Greens On The Red 2016!!

Join the celebration on Sunday, March 13, 2:00 – 4:00 pm at the Highland Community Garden.

Yes!! Greens On The Red 2016 is coming up soon! Mark your calendars and get ready to celebrate all the delicious and nutritious greens that can be grown here in the Ark-La-Tex, and the community of enthusiastic people that celebrate and champion them.

We will have music and lots of good experiences for old and young – and the main attraction will be the teams that find creative ways to share and teach about all of the greens that can be grown in this region. You might see some interesting hats, costumes, and other creations, but the important thing for all of us will be to experience and learn about the abundance that can be grown right here in our area. And if you would like to participate and join a champion team for one of these marvelous nutritious greens, let us know!

Among all of the different greens that will be championed are the following:  Arugula, Beet Greens, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Chicory (Endive), Chinese Cabbage (Bok Choi), Collards, Cress, Dandelion, Grape Leaves, Herbal Greens, Kale, Lettuce, Mustard, Radicchio, Spinach, Swiss Chard, and Turnips. Whether these greens are known or unknown to you, you will experience a great time learning, sampling and sharing.

And here are the specifics:
Sunday March 13 2:00 – 4:00 (Rain or Shine!)
Highland Community Garden
Across from Noel Methodist Church
520 Herndon Streeet, Shreveport 71101
(In case of rain, the event will be held in the gym at Noel Methodist Church, Highland St. Entrance)
Follow us on Facebook – WeGrowTogether – for up to the minute updates and exciting news!

Let’s Get The Good Greens Rollin’!


Fresh produce stand

The Red River Coalition of Community Gardens will celebrating Fall by kicking off the grand opening of the We Grow Together! Campus on Martha St at Herndon St intersection in Stonerhill subdivision of Shreveport Louisiana, one block west of Caddo Magnet High School (on Viking Drive). Come harvest purple hull peas, plant a fall garden, sample seasonal foods, and learn interesting health facts with us. Bring your own chair to the event. The festivities take place Saturday, September 12th, 2015, !0am to noon. For more information, call 318 840 1565 Or find us on Facebook.

Get Ready For The Next Greens On The Red Event!

March 15, 2015 -

Mark your calendars, because on March 15, we gather to celebrate, educate, and enjoy the incredible variety of greens that we can grow year round here in the ArkLaTex.  If you attended the event last year, you know how much fun we can have.  We need people to join together in champion teams!  Pick a green that you can learn about and share recipes and history.  Lists of greens, team leaders, and other information will be shared on our Greens On The Red page here.  Stay tuned for more!

Our Food System Master Plan

Great news!  After much work and thoughtful input from many sectors of our community, we have published our revised Food System Master Plan and a summary of its key concepts.  If you would like to share with people what is happening to create a healthy food system in our region, and what our vision, goals, and needs are – then this is an excellent resource for that information.  These documents will also be always be available under the Articles and Resources tab on this site, The documents will be periodically updated.

Here is a link to the summary:  Executive Summary of Food System Master Plan

And here is a link to the complete document:  EatWell-LiveLocal Overview_revised 4-3-14



Great News About One of Our Volunteers!!

Cookie Coleman, President of the Red River Coalition of Community Gardeners was chosen by Mutual of Omaha as a semi-finalist for a national ad. You can see the press release at:


And you can view her video describing the youth garden program at Valencia Park Community Garden at:

