Vol. July 2011Good Growing News!
Direct sow sweet peas like Mammoth, shown above, from mid-August til October for blooms all summer long. Sweet peas can also be planted in early spring – they’re the perfect flowers to plant for summer wedding bouquets, for garden fragrance, and for dinner table centerpieces. The more flowers you cut, the longer the bloom time will be. Can you keep up with them? Now that it’s summer, make notes about the flowers you seen in bloom now so you can plan ahead in your own garden for next year!
West Coast Seeds
3925 64th Street, RR #1
Delta, British Columbia
Canada V4K 3N2
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Tel: 604-952-8820
Book of the Month
Mini Farming
How to Store Your Garden Produce
Announcements

The World in a Garden Presents the Seed to Table workshop series
The following workshops are held in locations around Vancouver, are $20 each, and include free take away gifts, snacks, and coffee. For more information and registration, contact Alicia Baddorf by email, or phone (604) 257-5151 ext. 213.
Arts & Seed Starts – A Kids Workshop: Wednesday, July 20, 12:30-3:30pm: Kids learn about the seed to table process by planting seeds and making fun garden art.
Backyard Chickens: Wednesday, July 20, 6:30-8:30pm: Learn all about backyard chickens with Duncan Martin, and experienced backyard farmer and entrepreneur.
Local Native Plants: Sunday, July 24, 11am-1pm: Get local with Patrick Wilson (Linnaea Nurseries) as we discuss the benefits of native plants and their role in preserving First Nations heritage.

The Land Conservancy of British Columbia Pollinator Enhancement Project

The Land Conservancy of British Columbia believes strongly in the conservation of pollinators and  is exited to launch a Native Pollinator Enhancement Project to address pollinator decline. To find out more about the project and receive a gift of pollinator friendly seeds from West Coast Seeds please contact Nathalie Chambers or visit the website.
Please support our important work and bee-come a member!



  
  
Summer at Last!

Spring was so long, and anticipation for summer was so intense this year that now the warm weather is upon us, and suddenly it’s mid-July! Savour every minute, folks, as this is the height of the growing season. Crop after crop are ready to harvest, flowers are in bloom, the garden is abuzz with pollinators and other beneficial insects… And the gardener’s work is never done!

Now is the time to eat fresh veggies and to share them with your neighbours and friends. But you can also "put away" a ton of home-grown goodness by freezing, canning, drying, and storing. Check out our Book of the Month to learn How to Store Your Garden Produce. And read below about carrots, radicchio, and other crops you can plant now in July for fresh harvest in the fall and winter.

July Features
All about carrots!

Plant carrot seeds now for harvests in the fall and winter. Learn more about the varieties available and which ones are best suited to your tastes and growing conditions. Remember – carrots left in the ground after frost get sweeter and sweeter, and you can harvest until Christmas in most years.

Radicchio is the new black!
Learn how to plant and how to cook the different radicchio varieties! If you have never tried growing these jewel-like leafy vegetables before, now is the time to plant for mild-flavoured radicchio heads to harvest in the fall and early winter. They’re good raw in salads, but they are phenomenal grilled or roasted!
Seed of the month!
Treviso is a kind of radicchio that grows upright with thick crunchy stems, and nutty, distinctive leaves. If you plant it now, in July, it will be ready for harvest in the fall, and once the weather cools, Treviso is mild tasting and truly unique as a roasted or grilled vegetable. Plant some now, and you’ll be making room for it next year!

 
Sign Up for Our Gardening Classes

West Coast Seeds new retail store is equipped with a new, even larger classroom, where we’ll be offering a series of classes and lectures. The retail store is located at 4930 Elliott Street in Ladner, British Columbia – right on the corner of Elliott Street and River Road, beside the Ladner Recycling Centre. As new classes are confirmed, details will be posted here, so check back often. Refreshments will be provided at each of our classes.

Pre-registration is required. If you’d like to attend, you can register in person at our retail outlet, or by phone: (604) 952-8820. Please register as early as possible for each course that interests you.

