February in Edmonton means short days and biting cold, yet now’s the time to start growing seedlings for the upcoming garden season. Continue reading Starting your garden on a shoestring budget Growing your own food doesn’t have to break the bank
After a summer of enjoying the fruits and vegetables of our labours, autumn is the time to prepare the garden for spring by harvesting, pulling up plants, and composting.
While some plants can endure the frost, others can’t. Harvest plants such as tomatoes, peas, peppers, and squash as they ripen. Root vegetables can stay in the ground until it freezes.
Preparing the garden for spring is the last thing to do before winter. Continue reading Putting a garden to bed for the winter Follow this to-do list before the snow falls
Come spring, witty signs with sayings such as “Gardeners share all the gossip” or “Did you know that Iris and Violet are in the same bed with Sweet William?” fill backyard gardens and front lawns.
This year, the Bloomin’ Garden Show is offering a garden sign workshop for people to create their own sign. At $20 per sign, participants can make as many signs as they wish.
“They are fun. They are personalized. And if you made it yourself, you are proud of it,” said Laurie Tod, who will be holding two workshops on May 13. “It’s something you can look at and know it’s made with love,” added Tod.
Dionne Jennings has always had a love of plants and herbs. She started studying herbalism on Vancouver Island 19 years ago and completed apprenticeships five years ago on the Saanich Peninsula and in Red Deer.
“I think my first real exposure to herbalism was a small yellow piece of paper with a dandelion illustration on it saying Herb Classes at a local health food store. When I stepped into a small house perched on the corner of a nature sanctuary, I was hooked,” said Jennings.
Every year on the third Sunday in March you’ll find the Edmonton Seedy Sunday event. This year’s event began with sunshine and blue skies, and the break in the cold weather drew a large crowd of people.
At 11 am the line for the event was already snaking out the door. Before things became too hectic, I spoke with Kelly from Seeds of Diversity, a seed exchange organization. Growers can sell heirloom seeds, and for a slightly higher price, non-growers can purchase seeds as well, with membership.
Gérard Forget looks across the ice rink at his garden plot. One can imagine his mind is underneath the snow, working into the dirt with springtime dreams of peas, corn, and beans.
Forget coordinates the Alberta Avenue Community Garden-Jardin Communautaire Alberta Avenue. At this time of the year, he plans the garden and finds gardeners who want to share their passion with their neighbours.
Farming in Colombia so near the equator sheds a whole new meaning on the cliché, “early to bed, early to rise.” The sun sets around 5:40 and rises 12 hours later, give or take a few minutes. I cannot recall the last time I was asleep by 7:30 p.m., let alone night after night. I’m here working as a volunteer.
While the warmth of summer unfolds, I invariably find myself repeating my French father’s wartime food scavenging habits. Family karma asserts itself, and I find myself eagerly eyeing the raspberry and rhubarb plants edging the laneways while imagining tasty concoctions.
Our summer is so short that it seems shameful not to enjoy the season to the utmost. A summer stroll takes on more dimensions when you stop to pick food and mentally savour the fresh taste of your harvest. Knowing I’m getting much-needed exercise makes me feel virtuous. This virtuous feeling is further enhanced when I think of the copious quantities of vitamin C contained in both rhubarb and raspberries.
Letter to the Editor:
On many walks through my neighbourhood (Alberta Avenue), I see an abundance of the creeping bellflower plant, either in clumps in back alleys, or displayed with pride in people’s front yard gardens.
The City of Edmonton has designated this plant as a noxious weed.
The West Nile virus worries me. Not because of the one in a million chance I might get infected, but because we don’t need another excuse to demonize the outdoors.
Ours is the first society that spends the majority of its time indoors. According to studies, the average North American spends less than two hours per day outside. Compared to our climate-controlled, sealed and sanitized homes, we have developed the attitude that nature is uncomfortable, disorderly, unsanitized and potentially dangerous. Possibly true.