Posted by: silverspringsgarden | March 2, 2018

Garden Speakers Series 2018

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Posted by: silverspringsgarden | July 26, 2017

EDIBLE GARDEN GROUP: Silver Springs Edible Community Garden

It has been a productive summer for garden members of the Silver Springs Edible Garden Group. As this article goes to print, the produce in the garden is at its peak and overflowing in the boxes. Perhaps the addition of compost to each box early Spring has made the difference, yet, I suspect it has as much to do with the dedication and careful tending by the gardener.

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The bi-weekly maintenance in the surrounding perennial beds has resulted in a spectacular ongoing display of flowering and fruiting shrubs and herbaceous perennials that add colour to our garden from mid-April into October, all things considered. We have seen an increase in the number of bees and other pollinating insects to the garden this year. The mason bees that were released mid-May have been spotted around the garden and already there is indication that some have laid their eggs in at least one of the mason bee boxes in readiness for next season.

It has been a productive summer for garden members of the Silver Springs Edible Garden Group. As this article goes to print, the produce in the garden is at its peak and overflowing in the boxes. Perhaps the addition of compost to each box early Spring has made the difference, yet, I suspect it has as much to do with the dedication and careful tending by the gardener.

The bi-weekly maintenance in the surrounding perennial beds has resulted in a spectacular ongoing display of flowering and fruiting shrubs and herbaceous perennials that add colour to our garden from mid-April into October, all things considered. We have seen an increase in the number of bees and other pollinating insects to the garden this year. The mason bees that were released mid-May have been spotted around the garden and already there is indication that some have laid their eggs in at least one of the mason bee boxes in readiness for next season.

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The garden is open to everyone and we invite you, the community at large, to stop by, have a walk-around, perhaps chat with a gardener tending his or her garden bed, even to sit a while on the bench under the pergola and just allow the senses to take in the beauty of the surroundings; a quiet sanctuary waiting to be shared.

The Edible Garden Group welcomes new members, space permitting. If interested in gardening with us, please submit your name and phone number in the ‘Contact’ section of our web page: https://silverspringsgarden.wordpress.com/ for placement on the short waiting list.

We also welcome and encourage feedback from existing garden members and the community. We would love to hear from you regarding what you enjoy about the garden, as well as your ideas for the future of the garden. Input is also welcome in the planning of programs and events that affect the garden, and we invite interested gardeners to get involved in this; perhaps even assist in the writing of articles for the newsletter. Please send your comments and ideas to silverspringsgarden@gmail.com .

The FALL GARDEN CLEAN-UP is scheduled for SUNDAY, OCTOBER 1 @ 1:00 PM. All garden members are asked to be present. That same evening at 6:00 pm in the Silver Springs Community Center present gardeners will enjoy a shared POTLUCK DINNER and reminisce about the past season. Please MARK YOUR CALENDARS.

One of the ways the EGG raises funds for the garden is through the The Growing Connection’ Garden Speaker Series. Feedback on these talks has been extremely positive. Each talk is timely, according to the season. Come join us for the next garden talk on SEPTEMBER 27TH at 7:30 p.m. at the Silver Springs Community Center. All level of gardeners will discover something of interest and something new.

GARDEN SPEAKER SERIES – ‘The Growing Connection’ 

Informative garden-themed talks presented by: Janet Melrose, ‘Calgary’s Cottage Gardener’. The next Gardening Talk is on SEPTEMBER 27th at 7:30 p.m. Silver Springs Community Center

COST: $15.00 at the door

SEPT 27, 2017 Fall & Early Winter: Putting the Garden to Bed

  • Creating great garden soil; soil amendment now
  • Fall crop planting
  • Planning for next year: crop rotation; expanding or enhancing the garden
  • Leaving the garden looking beautiful and cared for throughout winter months

 

Posted by: silverspringsgarden | July 11, 2017

Nutrients in your Garden

By Andrea Holwegner BSc, RD

www.healthstandnutrition.com

There are so many benefits to eating vegetables. Not only do the various colours help make our plate beautiful, there are fabulous health benefits. Check out this list below for some of the good things your favorite vegetables can do for you and maybe even consider trying a new-to-you option this week!

Root Vegetables (carrots, potatoes, beets, sweet potatoes, yams, turnips, parsnips etc.)

  • Potassium, fibre, vitamin C, carbohydrates
  • Orange, yellow, and red roots have high concentrations of beta carotene and other antioxidants associated with a decrease in cancer and heart disease

 

Allium vegetables (onion, garlic)

  • Organosulfur compounds (allylic sulfides) inhibit blood clotting, reduce blood cholesterol levels, and lower the risk of some cancers.
  • Vitamin C, potassium, and trace minerals

Cruciferous veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, radishes, turnips etc.)

  • Carotenoids – cancer preventative compound found in deep green and red varieties
  • Vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, vitamin K, fibre
  • Indoles – lower cholesterol levels and protect against cancer – especially breast cancer

Squash (zucchini, yellow/acorn/spaghetti/butternut, pumpkin)

  • Deep yellow and orange varieties like pumpkin, butternut, and acorn squash are rich in carotenoids.
  • Potassium, B-vitamins, vitamin C, folic acid, fibre, and carbohydrates.

Peppers (sweet bell peppers and hot peppers)

  • Vitamin C, minerals, fibre
  • Red and green peppers contain carotenoids
  • Hot peppers contain capsaicin – lowers cholesterol etc.
  • In general the riper (redder) varieties are higher in nutrients than the unripe (greener)varieties

Greens (Romaine Lettuce, leaf lettuce, spinach, kale, arugula, dandelion greens etc.)

  • The deeper the green the better nutrient density!
  • Beta-carotene, fibre, calcium, iron, vitamin C, vitamin K
  • Folic acid – reduces the risk of heart disease and neural tube birth defects
  • Spinach is high in lutein – slows macular degeneration of the eye

For more great healthy eating tips from the Registered Dietitians of Health Stand

Nutrition check out  www.healthstandnutrition.com and sign up for a free

bi-monthly nutrition newsletter loaded with yummy recipes, healthy eating ideas and videos.

Posted by: silverspringsgarden | July 4, 2017

‘GROWING CONNECTION’ SPEAKER SERIES

Both the second and third presentations of our “GROWING CONNECTION” series with Janet Melrose proved again to be entertaining, informative, and fun evenings. If you have not yet joined us for Janet’s sessions, you are missing out on the best advice money can buy! Janet Melrose, aka ‘Calgary’s Cottage Gardener’, Master Gardener, and Horticultural Therapist, has been navigating Calgary’s quirky growing season for over 30 years.

The mid-May talk, ‘Active Growing Season: Time to Get Growing’ was largely about ‘when’ to start planting here in Calgary, optimum soil temperatures for planting, and what crops could be planted early, and which were best to hold off until soil warmed up; all very informative and important to Calgary’s short growing season and cool nights.

A ‘few’ helpful tips received from this talk include:

  • Lettuce, spinach, chard, beets, and peas can be planted early, as soon as the ground thaws (April).
  • Tomatoes, peppers, corn and beans are ‘warm’ season crops and need warm soil to germinate.
  • Best to grow garlic in the fall and harvest by the 20th of July the next year.
  • Carrots are a good companion plant to spinach.
  • Every part of the brassica family is edible!
  • Radish is the preferred diet for flea beetles and cabbage moths. Plant radish with ‘cole’ crops – plants that belong to the mustard (Brassica) family – to lessen destruction of major crop.

These are just a few ‘pearls’ from Janet that you might be missing.

Setting the Summer Stage’ covered all the hot topics for this time of year including pest/plant management, wind protection, watering wisely, and early harvesting, to name a few.

For those of us who practice organic methods of gardening, there are several ways to implement Integrated Pest/Plant Management (IPM). Timing your planting schedule, planting ‘trap crops’, plant spacing, and watering practices all play a vital role in the outcome of your garden.

A variety of problems including various fungus (such as Black Knot), molds and mildews, along with their remedies, were covered as well as identifying invasive plants and weeds.

One of the biggest gardening issues in Calgary is the wind and dryness. Two solutions: first, Google ‘Ollas’, then gather the supplies required to make this ancient and unique watering vessel. Make several; they are fun and you can go away for a few days and not worry about your plants withering! Bury them in your planters or gardens, then fill them.

