Organic Vegetable Garden
A former middle school history teacher and counselor, Douglas “Doug” Grant worked at San Antonio, Texas’ Northside ISD from 1987 to 2013, during which time he coordinated multiple recreation programs and served as a campus life volunteer and teacher sponsor. In his free time, Douglas Grant enjoys organic vegetable gardening.
Creating an organic vegetable garden in your own backyard can be easy if you take the right steps. For starters, you should focus not only on vegetables you and your family actually eat, but ones that are known to thrive in your local climate. Cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, and string beans are popular choices because they will produce for months. Knowing where to plant is just as vital as knowing what to plant. Choose an area that offers at least six hours of direct sunlight in your main growing season and make sure to protect your garden bed from high winds by positioning it near a wall or behind bushes, or by erecting a sturdy trellis.
You should also have the soil in your garden tested for nutrient deficiency and ph level, whether through the local cooperative extension office or by a do-it-yourself method. This will help you to determine how to improve the soil for the particular vegetables you plan on growing. If the soil is rocky in the area you choose, consider constructing a raised bed vegetable garden instead. Organic seeds can be purchased at local garden centers and retail outlets, and there are also reputable mail-order companies such as the Sustainable Seed Co. and High Mowing Organic Seeds, among others, that ship 100 percent certified organic seeds.
Douglas Grant is a former middle school teacher and counselor with nearly 30 years of experience. Beyond his role as a teacher, Douglas “Doug” Grant volunteers with Trinity Oaks, a Texas-based nonprofit organization that provides hunting and fishing programming and donates meat to food pantries and homeless shelters throughout the state.
Since 2007, Trinity Oaks’ programs have helped over 3,400 people experience the thrill of hunting. The nonprofit primarily supports military veterans and underprivileged youth. One of its recently implemented programs, StarKids, provides outdoor programming for children of deceased combat veterans and first responders. The free program, available to boys and girls between the ages of 10 and 18, began in the spring of 2017. Each child is partnered with a member of the agency to which his or her deceased parent belonged. Both the child and the mentor become hunter safety certified and, along with other child-mentor partners, participate in a deer or hog hunt.
The goal of the program is to help children deal with the grieving process while also forging a lasting mentor relationship with a professional who has responsibilities and life experiences similar to their parent.
River City Community Church
Douglas Grant has launched innovative programs as a teacher for San Antonio public schools. In addition to serving as a teacher, Douglas Grant is now a counselor for South Texas Rural Health Services. Doug Grant also worships at River City Community Church.
In addition to weekly worship, River City offers several programs tasked with educating members and reaching out to the San Antonio community.
Many River City members are part of small groups of eight to ten individuals or three to four couples. Participants meet three or four times a month to support each other, pray, and discuss the Bible. Before joining, prospective members sign up for Grouplink, a two-hour event that connects persons in similar life circumstances.
Another tool for growth is River City University, composed of classes and groups organized into five domains: marriage and family, Biblical studies, foundations, support and recovery, and pastoral leadership.
Real Life Christian Assistance ministers to the community on the third Saturday of every month. On that day, persons in need can select free items from a food pantry and enjoy a hot meal. Visitors also have the opportunity to buy gently used clothes and swap children’s clothes for different sizes.
Trinity Oaks Foundation
Having worked as a middle school teacher and school counselor for over twenty years, Douglas “Doug” Grant is currently a licensed professional counselor. He practices in a variety of areas, including geropsychology, addiction, and crisis/trauma counseling. Douglas Grant also supports a number of charitable organizations, including the Trinity Oaks Foundation.
The Trinity Oaks Foundation helps families in need by donating wild game meat, which can be used for meals. Established in 2007, the foundation is a nonprofit organization that uses outdoor hunting and fishing activities to give back to the community. Since its inception, the foundation has helped more than 3,400 people.
The Trinity Oaks Foundation distributes more than 9,000 pounds of meat each month to families and individuals throughout the Southern Texas and Northern Mexico area. The program also helps support combat veterans and Purple Heart recipients who have family members that are dealing with terminal illnesses along with young people in need.
