Tuesday, May 03, 2016

May Garden Report

May is here and I'm so happy for the glorious weather and growing greens! This weekend, our little upcycled coop was featured on an urban coop tour. My favorite description of it came from a neighbor who called it "a steampunk gypsy wagon". Perfect!

The garden is in great shape. The heat of summer is still a ways off and the scattered rain has kept my beds deeply watered and happy. Right now in my garden, I have 6 heirloom tomato varieties, lazy wife pole beans, one pickling cucumber, four different varieties of squash and zucchini, watermelon, cantaloupe, kale, chard, red and yellow onions, basil, mint, oregano, sage, lavender, sunflower, nasturtiums and one lone strawberry plant. I also planted a Jersey Black Apple tree this spring. It won't see fruit for a few years, but it's nice to plan way out in advance. I also have a happy Asian Pear tree and a Meyer Lemon, which is in its first year of bearing fruit!

Here are some photos of my May garden. I'll be transplanting the watermelon elsewhere in the garden this month, because I can already tell its going to take over! I'll keep posting throughout the summer so you can see what thrives and what dies. (Something always dies. I'm a trial and error gardener, so I don't mind when something tanks.)

How is your garden this month? 
What are you growing? 
Are you trying something new? 
What are your old favorites that you always grow? 
I'd love to hear from you in the comments section!








We had a post-coop-tour afterparty and this was the cake!
So cute, right?


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

In the Studio

For the last year or so, I've been casting around for a studio space solution that gets me out of my house. I have a lovely home studio that has served my purposes well, but there are some serious drawbacks.

I would like to find a place where I have my own private studio within a context of many studio spaces. I love being surrounded by other artists and the isolation of my home studio is sometimes lonely. I would also like to have a separate work address - having studio visits in my home can be somewhat awkward: "Don't mind the toys strewn all over the hallway - Whoops, are you okay? That was just a lego." The other thing I'd like to have in a studio is a space that allows me to hang and have open studio events. In my current situation, that's not possible.

I still haven't found the right place, but I have a few leads. Cross your fingers for me that something wonderful becomes available this summer. I'm ready to take my work to the next level and having a studio space, reserved just for the purpose of painting and showing my work, would be a huge step in the right direction.

via


Also, here two of three pieces I was commissioned to make for a local pediatric therapy clinic! The third piece will be completed sometime in the coming week or two! As always, you can see my work at www.sarahgreenman.com.

Lift Off   |   36" x 36" acrylic on canvas

Fly   |   36" x 36" acrylic on canvas

Installed in the clinic waiting room.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Poetry for Passover



I am not Jewish. Although with a name like Sarah Greenman, it is sometimes assumed. But the Jewish holidays speak to me. Passover was this weekend and yesterday, during a church service I attended, the minister read a poem by Alla Renee Bozarth called "Pack Nothing".

I've been working on some pretty large scale projects this spring, many of which are intricately connected to social justice and equity. I've been working the soil with those on the ground, planting food and planning for the future. But I've also been on the mountaintop talking with the rain gods, encouraging them to rain on all gardens, and not just a chosen few. Alla Renee Bozarth's extraordinary poem spoke to me and I wanted to share some sections of her poem here with you.


Pack Nothing.
Bring only your determination to serve 
and your willingness to be free.

Don’t wait for the bread to rise.
Take nourishment for the journey, 
but eat standing, be ready
to move at a moment’s notice.

Do not hesitate to leave
your old ways behind—
fear, silence, submission.

Only surrender to the need 
of the time— to love
justice and walk humbly
with your God.

Do not take time to explain to the neighbors.
Tell only a few trusted friends and family members.

Then begin quickly, 
before you have time to sink back 
into the old slavery.

___________________________



You will learn to eat new food
and find refuge in new places.
I will give you dreams in the desert
to guide you safely home to that place
you have not yet seen.

The stories you tell one another around your fires
in the dark will make you strong and wise.

Outsiders will attack you, 
and some who follow you, 
and at times you will weary
and turn on each other
from fear and fatigue and
blind forgetfulness.

You have been preparing for this for hundreds of years.
I am sending you into the wilderness to make a way 
and to learn my ways more deeply.

Those who fight you will teach you.
Those who fear you will strengthen you.
Those who follow you may forget you.
Only be faithful. This alone matters.

Some of you will die in the desert, 
for the way is longer than anyone imagined.
Some of you will give birth.

Some will join other tribes along the way, 
and some will simply stop and create
new families in a welcoming oasis.

Some of you will be so changed
by weathers and wanderings
that even your closest friends
will have to learn your features
as though for the first time.
Some of you will not change at all.

Some will be abandoned
by your dearest loves
and misunderstood by those
who have known you since birth
and feel abandoned by you.

Some will find new friendship
in unlikely faces, and old friends
as faithful and true as the pillar of God’s flame.

___________________


Sing songs as you go, 
and hold close together.
You may at times grow
confused and lose your way.

