Thursday, December 17, 2015

It's Time to Get Ready For Ladner Seedy Saturday & Garden Expo 2016

Ladner Seedy Saturday

Its been a while since I posted but watering took way more time than I would have liked this year. It was a great year for growing vegetables with everyone having huge harvests of crops such as cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers and herbs. They loved our warm temperatures. Now that our community garden beds have been put to bed, its time to plan for next year. Its time to cozy up with a few seed catalogues and a cup of tea and plan our gardens. While it rains outside we can only hope the rain is fuelling the trees and shrubs that had a hard time this past summer.

Ladner Seedy Saturday

So what is new at the community garden? We had a lot of new gardeners this year and everyone had a great time meeting each other over a meal during our garden potluck. With our busy lives it was nice to slow down and share a meal. Our last meeting was last month when we shared a harvest dinner together. Its interesting how food brings people together. Whether it be in a garden trading gardening secrets or over a meal, its a wonderful way to connect.
As we leave 2015 behind I hope our allotment holders decide to stay another year. The first year can be a real learning experience but its all about learning as we go along. We like to help you if you are a newbie and let you revel in your success. Many of us are seasoned gardeners wanting to lend a hand. Never be afraid to ask a question as we have all been new gardeners at one point.
We are starting to plan our big event, Ladner Seedy Saturday and Garden Expo 2016. This is a fundraiser for the Ladner Community Garden. Last year was so successful we decided to donate a large portion of the profits from our event to some local projects. We donated towards four school gardens in Ladner and  helped out a student studying at university in a field related to growing food or flowers. All of this would not have been possible without the support from the community and our sponsors.
I would like to announce the date for Ladner Seedy Saturday and Garden Expo 2016 is February 20, 2016. The event will be held at the Harris barn, 4140 Arthur drive in Ladner from 10:00am-4:00pm.
If you would like to be a vendor at this event please email me at deltagardener at dccnet.com. Thats really not 'at' but @ but I need to fool the spammers.
Last year we had 900 people attend our event over a two day period. In order to not wear out our volunteers we decided to hold a one day event once again so come early. Doors will be open at 9:30am so you can get a seat for the first presentation. Oh wait, I didn't tell you did I?
We have four new garden speakers this year.

10:00am-David Catzel- Seed saving 101
11:30am-Conway Lum- Fruit Trees and Their Quirks
1:00pm-Egan Davis- Secrets of Becoming a Successful Gardener
2:30pm-Randy Shore- Grow What You eat, Eat What You Grow

We hope to see you there. It is the kickoff to the new garden season. I think we will have an early spring. Lets hope so.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Look What's Growing in the Ladner Community Garden

The Ladner Community Garden has been busy planting a second crop this month. With hopes of yet another long summer going into the fall months we can add a new crop of cool season vegetables. Its definitely been a struggle to keep things watered. You may see our team of volunteers out twice a week to give everything a drink. Its no small task with this size of a garden. Unfortunately I think we have lost several shrubs to the drought. 

Look Whats growing at the Ladner community garden

Lets take a walk and see what's growing. This allotment holder has Asian vegetables and beets well on the way. If you planted some winter vegetables last month they will fill your tables with lovely home grown flavour in the depths of winter.

Looks whats growing in the Ladner community garden

What has done well this season? By the looks of it, cucumbers and zucchini loved the heat we have had. Its been months without any significant rain so heat loving crops like basil, peppers and cucumbers are providing abundant harvests. The cucumber above is showing no signs of the dreaded mildew. This is cucumber 'Garden Oasis' which is resistant to mildew. It produces long 6"-8" cucumbers. This one is great for making refrigerator pickles or eating fresh in salads.

Look what's growing in the Ladner community garden

In another garden Turks Cap squash is on its way. Its unique colouring makes a favourite for fall displays. Its got a tough skin so have a sharp knife to cut this one open.

Look what's growing in the Ladner community garden

 Many sunflowers bloomed early due to our heat. Above is a natural response for sunflowers as they come to the end of their life cycle. The plant will drop its head so the seeds fall to the ground. This gardener will be rewarded by hundreds of seedlings next April. Mind you the birds may eat most of the seeds before they drop.

Look what's growing in the Ladner community garden

 Long yellow spikes of Goldenrod attract bees to the rockery garden which fronts the community garden.