Sunday September 11th, 1-3pm: Apartment Gardening
Join author Amy Pennington as she discusses the basics of gardening without a garden plot. Learn how to make the most of containers, balcony space, windowsills, kitchen counters, and more! Amy reveals how determined gardeners can make use of recycled materials and grow a bit of food, even on the 21st floor! This is a must-see event for Vancouverites who are anxious to grow food in their own space.
Cost: $15.00

Saturday, September 17th, 1-3pm: Secrets to Great Soil
With the end of summer and the arrival of cooler weather, it’s time to start work on preparing soil and garden beds for the coming spring. Mark Macdonald will discuss putting the garden to bed for the winter, applying lime, mulch, and other soil amendments. Then David Bradbeer will talk about how to use cover crops to build soil and actually improve its structure and fertility over winter.
Cost: $15.00

Sunday September 18th, 1-3pm: Seed Saving 101
As the garden goes to rest with the arrival of autumn, the gardener has an incredible opportunity to collect seeds and preserve them for planting in seasons to come. Master Gardener Brian Campbell will cover all the seed saving basics, revealing how home gardeners can save money, make the most of seed exchanges, and even breed their own vegetable varieties!
Cost: $15.00

Sunday September 25th, 1-3pm: Winterizing Mason Bees
Each fall, keepers of mason bees need to undertake some basic housekeeping – removing mason bee cocoons from nesting sites, cleaning them, discarding the bad ones, and keeping the good ones over winter. Master Gardener and Beekeeper Brian Campbell will show, step-by-step, how to take care of these little pollinators to ensure a healthy population for release in the spring.
Cost: $15.00

Sunday October 2nd, 1-3: Year End Roundup
It’s the end of another growing season, and time to reflect on the successes and failures of a gardening year. What worked well, and what bombed in the vegetable garden? What lessons can be learned in order to do better in the coming season? Mark Macdonald will address all your gardening questions, and offer advice on how to make turn gardening mistakes into practical solutions.
Cost: $15.00

Sunday October 23rd, 1-3pm: Sprouts & Microgreens
Cool, gloomy weather approaches, but that’s no reason to stop growing your own food! Mark Macdonald will show you how to grow nutritious sprouts and microgreens right on your kitchen counter, or in a specialized indoor growing area. Learn how to use basic tools and specialized sprouting equipment from mason jars to high output grow lights. Come and taste a wide variety of classic sprouts & microgreens.
Cost: $15.00

Sunday January 15th, 1-3pm: Getting Started with Mason Bees
The Blue Orchard Mason Bee is a miracle of nature and provides enthusiastic services to growers of fruits and vegetables. These industrious little bees are easy to keep and care for, both on a farm or an apartment balcony. Master beekeeper Brian Campbell will cover all aspects of mason bee care, and explain how we can help them to help ourselves.
Cost: $15.00

Sunday January 22nd, 1-3pm: Garden Planning 101
Growing food successfully is all about careful planning, whether you have an allotment in a community garden or a family farm. Choosing what to plant and when (and where) to plant it involves thoughtful consideration and calculation. Join Master Gardener Brian Campbell as he discusses how to get the maximum harvest out of any size of space. Organic gardening basics for novices and experienced growers alike.
Cost: $15.00

Sunday, January 29th, 1-3pm: Organic Pest Solutions
A healthy garden is full of bugs – some beneficial, and others not so much. But before you go buggy and reach for insecticide, it’s worth learning the organic approach to garden pests. Brian Campbell will discuss Integrated Pest Management – a down-to-earth and thoughtful way of dealing with pest species, from analyzing the problem to the best organic solution.
Cost: $15.00

Sunday, February 5th, 1-3pm: Success with Seeds
Growing food (and herbs & flowers) from seed is both economical and easy. Even in a small garden, masses of food can be produced from a simple packet of seeds. But not all seeds need the same treatment. Master Gardener Brian Campbell will cover all aspects of planting seeds, from the most basic principles to some professional tricks like stratification and vernalization.
Cost: $15.00

Sunday, February 12th, 1-3pm: Secrets to Great Soil
Organic growing is all about the soil. By cultivating truly great soil, it’s easy to grow healthy, vigorous plants that are more productive and have improved resistance to pests and disease. Master Gardener Brian Campbell will discuss strategies to build and improve soil, from the addition of organic matter to the different soil amendments. Join us for this master class on how to make the ultimate garden soil! Another class that will be held on two separate dates due to popularity!
Cost: $15.00

