Tag Archives: lettuce

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.

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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.

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Hop Over to Hop Compost this Friday

Kevin Davies created Canada’s first inner-city compost facility, Hop Compost and pioneered a closed loop around it.

Since launching in February 2015, Hop has saved over 3 million pounds of food waste from landfill, and crafted the most nutrient-rich compost in Canada to boost organic crop yields.

We are delighted that Kevin is one of Grow Food Calgary’s experts.

The first “secret” to growing food is feeding your soil.

Soil is where the the mineral are. Healthy soil is full of microbes, bacteria and other critters that feed your plants. A well-fed plant is full of nutrition.

A lettuce head grown in healthy soil has infinitely more benefit to your body than a head grown in dirt, void of life, sprayed with a variety of chemicals, and trucked thousands of kilometres to your refrigerator.

It’s all about the soil. And the best way to amend soil is with compost.

Kevin is hosting a small tour of the Hop Compost facility this Friday, March 10 at 6PM. We have three or four spaces left and we invite you to join us.

Address: 4243 17a St SE, Calgary, AB T2G 3X1

To reserve your space on the Hop Compost tour, contact Chelsie Anderson.

Can’t make the tour? Join us at Grow Food Calgary where you’ll learn how to feed your soil so it can feed your plants, so the plants can feed you. www.GrowFoodCalgary.com.

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150 Packets of “Garden Babies” Lettuce to give away

Donna Balzer, Garden Guru

First it was a five-year drought and recently the weather switched to torrential downpours in California.

“With over 90% of North America’s lettuce supply coming from California we have been and continue to be in trouble as the climate shifts” says GrowfoodCalgary.com instructor Donna Balzer. “And here’s the thing, we have got to stop meeting California like this, in the lettuce aisle.”

But seriously, if you are the least bit concerned about your food supply it is time to start growing your own food, and Balzer has the solution: “Lettuce is one of the easiest vegetables to grow.”

Luckily, growfoodcalgary.com and seed supplier Rennesgarden.com have just made it easier to grow your own lettuce. Rennee’s Garden Seeds just agreed to send a packet of “Garden Babies” lettuce seeds, enough for all the registrants in the Calgary program. So every participant can start growing their own food on the first day of school: March 10, 2017.

“Lettuce is easy to grow indoors in seven days as micro-greens even if you don’ have grow lights. You just have to get the seed started and it will grow.

Or you could save your seed and start it in spring outside in a shady area where it will take about 60 days from seeding to eating.”

And in really good news your life just got easier: Instructors and garden experts, including Balzer, are lined up to help you grow food faster. From soils to wild foods and bugs the growfoodcalgary.com team is on standby to help participants through your first season whether you are entirely new to growing or if you are new to growing in Calgary’s challenging climate.

The eight-month program begins April 22, 2017 with earlibird pricing until April 1 so if you are waiting for the California weather to change, give it up now and start fending for yourself.

For Details:

Call Donna at 403-827-6390 or register online at growfoodCalgary.com

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