The early apples are ready to be picked. A small selection of apples were sold at the Saturday morning produce sale.
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.
The apples are slowly filling out. The apples will be ready for harvest in early September. The apples are being summer thinned. This early summer thinning of the apple crop will help the remaining apples grow to a proper size.
The currants are ripening fast. Currants are acidic and have an interesting sour flavour. Currants are ripe when they are jewel toned and release freely from the stem. The currants will be ripe in several weeks. The currants are available for picking by interested residents . Please stop by the garden and register for currant picking.
The blueberries are just starting to ripen. Blueberries are fully ripe when then stem end of the berry is no longer green in colour. The song birds that live in the garden will eat the blueberries before the berries are fully ripe. The resident birds will poke at the berries. This bird feeding damage is normal.
The raspberries are still being formed. The immature berries are still tightly clustered. The raspberries will ripen in the last week of July. The raspberry season is short in duration.
The children hosted a mid-June produce sale. Today scapes, salad greens and assorted herbs were sold. Thanks to the many volunteers who make the garden a fun place to learn and play.
At the first session of a two part workshop on mason bees, participants made paper tubes for the bee cacoons. In the second session partipants will learn how to fill the tubes, where to site the tubes and more about the role mason bees play in garden health.
Thank you to the volunteers for organizing , advertising and running the worksop.
At the first sale of the 2017 garden season the children sold rhubarb, mint, chives and rosemary.