Monday, March 30, 2009

workshop announcement

Since the poster details came out a little small in the above image, here's what you need to know:

What: Beginner Organic Gardening Workshop
Where: Sandy Hill Community Health Centre
When: Wendesday, April 29th, 5:30pm - 8:00pm
Cost: $5 or free for community garden members
RSVP: call Valerie at 613-244-2804 to reserve your spot

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Seedy Saturday takes place this weekend!

Seedy Saturday Ottawa
Sat Mar 7, 2009 ~ 10am - 3pm

Seedy Saturday brings together home gardeners, seed savers, heritage gardeners, native plant collectors, community gardeners, and local seed companies that sell open-pollinated plant varieties. This year, there will be a seed marketplace, as well as an organic mini-market, garden talks and workshops. You'll also find plenty of food and refreshments for purchase, and The Paddling Puppeteer will do two shows for children of all ages.

Make sure to stop by the seed exchange table where garden-related items such as seeds, plants, cuttings, and books will be available.

Where: Ron Kolbus Lakeside Centre, Britannia Beach, inside Britannia Park, Greenview Ave.

When: Saturday, March 7th, 10 am - 3 pm

You might also be interested in a 1:00 pm screening of Hijacked Future (2008). The film looks at the increasingly fragile base of our North American industrial food system and shows what's at stake with our daily bread if small farmers lose control over seeds.

All are welcome to attend and admission is free. This event is sponsored by Seeds of Diversity Canada ( and USC Canada (

For more information , please contact Greta at 613-521-8648 or greta (at)

Victory Gardens get US stamp of approval

This is a great and encouraging article from The Economist:
Victory gardens Digging their way out of recession

Feb 26th 2009 LITTLE ROCK From The Economist print edition

Allotments by any other name

IN 1943 Eleanor Roosevelt encouraged a return to the “victory gardens” that had become popular during the first world war, when the country faced food shortages. Mrs Roosevelt planted a garden at the White House; some 20m Americans followed her lead, and by the end of the war grew 40% of the nation’s vegetables.

Now a grassroots movement wants Barack Obama to plant another White House victory garden. The new secretary of agriculture, Tom Vilsack, announced recently that his department would create “The People’s Garden” out of a paved area outside their building. And he won’t stop there. Mr Vilsack wants there to be a community garden at each of the department’s offices around the world.

Margaret Lloyd, a researcher on victory gardens at the University of California at Davis, finds many reasons for this new national trend. The recession is one; but people are also worried about food safety, want to eat more healthily, and are bothered about climate change. This may be a way to make a difference.

If Washington needs further inspiration it might examine the movement in Bill Clinton’s former stamping-ground. Although Arkansas is an agricultural state, urban gardening has not always been popular. But now victory gardens are springing up in backyards, school grounds and even on front lawns in posh neighbourhoods. Many gardeners are focusing on “heirloom” plants—rare varieties from earlier times that do not appeal to agribusiness.

Classes are being offered on canning vegetables and raising chickens. The Station, a new grocery store about to open in Little Rock, will sell primarily local foods. Heifer International, a non-profit group that hopes to fight world hunger and poverty through self-reliance and sustainability, will host a conference in the city later this year to encourage the use of local produce in school cafeterias.

The two-acre Dunbar Community Garden in Little Rock has served as a model for several years. More than 600 students a month have learned about gardening there. The students can take these lessons home and recreate them in their own back yards. The garden, attached to an elementary and middle school, allows inner-city students to taste fresh-grown fruit and vegetables, sometimes for the first time in their lives. Produce grown in the summer months is sold to local restaurants.

Perhaps the most positive aspect of the garden movement comes from ventures like the Backyard Garden Project, which helps inner-city families start gardens for self-sufficiency. Ms Lloyd says that the most important promoter of projects like those in Little Rock should be Mr Obama. “It would be great to have a farmer-in-chief,” says Ms Lloyd. “It would set in motion something we as Americans can do in these tough times.”