Look what's growing in the Ladner community garden

Pumpkins are ready to harvest way too early. With our warm summers its time to rethink when we plant our seeds.

Look what's growing in the Ladner community garden

 Kale is displayed in the trial gardens of West Coast Seeds. Not only is this edible but a valuable plant for a foliage garden.


Look what's growing in the Ladner Community garden

 The hollyhocks are covered in bees this week as they look for pollen. Remember to plant flowers in your allotment to attract the bees and increase your rate of pollination.

Look what's growing in the Ladner Community garden

A pretty garden grown by West Coast Seeds lets us see what new plants are available for us to grow. Now that we have walked the community garden lets get out the news. The date for Ladner Seedy Saturday 2016 has been set for February 20, 2016. The event will be held at the Harris barn in Ladner once again. I will have more news on our event as we plan in the months to come.

Monday, May 11, 2015

News from the Ladner Community Garden

I bet you thought we disappeared off the face of the earth. My apologies for not posting sooner. Life is busy with new grandchildren and new projects. But let's take a look at whats been happening at the Ladner Community Garden.
This spring we had a huge interest in food gardening once again. We now have a wait list of eleven people and that's the longest its ever been. The directors are now brainstorming ways to shorten the list so be patient.


The volunteers got together on two Monday mornings and helped weed and spread bark mulch. They also built a support system for the blackberries and weeded out the blueberry patch.


We still have work to do but its hard with so few volunteers. The next project will be getting mulch on to the blueberry beds and planting under the pergola. I have plants to go in and they will look great. We just need a small work party to get the job done.
Everyone has lots growing at the garden and most of the beds are planted for the season. All our garden beds must be planted by the end of May. Its a short summer here so getting a head start is always a good idea.
The grade three class had their plant sale last week to raise money for a charity of their choice.


We planted up containers with an assortment of colourful plants from Violas to Marigolds. The plant sale was just before Mothers day so the children came to buy something for the special person in their life. There was much humming and hawing about which plant to buy. Decisions, decisions.


 One of the grade three students made cute little flowers for the containers. I think she needs to market these cute flowers.


Sunflower volunteer seedlings were transplanted from the community garden into pots for the sale. We saved a few sunflowers to grow over the summer but they tend to shade our crops.


The children also learned how to grow beans this year. From bush beans to scarlet runner and rattlesnake beans, we planted a bit of each. Its hard to believe the children will only come to the garden a few more times. They have learned about herbs, how to plant seeds and watch them grow and how to work together as a team. I hope each of them takes away life skills that stay with them as they grow.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Ladner Seedy Saturday and Garden Expo Sends a Big Thanks!

Laughing Swan Farm
Ladner Seedy Saturday and Garden Expo 2015 was an outstanding success! Thanks goes to all our  customers, vendors, volunteers, speakers and sponsors. Without you this event would not have become the magical day that it did. A big thanks goes to our partner the Corporation of Delta and the parks department for helping us with all the logistics and trusting us to bring the community the very best of Seedy Saturdays

Y-Grip Tools
 From seeds to plants and garden tools, we had vendors selling everything for your garden. I was amazed that we fit everyone into the Harris barn but it worked out perfectly.We noticed areas we will be improving on next year. We certainly did not expect to have almost 900 people come through the doors so parking wasn't easy. We have already come up with a solution for next year. The Harris barn was definitely a wonderful venue. The weather was bright and sunny but cool but that didn't stop the eager gardeners from coming.
Darlene Tanaka from Bernadin
 The presentations were great. Pictured here is Darlene Tanaka talking about canning for beginners. We had Brian Minter and Thomas Hobbs as our key speakers on Saturday and the ladies from Botanus on Sunday. There was so much to learn from all of them.
Ladner Seedy Saturday & Garden Expo 2015
 I took this photo as the vendors started to replenish their booth before the doors opened on Sunday. It was so quiet. Once the door was opened a steady stream of people filled the room.

 To me Seedy Saturdays are about seeds. We were lucky to have so many great seed companies attend our event. Above is Rupert from Salt Spring Seeds talking to a customer. I love looking for heirloom seeds that have a story to them. I try to grow some of the older types of seeds like the ones my grandmother grew in her garden. If we don't they will disappear.

