Monday, June 25, 2012

Our First Community Dinner

This weekend we had out first community meal at the Ladner Community Garden. All our allotment holders and volunteers were invited. Being part of a community garden is like having another community. We meet regularly when working in our gardens to share our successes and talk about what we are planting next. 

 Everyone brought a dish to share for our dinner last night. We challenged people to use something from their garden in their dish if they could.

We shared lots of laughs after a long day in the garden. The food was excellent.

 We had corn on the cob, a treat so early in the season.

Someone brought us nugget potatoes fresh from the garden. Tossed with some fresh basil, asiago cheese and dressing, they were tasty.

We also had spinach salad with fresh strawberries.

I think my favourite was Gail's garlic scape dip. She chopped up garlic scapes very fine and added them to some sour cream. As you can see it was pretty popular. 

The community garden is just flourishing this year. We have been harvesting lots of salad greens this week.

Being part of a community garden brings together new and experienced gardeners.  You can ask questions and get ideas and help for your garden.

Thanks to all the volunteers who made our weekend such a success! We couldn't have done it without you.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Look Whats Happening at the Ladner Community Garden?

June has arrived and so has the warmer weather. You have to love the longer days for gardening. This month you will have noticed that we planted the fruit garden in the back of the community garden. The strawberries are beginning to ripen and the robins are noticing. Oh dear! We may have to net the gardens. We also planted blueberries and a thornless blackberry in the other two beds. Soon we hope to build another long bed for raspberries. 

 The strawberries are called British Sovereign and were kindly donated to us by one of our allotment holders. They are a heritage strawberry and hard to find. Thanks Bonnie and Don for the plants.

You will have noticed that our new Pesticide Free signs are up. The David Suzuki Foundation was kind enough to send them to us. Its a reminder that we are an organic garden and we are not to use any pesticides in the garden. This means no chemical fertilizers, insecticides, fungicides and herbicides. NO Miracle Gro! Its not organic. Please use Gaia organics or fish fertilizer.

Sharon is doing a great job keeping the rockery looking nice. I love the Sweet William that just came in to bloom.

Now we have some projects to complete. If you were in the garden last winter you will remember this composting area was under a few inches of water. Not so good for the new wooden composters. This summer we are building this area up with the fill that has been donated. We want to make sure the composting area is neat and tidy and that our volunteers can cut the grass easily in this area.
 We cannot have the quack grass in the composters. It is very invasive and will ruin any composting efforts by others. If you have this weedy grass in or around your beds, please take it home to our new weekly curbside pickup.

We also moved three beds out of this wet area on the east side of the garden. The plan is to build an herb spiral here. Herb spirals are a form of permaculture and will enable all of us to harvest communally. Most herbs take up a lot of room in your allotments so we thought this would be a wonderful solution to saving some space.

If you haven't seen the West Coast Seeds trial gardens, take a look this week. Mark is testing a knee high wildflower mix. The flowers are so pretty and will attract all sorts of beneficial insects to our garden.
On June 23 and 24 we are building two pergolas in the center of the garden. You will see green stakes marking out the area. We will also be installing posts for our new entrance arbor on the 23rd. I hope you have marked your calendars as our first community meal will be on June 24 from 4pm-7pm. Its a potluck and we challenge you to bring something from your garden. Watch you email for an invite very soon.
Happy gardening,

Friday, June 1, 2012

June Blooms at the Winskill Gardens

 I was up at our sister garden in Tsawwassen to see how things were growing. As you know we started overseeing the Winskill Community Garden a few months ago. Just look at these amazing gardeners and what they have blooming.

The Lupines are stunning! I think its because I am passionate about blue flowers. The bees were totally enthralled with this plant which means they are doing their pollinating work for the veggie gardeners at the garden.

There was also Bachelors Button or Centaurea in the garden. This one will reseed from year to year and bring you blooms every year.

 Calendula provided the contrasting colour with the blue flowers.

The next garden was full of pink Lupines and Poppies. I look forward to seeing the next flush of flowers.

 This bed is a mix of flowers and vegetables which is a great idea. Chives and kale are both in flower and make an excellent addition to salads. Yes, you can eat the flowers!

 The South Delta Boys and Girls Club has recently planted their bed with vegetables. We had a group of about 15 children come to plant.

Their beans have already germinated along with lettuce, carrots and radishes. Have you visited this garden? It is located between the lawn bowling club and the soccer field at Winskill Park.