In October 2016, Get Healthy Dallas helped design and upgrade the existing community garden at the Bethlehem Center in South Dallas to make it a sustainable year round producing garden. Provide space for nutrition and farming education for students’ families and the Bethlehem community center.

Bethlehem Upgrades:

Compost Station – A compost station will be constructed on the northeast corner of the garden. As a result the kitchen waste from the Bethlehem center and the community will be composted on site. Through this simple invention the Bethlehem Center can create its own “premium soil”. As any farmer will tell you “great soil equals great vegetables”. The added benefit of doing soil production is you learn hands-on biology, chemistry, record keeping and you’ve created a value added product with your soil.

Water Catchment System– Harvesting rainwater is an effective water conservation tool because it provides “free” water that is not from the municipal supply. Rainwater is a clean, salt-free source of water for plants. In addition, rainwater harvesting can reduce salt accumulation in the soil, which can be harmful to root growth. When collected, rainwater percolates into the soil, forcing salts down and away from the root zone area. This allows for greater root growth and water uptake, which increases the drought tolerance of plants. The water will be harvested off the roof of the cold frame structure.

Classroom/ Community Structure—The outside classroom In late spring through early fall it will have open sides and be used as a shaded place to teach and work and grow sensitive plants. This structure will allow full year growing season and outside teaching space in the garden.