Tag Archives: Grow Food Calgary

ROI: Return on Investment

Shelley Goldbeck

Return on Investment (ROI) is a term that is frequently used to describe the effectiveness of business.

One day this summer  I was harvesting new potatoes for dinner when it occurred to me what a good ROI I get from gardening.

One chunk of potato, perhaps a quarter of a potato, yielded enough potatoes for four of us for dinner, with a few leftover for hash browns with our eggs the next morning.

One seed packet of beans yielded us many meals of steamed green beans this summer. Our kale is flourishing, more than enough for us and half the neighbours!

That’s just the produce. That doesn’t include the free Vitamin D, exercise without paying for a gym pass, and peace of mind working through my problems while I garden rather than lying on a shrink’s couch at $300/hour.

Yes, the Return on Investment from gardening is huge. You should try it.

Our next Grow Food Calgary session is October 21. Tickets are available now. 

 

The Bittersweet End of Summer

How’s it Growing, Grow Food Calgary Gardeners?

August 31, 2017

As the growing season ends, a new era in the garden begins. Like late-summer lettuce it can be bittersweet!

Harvest is upon us.

Tomatoes on every plate at every meal.

The green beans have finally relented!

And salads with a true mix of greens (kale, beets, three lettuces, arugula, basil, chives, violets, nasturtiums and more) are the highlight of each meal.

While we enjoy the fruits of our summer efforts, we also know it’s time to wind down the garden and begin planning for next year.

We have an exciting program lined up for our September 23 Grow Food Calgary Session. Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Garden Pictures: We’ll present a slide show of all our gardens. Please share pictures of your garden (send to: Shelley@ShelleyGoldbeck.com). They don’t have to be pretty. We want to learn from the things that didn’t do well too. Deadline for submitting photos is September 15, 2017. See Lisa’s photos here: http://growfoodcalgary.com/gardeners-gallery-lisa
    2.  Harvest Fair and Share:
    Bring samples of your produce to show off. Petite prizes will be awarded for the produce, presentation, passion, and pleasure you convey! If you have an abundance of zucchini or bushels of apples, we encourage you to bring your excess for sharing.
    3. Our guest speaker this month is Malika the mushroom lady who will show us how easy it is to grow our own mushrooms.
    4. We’ll be talking about collecting seeds from the garden, planting fall crops, and bedding down your garden for winter.5. After class Bonus! Sharp’s Farm Tour: From 1 to 2PM. Tour a working veggie patch. No kids or pets. More information to come, including car-pooling options. Pencil it in your schedule.Invite your friends. Tickets are available at: www.growfoodcalgary.com/register

As always, we welcome your questions. We look forward to sharing your garden experiences.

Watch for our next program update coming next week.

Community Crops

 

 

 

Chelsie Anderson, Garden Expert

In Calgary we have an abundance of space as we are a sprawly city.

We also have amazing soil, tons of sunshine and I happen to know of crops that will succeed with very little effort in this city of ours.

I made up a bed on my front lawn, my son painted a sign and came up with the alliteration “Calgary Community Crops” (can be found on Facebook), and we started to spread the word that these crops were intended for anyone to harvest.

Community Crops
www.GrowFoodCalgary.com

What I noticed?

People knew what to do with kale and lettuce, but they weren’t as certain about how to pick root crops; beets, radishes.

No one seemed to notice the beans or zucchini until I pointed them out.

Some people were too shy to harvest from my garden, so I started bagging up produce and delivering it to neighbours I thought would be grateful. This was always well received.

I have made up a laminated booklet which I will hang from my sign next year explaining when and how to harvest the crops.  I realize I need to help educate people on harvesting… people who access my crops don’t know how things grow.

Garden Kids
www.GrowFoodCalgary.com

The most special moments for me with these crops were when I’d hear kids laughing out front, only to find they were harvesting peas with friends and dogs while the parents chatted on the sidewalk.

My front lawn started to become a local activity/hand out spot for young families, and this made my heart swell!

I am hoping to inspire others to do the same next year and will provide signage for anyone interested in turning their front yard into a community crops site.

Contact me via Facebook or at this email address for more info.

Volunteer Squash

Chelsie Anderson, Garden Expert

It is hard to compost seeds, and me, being an impatient composter, I tend to spread my compost before it is totally finished.

As a result I get some volunteer veggies every year.

This year it was primarily squash and tomatoes.

Baby squash
www.GrowFoodCalgary.com

While I generally weed out most of these babies, I left the squash as they were filling a bare spot in garden and there was mulch covering the soil (perfect to keep squash from rotting!)

Almost ready to eat squash
www.GrowFoodCalgary.com

 

They grew better than any of the plants I deliberately seeded.

Did you have any volunteers in your garden this year?

Tell us your stories.

 

Volunteer Squash
www.GrowFoodCalgary.com

Tickets for the next session of Grow Food Calgary are now available.

Raspberry Trouble – I am not alone with bad raspberries this year

From Donna Balzer’s website: www.DonnaBalzer.com

by | Aug 2, 2017 | Food, GARDENING, VIDEOS | 0 comments

George is off his game. He used to water, weed, pick and share his juicy raspberries and all the neighbors looked forward to his harvest. Well that was last year.

I knew George wasn’t feeling well so I offered to pick berries for him. I was thinking, rather confidently, I can bring a ray of light into his life.

Raspberries
Courtesy: www.DonnaBalzer.com

Instead of being helpful, I was crushed. Like George, his plants are old and weak. We’ve had a dry summer, his berries are growing in full sun, and they are not being watered. They are  shorter than normal. They are also full of grass and producing only a very few small fruit. It reminds me how fast a great garden dwindles if the owner can’t offer the care a crop wants and needs. Gardens fade fast.

Raspberries from High Level, Alberta to Qualicum Beach, British Columbia are suffering. On my #CBC radio show (Alberta at Noon, July 28th) I had calls about distressed raspberries, the queen of the summer fruit garden. When I visited my son in Smithers in July I saw his plants were also doing poorly.  When I got home I saw my berries were no better.  If you love raspberries and want even more fruit then do as I say, not as I do!

Read Donna’s entire blog here