Garden News for the week of June 30

Garden News

Last week, we cut back our flowering buckwheat in the Giving Gardens – this wasn’t for us to harvest and eat, but to give back to our soil! Read more about how we planted buckwheat and the role of cover cropping and green manure for healthy garden soil building in our latest blog post on the CCG website. Buckwheat is easy and quick to grow and makes a great summer cover crop for any bare soil in your garden.

Office Hours
We will be increasing our summer office hours. Find Erica at the office in SUB B118 on Thursday afternoons throughout the rest of the summer. If you’d like to meet outside of our office hours, please email ccgarden [at] uvic.ca to organize a time.
*note, Erica will away from the garden and office between July 11-18

Also happening:

Weekly Work Parties
Tuesday 3:30-5:30pm
Thursday 5:30-7:30pm

SAVE THE DATE:
Fruit Tree Grafting Workshop
Saturday, July 25, 2015

We will be hosting a fruit tree grafting workshop with community organization GRAFT (Growing Regionally Adapted Fruit Trees) on July 25, 2015. This will be a free, hands-on workshop and participants may even get to take their own fruit tree home! Check back as we’ll have more details to come with a time and location by next week.

AROUND TOWN:

Lekwungen Food Systems: Community Tool Shed Invasive Plant Pull
Wednesday, July 1, 2015
10am – meet at the lower level parking lot of the Songhees Wellness Centre.

Looking for something engaging to do on Canada Day? Join to pull invasive plants and support the Lekwungen community in reinstating the Kwetlal food system. This is an opportunity to engage in restoration work in a meaningful way, learning about the many ways colonialism has impacted communities beyond ecological factors. Volunteers will partake in a cultural activity, learning about food systems, the land, and the histories that have affected both. Bring study shoes, water, and dress for weather. Directions here.

Growing Cover Crops and Green Manure with Buckwheat

The plots at the Campus Community Garden have been growing strong over the past few years. Since the plots are not too, too large (3x4m in size) and there is often turnover with students in many of the plots, it can be challenging to sacrifice space for non-food crops (e.g. if you are only gardening in a plot for two semesters) and maintain consistent, longer-term plans for optimal soil health amidst changing hands.

One of the ways we hope to continue soil building in the future is by trying to plant more cover crops between food growth and over the winter as a part of our crop rotation. Cover cropping is a great way to feed your soil, by planting crops whose purpose is to give back to the it and offer it a rest from intensive food production. Cover crops also help retain nutrients in the soil (versus an empty bed, where rain may wash them away), suppresses weed growth, and invites beneficial insects into the garden.

There are many different types of cover crops that can be grown at different parts of the year, grow at different speeds, and offer various benefits and nutrients to your garden. Common cover crops include fava beans, fall rye, hairy vetch, crimson clover, white clover, and buckwheat.

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Flowering buckwheat cover crop in the Giving Gardens (June 18, 2015)

At the CCG, we have four main Giving Gardens plots, where volunteers get together weekly to learn gardening skills together. Food grown in these plots go home with volunteers and are donated to the UVSS Food Bank. We have been growing food in these plots quite intensely, so this past Fall, we sowed fall rye (in October) and fava beans (in November) as cover crops in two of our four Giving Gardens. This spring, we chopped back the rye (in March) and harvested the favas (early June), leaving the roots to decompose in the soil.

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Starting to cut the buckwheat back after flowering for almost two weeks (June 22, 2015)

In May, we planted buckwheat in a third Giving Garden plot and chopped it back this past week. In order to do this, we cut back all of the flowering plants, leaving the roots in the soil, and chopped the plants into smaller pieces. Afterwards, we added some compost on top of the plants we cut back, but left much of the plant matter on the surface of the soil to decompose. In a couple weeks, after the plants decompose more, we will plant into this bed and hope our following crops will grow happily!

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Hair cut time ! (June 22, 2015) 

Why buckwheat? Buckwheat is an awesome summer cover crop because it germinates quickly and grows really fast – we planted it in May and cut it back a month and a half later! Buckwheat’s fine roots help loosen topsoil (helpful for our hard soil at the CCG) and effectively draw up phosphorous into the plant, which becomes readily available for the next crop after you cut it back and as it decomposes back into the soil.We didn’t need to do too much care for it while it grew and it also did an excellent job of suppressing weeds!

If you are interested in trying out a summer cover crop and are also hoping to grow food in the same season, buckwheat would be a quick and easy crop to try. We ordered our buckwheat seeds online from West Coast Seeds. On Southern Vancouver Island, I’ve seen a green manure mix sold by Metchosin Farm at markets, and I’m sure other local seed companies offer cover crop seeds too, which you might be able to find at the Moss St. Market or other local markets.

What are your favourite cover crops to grow in your garden? Have you tried growing buckwheat or other summer cover crops before?  Let us know by commenting below. 

