The third in a series of very successful organic vegetable growing workshops took place on Saturday. This was a hands-on transplanting workshop –attendees were prepared to get dirty as shown in the following photos! Ten trays of transplanted cabbage, basil, tomatoes and pollinator flowers will be grown in Jeanne’s greenhouse until planting out time. We thank Jeanne who has now very generously donated the use of her space for three years in a row. This sold-out gardening series was organized by the Almonte Library in partnership with the Neighbourhood Tomato. The library will be scheduling further workshops through the summer and fall including seed saving workshops.
Allotment Gardens in Almonte
The Neighbourhood Tomato Community Gardens in Augusta Park and behind the Library will again be a mix of individual allotment plots and collaborative community plots (where we will be growing food primarily for our Food Bank). While we have many gardeners looking for individual allotment gardens this spring, there are still a few available and there is absolutely no charge. If you would like to have an allotment please let Jeff at Mills Community Support know that you’re interested. Jeff can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are expecting that gardeners with individual beds will also join in and help with the collaborative community gardens.
Neighbourhood Tomato Work Party April 30
The heavy lifting will start on Saturday April 30 at Augusta Park from 9am till 3pm. We need people with rakes, shovels, and wheelbarrows to help get the beds ready for planting. We need to mount a major campaign to eliminate as much of perennial grasses as well so will be renting a sod cutter to make this work a bit easier.
We’ve been awarded a $1000 grant from the Town of Mississippi Mills to raise some of our gardening boxes to a standard 24 inch height for those in wheelchairs or those who find it very difficult to garden at ground level so bring carpentry tools as well if you have them.
Come one, come all – bring drinks and snacks if you can’t shovel. Come for an hour, come for the morning, or come all day. All help will be appreciated
Great Veggie Grow-Off May 1
Join the Neighbourhood Tomato Community Gardens and board members of the Lanark County Food Bank, “The Hunger Stop,” at 5 Allan Street in Carleton Place on May 1st. The launch of the Lanark County Great Veggie Grow-off starts at 12:30 pm followed by a tour and open house at The Hunger Stop’s newly expanded and renovated premises.
The Great Veggie Grow-off Community Challenge, now in its third year, is expanding to include gardeners in communities across Lanark supporting all four of the food banks in the County. It started in the municipalities of Mississippi Mills, Carleton Place and Beckwith, the towns supported by the Hunger Stop, and the results were amazing. We saw an increase in people in these towns growing food and sharing it with others. Over two tons of healthy local produce was donated to the food bank last year and the feedback from recipients was extremely positive.
This year we are challenging all 9 Lanark communities to grow and donate to their local food bank. Presently all four food banks (Carleton Place, Lanark, Perth and Smiths Falls) take donations of freshly grown produce. They have been asked to weigh and record the community of origin of locally grown donations of food from May 1st until the final weigh-in at Thanksgiving. Bragging rights will be given to the community that donates the greatest amount of locally grown food as well as to the community with the highest amount of freshly grown food donated per person with the big winner always being our community’s food banks.
Last Indoor Planting
We are now about five weeks away from the magic Victoria Day weekend when we will be planting most of our frost-sensitive heat-loving vegetables outdoors. This week I have started my last trays of seeds and bulbs that I will be growing indoors under lights so that they can get a real head-start when it is time to put them in the garden.
Many of the seeds that I am planting do not like to have their roots disturbed when they are transplanted into the garden. I am using pots that I can put the plant and its pot directly in the garden. I use a pot that is biodegradable and will break down over time as it lets the plant’s roots grow through the pot wall. There are three possibilities for pots that I am familiar with – peat pots, coir pots and CowPots. I have used peat pots very successfully in the past but some gardeners are opposed to them as they use a non-renewable resource. Coir pots are made of Coconut husks – I have used them in the past but found that they did not break as much as I had hoped in the soil. The last few years I have used CowPots – they are made from the composted solids of cow manure and are marketed as breaking down very easily – my experience confirms this. I am using the five inch pot for vine plants that will grow large very quickly including bitter melon, cucumber, cantaloupes, squash and pumpkin.
I am also planting some tubers – dahlias and cannas – in 5-inch pots– for these I am using plastic pots as these will transplant very readily into the garden or into containers as they will have developed a healthy root mass in four weeks.