disease-free, please) and remove all weeds. We've got a pile of soil next to the pumpkin patch that you're welcome to use to fill in any missing soil. We'll also have soil amendments ready when our spring plants arrive. If you've decided not to garden with us this spring, please make your bed ready for the next gardener so they can begin gardening with a fresh bed.

Many thanks for all you do!


Tarrant County Master Gardener Classes in March @ The Resource Connection of Tarrant County

To register contact       Billie Hammack          
Please pre-register for classes you wish to attend; payment for class may be made on the day of the class, cash or checks only, payable to TCMGA
Saturday, March 2, 2013        10 am – 12 noon    RWH & Make a Rain Barrel
TCMGA Rainwater Specialists                                     Lecture & Make and Take
Class Fee:  $ 5               TCMGA Garden, Pavilion                       
Class Fee w/ rain barrel:  $45                                           Class limit:  20

Saturday, March 9, 2013                9:00 am – 4 pm       Paint Your Rain Barrel
Claudia Teague                                                                               Make & Take
Class Fee:  $5                TCMGA Garden, Pavilion                        Class Limit: 10
Class Fee w/ materials:  $20 …..bring your own barrel
Class Fee w/ materials & barrel:  $60
 Tuesday, March 12, 2013               10 am – 12 noon         Propagation – Seeds
TCMGA Propagation Specialists                            Hands-on
Class Fee:  $ 5               TCMGA Garden, Greenhouse                Class Limit:  20

Saturday, March 16, 2013          10 am – 12 noon   Compost & Compost Tea
Charlie Shiner, Bill Hall, Donna Fry                                           Lecture & Demo
Class Fee:  $ 5               TCMGA Garden, Pavilion                      Class Limit:  20
Class Fee w/ Shepherd’s Bin Composter:  $70 

Saturday, March 16, 2013              1 pm   - 3 pm                     West Nile Virus
Jamie Hart                                                                                             Lecture
Class Fee:  $5                RC, building 2300, Mesquite Rm           Class limit:  40

Saturday, March 23, 2013                                                 Clay Pot Wreath
Donna Morris, Nancy Curl                10 am – 12 noon                         Make & Take
Class Fee:  $30              RC, building 2300, Mesquite Rm            Class limit:  20

Saturday, March 23 2013               1 pm – 3 pm                               Perennials
Joanne Hahn, Ginger Bason, Jaime Hart                                   Lecture & Tour
Class Fee:  $5                RC, building 2300, Magnolia Rm            Class limit:  40

Sunday, September 23, 2012

An Encomium for Willie

I'm teaching my students about Encomium and Invective (writing in praise and/or blame of a particular person, policy, place, idea, etc.) for our Rhetoric and Composition class at the University of North Texas where I teach. I thought I'd share a sample Encomium I've written for a friend and mentor of mine, Willie Redmon. Here goes:

Willie Redmon looks like the kind of guy, if he were to be cast in a television sit-com, who you’d imagine leaning up against a fence with a cold beer, shooting the breeze with his neighbor about nothing in particular. He wears overalls. He speaks with a Texas drawl. He smiles a lot and his laugh is best described as a chortle.

But when you meet Willie, it’s more likely you’ll see him with a spade or hoe in hand instead of a beer. When he talks, instead of shooting the breeze, he’ll most likely wax eloquent about the latest crop of vegetables he and his community garden have just donated to the Arlington Food Bank. Willie, you see, is just your average guy who has done something decidedly un-average. He started the Harvesting Hope Community Garden in Arlington, Texas and has, in one year, managed to donate over a thousand pounds of produce to families in need.

Instead of leaning against fences and swapping stories (not that there’s anything wrong with that), Willie has decided that the best way of helping his neighbors is to grow them fresh vegetables. He’s taken the holy admonitions to “love thy neighbor” and “feed my sheep” beyond the abstract and made them practical. It all started in a church service, Willie says. He sensed that a crazy idea he had of starting a community garden on church grounds was more than a notion; it was a calling. He had no money with which to begin his project. “All I had was dirt,” he says. “But I told God I would grow him the best garden I could.”

Willie also didn’t have a green thumb. At his day job, he surveys land properties in the Metroplex. So he knew he had a tough row to hoe, as the saying goes, to create a successful community garden. Yet, once he committed to his idea the resources and help poured in. He received grants from Tarrant Area Food Bank to purchase building supplies. Church members donated plants, seeds, knowledge, and time. An unnamed business benefactor, wanting to participate in community service, donated $10,000 and teams of volunteer laborers to build dozens of raised garden beds.

When you meet Willie in his garden, his overalls will have garden soil on them. He’ll have his pockets full of seeds. He’ll likely snap a fresh leaf of lettuce or a cherry tomato straight off a plant and say, “You should try this.” Meaning, you should take a bite, right now.

Your 21-st century germ phobia may cause you to recoil. What about the dirt, you’ll think? The bugs? But, if you’re smart, you’ll do what he says. The thing is, Willie’s vegetables taste different from the ones you buy at the store. Sure, they’re grown without traditional pesticides but more than that, they’re grown with love. Willie and his garden are more than a sign of the eco-friendly, sustainable food conversations that are trending more each day. Willie is an example of what happens when a simple man listens to a calling. Willie, with his overalls and his vegetables and his easy chortle, shows us that it’s possible, as simple and humble as we may seem, to make a difference.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Planting Party: Game ON! Sunday, Sept. 9 at 5:00 p.m.

Hello Gardeners!

We have a truck full of fall vegetables ready for planting! Courtesy of the Tarrant Area Food Bank and Archie's Greenland of Fort Worth, our order has arrived and is ready to go. We have plenty of plants for everyone--and will disburse them on a first-come, first-served basis tomorrow evening (Sunday, Sept. 9) at the youth garden mission event/planting party, beginning at 5:00 p.m. Whether you have a bed or want to help with the communal area, you are welcome to join us!

Also, Rosie from Archie's Greenland graciously donated a cross vine to plant on the trellis of our garden cottage. The cottage, as many of you know, was funded by a donation from the Damon family in honor of Carol Damon. The cross vine has beautiful orange-yellow flowers (via special request from Toly) and will be a lovely addition to the garden. We will plant the vine tomorrow night and discuss plans for a memorial plaque to display next to the cottage.

The following are the plants we have available. You'll want to consider the size requirements for each plant, and plan your beds accordingly. Of course, you're always welcome to provide your own seeds/seedlings. To help you plan, I've listed some helpful garden planning sites below the list of our plant order.

See you tomorrow night!


AUMC Plant Order
Beets (seeds)
Bush Green Beans--15 plants
Broccoli--20 plants
Cabbage--20 plants
Kale--5 plants
Leaf lettuce--5 plants
Radishes (seeds)
Sugar snap peas (seeds)
Spinach (seeds)
Zucchini--12 plants
Acorn squash (seeds)
Spaghetti squash (seeds)
Butternut squash (seeds)
Swiss chard--15 plants
Carrots (seeds)
Brussels sprouts--15 plants

Planning sites: 

Mother Earth News Regional Vegetable Guide 

Gardener's Supply Kitchen Garden planner

Friday, September 7, 2012

Plants En Route; Youth Help This Sunday 5:00-7:30 p.m.

Hello Gardeners,

I've spoken with our plant suppliers, and the trucks with cool-weather plants haven't arrived. This means we will NOT have the majority of our plants in time for a planting party tomorrow morning, so we will reschedule our planting party based on the plants' arrival (tentatively by next Saturday, Sept. 15.)

However, please use this weekend/this week to clear your beds, prepare your soil, and plant seeds. The youth and I will be working in the garden this Sunday evening from 5:00-7:30 p.m. I'll have seeds and planting guides available, and if you need help tilling your bed this would be a good time to have youth helpers do the job. 

Also, if the trucks by chance arrive by this weekend, I will have our plants available on Sunday night and we can have our planting party then. Keep an eye on your email and the garden blog, and I'll let you know.

Thanks for your flexibility and for gardening. If you have any questions, please email or call me.