Evergreen Garden Club
 The local Evergreen Garden club attended as well and gave away garden magazines. It was a great day and we are already planning for next year. I have to end with this cute line from one of our vendors who said,"I have never been to a winter market where I sold all my product. Its a salesman's nightmare and it happened today." Luckily for him it didn't happen until Sunday afternoon. As two vendors left, they asked if they could book in for next year. I smiled and thanked them for coming. It was too soon to think about a date so far ahead but we will set a date in the next couple of weeks.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Just Two Days to Go!


Just two days to go until Ladner Seedy Saturday and Garden Expo 2015! We are excited to be bringing this event to the gardening community.
Here is a list of the vendors you will meet at our event this weekend. Join us on both Saturday and Sunday for some garden fun. For directions to our event just click here. Our event runs from 10-3 on both days. There is lots of parking and food trucks will be on site for lunch and coffee. Thanks again to our sponsors who have been a huge part of bringing this event to Delta. The Corporation of Delta, Windset Farms, Vancity and West Coast Seeds have allowed us to make this event the best ever.

Cottage Pantry Gourmet Edibles
The Kelpman 
Woodchips
Sand Dollar Design
Evergreen Garden Club
Photos by Kurtis
Urban Bee Supplies
Ladner Community Garden
Tatiana’s Tomatobase
Bartlett Tree Experts
BC Eco Seed Coop
Seeds of Diversity
J & J Enterprises
Y-Grip Tool
Bee Conscious
Simply Neglectable
VanDusen Master Gardeners
Westham Island Herb farm
Laughing Swan Farm
Water Wikka
West Coast Seeds
Windset Farms
Usana Health Services
Mike & Sandy’s Berry Farm
International Basket Booster
Salt Spring Seeds
Wild Ginger Designs
Corporation of Delta

Monday, February 2, 2015

Ladner Seedy Saturday & Garden Expo 2015 Seed Swap

Ladner Seedy Saturday and Garden Expo is just three weeks away and we are working hard to bring you the best event ever. Today I want to encourage you to bring your seeds to swap. We will have a couple of tables set up for trading. Try to bring in your seeds between 10-10:30am so we can place them alphabetically and make sure they are packaged up properly. The seed swap starts at 10:30 and runs until 2pm. 


This is how I like to package my seeds. I use two inch coin envelopes and write the name of plant, number of seeds, year the seed was bought or collected and if the seed is hybrid or open pollinated. Most people who trade seeds will only take open pollinated seeds so check your seeds closely. Open pollinated seeds will come true from collected seed. Hybrid seeds that are bought seed are okay as they will come true but their collected seeds will not.  Hybrid seeds come from two parents and like our families, our children are not identical to their parents. 

 

This is what we will not be able to use on the day of the seed swap. Please refrain from bringing in large quantities of seed such as the bag above. We are too busy and the seed may have to wait until the next year to be traded adding another year of questionable viability.


 When bringing seeds to trade, please remove all the chaff and seed pods from the seed as much as possible. We don't expect perfection but you can see how easy it would be to remove the pods from the bag above. The seeds can be placed in a paper bag to dry and all the seeds should fall to the bottom.


Try to label your seed with as much information as you can. All the seeds that we will be bringing to trade are packaged in paper envelopes. What was interesting to see over the years is people go for all the glossy packages and leave these behind. Often more interesting plants are found in these envelopes.
When you arrive at the seed swap you can drop off your seeds and you will receive a ticket for each package allowing you to return and trade the ticket for a new package of seeds. Some seeds may be limited due to availability. Some seeds may have less seed in a package than others. Often rarer seeds will be this way. An example of this would be an heirloom tomato that produces few seeds.

So save the date. We are now full for vendors but we are still in need of volunteers if you have a couple of hours to spare. For more info about this event contact us at therivercrest@gmail.com

Friday, January 23, 2015

Ladner Seedy Saturday & Garden Expo 2015- A Month to Go!

We are getting down to crunch time with Ladner Seedy Saturday and Garden Expo 2015. The vendor spaces have filled up nicely and we are working on making this the best event ever. The event is just a month away and we are excited to be kicking off the garden season with so many great presentations.
Lets take a look at our speakers on Sunday. The ladies from Botanus are coming to speak about summer bulbs for your garden. Bulbs are worth every cent. They come back for years on end and provide so much colour to the garden.


