Monday, 18 March 2013

Seedy Saturday Adventures

A note: I am getting back into the discipline of writing a blog; I wrote this shortly after attending the Seedy Saturday event, pressed "save" intending to read it over later, and left it for several weeks. Oops.
Anyhow, better late than never:

On Saturday March 3, I scrambled my stuff together after sleeping late, and drove out to the Britannia Beach Ron Kolbus building to attend a seed exchange and sale called Seedy Saturday. I'd heard about it a few weeks beforehand and decided to go; it wasn't until I told my mother of my plans that I realized the double (and thoroughly unintended) meaning of "seedy". Needless to say, she had a good laugh at that (and at me).

I drove up to the building, noting that I had the correct address, and turned into the adjacent parking lot.
It was full. Several cars had already made the circuit, and were heading back out, so I followed them to a slightly further parking lot, only three quarters full. Neither were small parkinglots.

So, no Mom, the event was not just attended by a few old geezers. And the only seediness involved was that of embryonic plants.

Entered the building to find a small room buzzing with chatter. Display tables for different food-related organizations lined its perimeter, and, closest to the door, a seed exchange table was set up where gardeners could drop off their extra saved seed and pick what they wanted from what others had brought.

It was an organized chaos of every imaginable type of seed envelope, with varieties ranging from cucumbers to wildflowers to squash and tomatoes.
Since I had not managed to collect a large excess of seed from the plants I saved seed from - cosmos, chives, and peas, added to the fact that I'd slept late and rushed out the door, I opted to make a donation (the alternative option to trading).

Leaving the exchange table, I ventured into a gymnasium brimming with people who clustered around the  tables set up by local food vendors, small seed sellers, and various food-justice organizations.

Friday, 1 March 2013

Lessons From Last Year

The first thing any gardener does when faced with the prospect of a new growing season is to look at the previous year: the good, the bad, and the mediocre.

As I recall last year featured a nigh perpetual battle betwixt gardener and squirrels, and several other bugs/diseases. Mostly the damn squirrels. They are a little acknowledged (by the internet) source of urban gardening woes, at least for those of us with a walnut tree in their back yard.

Maybe I exaggerate. Maybe I don't.

Chicken manure pellets seemed to help there a little, but I'm not exactly sure where to obtain more of them (my supply came from an elusive stall in the Ottawa farmer's market the name of which I can't quite recall).
So the search begins.

And then of course there are the veggie variety lessons... 
With great reluctance, I must admit that I cannot grow winter squash in my yard. Reasons: