Community gardening every Saturday morning.
This week the straw bales garden had a brown layer of coffee added to the middle. straw bales make excellent planting spaces. The bales are above the ground. This makes it difficult for slugs 🐌 to find the seedlings.
The garden has many young volunteers who have worked all season long to produce a fantastic crop of garden vegetables.
Last Saturday, in spite of the heavy rain, volunteers worked enthusiastically and harvested potatoes.
Straw bales make a unique growing medium. Straw is weed and seed free. Straw has very few insects living in it. Therefore, straw bales makes an ideal growing medium. This fall the Children’s garden volunteers have created a straw bale garden for the fall and winter growing season.
The first step in creating a straw bale garden is sourcing and stacking the bales of straw.
The straw bales from the Old Barn Community Centre’s “Barn Raising Celebration” were donated to the Children’s Garden. The industrious and hardworking garden volunteers worked hard to gather the straw and stack it into a garden bed.
Keep posted to learn more about conditioning the straw for growing.
Beautiful sunny weather has meant a large crop of blueberries, red and black currants and raspberries. The Saturday produce sale has been a popular option with U-Pick.
A special weather statement issued by Environment Canada forecasts record breaking heat for the lower mainland. Prolonged high temperatures with low moisture means plant stress. Plants need extra watering at these times. The container grown tomatoes and herbs need to be watered twice a day in order to avoid water stress.
Be a hero – save a plant – volunteer to help water the garden.
A bumper crop of salal berries are ready to be picked. Sadly, not yet in the garden.
The Children’s Garden has a unique variety of herbs and flowers growing underneath the apple and plum trees. Viola is planted underneath the apple trees. Calendula is planted underneath the plum trees. These flowering plants have special properties that make them useful in the kitchen.
Calendula flowers are edible. Note that the middle part of the flower has a bitter taste. The flower petals can be used as a salad garnish.
The entire flower can be preserved in oil. The infused calendula oil can be used as a cosmetic oil.
Viola flowers can be used to infuse water with a subtle floral flavour. Pick the flowers early in the morning. Rinse the flowers and place them into a clean container of cool water. Aim to use approximately 50 flowers per litre of water. Let the flower water mixture rest for about an hour and then serve.
The bay laurel tree in the garden produces lovely leaves. The leaves can be either used fresh or dried to flavour soups and sauces. The leaves take approximately 10 days to dry. At that point the leaves can be stored in a cool dark location. The dried bay laurel will last for over a year.