Muller’s Ark Ranch
A licensed professional counselor in Texas with more than a decade of experience as a middle school teacher, Douglas (Doug) Grant formerly worked as a U.S. history teacher in the Northside Independent School District in San Antonio. In his free time, Douglas Grant enjoys spending time outdoors and especially likes visiting Muller’s Ark Ranch.
Located on 100 acres in the city of Bandera, Muller’s Ark Ranch provides visitors an abundance of outdoor activities in the Texas Hill Country. The ranch’s riverfront gives guests the opportunity to enjoy swimming and picnicking. Also featuring a private lake, the ranch offers great fishing and opportunities to see diverse wildlife, such as deer, wild turkey, peafowl, and geese.
Muller’s Ark Ranch provides several unique places to spend the night, including the two-bedroom Lake House, with its native cypress log beds and a four-poster queen bed, and the Ark Cottage, which also has two bedrooms and overlooks the Medina River. Guests can also stay in the Caboose, which is a real train caboose that has been transformed into a mini-house with a complete kitchen, a bath with a shower, air conditioning, and a wood-burning Franklin stove.
To learn more about Muller’s Ark Ranch, visit www.mullersark.com.
Former teacher Douglas (Doug) Grant possesses significant experience teaching in Texas middle schools. In addition to his work as a classroom teacher, Douglas Grant has previously served as a school counselor. He currently uses these skills as a counselor at South Texas Rural Health Services, where he utilizes sensory integration techniques and play therapy in his work with families.
Play therapy is an effective way for behavioral health professionals to understand what a child is feeling. Children rarely have full control over situations in their lives, but they get to assume a position of power during play time. Toys in hand, they are free to act out emotional experiences with total control.
This is a powerful form of communication. Through free association, children who struggle to articulate feelings verbally can express themselves in a way that social workers and therapists can understand.
In filial play therapy, parents participate too. This method is becoming more popular, as it allows professionals to see how children relate to their parents during play. Play health practitioners can use this approach to help improve communication or understand other issues that may be occurring in the home.
A former middle school teacher in San Antonio, Texas, Douglas (Doug) Grant has held positions in the Northside Independent School District. Teacher Douglas Grant currently works as a licensed professional counselor with South Texas Rural Health Services, where he utilizes sensory integration and play therapy techniques to offer substance abuse and behavioral health counseling.
An alternative to talk therapy, play therapy invites children to act out real-life scenarios using fantasy objects such as dolls, puppets, and drawing materials. The familiar activity of playing is one where the child feels confident and in control, and thus, they tend to express themselves best in this way. Typically, therapists give children the full freedom to direct their own play and actions. By cultivating a safe, empowering environment and creating a warm rapport with the child, play therapists encourage the exploration and release of problematic negative feelings. Play therapy can help children develop self-confidence and learn how to express themselves in response to real-life situations. It is a particularly helpful tool for children who have experienced issues such as family violence, grief, or a major change in their family situation.
A longtime middle school teacher, Douglas “Doug” Grant also stands out as a certified instructor with The National Archery in the Schools Program. While serving as a social studies teacher for sixth graders with the Northside Independent School District in San Antonio, Texas, Douglas Grant established an archery club that drew 75 student members.
Learning archery offers benefits to children both on a personal level and in the classroom. Archery is by nature a methodical discipline, and it requires the learner to both practice and reflect on the process. A student archer must be able to evaluate his or her success, take in feedback, and focus on improving one particular element of technique, a method which allows the student to develop discipline and the ability to self-critique.
The skills gained apply not only to the personal but also to the academic, and they extend across all curriculum areas. Similarly, archery helps to develop a child’s ability to set and pursue goals, as well as grow self-confidence.
Archery also confers a number of subject-specific skills, largely in the realm of mathematics. The archer must integrate perceptions of space, angle, and distance, and a thoughtful teacher can incorporate these ideas in a way that directly teaches concepts of geometry and science. If integrated into a complete curriculum, the sport cannot only be fun, it can boost a child’s chances for success.