Gardening in Almonte: Highlight of 2016

David

Looking back over 2016 I am amazed at all the great stuff that happened on the vegetable-growing front in our community. This is very subjective, but I have to confess that the highlight for me was the construction of gardens beside and in front of the Hunger Stop. Granted the building is in Carleton Place but most of the volunteers that built the boxes, filled them with soil and planted seeds, seedlings and raspberry roots were from Mississippi Mills. And of course, the Hunger Stop (aka Lanark County Food Bank) serves the municipalities of Mississippi Mills, Carleton Place and Beckwith.

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What does 2017 hold? I have to confess that the gears are whirling and that my list of potential projects is longer than my 12-year old grandson’s Santa list. But at the top of my list is the creation of a raised-box garden in front of the new Youth Centre in Almonte (formerly the Mac’s Milk on Ottawa Street). The front of the building faces south and that full-sun location will be ideal for plants such as tomatoes – what young person doesn’t salivate at the thought of a warm, juicy sun-ripened tomato!

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The highlight of 2015

The berm that surrounds the Neighbourhood Tomato Augusta Park Garden was the project dearest to my heart of the many projects and activities undertaken in 2015. I continue to be a big fan of the way that it delineates the garden without being as obtrusive as a fence; how it gently routes traffic without presenting a solid barrier; how it blocks some of the wind while allowing the free movement of air that is essential for healthy plants; how it is a visually appealing addition to the garden and to the park: how it uses sustainable permaculture principles; how it is a teaching/mentoring resource; and, how it holds the promise of fresh luscious fruit.

How did it fare in 2016? The shrubbery continues to thrive (with the exception of the blueberries); there was very little fruit so far but next year should be much more fruitful; and enterprising gardeners engaged in guerrilla gardening as they planted heat-loving vegetables such as sweet potatoes, tomatoes and okra between the shrubs.

Seedy Saturday in February   

As the arrival of winter can no longer be denied, it I think that it is helpful for gardeners to remember that in only two months time we will have an important gardening event right here in Almonte. Circle the date of Saturday February 11, 2017 on your gardening calendar! Local entrepreneur Johvi Leeck of Beyond the Garden Gate has announced that Seedy Saturday will return for a second year to Almonte’s Civitan Club.

The inaugural year of 2016 was a tremendous success and Johvi plans to build on that success. And of course all of our local gardening groups will be well represented – the Neighbourhood Tomato, Almonte District Horticultural Society and the Lanark County Master Gardeners are all enthusiastic supporters of Seedy Saturday.

That’s all he wrote…

All the best for the holiday season! I plan to take a few weeks holiday from the column but promise to be back in time to talk about Seedy Saturday and to start the early indoor seedlings.