Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Status of Community Garden

A question came up last week at River Bend about the status of the community garden project. Tom Hall from the AgriLife Extension office noted that the project was still on.

I brought up the topic at the city Park Board meeting as it has been a topic on and off for some time. The project is still a go. The initial garden will be on the east side of town, and if it is successful, additional gardens will be put in other areas of town. A group of volunteers from that neighborhood will be managing the gardens. There will be about 70 plots, depending upon the size.  It is anticipated the garden will be underway by the fall planting season.

Permaculture Tour

At last week's presentation on suburban permaculture, several people indicated an interest in working together to share ideas. I went to John Hirschi's house this past weekend to check out his front yard native landscaping. John's yard is beautiful. It was designed last year by Paul Dowlearn at Wichita Valley Nursery and is doing well. Many of the plants are multiplying. The only problem he is having now is a marauding wild pig which is rooting around in the yard and doing a lot of damage. John has traps out, trying to catch the critter. I hope he gets him soon, it is making a mess of a beautiful landscape.

We also discussed some of his ideas for his backyard.  Because we had such a good time talking about what he had done and his ideas going forward, we discussed putting together a day to visit one another's yard and share ideas with other members of the permaculture group. Even if we haven't done anything, this would be a chance to share ideas and talk over what we're trying to do with others with similar interests.

If you're interested in joining in, email me at green.wichitafalls@gmail.com or "Like" the Living Green in Wichita Falls page on Facebook and join in.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Great Program at River Bend

Last night River Bend Nature Center hosted Jan Spencer of Suburban Permaculture for a presentation on suburban transformation through permaculture.

Jan's presentation centered around what he considered the sensible actions we should all be taking:

  • Downsize material lifestyle
  • Reorient ourselves to live within what the Earth can accommodate
  • Green homes, neighborhoods, communities, culture and economy
Personally, I was happy to hear Jan talk about the importance of civics. Too few people get involved with their local government and if we are to make progress, local action can have significant results faster. "Think globally, act locally." This saying was highlighted in Jan's talk by the examples of actions taken by individuals which are having an impact on his communities.

The crowd was relatively small but very interested. We agreed to set up a mailing list and look at ways we can help one another in our own initiatives and possibly collaborate on projects in the future.

Several questions came up about what is and is not permitted by the city. 
  - Can chicken/livestock be kept in the city? Yes, with certain restrictions. Permits are required which require inspection by animal control. No roosters, guineas or peafowl are permitted (noise). Livestock also require a permit and inspections. 
  - Can citizens harvest pecans from public property? (I wasn't able to find anything in the ordinance, but have a question pending with the city.)
  - Can homeowners plant vegetable gardens in their front yards, if there is no Homeowner Association restriction? (Again, I wasn't able to find any restriction in the ordinances, but have asked for a reading from the city.)

We also got an update about the community garden being organized on the east side of town.

If you missed the presentation, you missed a lot of ideas. We all learned what a "woofer" is (and no, it has nothing to do with a sound system.)

For now, I am going to encourage those interested in this topic to post their thoughts on the Living Green Facebook Page or comment here.

We're Back

You'll recall that months back I decided to add a Facebook page. The idea was to supplement this blog. The Facebook page was easier to maintain and did attract some people who did not subscribe to this blog. The downside was that there are a lot of people not on Facebook and I got a little lazy. So, although I plan to keep the Facebook page, I'm going to put more attention back here. In the meantime, you can join us on Facebook.