Guilford Gardens, as seen in The Oklahoman

shankins123(7aOKC)July 3, 2012

This gal is just a hop, skip and a jump away from me (and Lisa)...she lives very near May and Britton in Oklahoma City, but WOW....what she's done in her backyard!!

Watch the video and read the article...one of these days I need to go over to say hi and see what she's done - amazing!

Sharon

Here is a link that might be useful: Guilford Gardens

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scottokla(7)

Very impressive.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2012 at 11:37AM
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Lisa_H(7)

Wow! I didn't have any idea! Is the back of her property at the end of Andover? I saw big gardens and greenhouses at the property over there last week and I wondered what it was.

Lisa

    Bookmark   July 3, 2012 at 11:38AM
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shankins123(7aOKC)

No...she's over closer to May, and not too far south of Britton. I wonder what you saw? We should take a walk to find out :-)

Sharon

    Bookmark   July 3, 2012 at 1:43PM
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biradarcm(7b)

very impressive!!! I can't believe it is her backyard garden!

    Bookmark   July 3, 2012 at 2:04PM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Sharon, It is very impressive. Thanks for sharing. I love what she's doing.

Chandra, Well, it started out as a backyard garden, but now it is what I'd consider urban agriculture. Clearly she has workers who help her (some were visible in photos), and the fact that her CSA has 80 members tells us she's a very successful urban farmer.

Y'all know that we all can do on a smaller scale, for ourselves and our families, what she is doing on a much larger scale. Some of our forum members here already do a lot of what she does, only the things they raise are for personal use and not necessarily to be sold commercially. Even a smallish garden can produce a surprisingly large amount of fruit, flowers, herbs and veggies. I hope that her story inspires other people to follow their urban farming dreams, whether their dream is to produce more of their family's food, or to operate their own CSA or whatever.

There are some similar stories of urban farmers with CSAs in the D-FW metroplex that I've read the last few years. One of them started out, like she did, with a backyard garden and now has a 5-acre CSA and also sells at one of the local Farmer's Markets. The urban farming and CSA movement are huge in this country right now, as is the locavore movement.

Back when I was a kid in the 1960s, we had lots of neighbors who raised veggies, fruits, herbs and flowers. Some had chickens or rabbits or sheep or goats, or all of them. Then, life changed and in many areas, we got away from all that. I'm glad to see it coming back again, and I'm really glad I grew up in a neighborhood where it was occurring at that time because I learned a lot from watching how the adults around me tended their gardens.

For anyone who has the space to grow something, it is a matter of choices. Do you want to spend your time watering, fertilizing and mowing a lawn that is essentially a monoculture that does not support very diverse wildlife or do you want to have garden beds filled with something else that is appealing to people and to all kinds of wild things? Y'all know my preference.

Dawn

    Bookmark   July 3, 2012 at 3:19PM
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shankins123(7aOKC)

I love the whole "urban garden" movement. (Do realize that she is gardening 3 large backyards' worth here)

More and more, as we hear about things in our food - the way it's processed and de-nutrified (if that's a word)- it's even more important for us to grow and eat REAL food, and for our children and grandchildren to be raised seeing that as "normal".
I'm thrilled that she has rabbits and chickens, too...I had no idea that our area allowed that (she lives in The Village) - I'll have to check it out.

I'll have to confess - I "raise" much more grass than garden. I live in a rather compact neighborhood, complete with 3 sides of chain-link fencing in my backyard. The challenge for me is to draw up a plan that makes my backyard absolutely beautiful and enjoyable, incorporating flowering plants, vegetables, herbs, etc., into the landscaping. It's the design part that stymies me - I can do the hard labor (I think!).

Consider me...a work in progress,

Sharon

    Bookmark   July 3, 2012 at 3:37PM
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chickencoupe

"The vegetables that you produce has changed the way we eat."
while visiting the grocery store how I wished I could have some fruit to eat. None in the store would actually taste like fruit. Fruit is awful from the store. The same is for many vegetables. I simply want excellent home-grown foods that I know the kids will actually eat after I cook them - the way nature intended.

Thanks for posting this, Sharon. It's inspirational.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2012 at 9:03PM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Sharon,

Check and see if the library has Rosalind Creasy's book, "Edible Landscaping", which is the newest of her books. It was published in 2010. Her landscaping is so beautiful and you really have to look at it to realize how much of it is edible. She is one of the leaders in the edible landscaping/front-yard gardening movement, and she's been doing it for decades.

I also like Michael Pollan's books on foods and gardening, especially his book "In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto" about how so much of what the grocery stores sell really isn't food so much as it is food-like products passed off as food.

Bon, I agree I hate buying grocery store produce, especially if it is something we can raise ourselves. Once you're used to fresh, home-grown produce, nothing else will do. We also have raised our own eggs for about 15 years and cannot stand grocery store eggs either. As with produce, fresh eggs are so much better than the pale, washed out, often not-so-fresh ones from the store.

Dawn

    Bookmark   July 6, 2012 at 1:15AM
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shankins123(7aOKC)

Getting back to this a little late-r......:~)

Thank you for the book recommendations - I'm sure they will be of help to me, AND...if I can't find them locally, I'm sure my favorite university librarian (LIBRARY DIRECTOR, now!) can.

I checked the city ordinances of The Village (where I live) and here's what they say:

Sec. 5-2. Animals prohibited.
It shall be unlawful for any person:
a) To keep, harbor, possess, or allow remaining on any premises under his control within the city any animal other than a cat or dog unless the animal is kept within the confines of the house, apartment, office, accessory building, accessory structure, clinic, kennel, or retail store and provided the animal is not specifically prohibited herein.
b) To keep, harbor, possess or allow to remain on any premises under his or her control within the city any of the following animals:
Skunk;
Coyote, bear, fox, wolf, or similar carnivore;
Leopard, panther; tiger, lion, lynx, or other similar large cat;
Crocodile, alligator;
Any animal, bee, insect, or arachnid with a poisonous bite or sting;

So...since chickens are not specifically prohibited, and they're neither cat nor dog...I guess they would be ok if housed in an "accessory structure"??? That would be very interesting to the cats and to the people that live around me - they'd think I had lost it if I built a fully-enclosed chicken run!!

I'm really not inclined to have chickens - I don't eat eggs fixed any way, except as ingredients in things (quiche is ok, though, now and then). I do love eating chicken, but...I think I'll stick with gardening :~)

Sharon

    Bookmark   July 9, 2012 at 7:10PM
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