Inappropriate and I love you Anjelah Johnson.
Tags: Dirty dog, I love you, pets, what did I do to deserve this, white dog, white wolf, why
Tags: failure, gain, Garden, hope, joy, loss, positive, sorrow, success, therapeutic, Winter
My sister sent this adage to me this morning. I found it uplifting, especially on this overcast and chilly day. The image is of a new garden bed recently cleared of invasive weeds and waiting for its soil to be amended. In the center is a dormant peach tree, recently transplanted from the overcrowded orchard at work.
“Sorrow prepares you for joy. It violently sweeps everything out of your house, so that new joy can find space to enter. It shakes the yellow leaves from the bough of your heart, so that fresh, green leaves can grow in their place. It pulls up the rotten roots, so that new roots hidden beneath have room to grow. Whatever sorrow shakes from your heart, far better things will take their place.”
So, I’m definitely getting my lettuce seedlings from the Wylde Center (at Oakurst Gardens) from now on. Look at the red sails lettuce I just harvested from the therapeutic gardens at work.
Tags: #newtownATL, atlanta, atrocity, children, Dec. 16, freedom park, honor victims, massacre, moreland and freedom, newtown, posters, shooting, signs, solidarity, standing in solidarity, tragedy
“Could I help you pay for the posters?”
Soon after we arrived at the site, Meg (from twitter) arrived with her own sign. It was our first IRL (in real life) meeting and she turned out to be just as awesome as I had imagined. A few more of our friends arrived and we stood at the intersection quietly, hopefully showing the drivers that they were not alone in their grief.
“I just found out this morning that my friend was killed at the school on Friday. She was a substitute teacher and was called in that day.”
“How did we let this happen? What went so terribly wrong?”
Tags: amend, behavioral health, clover, Compost, Garden, garden design, georgia, mental health, native plants, Organic Matter, Soil, sustainability, therapeutic gardening, Trees, Urban Agriculture, Viewpoint, weeds
Some of you may remember this post about the job I started this time last year. A quick refresher: I work for a state-funded psychiatric health agency called View Point Health. We have several behavioral/mental health programs across the state of Georgia and I run a therapeutic garden program for one of our adolescent units. It’s important to note that this is not horticultural therapy. Horticultural therapists have degrees in the field while my background is in Anthropology, Environmental Studies, and urban agriculture. Therefore, my groups, and the gardens themselves, are considered to be therapeutic.
We’ve accomplished a great deal in the past year. I designed the program to include several “garden habitats,” such as an orchard, muscadine vineyard and butterfly garden. Watch this short clip to orient yourself spatially (for my older sister, who is a visual learner):
Always remember to start with the soil – the rest will follow.
Until next time,
Tags: farm, first year, Garden, growing, hay, plants, Soil, vegetables, wheat straw
So, long story short. One of my good friends had her backyard cleared of invasive shrubbery last year and it turned out that she had a great deal of space. I walked out one day to let my dog play in her yard and was nearly paralyzed by visions of eight-foot tall tomato plants and forests of heirloom okra. After my friend picked me up off her porch, an idea was born.
My friend’s backyard is roughly half an acre, and through the good grace of her father (the landlord), her sister and herself we have finally begun to farm the land uncovered post invasive weed genocide. I even found a fig tree struggling to survive within the death grasp of privet shrub. The fig tree’s doing just fine now.
Here are some pictures of our first planting two weeks ago. I used wheat straw to mulch, but didn’t have enough compost at the time to amend the soil in each of the rows. As they say, “Soil wasn’t built in a day.”
Some leftover lettuce from a planting I neglected earlier this year. Heh.