2016 > Synergy Sessions > Synergy Session 1: Healthy, Local and Organic Gardening

Synergy Session 1: Healthy, Local and Organic Gardening

Less Water ... Better Soil ... Healthier Plants

Anita Mills

Traditional agricultural knowledge can teach us how to grow healthier plants while using less water and building better soil. We will discuss ways in which we can apply these same or similar ideas in our home gardens or small farms. The techniques you’ll learn are simple and efficient to maintain in the long term, because they mimic natural systems and strive to arrange all garden elements in a beneficial relationship with each other. View PowerPoint presentation.

Anita MillsAnita Mills is founder of Anita’s Arbor, whose mission is to mentor and support the sustainable lifestyle. She grew up gardening, learning from her grandmother and mother, and has gardened organically since the 1960s. Anita has an enduring interest in low-tech solutions to sustainable living. She received her Certification in Permaculture Design in October 2015 through the School of Permaculture in Plano and is a part-time member of the staff of the School of Permaculture. Anita is project manager for the GROW North Texas Urban Agriculture Success Initiative for urban and community gardens. 

Brown Thumb/Green Thumb 

Isabel Halsey

Isabel HalseyBy enhancing your soil with a compost you will grow healthy plants and vegetable gardens without having to use fertilizer or buy mulch. You will also reduce the amount of organics (leaves, grass and food waste) that enter the landfill. 

Isabel Halsey teaches Biology 1408-09 at Brookhaven College, and taught high school biology, environmental science and aquatic science for 35 years. She is a Master Composter trainer and Master Naturalist.  

Gardening With Community in South Dallas

Cresanda Allen

Dallas has seen an increase in community gardens in the past few years. However, it can be challenging to engage populations that have been marginalized in the agricultural and environmental movement. To increase participation of African-American and Hispanic populations in gardening, it is best to incorporate the interests of the people to sustain a garden/farm. In this workshop, you will learn how to utilize multiple intelligences to create garden-related programming, events and workshops and how to use the many talents of the people in your community to create more healthy and happy people in cleaner and unified neighborhoods. View PowerPoint presentation.

Cresanda AllenCresanda Allen founded the McCarty & Maathai Community Garden in Oak Cliff. MMCG offers growing space for residents, free garden-based STEM lessons and workshops, and it houses a Little Free Library. Allen has taught science for 10 years and has been gardening for seven. As an advocate for native plants, she obtained a Native Landscape Design Certificate from the Native Plant Society of Texas. She teaches science to homeschoolers and is pursuing a master’s in agricultural science. Allen continues to write African-centered curriculum and to develop enrichment programs.