Anita Mills is Founder of Anita’s Arbor, whose mission is to mentor and support the sustainable lifestyle. Anita loves to empower people, by showing them how to live a fuller, healthier, more resilient, sustainable life in an urban setting. She received her Certification in Permaculture Design in October 2015 through the School of Permaculture in Plano TX, and is a part-time member of the staff of the School of Permaculture.
Currently, Anita is serving as Project Manager for the GROW North Texas Urban Agriculture Success Initiative for urban and community gardens. She brings her expertise in program evaluation and assists in the logistics of registration and implementation of educational workshops under the initiative.
She has gardened organically since 1960s; and has an enduring interest in low-tech solutions to sustainable living, and consults on community gardens, school gardens and personal gardens. She also helps clients plant and care for their edibles and ornamentals, with an emphasis on special situations (children’s gardens, pots and containers, raised beds, disabled access).
After many, many years in the corporate world, she was free to work as a garden manager at an organic food co-op for a year, building out their garden space with chickens, greenhouse and growing areas. In short, it became a demonstration of a backyard sustainable food system. It was also a diverse laboratory, with various containers or contained beds – because of probable contaminated soil on site. It allowed her to experiment with straw bale gardens, key hole gardening, and hugelkultur.
Anita served on the Dallas Hunger Initiative’s Market Garden Task Force, advocating a market garden ordinance in Dallas so that vacant lots can become farms and feed and employ people in their neighborhoods, thus equalizing food access – which ordinance was passed by the Dallas City Council in March 2015. Anita has also been a bicycle advocate (since her days in Davis, CA, where “bike is king”), and helped write the Dallas Bike Plan 2010. She has been involved with Bike Friendly Oak Cliff and, through them, the Dallas Bicycle Coalition.
Anita also teaches how to upcycle household textiles (sheets, blue jeans) into rugs, and how to make soap. Her latest explorations include showing how to upcycle “trash” to start seeds and gardens, as well as kitchen-based garden pest control and soil tests.