The Seedlin g Report
Volume 3, No. 8 August 2009
Texas AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Dallas
Garden Experts Sow Seeds of Experience at Community Event
By Chris Coats
The seed was planted more than a month ago for NeighborsGrow. It sprouted and came
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org into full bloom on July 18 as more than 130 eager gardeners filled the Texas AgriLife
(972) 952-9210 Pavilion in Far North Dallas for the first of what will become an annual event.
Everyone from seasoned pros to weekend gardeners came from all over Dallas, Richard-
The mission of the ECG@Dallas son, Plano and even Celina.
is to create a sense of community “We wanted to come and meet other gardeners and share with one another,” said Tiah
through urban agriculture. Lambert of Gardeners in Community Development of Dallas.
Keynote speaker Dotty Woodson, Texas A&M Extension Program Specialist-Water Re-
sources, discussed “Making the Most of Heat in Vegetable Gardens.” She was available
Education Opportunities afterward to answer questions from gardeners on everything from pest control to fungus.
The crowd was also privy to other experts on hand like Fouad Jaber and Rosemary Tho-
mas, who oversee the A&M Education Community Gardens.
September 18— Backyard Compost- “It’s good to know that so many people are interested in gardening in the urban areas,”
ing - Dr. John Sloan, Associate Professor Jaber said. “It’s an incentive to keep providing education to the public with events during
of Soil Science , Agrilife Research Urban the year.”
Solutions Center Between speakers, attendees browsed information booths from organizations like the
Plano Community Garden, North and Central Texas Unit of the Herb Society of America,
the Lake Highlands Community Garden and others. Gardeners in Community Develop-
ment harvested seeds on-site for giveaways, along with plants.
Neighbors Grow sponsor, Shades of Green nursery in Frisco provided more than 12 plants
and 500 packages of seeds for giveaways.
A highlight and finale of the event was the seed exchange, where gardeners swapped or
were gifted plants from fellow gardeners.
Jessica Stewart of Richardson was one of the last gardeners to leave the event.
“I’m just tickled to be here and be a part of it all,” she said. “Everyone left excited and
wanting to go out there and start gardening.”
Chris Coats is a neighborsgo community columnist.
This article appeared first in neighborsgo.com on July 23rd 2009.
Tiah Lamber, left, Becky
Smith and Ashlynn Smith
prepare freshly harvested
cilantro seeds to give to gar-
deners at the NeighborsGrow
Extension programs serve people of all ages regardless of socioeconomic level, race, color, sex religion, disability, or national origin.
The Texas A&M University System, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the County Commissioners Courts of Texas Cooperating.
Bees in our Midst
By Fouad Jaber
In late July, our friends and the keynote speakers of the March 3rd Saturday Lecture, The Texas Honeybee Guild, were
kind enough to provide us with pollinators in the middle of the ECG. Brandon and Susan Pollard added us to their
dozens of locations across Dallas where they maintain bee hives. Brandon and Susan Pollard, who run The Texas
Honeybee Guild, consider expanding the number of healthy beehives in North Texas one of their main goals as bee
activists. Bees are currently facing hard times as “Colony Collapse Disorder”, a disease with mysterious causes, has
been wiping out colonies since 2006. As pollinators, bees are essential for our food
supply. The Pollards have a symbiotic relationship with community gardens and
homeowners where they provide the hives and most of the care, thus free pollinators,
and in return they get to collect the honey and sell it as “Extra Virgin ZIP code
honey”. The ECG will provide the pollards with their first 75252 honey.
In addition to ZIP Code Honey, the Pol-
lards “rescue and relocate ” bees from
homes were they are unwanted (in the
roof or vents to healthy gardens), thus Fouad dressed to hang out with
avoiding the poisoning of a disappear- the bees (Notice the bees on his
ing species. Brandon also helps larger shoulder).
commercial beekeepers transport hives
from field to field as pollinators.
You can find Texas Extra Virgin ZIP Code Honey at the Dallas Mar-
ketplace. You can contact Brandon & Susan Pollard at Texas Honeybee
Brandon and Susan inspecting the ECG bees a cou- Guild 214-826-8696 for
ple of weeks after they moved them to their new more information.
Fun Facts About Bees
• The average life of a honeybee is 40 days
• It takes 12 bees to make a teaspoon of honey
• Honey bees must consume about 17-20 pounds of honey to
be able to biochemically produce each pound of beeswax.
• Honey bees can fly up to 14 kilometers from their nest in
search of food. Usually, however, they fly one or two miles
away from their hive to forage on flowers. ECG bees busy making honey.
• The queen may lay 600-800 or even 1,500 eggs each day
during her 3 or 4 year lifetime. This daily egg production
may equal her own weight. She is constantly fed and
groomed by attendant worker bees.
• Honey bees fly at 15 miles per hour.
• The brain of a worker honey bee is about a cubic millimeter
but has the densest neuropile tissue of any animal. Queen bee sur-
• Honey is 80% sugars and 20% water. rounded by