by David Hinks
What better way to enjoy a Saturday morning than to head down to the Almonte Farmers’ Market; buy some very fresh veggies, maybe some home-baked butter tarts and listen to live music. All of this on a gorgeous misty morning as the sun is breaking through in beautiful historic downtown Almonte. Following are a few snapshots from Saturday.
I had the privilege to participate in the Ag Awareness activity at the Carp Fair on Friday morning as Grade 4 students from 10 public schools listened to presenters at ten different stations ranging from beekeeping, making maple syrup, raising pigs and of course growing vegetables. Hopefully the seed was planted as many of the 300 or so students were really interested and will go on to grow some of their own food.
This Saturday was the fourth workshop in the series of four September gardening workshops organized by the Neighbourhood Tomato Education Committee. This time we headed to the kitchen at TYPS Almonte and were privileged to have as our leader Teresa Clow, a Senior Public Health Inspector and Market Farmer who gave us a short course on canning and food safety and demonstrated canning of beets.
A special opportunity to learn more about vegetable gardening will be taking place in Carleton Place on October 26. While this full day workshop has been organized as a technical update for the Master Gardeners of Ottawa and Lanark, it is open to the public until the limited number of seats is full. The workshop is titled the ModernVictoryGarden – the following description has been provided by Dale Odorizzi of the Lanark Master Gardeners:
“During World Wars I & II, vegetable, fruit and herb gardens were planted in private residences and public parks in Canada, the United States and United Kingdom to reduce the pressure on the public food supply that was brought on by the war effort. In addition to indirectly aiding the war effort, these gardens were also considered a morale booster as gardeners felt empowered by their contribution of labour and were rewarded by the produce grown. This made VictoryGardens a part of daily life on the home front.
Today, the desire to grow our own food is gaining in popularity for many different reasons. We are becoming more concerned about the environment and more and more people are aware of the need for a sustainable food culture. Slow food is a popular catch phrase and community gardens are springing up all across Ontario and across the country. ModernVictoryGardens are growing as fast as we can prepare the soil.
Planting a ModernVictoryGarden to fight global warming reduces the amount of pollution your food contributes to this global warming. Instead of traveling many miles from farm to table, your food travels from your own garden to your table. Vegetable plants are combined with flowers in a home garden. With limited yard space, containers grow vegetables on porch, patio or balcony. Some plants, such as pots of herbs or sprouts, can even be grown indoors on a sunny window sill. Community garden space is available in many neighbourhoods.
Garden Self Sufficiency has many benefits. It is frugal in that it can save money. It is healthful. A diet that is composed of higher portions of fresh vegetables and fruits has proven to be live extending. It is better for the planet. The average produce item travels 2400 km to get from the field to the table, so growing it close to home saves petroleum and refrigeration. It also keeps non organic fertilizers and pesticides out of the soil. It is good for the Soul. A garden is a wonderful place to reconnect with what is important in life.
And the greatest benefit of all—IT TASTES SO GOOD!
If you would like to learn more about growing the ModernVictoryGarden, join us in Carleton Place on Saturday October 26 from 9-4 when the Master Gardeners of Eastern Ontario will present an all day seminar on growing your own ModernVictoryGarden. Come learn about permaculture, bringing “victorious vegetables” to the people, and, of course, organic techniques for dealing with those pesky veggie pests. Renowned author Janette Haas will serve up her recipe for the ModernVictoryGarden. Mix and mingle with local MGs at the Read and Seed exchange, and enjoy your hosts’ luscious pot-luck lunch, which helps to keep registration prices rock bottom! The cost for this day long seminar, including lunch is only $35.”
For details Visit www.lanarkmastergardeners.mgoi.ca or call Dale at 613 264-8135 for details.