Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Garden of the Month - Refugee Services of Texas (Fort Worth): Growing Hope

Since 2012, the Refugee Services of Texas  (RST) Fort Worth regional office has developed a community garden by which their clients can cultivate their own culturally appropriate foods. The gardens could not have been made possible without the help of Tarrant Area Food Bank, Tarrant County Public Health, dedicated volunteer support, and the Master Gardeners Association of Tarrant County, conveniently located next door.

Over the past 4 years the garden has reached a total of 33 growing plots with plans to add additional plots due to increasing interests expressed by clients. On November 21st, RST hosted a workday where all of the gardeners gathered to help with the expansion, clean-up, and beautification efforts. A special thank you is also in order for Community Cultivators LLC who came out to provide support.  

In addition to the workdays, one of the many goals of the garden program is to create opportunities for the greater Fort Worth community to get involved. Over the years in partnership with TCU, students have been able to complete service projects in the garden and this collaborative effort is something that RST would like to continue in the future.

The garden provides an important outlet that allows clients to get back to their roots and grow produce that they are accustomed to from their countries of origin. The cultural dynamism reflected through the plants makes the garden a truly magical place to be immersed in.

If you are interested in participating or contributing to this worthy project please contact RST Fort Worth at fortworth@rstx.org

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

What We're Planting Now - December 2015

The first frost of the year claimed most of the remaining tomatoes and peppers left uncovered in the gardens of North TX. Brassicas, root vegetables and leafy greens remained mostly unharmed but most active planting has come to a pause.
It is time to put on another layer of mulch, organize our frost blanket, and start thinking about starting seeds for the spring.
Let's see what some of our local community gardens have been up to lately!

Testing out new seed starting shelves at The Learning Garden
I think we got it to work!

Kales, mustards, and herbs are usually winter-hardy in North TX
Herbs and Ornamental Kales have been added at TAFB's new Kitchen Garden
So many winter greens
left to harvest!

A thick layer of leaf mulch can
help protect against frost!
Harvesting beets and greens! 
Pick those green tomatoes before
the frost and ripen them inside! 
Fresh herbs are the best!
Keep up with the Tarrant County Food Policy Council and our Community Garden and Urban Agriculture working group here.

Check out these local events: