It has been a busy and rainy growing season, but now that we are well into fall, it is time for a preserving session! We selected fermenting this year as we haven't done this type of preserve yet, so it is expanding our knowledge even further.
We have many flowers blooming for the bees, and much promise of future harvest :) Happy Spring folks!
Wednesday coffee meetings will start soon, and many beds are springing to life!
2017 was a wonderful growing season, and had many great events - Kids helping plant the garden, Fulton Place Garden Tour, Edmonton Horticulture Society Tour, and Kids helping harvest the garden, and a Making Tomato Sauce Session!
In preparation for the 2018 year, Sherry has sent out a request for 2017 gardeners to confirm whether they wish to keep their beds or if they will not be returning. We may not officially know how many are not returning until the Spring Planning meeting (April 17), but if you are interested in a bed, please send us an email and we will add you to the waiting list.
The next Garden meeting is on March 21st, 7 pm, please attend if you'd like to support and influence the governance of the garden.
The planting committee has already met to discuss what to plant in the shared beds, many selections were made due to the decision to have our fall preserving session a Making Pickles session. If you wish to be part of the planting committee for future years, please let us know:
This year's requested harvest activity was to have a tomato sauce making session as we got a donated food mill earlier this year, and there was a bountiful tomato harvest!
We would like attendees to let us know they intend to come in advance (send us an email), and whether they have tomatoes and/or jars they can bring to the event. If you have any fresh basil, oregano, or other herbs that go well in tomato sauce, please let us know what you can bring. We will be collecting $10 for the event to cover any needed purchases during the event (like more jars, lemon juice, and vinegar), any surplus will be donated to St. Augustine's in thanks for use of their kitchen facilities.
The session will be on Sept 23, 2017 from 1 to 4:30, hope to see you there!
The barley adventure continues! One of the beds in the garden, and one in my backyard were ready for harvest. There are now stooks of barley in my backyard garden drying for the next 14 days. We'll keep an eye on the other beds, they'll need to be harvested soon as well!
We got many, many complements on the barely at the tour this year, so I guess even without beer, it was a win :)
Hey Folks! We have the beginning of our barley crop, beds 9 and 28 have been planted with Copeland barley seed, and since it has been so nice out, the seed is up!
We have a lot of spare Copeland seed, so if anyone wants to practice malting barley, I can portion it out and we can get the interested people trying out the malting.
I've found a few resources that step through the malting process (basically starting germination in the seeds, then interrupting it part way through, drying, and potentially roasting the seed). The malting process is required to get the seeds converted into a consumable sugar so that you can make beer!
If you want to join the fun, please drop us an email to our contact or on our Facebook page and we can get you some seed to play with!
For those willing to try it out, I've linked in a few resources that seem to step out the process so that it can be easily done using fairly standard kitchen equipment (the one specialty item appears to be a dehydrator that can hold a low temperature for drying - or oven, depending how cool it is), the drying temperature needs to be below 50 degrees C/125 F for the drying, then the roasting temperature can be anywhere between 100 and 200 degrees C (200 to 400 F) for varying times to get the colour/roast level desired (we'll have to pick this later).
Happy planting everyone :)
Spring seems to be having a hard time showing up this year... Despite the clouds and the cold, a few of us gathered this evening to get the garden ready for the season. We cleared the snow fence and tree covers, took down some solar lights and put up sweet pea towers (formerly bean towers) and picked up some weeds and garbage. We also added compost to each of the remaining beds that had not yet been amended. Please spread the compost and work it into the soil of your bed by digging down and turning it under. This should be done for the beds that we amended last fall, as well as the ones that were just amended today. Also, in some of the beds you will notice that there is some winter rye growing. This is a green compost crop that can be turned under when you are ready to plant your box. It will add nitrogen to your soil. However, please remember some of you may have planted red and white bulbs in the fall, so you may want to wait a bit until you see what is about to come up!
We also gathered all the rocks from around the bean towers and trees and placed them bottom side up on a tarp beside the shed. These will be repainted by grade 9 art students as well as by grade 1 students this year.
We finished off the evening with some hot coffee and rice krispie squares.
Hopefully the weather will shape up and spring will be here soon! Even the ladybugs are not ready to wake up!
Tonight we had the spring blessing in the garden, our spring potluck and preseason garden meeting. It was great to see everyone again after the winter months. We first gathered in the garden to talk about our hopes for the coming season, and remembered our first spring blessing 2 years ago, where in the open empty field we symbolically turned over the soil with compost, as a sign of renewal and new things to come for this land. Tonight we used compost again, this time from our very own compost pile, to amend and renew one of the garden beds.
At the potluck I was amazed at all the interesting and wonderful dishes that people brought, it was delicious! Look as one of the creative desserts!
At our meeting we allocated garden plots, signed Garden Contracts and signed up some more Friends of the Garden.
Welcome to the third season of the Sunshine Garden!
Last fall we discussed the idea of trying to make a Fulton Place Garden Local Brew. So we decided to grow our own barley (knowing we have various neighbours with hops and honey bees), well, we've finally gotten some malting barley seed, so the project is on! Our end goal is to have the beer ready for our year end potluck so we can all share in the goodness!
We had a fair amount of difficulty finding an Edmonton supplier for malting barley, but thanks to a retired farmer passing over the Alberta Seed Guide, we found a local seed grower, Galloway Seeds Ltd. by Fort Saskatchewan that had malting barley seed, CDC Copeland variety.
Galloway Seeds was kind enough to donate the seed we needed, so we now have sufficient seed for our community beds and the donated back yard beds. Thank you very much Jim!
Next steps are to turn the beds, take out any weeds that have started already, seed out the Barley, then watch the barley grow and keep up on weeding and watering to keep them happy. Please drop us an email if you want to get more involved in this project or have any brewing experience you are willing to pass on!
See you all at the pre-season meeting on the 20th, and enjoy the spring season :)
Reminder for the 20th meeting:
5:30 pm is the Spring Blessing in the Garden - led by Rector Jonathan Crane
6:00 pm is the Spring Potluck - all are welcome, bring a friend
7:00 pm is the Pre-Season Garden Meeting - all gardeners must attend
We want to build awareness of the community garden, communicate with the community and have fun!