 

References
Robison, D. “Buckwheat a good summer cover crop for home gardening.” Oregon State University. http://extension.oregonstate.edu/gardening/buckwheat-makes-good-summer-cover-crop-gardens

Garden News for the week of June 23

The Lorax is cancelled this weekend. We are very sorry to announce that our upcoming theater in the garden, The Lorax, will be postponed because a few of the actors have backed out last minute. We hope to host this play again in the Fall. We invite you to visit the garden this weekend regardless – check out the lending library and snack on some raspberries!

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Also happening:

Work parties
Tuesdays 3:30-5:30
Thursdays 5:30-7:30
Last week we built new garden bed frames for the Giving Gardens, transplanted new hops, tied back the raspberries along the fence, and sowed beets. This week, come help us cut back the flowering buckwheat cover crop in the giving gardens, weed the herb garden, harvest for the UVSS food bank, and make some signs for around the garden.

Manure run! We are planning a manure run soon for the garden. If you are interested in lending a hand or a truck, please email us. We can offer free, cured manure to anyone willing to help us out.

AROUND TOWN:

Documentary Film screening: Sugar Coated
June 28-29, evening shows
Cinecenta (3800 Finnerty Rd.)

This investigative documentary exposes the US sugar industry’s influence on scientific inquiries to bury evidence of the impacts of mass sugar cosumption on our health.  See the trailer and more film details on the Cinecenta website.

Sooke Farm Tour
Sunday, July 19
Tickets $15 per adult
Tickets are now on sale for the Sooke Farm Tour. Come experience “hands-on farming for a day”! Meet regional growers on their home turf, see what they do best and walk away with the freshest picks of the season while visiting a colourful mix of new and historic farms. Please visitwww.sookefoodchi.ca/farmtour for further details and event updates, or email info@sookefoodchi.ca.

Garden News for the week of June 15

Garden News

Are you snacking in the garden or elsewhere on campus? We would love for your food waste to go into our Green Cone Digester! This is specifically for food waste and is located in the native flower bed in the center of the garden. It will break down your food scraps including meat/bones, cooked food, and dairy. (Please don’t add grass or plant clippings!) A more comprehensive list of accepted items is posted on the cone and a fact sheet about how it works is posted on the bulletin board.
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Weekly work parties

Tuesdays 3:30-5:30pm
Thursdays 5:30-7:30pm

Join us this week to transplant hops and bush beans, flip compost, weed the squash bed, and collect lupine seeds.

Garden News for the week of June 8

We finally have our lending library at the garden gazebo ready to go! It’s a lovely addition to the garden and a great way to continue knowledge sharing, learning, and offering resources to both new and experienced gardeners. Our library is made up of books on gardening, building, canning and preserves, herbs and plant medicines, environmental politics, and social justice, with a few stories too!

There is a sign out sheet on the door if you would like to borrow a book. If you would like to donate a relevant book, please bring it to our office in SUB B118, or drop it off in our mailbox in the SUB General Office.

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A big thank you to all of the past staff, volunteers, and participants who helped make this project happen over the past year, whether by helping to build the book shelf at the workshop, donating a book, or helping to organize the books. The lovely garden art (still a work in progress) has been contributed by Meris.

Also happening at the Garden:

Work parties
Tuesdays 3:30-5:30pm
Thursdays 5:30-7:30pm

Weekly Meditation  
Tuesdays from 12:30-1:15
Meet at the garden, bring yourself and something to sit on if you’d like. Contact Miranda from the UVic Meditation Club for more info at mharvey@uvic.ca

Outdoor Theatre: The Lorax! 
June 26-27, 2015
Gates at 12:45, Show starts at 1pm
Free admission
Theatre students will be performing a live adaptation of The Lorax written by Dr. Seuss and adapted by Devon Goldie. This will be fun for all ages, especially for little gardeners and the young at heart. Plant your very own seed and take it home after the performance! Please bring sunscreen/waterbottle/hat to stay cool and hydrated. Event poster on our website.

*CANCELLED* Theatre in the Garden: The Lorax

**EVENT UPDATE** June 23, 2015

We are very sorry to announce that our upcoming theater in the garden for The Lorax (June 27-28, 1-3pm) will be postponed because some actors have backed out last minute. We hope to host this play again in the Fall. We invite you to visit the garden this weekend regardless – check out the lending library and snack on some raspberries!

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UVic Theatre students will be performing a live adaptation of The Lorax written by Dr. Seuss and adapted by Devon Goldie on June 26-27, 2015. This will be fun for all ages, especially for little gardeners and the young at heart. Plant your very own seed and take it home after the performance!

Free admission
Gates open at 12:45, Show starts at 1pm.
Bring a hat, sunglasses/sunscreen and a waterbottle to stay cool and hydrated during this outdoor performance.

2015-06 Lorax poster JPEG

Garden News for June 2

The much needed rain has finally come down hurrah! Thanks to the lovely garden gazebo, we’ll be staying dry as we organize our community garden library book donations this week. Check back soon to see what resources we’ve got to share. At the garden this week, we’ll also be harvesting fava beans, cutting back the fava stalks, and weeding the raised beds.

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EDCI garden field trip, Today at 1-4pm 
This afternoon, we will be having a Curriculum and Instruction class visit from the education department and welcome other students to join this last minute workshop! We will be at the garden from 1-4pm and will be discussing food systems, going on a garden tour, working in the garden together, and having a special visit from the Director of Lifecycles Project Society, Maurita Prato.

Garden Meditations at the Campus Community Garden
Tuesdays, 12:30-1:15
Come join beginner meditation at the Campus Community Garden. All you need is yourself (and maybe something comfortable to sit on). No previous experience is required. Everyone is welcome. Contact Miranda of the UVic Meditation Club at mharvey@uvic.ca for more information

Theatre in the Garden: The Lorax
June 27-28, 1-3pm
UVic theater students will be performing two matinee showings of The Lorax at the Campus Community Garden gazebo at the end of the month. Invite your friends, family, and young ones to see this well-loved Dr. Seuss tale in person. More details to come soon.

Weekly Meditation at the Garden

Tuesdays, 12:30-1:15

Come join beginner meditation at the Campus Community Garden every Tuesday this summer between 12:30-1:15pm. All you need is yourself (and maybe something comfortable to sit on). No previous experience is required. Everyone is welcome. Contact Miranda of the UVic Meditation Club at mharvey@uvic.ca for more information

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Garden News for May 26

Cloudier days this week, but the sun is still shining through! We’re already harvesting strawberries, herbs, and crunchy lettuce greens and there’s lots of food and friendship growing in and outside of the garden. If you want to see for yourself, check out our photoalbum compiling some of what’s been happening over the past few months here.

Our strawberry patch is sweeter than ever

We always welcome new visitors and volunteers to stop by the garden. If you have skills and knowledge you would like to share or develop, but aren’t interested in getting your hands dirty, we are also seeking volunteers to get involved outside of work parties for projects such as:

  • helping organize our community lending library and compiling educational resources for urban gardening, sustainable agriculture, and local food justice/sovereignty/security
  • contributing art, painting signage for the garden and designing informative posters
  • planning workshops and events
  • infrastructure: increasing accessibility of the garden, building pathways, a new greenhouse, and composting toilet

If you are interested in helping with any of these projects, please contact Erica at ccgarden@uvic.ca and share your interests, ideas, skills, and availability for the summer. This is a great way to get involved and contribute to the growth of our campus community space!

Garden happenings

Work parties
Tuesdays 3:30-5:30pm
Thursdays 5:30-7:30pm
This week we will be weeding in the Giving Gardens, harvesting for the UVSS Food Bank, flipping compost, and more!

Meditate in the Garden
Tuesdays, 12:30-1:15pm
Starting next week, we will be hosting weekly meditation at the garden. All you need is yourself and something comfortable to sit on if you so choose. No previous experience is required. This will be facilitated by Miranda of the UVic Meditation Club. Contact mharvey@uvic.ca for more information.

Workshop fun

FREE WORKSHOPS AROUND TOWN:

Soil Science 101
Sat. May 30, 10-12pm
Compost Ed. Centre, 1216 North Park st.
Soil is capable of supporting plant life and is vital to life on earth, yet we understand very little about its complexities. Dig deeper with this introductory soil science workshop where we’ll look at soil properties and processes and relationships to plant growth, environmental quality and society. Free but register in advance to reserve a spot

Seed Saving 101 Workshop
Thurs. June 4, 7-8:30pm
GVPL Central Branch, 735 Broughton st.
Hosted by the Victoria Seed Library and led by Keeley Nixon from Full Circle Seeds and ALM Farm in Sooke. Learn the fundamentals for saving your own seed: timing, techniques and tips for success, plus info on why seed biodiversity is so important. Free and open to all, you don’t need to be a Seed Library member to attend.
Register here and contact: vicseedlibrary@lifecyclesproject.ca

Garden News for May 19

It’s such a fun time of year! This past week pole beans were planted and beds were prepped for some lovely tomato plants. Plus action is happening in a recently layered up hot compost!

Compost Compost Compost
Are you interested in learning more about compost and helping out with the CCG composting process? If so e-mail ccgassist@uvic.ca, with your interest and availability, to join the compost team!

This week’s work parties:

Tuesday, 3:30-5:30pm
Thursday, 5:30-7:30

Come join us in the garden! We will be planting our tomatoes, flipping compost, and fixing our fence for the arrival of honeybees.

COMMUNITY EVENTS

PLANT SALE
May 23rd, Mason Street City Farm is having a plant sale! More details on the facebook event.

FOR THE LOVE OF SOIL
June 5th & 6th is Soil Education Day with the Compost Education Centre.
Complete with a special lecture and workshops. Find out more on the facebook event.