Round Rock Area Serving Center’s Community Garden Provides Healthy Organic Vegetables

ServingCenterLogoWhen your budget gets tight, a lot of fun stuff starts dropping off of your personal menu. Eating out is definitely one of those things that you figure out pretty fast is an unnecessary luxury. As your budget tightens, you notice a lot of other items falling off the list as well. Pretty soon you’re eating a lot of things that you would not normally eat just so you have something, anything, to put on the table. Your choices become less “healthy” as you try to make your diminishing budget stretch so that you can feed yourself and your family. It’s an old story that we are all familiar with, even if we aren’t the ones having to make that choice.

The Round Rock Area Serving Center is painfully aware of that problem. As a food pantry for five zip codes in and around Round Rock, they feed 1300 families per month. They constantly strive to do whatever they can to provide nutritious food for these folks, but they can only do so much. They have a budget too, and one of the items that the Serving Center has a challenge providing is fresh vegetables. [Read more…]

Georgetown Master Gardener Teresa Robinson Talks Beautiful Gardens And Water Conservation

Teresa SmilingWe’re in a drought here in Central Texas – of that there is no doubt. We are asked to be careful with our water usage, however, we are also looking for ways to make our homes attractive with beautiful, well-kept and colorful gardens. For many of us, me included, we believe that to get that beautiful garden we need to put in hours and hours of work and pour countless gallons of water onto the ground. Well, Teresa Robinson of Georgetown has an opinion on that, and it doesn’t line up with that kind of thinking.

Teresa, who is over-the-moon about her new hometown has been a Georgetown resident for only six years, but she has done a lot in that short time to make her mark. She is originally from Upstate New York where the climate, rainfall, plants, and gardening conditions are drastically different from those we are used to here. Those facts didn’t keep Teresa from starting early on to make water conservation and beautiful gardens work together. [Read more…]

Round Rock’s Neighborhood Harvest Project Open House

Round Rock Neighborhood Harvest Project At Unity ParkAs I mentioned in my last post on Unity Park, the biggest nutritional problem we face in this country is not a lack of food but too much of the wrong kinds of food. The Neighborhood Harvest Project’s Unity Park Community Garden is addressing that need. However, there is another challenge we face in our country and especially in our rapidly growing Round Rock communities. That challenge is to restore our ability to build relationships with our neighbors. The Neighborhood Harvest Project is trying hard to accomplish that too.

Started in 2009 by the folks at the Neighborhood Harvest Project, this project is designed to help the people of Round Rock learn Round Rock Neighborhood Harvest Project At Unity Parkhow to garden not only for the nutritional benefits, but also to strengthen social connections. To celebrate this effort, and to showcase the Unity Park Community Garden, The Neighborhood Harvest Project had an open house this past Saturday on May 18th. Stephen Brueggerhoff and Leah Adams were kind enough to spare a few minutes and talk to me about the open house, about what they are doing and what they hope to accomplish.

Leah is President of the Board of Directors and Stephen is on the Board of Directors for of the Neighborhood Harvest Project. They both have years of experience in gardening and have been involved in Unity Park Community Garden since the beginning. They have a wealth of information to share and they are happy to stop and talk to anybody about what they are doing. Please watch the attached video for more on that. [Read more…]

Unity Park Community Garden – Round Rock’s Community Garden

Round Rock's Unity Park Community GardenI can remember my grandfather puttering around in his garden when I was a kid. He lived next door and would grow tomatoes, cucumbers, beans, okra and whatever else he could manage to grow during our blazing Texas summers. He was always at it. He didn’t start his life learning how to garden. He was forced into it by strict rationing during and after World War II. The home where he, grandma and mom lived during the war was a little row house in London, England. There was a little stretch of garden on the side and around the back of their tiny home and part of that had been taken up by a small, home made bomb shelter. When I say little I mean less than 400 square feet.

I have seen family pictures of their garden back in the 1940s and it was packed with vegetation. The way my mother told it, they ate everything that Round Rock's Unity Park Community Gardencame out of the garden and were glad to get it. That garden supplied what was basically the vast majority of the fresh vegetables they were able to get in those days. Grandpa never gave up the gardening habit and grew food wherever he and grandma lived. They moved to Waco, Texas to be close to my mom in the late 1960s. I can still see him in his garden. He wore a straw cowboy hat, a white tank top t-shirt, white Bermuda shorts and dark brown cowboy boots. It was hilarious and I would give anything to see him again and pick his brain about gardening.

Round Rock's Unity Park Community GardenTimes are tough in this country now but they are not as bad as war time England. The biggest nutritional problem we face in this country is not too little food but too much of the wrong kinds of food. The Neighborhood Harvest Project is trying hard to fix that. This project, started in 2009 by your friends and neighbors at Unity Park Community Garden, is designed to help the people of Round Rock learn how to garden, not only for the nutritional benefits but also to strengthen social connections. To celebrate this effort, Unity Park is having an open house on May 18th and this is your chance to learn more about community gardening. [Read more…]

Gardening for Butterflies in Round Rock – Stephen Brueggerhoff

Gardening for Butterflies in Round Rock - Stephen BrueggerhoffI always knew that Texas had the biggest, fastest, tallest and bestest of everything but I didn’t know that Texas had the most native butterflies of any state in these United States. That’s impressive. There are 495 species of butterflies that call Texas home. That is 3% of all known butterfly fauna in the world. That’s a lot of butterflies. So, there you go, rest of the country, don’t be sad but try to keep up.

I learned this fact, among other interesting butterfly facts, from a talk I attended given by Stephen Brueggerhoff of the Native Plant Society of Texas, Williamson County Chapter. Stephen has quite an extensive amount of experience having worked with plants and bugs at the University of Texas and the Lady Bird Wildflower Center. Stephen currently works for the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and you can learn more about what he does by visiting his YouTube Channel here.  Stephen also has a lot of hands-on garden development experience due to his work with the Unity Park Community Garden in Round Rock.

Stephen’s talk, hosted by the Round Rock Public Library,  was on Gardening for Butterflies. He gives a brief outline of the talk on the attached YouTube video below, but to sum it all up, it’s all about the type of plants you want to consider putting in your garden if you want to attract butterflies. [Read more…]