Continue to call each other
by the names I’ve given you, 
to help remember who you are.
You will get where you are going
by remembering who you are.

Touch each other
and keep telling the stories
of old bondage and of how
I delivered you.

Tell you children lest they forget
and fall into danger— remind them
even they were not born in freedom
but under a bondage they no longer
remember, which is still with them, if unseen.

Or they were born in the open desert
where no signposts are.

Make maps as you go, 
remembering the way back
from before you were born.

So long ago you fell
into slavery, slipped
into it unawares, 
out of hunger and need.

You left your famished country
for freedom and food in a new land, 
but you fell unconscious and passive, 
and slavery overtook you as you fell
asleep in the ease of your life.

You no longer told stories of home 
to remember who you were.

Do not let your children sleep
through the journey’s hardship.
Keep them awake and walking
on their own feet so that you both
remain strong and on course.

So you will be only
the first of many waves
of deliverance on these
desert seas.

It is the first of many
beginnings— your Paschaltide.
Remain true to this mystery.

Pass on the whole story.
I spared you all
by calling you forth 
from your chains.

Do not go back.
I am with you now
and I am waiting for you.



This poem is from the books, Womanpriest: A Personal Odyssey by 
Alla Renée Bozarth, revised edition 1988, distributed by the poet; 
Accidental Wisdom by Alla Renée Bozarth, iUniverse 2003 and
the audio cassette Water Women by Alla Renée Bozarth, Wisdom 
House 1990.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Spring Fever

The crispness of early spring has definitely shifted here in Texas to welcome in the humid air and slow breeze of early summer. Everything in my garden is green and growing fast because of recent rains. We're gearing up for a coop tour happening on May first. It's called Peep at the Coops and the tour showcases urban chicken coops. All proceeds benefit a local school garden. So in preparation, I've been cleaning the beds, wiping down the patio furniture and adding some annual color here and there. Here are a few shots of my back yard to end the week. Have a beautiful weekend and I'll see you back here on Monday!












Do you live in Dallas?
Are you interested in attending Peep at the Coops?
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Tuesday, April 19, 2016

My Favorite Backyard Farm on Instagram

If afternoons on the back patio, chicken in lap and handcrafted Belgium ale in hand, sounds good to you, then let me introduce my friend Deanna - who I met briefly back in school days in Santa Maria, CA. Deanna and her husband are urban homesteaders in Santa Barbara County who share their work on Instagram. Its my favorite feed on the web right now and I thought I'd share it with YOU! (Although, as evidenced by her almost 19K followers, you may already know all about her.)

Deanna and her husband grow veggies, raise hens, can and ferment their harvest, make Kombucha by the batch and build awesome shit in their yard. I'm envious. Not in a cloying grass-is-greener kind of way, but in an inspired get-out-there-and-make-the-world-a-better-place kind of way. Take a look at Deanna's photos below and definitely hop over to her Insta-feed and enjoy!



















Find her on Instagram HERE

Monday, April 18, 2016

How to build a school garden.

Hello dear readers. Did you miss me? I have been a busy bee these past three weeks. For the last two years I've been planning and fundraising to build a school garden at an underserved Title 1 school in Dallas. It has been both an arduous and an exhilarating process and one that came to fruition this week. I've had no time for writing or blogging because I've been project manager on a school garden construction site. But I didn't do it alone, of course. I enlisted (and sometimes begged) for support from businesses, neighbors, school officials and friends. And they got on board in a big way. I'm filled with gratitude for those who made this school garden possible.

This weekend saw the official ground breaking. All of the hard work paid off and the garden, which serves 800 students and 90 staff members, is open. How did we do it? Here's a little photo line-up that tells our story.


Identify your space...



Dream on paper and make a plan and a budget... 




Find a fabulous local landscape architect to help you... 

Drafting by Curtis Scoggins.


Hit the streets for community partnerships and funding... 




Form a committee of awesome people to do the focused jobs...




Advertise the school garden and talk it up...




Design a poster and ask a local business to cover printing costs...



Once the district approves your plan, lay out your garden...




Seek press opportunities and say YES to press inquiries...

From The Advocate Magazine - April 2016


Enlist your school art teacher to create a mural with students...




Host work days and create neighborhood partnerships... 




Invite the kids to help...




Borrow tools from friends if you don't have your own...




Work with handy parents who know how to build stuff...




Secure your rain water collection system...




Revel in the moments when it all comes together...




Stand in awe of your school art teacher's work...


Artist Emily Ash

Artist Emily Ash


Work with fabulous Girl Scout Troops...




Build a beautiful fence to protect what you've created...




Ask for seed donations...




And ask for transplant donations...



Host a Glove & Shovel Drive to supply your tool shed...




Clean up your construction site and get ready to break ground...



Break ground and invite EVERYONE...










Then invite the press back to your launch party...
All photos below are from The Advocate Magazine.







This has been such a fulfilling process.
Thank you to everyone who had a hand in making the Skyview Harmony Garden possible.

Interested in knowing more?
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