Thursday, May 21, 2015

Our first real harvest! May 3rd



Today was one of those beautiful, sunny Vancouver mornings and a great day to have a work party. Everything was looking good and we had a mid-week watering earlier in the week.

It was trellis-building day! Sybrena salvaged some scrap wood and with the help of some tools and lots of string, we have a working trellis for our peas!
 

The mesclun and arugula is looking bushy. We harvested some to thin it out and encourage more growth.
 
The yu choi & gai lan bed looks like it's got more yu choi than gai lan but they're coming along. The fava beans are also doing well and a bit of kale is reappearing. Some are flowering and going to seed. It is their 2nd season.

 We found some radishes poking out of the ground, beckoning to be eaten! Our garlic is finally looking like it's "putting on more weight"!


The spinach we seeded a few weeks ago are sprouting and so are the wild flowers we planted.
 


The fave beans are starting to lean over so some staking is needed. The broccoli transplants we put in last week are settling in.
 
We found more volunteer potatoes and transplanted them to the potato bed. Can't wait for these tasty taters!

 Last week, our group attended the VanDusen plant sale and bought some plants - nodding onions (which are native to this region), shallots and mint leaf bee balm (Monarda). Our onion seeds were not germinating (they were more than a year old) so we bought some transplants. 
The nodding onions were transplanted in our herb-blueberry bed.
 
 The shallots went into Bed 1 with the carrots.
The Monarda was transplanted beside one of the beds to increase our collection of flowering plants for the pollinator garden.
 


Here's a working copy of our garden bed drawing.


Finally, we harvested some radishes, arugula & mesclun, parsley, lettuce & carrots; trimmed back the sage & mint. Here's a sample of what I brought home!

A lot done!

We had a full crew today and got lots of work done. 

Our cold frame was fixed up finally, after we kept forgetting first to bring the zip ties, and then a staple gun, etc....! Rhys is busy emptying the water barrel to water the dry beds.

One of our volunteers also has a connection with a nearby church that was looking to get rid of some mulch so we were fortunate to score some for our garden. After two trips with the truck, we now have enough to mulch around all our beds and compost bins.

 

Checking on our growing vegetables: 

   The fava beans have grown a bit, maybe a centimetre or two?

   So have the peas - more have sprouted since last week - as well as the yu choi and gai lan (pardon my finger!)
 

Transplants:

Marie & Rhys brought the cabbage (Pixie, Golden Acre & Napa) & broccoli plants (Purple Sprouting & Calabrese) that they had started from seed. It's time for them to go into the ground. The Purple Sprouting broccoli technically is for fall planting but since we started the seed already, we're trying it out for this season.
 
We are transplanting the broccoli in with the strawberries so that they can act as a ground cover. 


 

The cabbages are being transplanted in the bed with carrots so we can have a tighter planting space (you know, one grows up and the other grows down).

At the end of the workday, we posed for a crew photo. Here's our current team for the year!



April 12th - We have growth!

Our peas have sprouted and the fava beans are doing well. I did find some ants on them though and they will need staking soon.


Surprise finds from last season:    
     We have carrots that have re-sprouted and...
...potatoes are popping up in various beds (like they usually do!) and being transplanted into Bed 11.

Lots of sprouting happening:
   Our 'pretty' rows of mesclun and arugula....
       The radishes are showing their red stems....
             ...and the yu choi and gai lan are finally sprouting after we covered it with the cold frame.

Our perennials are coming back with the change in weather - parsley and the ever-pervading mint!




Monday, May 4, 2015

March 29th meeting

It was a rainy day.....





The volunteer lettuce is doing well and the radish seeds have sprouted.













We planted a variety of peas - Oregon sugar pod snow peas, Homesteader Lincoln shelling peas & Little Marvel shelling peas.



...Then, we went home! More to come soon....

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Short day today (March 22nd)

Today, we checked how our planted seeds were doing. Our cabbage and broccoli starts that are being grown at home are a bit lanky so it still needs a bit of time before transplanting. However, it looks like the some mesclun seeds did survive after the pasta incident. They're planted on the left hand side of Bed 9.
  
 
 






The arugula (on the right hand side of Bed 9) seems to be sprouting better.














A bit of good news - we found a healthy worm!













We also found that our friend, the rampant mint has somehow travelled from Bed 2 to Bed 14, our flower bed! I hope it doesn't prevent the calendula we planted last week from sprouting! We'll be having lots of mint!
Next week, we'll be putting in some peas!

Another productive day at the garden (March 15th)

It was a cloudy, slightly drizzly day but we had a good turnout of people at the garden. We fertilized all our empty beds with some Gaia Green All-Purpose Fertilizer to provide the beds with a good boost of nutrients.



Sybrena, Rhys & Marie were busy setting up our cold frame. I brought plastic that was covering a couch I had bought - I knew I was saving it for something!



Our mesclun and arugula have started sprouting though we had a little nasty surprise when we got to the garden. The bed with the salad greens is beside the bench and we found this in the bed!





I guess someone either spilt their lunch or decided the garbage bin was too far away?? Anyway, we scooped it out and threw it in the garbage. There were a lot of wireworms and I'm not sure if they were attracted to the pasta or what. Hopefully some mesclun seedlings survive.









We planted more flowers: Lemon Gem marigolds and cornflowers in front of bed 4, alyssum in Bed 3.5, calendula in the flower bed and Late Spencer Blend sweet peas in Bed 6. Our watermelon radishes have gone to flower since last week but we're leaving it in for the bees and to save seed.
                          

Some volunteer lettuce showed up, two to be exact! We decided to plant some radishes among them and broadcasted 3 kinds of radish seeds (China Rose, Sparkler White Tip and French Breakfast).

 This was also the bed with sweet peas in the back so we moved the trellis over and covered it with our cold frame.


We also broadcasted some yu choi and gai lan seeds in Bed 7 and transplanted some "Winterberry" variety of strawberries in with our existing ones.

 

More to come next week!