Elke Wehinger is the  co-founder and co-owner of Botanus Inc. She was born in the heart of the Blackforest in Rheinfelden, Germany. Elke has a Master’s Degree in floral design and owned a very successful flower shop in Munich. She immigrated to Canada in 1996 and soon thereafter co-founded Botanus.
Elke is very passionate about the business and along with her many hands-on skills and marketing genius, she is responsible for most of our wonderful plant photos. She’s also the brain-child behind our on-line Botanus Garden Club! If you haven't watched the garden club its on every Thursday. 


Pamela Dangelmaier is co-owner Botanus Inc. She is a native Vancouverite. Pam’s love of gardening began as a child when she explored her grandparent’s sunken garden - an inviting European-style landscape they had created around their Vancouver home. After graduating from UBC with a Fine Arts degree she pursued an active career in theatre, television and film and then returned to her ‘roots’ when she co-founded Botanus. Pam’s flair for the artistic can be seen in all that she does - from creating our catalogues and email newsletters to appearing as a gardening expert on television and radio.  She also LOVES being part of the Botanus Garden Club where she gets to have her ‘theatrical’ kick in front of the camera!


Wendy Leroux  is the Customer ‘Happiness’ Manager Botanus IncWendy grew up on the west coast of Canada but was actually born in Summerside, PEI. She has lived and gardened in South Langley for the past 27 years and loves her large front yard which is filled to the brim with Botanus plants.
Wendy is the customer ‘Happiness’ manager for Botanus, she loves her job because it combines her passion for gardening with her many years of experience in the area of sales and customer service.



We also have Kim Greenwood coming from the Langley Environmental Partners Society. Kim will be teaching two classes on Sunday. The first one will be a demonstration on how to grow vegetables in containers. With gardens getting much smaller many people need to grow their food in containers. Kim is also offering a class for parents and children where they will be planting up a small container to take home. The children's garden class is for ages 2-7 and a parent needs to be there to help their child. 



 Our final speaker on Sunday is Don Bruchet. Don is a lifelong gardener. He is a long time member of the  BC Fuchsia & Begonia Society, showing at the  annual show/plant sale at VanDusen Botanical Gardens and Annual Fuchsia & Begonia Garden Display at the P.N.E. In all of his home gardens Don mainly focused on growing perennial plants. He has lived in his Delta residence 15+ years and  developed a perennial garden that literally bloomed 365 days a year.
Don was retail manager for West Coast Seeds where he was involved in sales, seed and growing information for both for newbies and seasoned gardeners. Don is also a founding board member of Ladner Community Garden Society. Don brings us a wealth of information on how to start seeds. He will go over the basics to get you started from organic fertilizers to easy seeds to grow. This is the time to ask your questions about seed growing. 
So join us on February 21 and 22 as we welcome the new garden season. Bring your seeds to trade and enjoy the presentations. The event will be held at the Harris Barn at Kirkland House in Ladner, 4140 Arthur Drive. 
For information about the event email me at therivercrest@gmail.com. 

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Ladner Seedy Saturday and Garden Expo is Almost Here!

Its January and the team behind Ladner Seedy Saturday and Garden Expo 2015 is busy organizing everything from volunteers to seed swaps. It's time to gather your old seeds that you don't want and package them up for the seed swap. If you bring in a sealed and labelled package of seeds you will be able to exchange it for something different. Perhaps you didn't like the beans you grew last year. Try something different this year.


I like to use paper coin envelopes as they are recyclable. Be sure to label your package of seeds with the name of your plant, number of seeds, year saved and if they are open pollinated or hybrid. Most seed packages you buy let you know if the seeds are hybrids. Somewhere it should say F1 or hybrid on the package. If not, a little internet sleuthing will have the answer. Open pollinated seeds will have the symbol OP on the package. Whats the difference? Open pollinated seeds can be collected and most of them will grow true from collected seed. Hybrid seeds have two parents so the next generation will be different. If you expect the same plant as last year, don't save hybrid seeds. If you want to experiment a bit like I do, maybe plant a few hybrid seeds to see what you get?
Did you see our new poster above? Our schedule of speakers is up and we are looking forward to hearing all of them. Please note the new venue and the event is being held on two days this year. With so many people working Saturdays it gives them a chance to come to the event.
There is lots of free parking, yes free. Parking is free in all of Delta. The Harris barn is also close to transit and wheelchair accessible.
 There are still a few vendor tables open if you would like to come. We are looking for anyone with garden products. Just email me at therivercrest@gmail.com
We hope to see you on February 21 and 22. Be sure to say hello.