September 2011 Newsletter

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Vol. September 2011 Good Growing News!

Patient farmers and gardeners across BC were finally rewarded with warm, dry growing weather in August and early September, and now farms and gardens are offering up massive harvests! As fall fast approaches, it’s time to think about cover crops, and a few fast-maturing leafy greens such as lettuce, pac choi, scallions, and mustards. If you have room to provide some crop protection with heavyweight row cover or some sort of cloche, then your options are a little more varied – radishes and turnips can all still be sown if offered some help with the frosts in November.

West Coast Seeds
4930 Elliott Street,
Delta, British Columbia
Canada V4K 2Y1
Google Map
Tel: 604-952-8820
Book of the Month
Mini Farming
Growing Great Garlic
Announcement

Foxglove Farm Workshops
Foxglove Farm is a 120 acre organic farm on Saltspring, offering the following course for the fall. Register by emailing Claire or by phoning (250) 931-5336. Check their website for more details.
September 20-25: Culinary Bootcamp with Chef Mara Jernigan
September 27-30: Urban Agriculture: Growing for Market, Neighbourhood, and Community, with Michael Abelman and Josh Volk
Sunday, October 16: Foraging for Fungi, with Chef Bill Jones

Eco-Reality Co-Op on Saltspring Island
The following workshops are offered in the spirit of self-sufficiency and sustainability. Email Jan Steinman to register or phone (250) 653-2024. Note that the cheese making class usually fills up fast, so register early! Classes run 5 hours each.
Sunday, September 25th, 10am – Cheese Making Workshop: Learn the basic theory and practice of cheese making. You’ll make acid-set soft cheese as well as a cured firm cheese! ($55.00)
Sunday, October 30th, 10am –
Canning & Preserving Workshop I: Water Bath Canning ($35.00)
Sunday, November 6th, 10am –
Canning & Preserving Workshop II: Pressure Canning ($35.00)

UBC Farm
is also offering Beginner Cheese Making Workshops on
Saturday Sept. 24, 10am-1pm
Saturday Sept. 24, 2-5pm
Sunday Sept. 25, 10am-1pm
Advanced Cheese Making will be covered on
Sunday, Sept. 25, 2-5pm.
Contact Margaret Bloomquist for more information.
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!



   
   
Time to plant garlic!

This year’s planting garlic has arrived in our warehouse and is ready to go in the ground in September and October. Order early online or visit our store in Ladner the for best selection – stock is limited. Don’t know which variety to choose? Why not start with some reliable Red Russian hardneck garlic?

Plant garlic in the fall, and let it overwinter in the garden. By next July, every clove that you planted will have grown into a whole head, and will be ready for harvest, storing, and eating. Garlic is a very easy crop to grow, and it stores well, staying fresh for months at a time. Try braiding some softneck garlic next summer!
September Features
All about garlic!

Plant garlic in September and October and let it overwinter in the garden. By next July, every clove that you planted will have grown into a whole head, and will be ready for harvest, storing, and eating. Garlic is a very easy crop to grow, and it stores well, staying fresh for months at a time.

Plant Mescluns!
Plant mesclun seeds for fresh baby greens all winter long. Some salad greens like arugula and corn salad are so cold hardy, they can be grown outdoors under a cloche. Others, like pre-mixed mesclun blends, can be grown in containers under lights or even on a bright window sill. Multiple harvests of fresh greens!
Seed of the month!
Black Spanish Round radishes have a lot going for them. Late August is the time to start the seeds, and again every three weeks right into October. These hardy radishes aren’t bothered by cold temperatures, and stay crunchy and slightly hot in flavour right through winter. Mature in 60 days!

 
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.

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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