Sunday, February 19th, 1-3pm: Success with Seeds
Growing food (and herbs & flowers) from seed is both economical and easy. Even in a small garden, masses of food can be produced from a simple packet of seeds. But not all seeds need the same treatment. Master Gardener Brian Campbell will cover all aspects of planting seeds, from the most basic principles to some professional tricks like stratification and vernalization. This is a repeat of the February 5th class.
Cost: $15.00

Sunday, February 26th, 1-3pm: All About Tomatoes
Early spring is the time to plant tomatoes from seed. But which varieties should you try, and what are the best ways to insure a successful crop? Mark Macdonald will cover all aspects of tomato growing, from choosing your variety to harvesting your own seeds at the end of summer. Come and learn about soil, fertilizers, pruning, heirloom history, disease prevention and more!
Cost: $15.00

Sunday, March 4th: Companion Planting
Plants, like people, live in communities. Learn how certain combinations of plants can increase your garden’s health, reduce damage from pests, and even improve flavour. Brian Campbell will discuss this ancient approach to organic gardening with regards to its folklore and its science.
Cost: $15.00

Sunday March 11th, 1-3pm: All About Tomatoes
Early spring is the time to plant tomatoes from seed. But which varieties should you try, and what are the best ways to insure a successful crop? Mark Macdonald will cover all aspects of tomato growing, from choosing your variety to harvesting your own seeds at the end of summer. Come and learn about soil, fertilizers, pruning, heirloom history, disease prevention and more! This is a repeat of the February 26th class.
Cost: $15.00

Sunday, March 18th, 1-3pm: Gardening for Pollinators
All gardeners depend on bees and other pollinators to produce good fruits and vegetables. With honeybees in decline, what strategies can growers and home gardeners take to preserve and encourage bumblebees (and a host of other wild bees) to build healthy populations near to the growing area? Master beekeeper Brian Campbell will talk about our relationship with, and dependence on, pollinators – and what we can do to support them.
Cost: $15.00

Sunday, March 25th, 1-3pm: Grafting Heirloom Apples & Other Fruit Trees
Master Gardener Brian Campbell reveals expert techniques for harvesting living tissue from one tree and grafting it to another to produce different varieties of apples growing from the same tree. Learn how you can preserve diversity by grafting different tree fruits like the professionals. Please bring a clean, sharp knife to this class. Grafting materials will be provided.
Cost: $45.00

Sunday, April 1st, 1-3pm: Secrets to Great Soil
Organic growing is all about the soil. By cultivating truly great soil, it’s easy to grow healthy, vigorous plants that are more productive and have improved resistance to pests and disease. Master Gardener Brian Campbell will discuss strategies to build and improve soil, from the addition of organic matter to the different soil amendments. Join us for this master class on how to make the ultimate garden soil! This is a repeat of the February 12th class.
Cost: $15.00

Sunday, April 15th, 1-3pm: Containers & Raised Beds
Is your growing space restricted to a small back yard or balcony? Are you part of a community allotment garden? Join Brian Campbell for a lively talk about how to make the most of limited space, and how to maximize your harvest all season. Learn about the basic requirements for soil and space, and practical tips to help you grow food on the small scale.
Cost: $15.00

Sunday, April 22nd, 1-3pm: Flowers in Organic Gardens
Flowers play several roles in the organic food garden. Aside from bringing beauty and fragrance to the garden, they also attract pollinators – and many other kinds of beneficial insects. Many flower varieties are also edible, bringing colour and gourmet flair to salads and other meals. Brian Campbell and Mark Macdonald will talk about the different practical uses for flowers in the garden.
Cost: $15.00

Sunday, May 6th, 1-3pm: Urban Beekeeping
Thinking of taking up beekeeping? We’ll discuss the beekeeper’s year, the tools and equipment you’ll need, and the challenges faced by both bees and their keepers. Master beekeeper Brian Campbell will teach you about the hands on demands – and rewards – of managing a hive in an urban (or suburban) environment.
Cost: $15.00

 
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