Going Green: Diggin’ into National Garden Month

Apr 4, 2013 10:00 AM ET
Campaign: Going Green

Nuts About Southwest Blog

We have all heard that “April showers bring May flowers,” but did you know that the month of April is actually National Garden Month?  

What makes gardening so great is that you don't have to be a pro to give it a go, or even do the gardening where you live!  Here are four ideas to help you celebrate this month—including some details on what our Fellow Co-Hearts are doing!

  • Start a garden. Never gardened before?  Not a problem.  Have some space in your yard?  Great. If not, do you have a balcony, windowsill, patio, or deck you have permission to use?  Also great.  Now take into consideration the direction of your light source, the amount of time you are willing to invest, and what you’d like to grow.  The more room and sun exposure you have access to, the more likely you will be able to handle produce like tomatoes, onions, or leafy greens.  Flowers are a great idea, too!  No matter your decision, do your best to buy seedlings that are started locally in order to help support our local microclimate.
  • Support a local community garden.  This week, I had the pleasure of speaking to Senior Business Consultant, Jaime Ibarra, in Network Planning.  An 18-year veteran of Southwest Airlines, Jaime LUVs his Company and is a member of our Green Team here at Headquarters.  In addition, Jaime is also the “mulch muse” behind our own SWA Community Garden in Dallas.  Jaime’s goal for the continually growing garden is for Employees to not only embrace their love of gardening, but to teach others as well!  In addition, all produce harvested from the garden is given to local area food banks.  Stay tuned for updates on ways YOU can help as we continue to celebrate National Garden Month throughout April.  Two of the many 4'x20' community garden plots flourishing in the SWA Community Garden and some recently planted marigolds are pictured below:
  Not in the Dallas area? You would be surprised how many neighborhoods and local communities have public gardens.  Check out the American Community Gardening Association’s Community Garden Locator to find a local garden near you.
  • Plant a Row For the Hungry.  According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, one in eight households in our country experiences either hunger or the risk of hunger.  The demand for hunger assistance has increased by 70 percent in recent years, and research shows that hundreds of children and adults are turned away from food banks each year because of lack of resources.  The Garden Writers Association connects local gardeners with organizations like churches and food banks who could use extra produce as a donation.  As you plan your vegetable garden, plant a few extra rows that will give you enough bounty to share with your local shelter or soup kitchen.  Or, share your garden's bounty with a neighbor who might need it.
  • Start a neighborhood flower team.  Have some spare produce or flowers in your garden?  Consider gathering your friends and neighbors, asking for their own natural contributions, and taking them to your local church or nursing home.  Sharing your time and energy with others is a great way to celebrate this month!

Attention all gardening pros—have any other ideas on how to celebrate National Gardening Month?  How about some tips for those of us who may not have the greenest thumbs?  Let us know by commenting below or by e-mailing us at green@wnco.com.  

DING!  You are now free to be Green!