Sunday, September 14, 2014

Edible Weeds Workshop, June 2014

Wait!! Don't toss aside all those weeds! As we learned from one of our gardeners, Isabelle, lots of weeds are very high in nutrients and can be swapped out for things like spinach in a salad or steamed as a side!

We only learned about edible weeds which have no poisonous or toxic look-a-likes, and we also focused on the ones that are prevalent in our plots so there are others out there that you can keep learning about!

Without further ado...

Lambs quarters 
  • use like spinach: raw in salads or cooked in quiche, soups, greens  
  • identified with its alternate, dented leaves, and powdery surface

  •  poor eating quality, good on cuts

  •  a northamerican form of amaranth
  • is tasty as a pot green
  •  fry it up with garlic and serve it as I would in asian dishes ( such as korean bibimbap, thai sour soup, etc).  

Garlic mustard
  •  this grows everywhere....compost pile, along the river and park edges! 
  •  Great in small quantities in salad ( again, put salad dressing early to mellow out), sandwiches ( egg salad sandwich!), garlic mustard pesto, fantastic cooked with beans or lentils.

Wood sorrel
  •  great raw in salad.  
  • Looks like a clover, has lemony taste.

  • delicious and beautiful flowers, young shoots 

  •  delicious raw salad green.  Also delicious sautéed with garlic (I seen it on the menu had good Chinese restaurants).  
  • If you want to grow more,throw the water you used to wash it with into the garden, the tiny seeds will sprout!

Happy Gardening :)

The Garden Coordinators

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Garden Shaping Up Nicely

This year we have a very lush, full garden with tons of committed gardeners. We have just finished up our second work party of the season. Everyone came out on this bright Sunday morning and we got rid of our compost and mulch piles, painted some garden signs to identify plots, and tended to the communal food bank plots. Enjoy the pictures of some of our plots, our resident garden snake (don't worry not venomous!), and everyone hard at work this morning!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Building up the Guard: How to care for our spiny sentries (ie. the raspberries)

Raspberry bushes form our garden's naturalized fence line. We are always trying to extend this fence line and fill in the gaps.  Here is a 'How To' for transplanting the raspberries written by fellow gardener: Winston Gamache.

Raspberries generally fruit once in their second summer and then die the next winter (Figure 1). That means if there are only large, flowering plants in your section of the fence and they are not producing many new shoots, there will be a hole in the fence there next season. If you are  moving raspberries to help build up the fence, it is better to move the smaller shoots at this stage as the larger ones will probably not survive moving now they are fully leaved. They will lose too much water.

 Figure 1: Raspberry Plant Life Cycle

Transplanting Steps:
1.   Prep the Site à Soften the soil where you are planting the younger shoots to a depth of at least six inches to allow some room for the roots to grow in. Mix in some compost at this stage if available.
2.   Get Some Shoots àGet some with good leaves and roots, don’t waste your time with damaged or weak shoots. There are lots in the communal/water conservation plot.
Figure 2: Uprooted raspberry plant
3.   Plant ‘EmàPlant them back at the depth they were taken from. You can usually see that the stem has a white or brown part on it which was previously below the soil line (Figure 2).
4.   Water ‘Em Inà To help settle the soil and remove air that will dry the roots and kill them.
**They should also be checked for water every two or so weeks to ensure they get a good start this year. It is likely that we will get enough rain for them to be healthy though. With proper care, these smaller shoots will reach their full height this summer and help keep out the dogs. 
Mulching and Adding Compost
Another task that would help strengthen our herbaceous helpers, and something everybody can work at, is adding compost and mulch to the raspberry row. The compost can simply be put on top of the soil and mulch be placed over top.
Figure 3: Straw mulch
Ideas for mulch
-Broken up dead sticks/twigs bark scavenged from the bush
-Dead leaves
-Weeds pulled from your plot
-Grass from the path
-Extra wood chips
-Extra straw   


Thursday, April 17, 2014

Kicking off the 2014 Gardening Season

As the last of the snow is melting away, we are busy planning our Annual General Meeting to kick off the season.

The Sandy Hill Community Garden held a seedling starting workshop in March where prospective gardeners could come, see what it's all about, and get a head start on gardening. We will soon be having our AGM as well as a work party to officially open up the garden for growing season.

We are very excited to have filled all of the plots this year - even having a small waiting list! If anyone is still looking for plots in the area you can email to be put on our waiting list in case people don't commit at our AGM or leave in the season. We can also put you in contact with nearby garden spaces that mat have spots. Of course you can always choose to volunteer with us too if it is just the experience or atmosphere you are looking for.

Stay tune for a look at our before and after work party pictures!

Happy Easter :)

Friday, February 14, 2014

2013 SandyHill Community Garden

2013 Garden photos:

                                                                   2013 Harvest Photos:

                                                              A few harvest creations: