Friday, September 18, 2009

Sept 15,2009

A beautiful rainbow potato harvest...all donated to the local food bank.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

September 2, 2009

Hello Everyone,

Fall is upon us!
Just a reminder to everyone that bed cleanup is for the end of the month, September 30th.
If you plan to return in the spring it is not imperative that you have the bed cleaned in the fall although it is nice to turn the soil and let it breath over the winter.
If you plan not to return and would like your deposit back, you must clean your bed out before the deadline.
If you do not clean out your bed your bed deposit will not be returned.
Make sense? Good. Just give me a shout or email if you have any questions...

Just want to say thanks to the Y2C2 crew that came and spent the day working in the south garden in mid-August. They filled 3 beds and were able to spread gravel on the walkways. Hopefully, it won't be so slick when it rains now. They also helped with a harvest and delivery to the food bank. 30 lbs! Thanks again and we always look forward to having the crew come to help us out. Hope to see you next year!

Thanks also to all the gardeners donating from their beds to the plant-a-row program. Our food totals to date are around the 300lb mark which is just fantastic. Our goal this year is 500lbs which I am sure we will surpass. The majority of it this year has gone to the new food bank but other drop offs have been made to various agencies. If anyone has anything they would like to donate, throw a PAR (purple marker) in your bed where the vegetable is growing and we can harvest it for you or if you would like to do it yourself, we ask if you could mark it on the sheet on the back of the shed door. We like to keep track of what we are able to produce and donate.

We had a lovely, although planned at the last minute, Open House at the end of August. About 15-16 people were able to attend. We hope next year to plan a bit further in advance. Should be fun. Thanks for stopping by if you had the chance.

Wednesday night work bee is tonight. If you can make it, I look forward to seeing you there!


Saturday, August 22, 2009

Community Garden Open House
Sunday, August 23rd
1:00-3:00 pm
Come join us in the downtown Whitehorse Community Garden located under the clat cliffs at 7th and Ray Street
Tour the garden, see the new log beds, meet your neighbours, hear what we've accomplished recently and see what's growing this year.
We hope to see you there!

Monday, July 27, 2009

July 27, 2009

Hello Everyone!

Hot weather is upon us...Yay! Water, water, water!

I was foraging in the gardens this evening for my dinner and noticed that the saskatoons are ripe. And huge! Help yourselves everyone. We have two trenches - one on the inside of the front chainlink fence to the right of the gate if you are looking at the garden from the street (in front of the greenhouse) and the other is on the outside of the wood fence on the other side of the lilac hedge. Small containers please so that there is enough to go around. Some raspberries are ready and the rest are not far behind.

Workshop dates as promised...

The Weed Workshop July 29th 6:30-7:30pm
Weed identification. What grows where and why. What's edible and what's not. Weeds can tell us a lot and so can Randy Lamb, DUGS board president, when he hosts the workshop.

The Taste Tour August 5th 6:30-7:30pm
Ever wonder what that interesting thing is growing in the bed next to yours is? Well here's your chance. Tour the garden. Check out what's growing. Nibble like rabbits. Don't worry, everyone's beds are safe. There'll be very little visible damage...:)

Come one, come all. Tell your friends. Tell your families...all the cool kids will be there...;)

On that note, I will see you all on Wednesday!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

July 14,2009

Just a few quick notes.

Gardens are looking great! Make sure to keep up on your watering. Your plants are going to love you if they can get heat AND moisture. Also if your job is watering any of the perennials (raspberries, saskatoons, etc) please make sure you are doing that as well.
On that watering note, I'm finding that my plants are loving me a little too much and I'm having a hard time keeping up eating what they're producing. That's why I'm going to participate in the Plant-A-Row program. What is it you ask?
Typically, you plant an extra row of whatever in your garden bed for eventual donation BUT it is also very helpful when we find our beds are producing more than we can handle. We don't like anything to go to waste in the garden so if you find you can't keep up, put one of the purple markers (inside the shed) at the end of the row you'd like to donate and someone (probably me) will come by and harvest it for you. I won't take the whole plant, or row for that matter, especially if it's still capable of producing more.
We've started our drop offs to the Food Bank. YAY! A very good thing. They don't always have fresh produce available to them to put in the hampers so anything you'd like to donate is greatly appreciated.

A couple of things that you can look for coming up in the garden...

The Weed Workshop
Weed identification. What grows where and why. What's edible and what's not. Weeds can tell us a lot and so can Randy Lamb, DUGS board president, when he hosts the workshop.
The Taste Tour
Ever wonder what that interesting thing is growing in the bed next to yours is? Well here's your chance. Tour the garden. Check out what's growing. Nibble like rabbits. Don't worry, everyone's beds are safe. There'll be very little visible damage...:)

Dates for both these are TBA. I'll keep you posted.
Last but not least, I will not be able to attend the work bee on Wednesday (July 15th) as my presence is requested elsewhere. If anyone would still like to show up some of the tasks to be done are:
-Water the compost pile (old and new)
-Add to the compost pile (the new pile please. Do not add to the old pile)
-Water any perennial beds needing it (don't forget the saskatoons on the outside of the fence)
-Weed to your heart's content
-Water the big donation beds in the south garden

 to enlarge any of the photos.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

June 3, 2009

Hello All!

Enjoying the heat? I am!
Looks like most of you have planted or are getting underway. Your gardens will need to be kept wet so your seeds germinate and plants don't wither. When it's hot like this, you should be watering everyday.

A Few Things
I think I have the tasks all sorted out and because there are so many of you, I will just post everyone's tasks on the back of the shed door along with the clipboard for recording your hours. Sorry I haven't updated the sheets - I forgot about the month change!

I have a couple of tasks that I haven't included on the list. Those being weed-eating, shed clean up and painting. If anyone has any interest in these tasks please let me know. The shed is a disaster area right now and desperately needs sorting and tidying. I will likely tackle that at tonight's work bee.
Weeding...everyone is to maintain a 2-3 foot perimeter around their beds reasonably free of weeds. I'm not too concerned about grass as we do weed eat but I do want to see those dandelions gone. Use one of the dandelion tools in the shed. Please remember to put all your weeds in one of the buckets by the shed. And please, no rocks or dirt in the buckets. It makes them way too heavy to handle. If the bucket is heavy to lift you likely have something in there that shouldn't be. Dirt should be shaken from the roots and rocks can be tossed over the fence(cliffside) or kept around the base of your garden plot.

Rita, our main weed eater, has requested that everyone please pluck the tall grass from around the base of their bed as it is hard on the wire for the weed eater when she has to go in so close and ends up whacking the wood of the bed.

The South Garden.
The beds are now all finished in the south garden. The ones that are void of dirt will be filled by the end of the summer and ready to go for the next growing season. I am still trying to get the barrels there so everyone is just going to have to share the single one that is there now.

We have the hose set up there and I would like it to remain where it is. It's too much of a task to put it away and haul it out everytime we need it. So here's a few rules with the hose being out:

This is the water main in the north garden that controls the water line(runs under the road) in the south garden. In order for the water to come on in the south garden, the water has to be turned on at the bottom (main) and at the top (south garden). Don't mess with the other two things. I would like these two taps to stay on and to be able to control the water for the south garden from the south garden (I'll get to that in a minute) so leave them on please. Using the hose in the north garden (the one with the key) may be tricky to hook up which means you're probably going to get wet. So if you need to hook it up just turn it off. Also, please check to see if anyone is using the water in the south garden before hooking up to this main as the pressure is shared and you can really only use one hose, effectively, at a time.

Okay, back to water control...

The box in the ground which, by the way, should always be left with the lid on like below:

and not like this:

In this box the hose connects to the underground hose coming from the north garden. There is a coupler on there now that we can control the on/off with. What's shown below is the on position. Off is 90 degrees to this. You should be able to tell by the pressure in the hose. This must be turned on to use and you must turn it off when you are done.

Next. Attached to the side of one of the boxes is another coupler. See below. There are two choices here that both involve the little red switches. Choice one is the correct one and is going to allow icy cold water to flow beautifully from the hose. Choice two is the wrong one and it's going to shoot icy cold water into your face as you lean over it . Trust me, I know this. From experience. Twice.

So, because I'm the type of person that believes in learning from experience (and also because I have a cruel sense of humour), I'm not going to tell you which is which. Have fun with it though.

I want to see the hose wound up nice and kept on the hose holder on the fence. Nobody likes to untangle hoses and we don't want to get any holes in it from vehicles running over it.

Thank you to Heidi for getting things set up with the hoses and couplers. Even though I did get a thorough face washing as a result. Twice.
I think that's all for now. Be patient with me. There are almost 55 of you and only one of me. :)

Hope to see you tonight!

Happy Gardening!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

May 21, 2009 I know I keep threatening to stop the Saturday work bees but have yet to, so this Saturday is going to be the last one! 8:00ish to 4:00ish. If I get a decent turnout, we should be able to get the South garden fully operational and the gardeners in there on their way to planting.
Wednesday night's work bee was productive. We got the beds lined and fill in the bottoms so they are ready for dirt. We have a bobcat coming on Saturday morning to help with that task. We will then have to add compost and mix really well. That will need to be done by hand so anyone that can show up, please do.
We also managed to get the potatoes in our large plant-a-row bed. This year will be much better than last year in terms of volume. We still need to get some other stuff planted in there: carrots, spinach, chard, beets...whatever we want basically. All the food grown in this bed will be donated to various agencies in town. Food Bank, Victoria Faulkner Woman's Centre, Kaushee's Place etc. This is another task that I'd like to have completed this weekend.

Hats off to our volunteers...
Wednesday night brought out:
Ramona 2 hrs
Rita E. 2 hrs
Meghan 1 hr
Laird 1 hr
and Heidi 2 hrs *Note...Heidi was trying to organize a youth growing food project that didn't quite make it to fruition. So instead, she has volunteered to plant and take care one of the large beds in the South Garden. All food to be donated...Thank you, Heidi!

Last Saturday we had:
Joan C. 4.5 hrs
Pat 4.5 hrs
Rita R. 5.5 hrs
Chris 4.5 hrs
Alex 1 hr
Toshie 4.5 hrs
Michael 1.5 hrs
Barb 1.5 hrs

This is great! I hope to have the board in the shed done up on Saturday so any hours you've put in when I haven't been around just keep track of until then. Also still working on tasks...

I think it's probably okay to start getting your seeds in now. Transplants I'd hold off on for at least another week as the temperatures are still pretty cool at night. Covering your plants if you do put them in, is highly recommended.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

A Few Things...

Just a few items to mention...

I will be having another work bee this Saturday from 8:30 to 4:00ish. This will likely be the last Saturday work session. I will, however, continue all season long with the Wednesday night work bee.
We really need to concentrate on the South Garden to get those beds ready to go for the gardeners who plan to plant in them. I hopefully have a load or two of topsoil coming on Saturday but I still don't know for sure. We still have a lot of other things we can do though.
For anyone showing up to work please make sure you bring gloves and that you are wearing clothes you don't mind getting dirty. Some of the jobs I hand out are not always clean. Well, they are never clean so just make sure you are prepared to work. The gloves are important as you never know what you are going to come across in the garden. Better for your skin and nails too :)

The water is turned on and I've filled all the barrels. I will assign this task to someone else but I'm not at that point yet. Please make sure that the lids are on the water barrels. This is not only a safety thing for kids but also to keep the mosquito population down. If you do use the hose please remember to put it away, neatly, when you are finished with it. I suggest that all watering be done with the water from the barrels as the water directly out of the hose is very cold. Your seedlings will not appreciate it.

Personally, I think it's still a bit early to plant, other than carrots and peas and things underground, so plant at your own risk. We are still dropping below zero at night and I have a feeling that we still have some frost headed our way. We usually use the long weekend as a marker for planting but please note it is about a week earlier than usual. If you do plant, I suggest finding some row cover to offer a bit of protection for your garden. You can use poly or plastic as well but if you forget about it and it warms up, you'll fry your plants. Fabric row cover is the best. It won't help with the freezing but it will help with the frosts. It also lets air, sunlight and rain through.

I'm still in the process of getting set up. We have over 50 gardeners this year! That's a lot of folk for me to manage so be patient. I will be assigning tasks this season but I'm still working on that. I will also post a list on the shed bulletin board of things that should or can be done for those of you just dying to do some work.

And speaking of work...I only had one gardener show up to last night's work bee but I did have a great turnout on Saturday.
Thanks to Del on Wednesday - 1 hour
and on Saturday:
Rita R. - 5 hours
Rita E. - 3 hours
Leslie - 4 hours
Chris - 3 hours *Chris is not even a gardener at our garden! Thanks, Chris :)
Alex - 2.5 hours
Maki - 2.5 hours
Kate - 1.5 hours
Nyingje - 1.5 hours (hope I spelled that right)
Siana - 2 hours
Natasha - 2 hours
Keiko - 2 hours (maybe more - I had to leave!)

If you do show up and do any work and I'm not there please record it on the board on the back of the door in the shed. I haven't updated the list yet but I will have it done on Saturday.

For anyone looking to give me money or compliments or if you need a key to the shed come and find me on Saturday or on any Wednesday night. Key deposit is $5.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Who, What, Where, When, Why & How of Growing at the Garden

Hello Gardeners!

Welcome to the 2009 growing season. Believe it or not, spring is just around the corner. I don’t know about you, but I am so done with winter.
For those who are new and don't know me, my name is Kathryn and I will be your coordinator this year at the Whitehorse Community Garden. Please feel free to contact me, if you have any questions at all.
Projectwise, this year will be a continuation of last year. We have had some new beds built in the South Garden and still have a few more to build. We have a heap of compost to deal with and a lot of soil to build. We had a big problem with ground squirrels last year in the South Garden so we would really like to get a fence built around our two large beds. The Plant-A-Row Program did well last year but I know we can increase our totals this year especially with the root vegetables. Work, work, work...but I promise to make it fun and if everyone gives a helping hand things won't seem so daunting. I'm hoping to get most of your volunteers in the beginning of the season, like last year. I think that went well.

So, one of the questions I hear the most at this time of year is usually from new gardeners: “How do I get started?” Good Question. It may seem very challenging at first, but really it is very simple. Below, I've put together a few things to hopefully get you going...

Who?– If you are ever in doubt about something you’re doing in the garden feel free to ask any of your fellow gardeners. There is no such thing as a dumb question…if you don’t ask how will you ever know the answer? Fellow gardeners are usually more than willing to share their experiences and knowledge. I am around often and I’m always willing to help. Feel free to email, if you can’t find me there.

What?- One thing I’ve learned not to fight when trying to grow vegetables or flowers, is what will grow and what will not grow in the Yukon. Accepting this is step one in a successful garden. I mean it’s great to try and grow something that won’t normally grow in our climate (like watermelon or corn), but do you really want to spend all summer nursing plants that just won’t be able to produce anything for you? I know I don’t because that’s a lot of effort for nothing.
At the community garden, we use raised beds and we’re downtown which means we’re usually a bit warmer than other parts of town and gives us a bit of advantage.

Easy growers from seed
potatoes, carrots, peas, beets, lettuce, spinach, swiss chard, radishes, herbs, zucchini. These can all be planted directly into the ground.

Easy growers from transplants
broccoli, cauliflower, kale, cabbage, parsnip, herbs
These can be put in as soon as the risk of frost has passed. (see below)

If this is your first time gardening, I wouldn't bother tring to start seeds indoors. It can become a lot of work quickly as well as take up a lot of space.

Where?– Seeds can be purchased from seed catalogues or bought locally at any store that sells garden supplies. When buying your seeds, look for maturity dates no longer than 60 days. In a perfect year, we have approximately 100 days and again that's a perfect year.
Transplants can be purchased at any of the many local greenhouses. Look for healthy strong plants.

When?– the general rule for planting any kind of transplants, veggie or flowers, here in Whitehorse, is always plant after the Victoria Day Weekend which usually falls the third weekend in May. Of course, there all always exceptions to this. The main one being the weather. Veggies started from seed like carrots, peas or lettuce are okay to get started as early as the beginning of May, as soon as the soil can be worked, as they don’t mind cooler conditions but if you stick to the 'Long Weekend' rule you should be fine.
I’ve found that investing in white row cover to protect your crop is worth every penny. It acts as a protector from frost, while still allowing the light through, creating a greenhouse effect and unlike poly or plastic, the plants can still breath as air and moisture can pass through it. It also keeps unwanted bugs out. Again look for it at your local garden supply store. *Note: make sure that the row cover is at least five feet wide to cover your box.

Why? - Why not?

How? – There will be scheduled work bees for gardeners to come and contribute their volunteer hours. I will usually be there to organize. This is a great time for the “How do I do this…?” questions because if I can’t answer your question, perhaps there is another person around that can.
As well, I will be trying to hold more workshops this year.
The bed sign up is just around the corner and things will go fast once they start. I will keep everyone posted on work bees and workshops, times and dates.

The garden supplies all the soil and compost. We have all the tools you need.
All thats left is weeding, watering and love. Really, it's not that hard at all...:)

See you all in May!