April 2011 Newsletter

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Vol. April 2011 Good Growing News!
April 2011 Newsletter West Coast Seeds
Order your Mason Bee Cocoons now! Bees, wasps, butterflies, moths, flies, and some beetles pollinate more than 70 percent of flowering plants, including the beans, peas, cucumbers, melons, peppers, and squash in your garden – as well as all the nearly all the fruit you eat. In recent years, wild and domestic bee populations have been in decline due to loss of habitat, pesticide use, the spread of parasites, and even climate change. But we can do our part to ensure that pollinator and other beneficial insect populations remain healthy and abundant.
West Coast Seeds
3925 64th Street, RR #1
Delta, British Columbia
Canada V4K 3N2
Google Map
Tel: 604-952-8820
Book of the Month
Mini Farming
Sugar Snaps and Strawberries
2011 Tomato Seedling Sale
Saturday May 14th, 9am-5pm & Sunday May 15th, 10am-4pm.
Didn’t remember to plant tomatoes early? Come by the West Coast Seeds retail store in Ladner Village and pick up a seedling or two. Expertly and organically grown by local Snow Farms – over 20 varieties to choose from! Available only as supplies last – first come, first served – no reservations! Pepper seedlings will also be available. Seedlings will be $3.00 each.

Joy of Feeding

Sunday, May 15th, 1-4pm.
@ UBC Farm, 6182 South Campus Road. (See their website for directions). Celebrate comfort foods as prepared by 15 Canadian moms of different heritages, including Meeru Dhalwala of Vij’s and Mary MacKay of Terra Breads. The event is a fundraiser for UBC Farm. Tickets are $50 and include a booklet with each mom’s family recipe. One child under 12 years, per ticket, is free. Tickets are on sale April 1st at any Choices Market or on the UBC Farm website.Book Launch with
Linda Gilkeson

Saturday, May 28th, 1-3pm.
@ West Coast Seeds, 4930 Elliott Street in Ladner Village.
Join BC gardening guru Linda Gilkeson as we celebrate the arrival of her latest book, Backyard Bounty! Linda will be on hand to answer gardening questions, identify insect pests, sign copies of her new book, and offer advice to gardeners of all experience levels.

Getting Started in Small Scale Organic Market Gardening
Join Ellen Rainwalker for a 4-hour workshop on the practical aspects of growing for the market. Saturday, April 16th, at the Errington Hall on Vancouver Island (near Parksville). Contact Ellen to register and for more details.

Sugar Snaps & Strawberries: Tips for the Urban Gardener
Sunday, June 5th, 1-pm.
@ West Coast Seeds, 4930 Elliott Street in Ladner Village.
Andrea Bellamy is a Vancouver based garden writer, mom, blogger, and author. Please join us to celebrate the publication of her first book, Sugar Snaps and Strawberries: Simple Solutions for Creating Your Own Small Space Edible Garden. Andrea will be on hand to talk about her book, about her now-famous blog Heavy Petal, and offer some tips and advice on urban gardening. Please come and pick up a signed copy of her beautiful new book!

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!

Organic Horticulture Courses by Gaia College

Registrations for their Winter and Spring courses are in full swing, and it looks like most courses will be full again. Please be sure to register quickly if you have your heart set on a particular course! All details and registration info can be found at gaiacollege.ca
Certified arborists can earn up to 30 pre-approved CEC’s!
Vancouver Island:

Shawnigan Lake (May 31), Coombs (Jun. 3)
Contact Heidi Hermary for more information.
Quick Links
How do I store my seeds?
Bring on the May Flowers!
As food gardeners, we sometimes overlook the many flower varieties that can be grown in the food garden to good effect. Not only do flowers lure pollinators and other beneficial insects to the garden, but they provide forage and habitat to ensure that insect populations remain in healthy numbers for years to come. After generations of rampant pesticide use, we now need to do our part to bring pollinator populations back to healthy levels.

There are lots of ways to help our insect allies out. Aside from planting wildflowers, it helps to understand their life cycles and biology. Keeping mason bees is a great way to learn about the daily lives and annual rhythms of wild pollinators. Some excellent books exist, including Attracting Native Pollinators, which provide expert advice on the subject. And simply staying dedicated to organic growing is another meaningful step.

April Features
Plant Flowers to Eat!

Grow some flowers this year for eating! Flowers look great in salads, on cakes, in fancy drinks, or just used as garnishes. They brighten up a meal and add charm to the table. While there are many edible flowers, there are others you should make sure to avoid. Our list of edible flowers is a good reference to start with.

Plant Flowers for the Bees!
One of the simplest things we can do to help declining populations of domestic and wild bees (and other beneficial insects) is to plant specifically for them. Wherever you have some extra space in the garden, or even in balcony containers, try to plant more flowers.
Learn more about planting wildflowers here!
Time to think about Nematodes again…
If you have European chafer beetles living in your lawn, you’ll know it at this time of year! Applying predatory nematodes is an environmentally sound way to disrupt the life cycles of a number of pest insects. Timing is everything. Read Mark’s blog entry about chafer beetles, and order some nematodes for spring and summer applications.

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 April 17th, 1-3pm: Containers & Raised Beds

Some food plants grow perfectly well in pots, containers, and raised beds – and some actually prefer these conditions. This class is for condo owners, apartment dwellers, and anyone who would like to make better use of their limited growing space.
Cost: $12.00

Sunday May 1st, 1-3pm: 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.
Cost: $12.00

Sunday May 15th, 1-3pm: Urban Beekeeping

Thinking of taking up beekeeping? Master Beekeeper Brian Campbell will discuss the beekeeper’s year, the tools and equipment you’ll need, and the challenges faced by both the bees and their keepers.
Cost: $12.00

Sunday May 29th, 1-3pm: A Year in the Winter-Harvest Vegetable Garden

Expert gardener, blogger, and instructor on winter gardening, Carol McIntyre will be at West Coast Seeds with an hour-long presentation on the ins and outs of winter gardening, and how to plan for a nearly year-round harvest. This will be followed by a one hour question and answer session for all experience levels. Don’t be shy! Come and learn the tricks and tips you’ll need to be a successful winter-harvest vegetable gardener.
Cost: $12.00

Sunday June 12th, 1-3pm: The Land Conservancy’s Pollinator Enhancement Project

The Land Conservancy of British Columbia believes strongly in the conservation of pollinators, and is excited to launch this project to address pollinator decline. Gardeners and professional growers alike are encouraged to create pollinator habitats, reduce the use of pesticides, and start thinking about cultivating wild populations. Please join Project Coordinator Nathalie Chambers as she discusses this vitally important project.
Cost: $12.00 donation to TLC of BC

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