Saturday, November 26, 2011

What is a Seedy Saturday?



Have you ever been to a Seedy Saturday? Seedy Saturday marks the beginning of a late winter and an early spring optimism found in all gardeners. We are so excited about the upcoming garden season as it brings a promise of seeds planted, summer harvests and food for our families for months on end.
I attended the Seedy Saturday at VanDusen Botanical Gardens last year and it was so much fun. I came home with seeds and new blueberry bushes for my garden. It was like a kickoff to the new gardening season. Imagine a room packed with gardeners, farmers, and residents passionate about gardening, food security and the environment. Just the thought has me anxious for the next Seedy Saturday. It cant come soon enough as I sit here on a dark wet winter day.



The Ladner Community Garden Society decided it was time for our community to hold a Seedy Saturday event. Its an event where you can come to swap open pollinated seeds, especially the heirloom types. I love starting plants from seeds so I have lots of seed to bring to the swap table and hope I will bring home something new to try in my garden. I know what you are thinking, why grow from seed? Did you know how many different plants you can grow? I don't want just the ordinary plants most garden centers offer. I want heirloom types of tomatoes, the ones with flavour that my grandmother grew. I want to grow flowers that are different from the norm.



It is said that seeds are the heart of food security in every community. Without seed we cannot grow our own food. Now its not just seeds at a Seedy Saturday. There will be plants, garden accessories and hardscaping supplies. If you need soil for your containers, we will have it. If you need mason bee supplies, we will have it. There will be something for everyone,its a family event.
I am excited to announce our speakers who have just come on board. We will be having Brian Campbell from Blessed Bee Farm speaking on Seeds and Bees. We will also have Don Bruchet speaking on an Introduction to Seeds. I have a couple more speakers lined up that I am very excited about but a few more details to iron out.
Seedy Saturday will be on January 28,2012 at Ladner Baptist Church, 5624 Ladner trunk Road from 10am-2pm. For more information on this event please contact deltagardener@dccnet.com
Happy Gardening,
Kristin

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Seedy Saturday Event for Delta!



On January 28,2012 the Ladner Community Garden Society is holding the first Seedy Saturday event in Delta. I am so excited. Yes, I am addicted to seeds. There are so many different plants you can grow from seed as opposed to just buying the same old plants year after year. This event will be happening at the Ladner Baptist Church on Ladner Trunk Road from 10-2. We will have seed vendors, plant specialists, soil companies and lots of garden accessories. Just think, what you don't receive for Christmas you can buy at Seedy Saturday. Its the perfect kickoff for the new garden season. I can't wait to see the latest trends in gardening, can you?




Along with all the great things to buy, we are also having speakers every hour. Brian Campbell will be talking about mason bees for your garden. Its very timely as in February we have to start thinking about making sure the mason bee homes are cleaned out and ready to go.
If you are interested in being a volunteer or a vendor at this event please email me at deltagardener@dccnet.com.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Garlic Planting Time at the Garden



Here I am procrastinating and not getting the garlic in until today. I bought it two weeks ago so no excuses, right? I was excited to get some hardneck garlic as it was sold out everywhere except at one of the local farms. Each clove of garlic was broken apart into individual cloves. I was able to plant 27 cloves of garlic in the children's garden. Won't they be excited to see it in the spring? It will be a good plant to use when we study the senses.



I planted the cloves three inches deep and about six inches apart allowing them enough room to grow. Sure glad I planted yesterday as the forecast is for rain for the next week.



The planting is all done and its time to put them to bed. I added a few markers to mark the rows and I was done.



The last job of the day was to harvest a few carrots from the bed. The beets we planted from Tree and Twig Farm are still not all ready to harvest. I may just harvest the beet leaves to try a new beet bun recipe I saw on Linda's blog.
Its time to clean up the gardens, harvest what's left and compost the green waste. We are so lucky to live here with our mild winters. Before we know it Seedy Saturday will happen on January 28 and we will be all energized for a new growing season. Wow, thats only a couple of months away!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Paper, Paper, Read All About It!



Paper, paper, read all about it! That's the slogan that came out of dear hubby's mouth when we started the lasagna garden at the Ladner Community Garden. To get our garden started we had to lay down sheets of damp newspaper in the area where we wanted a new garden. Are you wondering why newspaper? Newspaper will block out the sun and stop the grass from growing. It also provides a dark damp place and earthworms just love it.



First we needed leaves.There is no shortage of them at this time of year so we saved about ten bags of leaves from our yard. Little did we realize we would need about twenty more bags to complete the garden.



We placed a thick layer of newspaper down and then dumped leaves all over the paper. Wouldn't kids love to have a leaf throwing party doing this?



The leaves were piled over the newspaper about six inches deep. Over the winter the leaves will decompose and the pile will shrink. In the spring it will look like new soil.



This is how the new lasagna garden looked after we placed soil on top. The soil will keep the leaves from blowing away. We only built one third of the garden today so there is lots more work to be done. In the spring we will be able to plant in to this new garden. What will we plant? This is our new fruit garden where we will grow plants like blueberries, raspberries, rhubarb and strawberries. The idea is to grow fruit too large for an allotment bed. Why not grow fruit to use at a community dinner? Isn't that the real reason we like to grow food, to eat it? I know its why I love growing it.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Our New Compost Bin Has Arrived!



We have a new composter at the community garden. This one was made with wood that was donated to the garden. This is my favourite style of compost box as you can access the finished compost easily by slipping out the boards on the front of the box.



So when you want to place your compostable material in the box, do NOT open it like this! This will put pressure on the hinges and possibly break the lid.



Look closely at the right side of the box and you will see a string. It is attached to a thin piece of wood.This piece of wood is used to hold the lid open on the box.



Lifting the piece of wood out of its resting place on the side, you will see it has a notched end.Fit the notches to the front of the box to hold it open.



It should look like this when the opener is in place. Now it is safely held open so you can do your composting.




You will also notice that we lined the box with hardware cloth. This is used on the inside of the compost box to keep any unwanted critters from deciding our compost box is a nice cozy warm place to visit.



Now its time to clean up your vegetable plots and compost what you can. Try to cut the long pieces of green material in to smaller bits so our composter works faster. Use your pruners for this as it makes the job much easier.



We are still hoping to place another eight composters in the garden but with winter fast approaching we are short on good building weather. I look forward to having rich dark compost to use in the spring, don't you? Its better than any soil you can buy.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Winter is Fast Approaching at the Community Garden



The Ladner Community Garden is busy cleaning up in preparation for winter. You will see that the new rock wall beds are almost complete. They are looking fabulous and will be even better next year once the plants have filled in. There is no shortage of plants when it comes to gardeners. People have dropped off plants for us to use and we thank you. Now we are racing mother nature to get things done.



Next week we have the grade three class coming to prepare a lasagna garden. Not heard of a lasagna garden? Its the lazy mans way to create a new bed. We want to install and design a fruit and herb garden for next spring but taking up all that heavy sod has my back groaning. We will be not taking grass up.
The students will be laying wet newspaper down where the new garden is planned to be. Once the ground is covered with newspaper, we will have a leaf throwing party. Those leaves in your yard are great for the garden. We will be dumping leaves on the wet newspaper so that the pile is at least six inches thick. The next part will be adding soil on top. You could use old soil from containers, peat moss or bought soil from the garden centre. Because we are doing a pretty big area, we will be ordering soil for this garden. We will spread it over the leaves and let the garden sit over the winter. When spring arrives we will be able to plant.



The students will be having some fun next week as well. They will make a couple of scarecrows to stand guard over the winter. Its always lots of fun being creative.