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Happy Earth Day: A Big Green Thumbs Up!

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April showers bring May flowers, but here at Southwest Airlines, April showers bring… Urban Gardening!!

Last Earth Day, we posted about our Network Planning Department’s efforts to create the SWA Community Garden.  One year later, we are happy to say that the efforts have been “fruitful.” Or… rather, “produce-tive.”

Two years ago, the Garden’s Master Green Thumbs, Jamie Ibarra and John Jamotta, began collecting compost for the Garden. They recruited Eurest, the company which operates Headquarters’ eatery, “The Landing,” to help. From that relationship, the garden has received a steady supply of organic compostable materials to create a rich soil in which the plants may thrive.  Since then, the growing hasn’t stopped.

Currently 14 volunteers regularly cultivate the Garden, which has now grown to include 2,500 square feet. This past season, the Team harvested potatoes, cantaloupe, watermelon, peppers, tomatoes, corn, pumpkins, squash, and cucumbers.

So, just where do the yields from the Garden go? In the past year alone, the Garden team took six trips to the local Dallas food bank. Each time, the group brought a donation of the crops grown in the Community Garden.

Another point of pride for the group is their commitment to organic and earth-friendly practices. In taking care of the plants, the team strives to be water-wise and conserves natural resources. To further learn about organic gardening, the team has developed a close relationship with the local Texas Agri-Life Extension office.

Keeping true to their theme to “Learn and Teach” about organic gardening and food harvest donations, the team always welcomes more help and is looking to expand the Garden. Since the Community Garden is a 100 percent volunteer-driven effort and operates entirely without money from Southwest Airlines, the Team deserves a huge round of applause for their commitment to the Community Garden!

If you have a Green Thumb and would like to share gardening tips, please post your comments below.  DING!  You are now free to be Green and have a Happy Earth Day!