Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Look at How We Have Grown!

When the idea of starting a community garden came up last year, I had no idea how it would end up.I tried to visualize the end result but I am overwhelmed as it has exceeded my expectations. Not only has it enabled first time gardeners to grow food but it has created a new community within the wonderful one we live in. If you think you are going to just drop by and water your garden, guess again. It rarely happens as conversations flow from one gardener to another, and ideas are shared.Hours later you go home wondering what you did in the garden but that's okay. New friends were made, lessons learned and that's what community gardening is all about.



Its hard to believe this part of the allotment garden looked like this at the beginning of July. We had a late planting season and things were just beginning to grow.



These are the same gardens as of August 30! I love the lushness of all that food growing.



The food bank garden was part of our design. We wanted to grow food for those in the community less fortunate than ourselves. This is how the garden looked at the beginning of July ,a few weeks after planting. The weather was cool and things were very slow to grow.



Here we are at the end of August and we are harvesting potatoes, beans, cucumbers and lettuce for the local food bank. The heat finally arrived and the garden is happy for it. I know, hubby is in the photo. I told him was in bed,lol.



The allotment gardens are doing well. Look at how much they have grown.



I love seeing all this food growing. Not only have you grown it yourself but you know how it has been grown. Knowing where our food comes from is very important these days. It provides us with healthy organic food from garden to plate.
For those of you who haven't seen the Ladner Community Garden, check it out in the 6500 block of Hollypark Drive in Ladner. Its quite the learning experience to see the different gardening techniques used.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Ladner Community Garden-Harvest Here We Come!

Here it is almost the end of August and the community garden is looking great. Yesterday one of our volunteers picked four bags of beans, some lettuce and peas and donated it to the local food bank. The food bank staff were excited to receive fresh vegetables.



Not only are people growing vegetables at the community garden, there are also flowers. These Sweet Peas are beautiful! For those of you who live around here, our cool wet spring has not been the easiest for these flowers. I had just one Sweet Pea plant germinate. The soil was just too cold back in April.



If you drive by the Ladner Community Garden, you can't help but spot the masses of sunflowers growing. Aren't they just the most cheerful plant to grow? They also bring pollinating insects to the garden.



In the photo above is a late planting of beets. I was sent some Detroit beet seeds from another gardener in Ontario. We are participating in a country wide planting of beets. We all planted around July 15 and will harvest the beets on September 18. The idea is to compare our crops and how they grew compared to Saskatchewan and Ontario.



I have to say again how amazing Mark's gardens are doing. The gardens are overflowing and the harvesting has begun.



Can you tell I love Sweet Peas? I just have gardeners envy. These Sweet Peas are nice pastel shades, my fav. I think this plant loves the raised beds which offer better drainage than our heavy clay soils.



Hmmm, looks like the beans are up but not producing yet. They were planted late. They are koala French fillet beans from Italia seeds. I grew them last year and wished I had grown more of them. They grow to only eight to ten inches high but are very productive.

Thanks must go to the volunteers that are working so hard in the community garden. If you haven't seen the garden yet, it's located in the 6500 block of Hollypark drive in east Ladner right in Kensington Park. If you want more info about the garden and what we are all about, just leave a message below.
Happy gardening,
Kristin




Wednesday, August 10, 2011

August in the Ladner Community Garden

I haven't posted in awhile but received these photos courtesy of one of our directors at the garden, Lynn Dick. Wow, how well every one's gardens are doing now that we actually have some warm weather!



This garden bed above belongs to West Coast Seeds. Isn't it amazing? I was told today that they harvested over thirty pounds of squash already.



I love the Sunflowers that are planted throughout the garden. They are attracting the bees to the garden and that helps pollinate our crops.



The benefits of a raised bed are many and as you can see here they are easy to maintain.Hmmm... love those colorful buckets for weeds.



This gardener has a tiny wall around her bed to protect it from prevailing winds. The community garden is very open to south westerly winds which can mean cooler temperatures that our warmth loving vegetables do not like.



Don't the gardens all look great? Our little community garden has the best new gardeners around.



Look how wonderfully everything is growing even though we had a late start.



I spot a blossom on the squash. That means fruit is not far behind.



No critters will get in to this garden. The bunnies didn't appear this year although we know they are around. Perhaps we are a noisy bunch of gardeners. The only critter we have still yet to deal with are the off leash dogs. Unfortunately some people don't understand the health risk of having dogs in the garden.I see a fence going up next year.



Just looking at these photos makes me hungry. I wish I could be at the garden everyday.I so miss seeing all the allotment holders and enjoying a gardening conversation.



Thanks to the board of directors for all their help during my absence. Thanks also goes to Lynn who continually sends me photos and keeps me updated.Once my broken bones have mended I will be there right away. Until then I garden through you all so let me know about your first zucchini or your first squash.

Happy Gardening,
Kristin