Digging Day #1 March 24, 2010
We spent a good full morning starting to get our beds ready for growing at the Community Garden today! With one staff and 5 families helping out we made great progress!
The first step was digging up the Jerusalem Artichoke Maze and harvesting the roots. Thanks to Alyssa, who took them home, washed them and weighed them up as 32 lbs!!! Our first harvest!!!! Now the goal is to figure out some great recipes for them…
We checked out our lasagna garden bed that we designed last fall, and it was amazing. A natural red wiggler farm! We can’t wait until it’s time to plant the cucumbers and melons for that bed.
Next week, weather dependent, we’ll be preparing our 2 raised beds for planting, and possibly transplanting the tomato starters in to larger containers. Join us in the morning if you’d like to be a part of the fun!
What we’re growing! March 19, 2010
I thought it would be interesting to take a look at the different varieties that we’re growing this year!
Let’s Start with Tomatoes:
Doucet Early Market Quebec Tomato: Small 2-3 inch flat fruit with bright red colour. Semi-determinate vines ripen very early and continue to produce thru the season. Keeps well on the vine. Meaty texture. Balanced flavour. A Canadian heirloom.
Savignac Tomato: Indeterminate. Savignac has performed well for us in cool, wet conditions. A Canadian tomato, it is also known as ‘Dufresne’ and was given by Raymond Dufresne of Joliette to Frere Armand Savignac in the 1930’s. Despite soggy, cool conditions that stunted most of our tomatoes and inhibited fruiting, Savignac was one of the first to fruit and ripen. It produced prodigious amounts of medium-sized, rose-red, round fruits that were juicy and sweet. Perfect for fresh eating or canning.
Dufresne Tomato: Well, we had a separate package of seeds – we’ll see if it turns out to be the same as the Savignac!
Quebec 314: Large Cherry – Nice round red fruit, with a sweet and rich flavour, and full season production that starts early. A Canadian heirloom
Saltspring Sunrise: Determinate. Bush. The late J James of Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, Canada developed this very early variety. Long term Seed Guardian David Frith describes it, “Fruit varied in size from 50-200gms (quite a useful attribute) and were of good flavour. Eaten as a salad tomato, but were delicious baked in a dish of mixed vegetables Mediterranean-style.” Mark Moran commented, “My wife considers this to be the best cooking tomato she has ever come across. Incomparable flavour, and no blight too! I had to fight to get these tomatoes away from her to get the seed!”
Spring Yesterday, Snow today and…. ? March 8, 2010
What will March bring??? We’ve already had a repeat of last year’s bizarre rogue snow storm, but today the sun is blazing! How could you not be inspired about nature, when you wake up to scenes like this!
OK, on to garden news! Our starters are doing amazingly in the big bay window.
Everything that was started back in February is up to greet the sun! We have our first set of true leaves today on all of the tomatoes and they are measuring about 2.5 inches tall. Good morning tomatoes!
Once the seedlings reach between 3-6 inches, we’ll have to transfer the seedlings to something larger and start burying the stem to encourage the tomato to build some really strong roots.
Monday is our regular garden meeting day! We’ve been stuck inside all winter (but doing lots of planning), and I think this is finally the day to gather the families to check out our beds at the Community Demonstration Garden. We are meeting every Monday morning from 10:30-12ish either at the garden or the Family Place depending on the weather. If you’re interested in being involved, or would like more information, please call Liz at the Family Place or email us email@example.com
It’s Time To Start Planting! February 27, 2010
So, as we approach March, it’s time to get some seeds started indoors! Intimidated, not sure what to plant? No worries, it’s Simple!
Gardens.com has created an amazing interactive garden planner! Pick from 6 pre planned gardens, or create your own by dragging and dropping in crops. The planner will tell you how many to plant in each square foot and even gives you some tips on when to plant.
West Coast Seeds has a great reference chart for what can be started when (both indoors and out),and when to transplant to outdoors. It’s based on the BC coast, so it’s a good guideline to follow! Here is the summary of the chart
- February: Peas, broad beans and radishes (under cover). Leeks, sweet onions, fennel, parsley and celery can be started indoors.
- March: Arugula, cilantro and spinach (under cover), radishes, Oriental greens, parsnips, kale and collards, garlic and corn salad. Artichokes, peppers, tomatoes, lettuce, cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower can be started indoors.
- April: Beets, carrots, broccoli, cabbage, radicchio, cilantro, Swiss chard, fennel, kohlrabi, lettuce, leeks, onions, scallions, spinach and turnips. Indoors: Eggplant and melon.
- May: Bush and pole beans, corn, celery, tomatoes (transplanted under cover), artichokes (transplanted) squash, pumpkin and parsley. Indoors: cucumbers.
- June: Rutabagas directly into the garden, peppers and cucumbers (transplanted under cover).
So far, we’ve started our tomatoes and peppers. Here is what you need to start indoor seedlings –
- Peat Pots and trays to put them in
- An assortment of seeds
- A good organic starter mix (miracle grow actually has a very mulchy one out this year, and you can also get an organic started sunshine mix from Springtime Nursery)
- Good window light (preferably south facing if possible!)
Plant the seeds, keep the soil moist and in 1-2 weeks, you should start to see some little seedlings come through!
If you want more information on growing and gardening with kids, Kids Gardening is a great resource!
So, plan a fun afternoon with the kids and get started!
Welcome to the Powell River Family Gardening Program February 23, 2010
With seeds in hand and a seemingly early approaching spring, we’re excited to launch our Powell River Gardening Program! Look in the weeks to come for more information. We currently have 4 beds located at the demonstration garden behind the Community Resource Garden, and we’re ecstatic to have 1250 sqft of land donated to us behind the Seventh Day Adventist Church. Wow!!! So much planning to do in the next few weeks. Here is the beginning…
If you are interested in taking part of the garden program, or have more information, please contact the Family Place, or email firstname.lastname@example.org –