Storytelling Workshop

by Sharon Collins
Annette Simmons led a great workshop on story telling, at the Broadmoor Library on Saturday. She outlined the elements of a good, effective story, gave examples by telling stories from her own life, and asked participants to pair off and share their own stories with each other.
She emphasized that a story will only be meaningful to the listener if it is meaningful to the person who is telling it.
Several women told very moving, inspiring stories of their experiences. One of those stories, told by Laura Flett, is featured on the WeGrowTogether facebook page.  Her story showed the lasting effects of young children experiencing the wonder of growing their own food in a school garden.  One of her students later became an Urban Youth Farmer at a nearby community garden,  at the Valencia Park Community Center.
Another woman told how, as a young girl, she discovered for the first time the wonderful taste of fresh vegetables. She said this was an experience that has forever changed her relationship with food.
Approximately 18 people participated in the workshop.  This was the first of two storytelling workshops being offered by the outreach committee of the Ark-La-Tex Regional Food Council.
The next story workshop will be held on Saturday, October 12th (the 19th date mentioned at the first workshop was an error).   It will be at the Bossier Parish Library Main Branch, in the History Center nextdoor to the library building.  This workshop will focus on collecting the stories of others, to help us find and record inspiring stories of farming and of growing and preparing healthy food.  The workshop will be from 2 to 4 p.m..  Check back with us for more details.


From the Storytelling Workshop…

by Laura Flett


Life cycles.
Once upon a time I taught a science enrichment class at Stoner Hill Elementary. Nature Lab, we called it, a hands-on class for ECE (four year olds) to second graders. Every September and again in late February, the children planted an organic vegetable garden within a six foot chain link fence behind the classroom.
Eager little farmers dropped seeds and dug holes for seedlings along rows marked with Popsicle sticks and string. They weeded, watered, and waited as their tiny plants flourished. Mr. Brad, the custodian, once said the reason the vegetables grew so well was because children’s hands had tended them. Sweet.
At harvest time every class ate the vegetables they raised. Crunchy radishes, carrots, peppers and onions were dipped in ranch dressing, beans and greens were cooked with a little ham, potatoes and squash with a little butter. Most children agreed these were the best vegetables they had ever had. Some even volunteered to teach the cafeteria staff how to cook better.
But high stakes standardized testing was being developed. No child was to be left behind. Young students would need more reading and math minutes in their daily schedules. Nature Lab might be in trouble. After thirty years of teaching and wanting to hold on to the five happy years spent with children in their vegetable garden, I retired.
Nature Lab at Stoner no longer existed and the six foot chain link fence was removed. However, at the bottom of the hill, a community garden to be tended by children and youth at the Valencia Center was being planned.
The Valencia garden has seen many young gardeners in its five years of operation. And David Holmes, a high school Urban Farmer who has been with the community program from the beginning, was once upon a time a four year old in Nature Lab.
Life truly cycles.


It’s Thursday and I Have Nowhere To Go

by Leah Miller

Leah1 Leah2

After listening to my friends, Grace, Cookie, Erma and Laura talk about all the cool stuff going on with the kids at Valencia for the last three years I finally broke down and said I’d come.  After going for the last two Thursdays I’m really sad that they don’t meet today (the kids have some kind of conflict).  I think I was hesitant to become involved because, even though I’m a teacher, my experience has been with pre-school and kindergarten ages.  Imagine the feeling of pride I experienced when I got there and saw a former pre-school student “at large and in charge” of his group.  He’ll be a senior this year and is confident and capable when it comes to leading the other students in his group.  He, along with the others, use terms like julienne and chiffonade.   I watched as one of the girls rolled up basil leaves then cut across the roll.  I would have never thought of doing that and certainly didn’t know that it was called chiffonade.  The first week they capably followed a recipe that they had been given then evaluated the product assessing such characteristics as texture, color, smell, and taste.  The next week they were given access to certain ingredients and encouraged to make up their own dish.  They neither needed nor expected any help from me.  I wrote the recipe down as they measured, chopped, stirred and cooked all the while using cooking terms that would have been foreign to them at the beginning of the program.  Upon completion we all tasted our product as well as that of the other groups, and they eagerly awaited the forthcoming comments!  I left eager to see what the next time would bring and, now, I’ll have to wait another week!




My impressions – 1st Valencia meeting (digging potatoes and picking green beans)

by Karen P. Thomason

To witness the pure delight of children discovering buried treasures (potatoes) and distinguishing ripened from ripening green beans is a reward in and of itself.   It is impressive and heartening to see high school-aged children assisting and facilitating beneficial and meaningful  activities in the garden for and with younger children.   You can find inspiration and impact amidst grit and sweat.  Come and see!