Thursday, July 18, 2013

Our New Composting Program

To all our allotment holders and fellow gardeners, our new composting program is now in effect. Even though we had lots of composters, the green waste was not being chopped up sufficiently enough to make decomposition work fast enough. Whole plants do not compost as quickly as ones chopped into smaller pieces. So what could we do? 

 We sent out a message asking gardeners if they wanted to take over a composter to make their own black gold. So far we have over eight composters that are being managed by allotment holders for their own use.

You will know if the composter is for private use of that gardener by the numbers painted on top. This is also the same for West Coast Seeds who have their name on one large wooden composter.

 You will also notice that several composters are displaying this sign. Please do not add green material to these composters as they are full of 'almost ready to use' compost which we hope to use for a new garden. It just needs a few weeks and a few able bodied people to dig it out and place it where we want to use it.

So where are you going to place your garden trimmings? At each end of the composting stations there is a large blue garbage can on wheels. Please place your trimmings in here for now and the directors will chop them up this summer. In the last two weeks the directors have been pulling apart the existing composters and having to re-cut the green material in them and re-layer it. This is a lot of work. If you think you have lots of green trimmings, you could grab a pair of grass shears from the shed and chop them up with that. Its way faster than using hand pruners. 
If any of you still want to manage your own compost, please let one of the directors know. We will gladly assign one to you. 
Upon removing some the composters on the east side we happened upon a bees nest underground. They are still active so exercise caution when in that area. Just try not to walk across the compost base where they are. 
Happy Harvests,

Friday, July 5, 2013

Ladner's Best Community Garden

Things are heating up at the garden and this is proving to be one of our best years yet. I think its that great soil we ordered from West Creek Farms. The plants are growing like crazy. 

Thanks to all who signed up to water over the summer. It takes the load off of the directors who have been managing to water more than was expected. Now that our trees and shrubs are going in we have to make sure they gets enough water which is so essential during the first year of growth.

Have you noticed the numbers on our composters? We are trying to start a management program so the composting is done properly. If you see a composter with a number on it , it corresponds to the allotment bed taking care of it. You can no longer just toss your trimmings just anywhere. We really want to make our own black gold. If you don't want to be part of the program, please use the large wooden composters. If you would like a composter, please contact a director.

 Okay, I really think there needs to be a garden contest for community gardens. Don't you think we would win? Here are a few shots of how it looked this week. I love the Poppies!

 Check out this Kale. Its so beautiful. It could be in any garden including one filled with flowers. Imagine an edible front landscape, how cool is that?

 I could hardly believe my eyes when I saw this spinach plant! Dare I say I will be hoping seeds accidentally drop into my hands. The blue flowers are a bonus. I wonder if they are edible. Note to self, look that one up. Not only is this spinach a great vegetable, it has pretty flowers too.

The peas are so tempting by the entrance to the front of our garden. To date, this allotment holder has already filled a grocery store bag full of peas. This is definitely peak season for peas so be sure to pick them before they get too large.

 There are so many types of lettuce, it boggles the mind.

 You know its summer when the first Sunflower appears. Which reminds me, our next community dinner will be on July 28 at 6pm. Be sure to bring something to share, your dishes and a lawn chair. Guests are welcome. What a better place to eat dinner than in a garden, right?

The cabbage is looking great and I saw members harvesting the other evening. 

 All pretty vegetables lined up in a row.

 Russian kale is mouth watering. Recently I was given a recipe for Esalen Salad. If you haven't tried Kale this way, you must. Its divine. Here is the recipe. Did you know Kale is high in vitamin K? If you have to buy Kale, be sure to buy local Kale. Kale imported from warmer climates such as California don't have a proper winter like we do. Kale is sweetened after going through a frost. So buy BC.

 A new plant at our garden this year are chick peas. What a pretty spiller this would be in a container vegetable garden. I am anxious to see how this one produces this year.

I will finish off with the wandering Dill plant that seems to make its way from garden to garden. I just wish I had some. Maybe next year.
So don't forget our potluck on July 28. See you there.