Sunday, February 23, 2014

Spring Planting Workshops, March 16, 23 and 30th.

This winter has been full of surprises.
Not necessarily the kind of surprises that make you go "wow" with a super excited exclamation mark for emphasis.
It has been the kind of winter many people my age have described as "how winter was when I was a kid."
It's true.
Lots of snow and cold, winter sports, if that's your thing as well as shovelling and cancellations.

I heat our house with wood, having a back up oil furnace, used only when I have no other choice. Even after ordering an extra cord this surprise here....I've run out. There is more on the way tomorrow, thanks to a nearby farmer who bring it down on a manure spreader and spits it out into my drive for stacking.

A surprise for me this winter was my cistern whose water froze into a nice big block of ice. In my 19 years living here, that's a new one on me.
Another surprise was my inability at certain times over this winter to get into my greenhouse where, lo and behold, my greens were still surviving and growing albeit very slowly.

Today is a different story though. It's hard to resist a sunny winter day, and after lunch I hit my hoophouses. I pulled back the ag fabric from my crops, and it's apparent to me that the mustards, arugula and other crops know that spring is coming. They have jumped now as the days grow longer and the sun shines a bit more frequently.
Also hard to resist was the temptation to lay down for a while on the ag fabric, my face to the sun, jacket stripped just to drink in a bit of faux summer. It feels so good.

It really does make me think spring and plans for spring.

Again this spring I am holding my spring planting workshops, "Sowing Seeds for 2014." If you are interested in growing your own from seed this year, these are a good chance to come, sow and learn.
There are three dates this year, Sundays March 16, 23 and 30 from 2-4 pm. All these dates still have openings, but if the previous years are any indication, in the last few weeks, they fill up quick quickly.
For registration information, please check my website HERE
These workshops are very informal, fun and have always been attended by great people-like you!
We will sow seeds for tomatoes, eggplants and peppers, and there will be some other options for you too if these don't make you happy. You will also pick up an additional 10 vegetable seed packs for direct seeding in your garden. We'll talk about proper seeding techniques, how to grow on all your choices in your home garden and quite a bit more. As you may suspect, I will talk for the entire two hours, but I really hope people come armed with questions too.
We'll be working in one of my larger hoophouses on the greenhouse tables. If the sun shines, it will be warm, maybe even hot. If not, it may be chilly. Come dressed for any temperature eventuality and come prepared to get dirty.
All seeds, soil, containers and refreshments are provided by me.
I will also be offering the very same workshop at the Royal Botanical Gardens as one of their public programs. For information and registration information, please check HERE It is called "The Complete Vegetable Garden"

Hope to see you here-or there!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Niagara Seedy Saturday 2014

I hope to see everyone out next Saturday at the 8th annual Niagara Seedy Saturday. Gardeners, future gardeners, putterers and people just looking for something to do, come on out.
Here are the pertinent details:

 When: February 8th, 9:30-3:30
Where: St Giles Presbyterian Church,  205 Linwell Road, St Catharines.
Who: This event is sponsored by Master Gardeners of Niagara,  District 9 Horticultural Societies and has received financial support from Pen Financial.
What: Seedy Saturday is a celebration of open pollinated seed, and an opportunity to learn about the importance of diversity, growing your own veg and flowers and much, much more.

A suggested donation of $2.00 is requested and money raised at this event will be donated to Start Me Up Niagara

Vendors and displays will include
Urban Harvest- Toronto
Matchbox Gardens-Toronto
Anything Grows-Stratford
Upper Canada-Toronto
Tree and Twig-Niagara

(Bulbs and Tubers)
Your Private Gardener -Brantford

Non profit displays:
Seeds Of Diversity Canada
Start Me Up Niagara
Plant A Row Grow A Row
Master Gardeners/Hort Societies

Children's activities will be running all day and bring your questions to ask available Master Gradeners.

And bring seeds! The seed exchange table will be up and running, as will the garden giveaway table. If you have gardening books, magazines, clean pots or anything garden related that you  would like to re-home, there are always interested takers.

There will also be speakers all day and I apologize if I am not clear on all the details...I am working here with the information I have.

In the morning Bob Martin who is a grower, master gardener and works for Stokes, will be talking about seed starting. The next speaker will be  considering cold frames and composting.
I will be speaking about heirlooms, seed saving and more at noon, followed by Scott McGivor from York University who is speaking on bee homes.
Be sure not to miss Steven Biggs who is returning again this year to speak about "Edibles in the Urban Landscape.

Lunch will be available for purchase as will coffee. The lunch being served is beef on a bun, salad and dessert for $10.

There will definitely be a different feel to the event this year, and I hope it remains true to what my intent has always been in celebrating Seedy Saturday in Niagara.

I look forward to having the time this year to talk with everyone instead of running around like a crazy woman. I look forward to seeing you out at Seedy Saturday this year.

Please let me know what you think!