Ollas

Second solution for wind and dryness – buy some row/frost cover fabric (available from Lee Valley Tools or online from West Coast Seeds). This miracle fabric allows rain through to your plants, keeps out unwanted bugs (like flea beetles, saw fly, cabbage moths), and lessens the damaging effects from wind and hail. This white row cover also speeds up crop production as it keeps the ambient heat of the soil and air a few degrees warmer. Use it late in the growing season when frost threatens to wipe out your beautiful bounty!

Make sure you join us for the last gardening talk this year:

Fall and Early Winter Gardening: ‘Putting Your Garden to Bed’

September 27th at 7:30 PM

Silver Springs Community Center

$15.00 at the door

Posted by: silverspringsgarden | July 4, 2017

EDIBLE GARDEN GROUP

At the time of writing (beginning of July), we are just entering the hot summer months and much of the produce in the boxes is filling out nicely. Many of the edible greens have already been harvested and enjoyed now for several weeks. The root crops continue to be frequently thinned, and the beans are starting to flower, as are many of the tomato plants.

There is colour in the outside perennial beds naturally attracting many of the pollinating insects. The Haskap berry bushes have already flowered, berried out, and been picked. The roses, peonies, and mock orange shrubs with their heavenly fragrance bloom gloriously! The Garden Group purchased and released another 30 mason bees this year into the garden and hopefully, they are happily buzzing around the garden pollinating everything in sight.

We have had several queries regarding the white cloths that cover some of the garden boxes. These lightweight ‘row covers’ are loose in weave thereby allowing the sun’s rays and water to penetrate, as well as offering some protection from the wind, hail, hot sun, and destructive insects, such as the white cabbage butterfly whose larvae seems to love the brassica family (broccoli, cabbage, kale). The row covers also help to prevent the rapid evaporation of moisture from the soil so less frequent watering is required. Now you know!

Fairies

There are a couple of families in our community garden whose children, or grandchildren, have created whimsical ‘fairy gardens’ within the raised bed. Seeds were then planted around the fairy gardens and plants are filling in giving the appearance of lovely landscaped surroundings. What a wonderful way to get the young’ns involved in gardening!

What else have we been up to?

Several members of the garden group recently met one fine Saturday morning for a ‘work bee’ to address several issues.

(1) Tree root management: Due to the interference of tree roots from the large poplars on the west side of the garden in several garden boxes, several boxes were emptied of all soil, roots manually removed, a thick landscape root barrier added to each box, and the soil shovelled back in.

(2) Thinning gravel on the pathways: Several loads of pea gravel were delivered and then manually wheel-barrowed onto the pathways between the boxes adding another 2 inches of gravel.

(3) Amendment of soil in the west perennial bed: Due to compaction in this soil bed and the slow growth of the plants, most plants were lifted from the perennial bed and temporarily placed in two of the garden boxes; then compost was added to the entire west side. Most perennials have now been returned to this bed.

This was all accomplished within 2 hours! As well, all box numbers have been repainted. Amazing what team participation can accomplish!

Please note that all the garden boxes are rented for the current year and there is a short waiting list for boxes for next year (2018 growing season). If you wish to be part of this wonderful community garden, you may add your name to the waiting list by contacting Brenda at brendaahulley@gmail.com.

 

Posted by: silverspringsgarden | July 3, 2017

Creeping Bellflower

We’ve has some instances of creeping bellflower in the garden. Creeping Bellflower is an invasive plant that we’d rather not have in the garden. It looks like this:

If you see it or suspect that you see it, haul it out.

Posted by: silverspringsgarden | June 19, 2017

More 150 Celebration Pictures

We had more than one photographer at work on the celebration day so here’s more pictures from that day:

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Posted by: silverspringsgarden | June 19, 2017

First Produce

The gardens are producing already!

Deb sent me this image of the first kale salad from her garden this year. You must have a green thumb, Deb.DebsFirstKaleSalad

Posted by: silverspringsgarden | June 13, 2017

150th Celebration Garden

Botanical Garden Aerials-3

 

The tulips have bloomed, the cake has been cut, the dignitaries have had their say, and the people came together to celebrate.

Here are some of the goings on:

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Posted by: silverspringsgarden | April 26, 2017

150th Tulip Celebration

2017TulipPoster

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