Three Oak Cliff businesses utilize gardens in their businesses and also grow a sense of community with each other. Oil and Cotton, Growth Life Studio and Bird in Hand are exemplifying a small town atmosphere as they work with together for the benefit of all. Each one uses their gardens in different ways to accentuate their client’s experience.

Oil and Cotton

Kayli House Cusick & Shannon Driscoll

Oil and Cotton gives Oak Cliff art supplies and classes for young kids, and older ones too, and they have created an outdoor garden space as well. Cusick and Driscoll have been building up the soil, over concrete and construction, to beautify and re-green a dead space. The community herb garden is used in teaching, and clients can pinch off an herb to use for dinner. Oil and Cotton held a teen architecture camp to design and build the back porch and planter boxes. And this summer they held a kids gardening camp. Their garden also has been the setting for a holistic childbirth class. Coming soon, Bird in Hand’s Courtney Pinkerton will host workshops to teach projects related to Advent and the winter solstice.

Growth Life Studio

Brandon Huddleston

Across the street from Oil and Cotton you will find Growth Life Studio, and my all-time favorite chiropractor, Brandon Huddleston. He started his garden as a way to bring beauty to the block. Currently, he has plants that are edible for people, bees and butterflies. He says it makes him and his clients smile. “The garden is a great conversation starter into what we eat, where it comes from and how it is grown,” he says. “It also helps people see that if we all just do a few small things, big things can come from it. People say, ‘Oh I could do that.’ I always just thought a garden meant cultivating my entire back yard. We also know from research that people that garden tend to be happier and calmer, which plays into the mental paradigm of creating healthy lives as well.” Huddleston says he and Oil and Cotton have a lot of cross-over of clients and look out for each other daily. He says his space often is used as a hang-out spot for parents with kids taking art classes.

Bird in Hand

Courtney Pinkerton

A long-time client of Huddleston’s and new collaborator with Oil and Cotton, Courtney Pinkerton is a holistic life coach and retreat designer. When she meets clients at her home she loves to treat them with an herbal tea straight from her garden. I can testify, it is fantastic! In her medicinal herb garden she is growing culinary herbs. Her exotic herb is tulsi, or holy basil. “This is grown widely in India and actually has anti-anxiety properties, so it soothes nerves and helps with a variety of other conditions,” she says. She also has a recipe for an immune-boosting Popsicle.

Her herb garden also serves as a resource for creating “green” holiday crafts. “I love helping people create home and community traditions which are respectful of the earth and create oases of respite in busy lives,” she says. She has the following classes coming at Oil and Cotton:

Nov. 30, Advent wreath family workshop
Nov. 30, Advent wreath and book study for adults
Dec. 14, winter solstice family mobile making workshop

Looking for a day retreat? Courtney has put together one for this coming February. It is a restorative retreat for mothers and is only 20 minutes away at Shooting Star Ranch. This retreat will showcase organic local fare, yoga, and projects that focus on self-care.