Sunday, Sept. 18, 2011
Anyone who has been living in St. John’s this summer knows that it’s been a tricky year for gardening. After a slow start, brought about by cool air and grey skies, we are now enjoying a late summer burn. Our tomatoes continue to gather weight, our potatoes have been harvested, and our Brussels sprouts are also bursting forth. Although our August was remarkable as a month that lacked beans, we snacked on them while gardening today. In all honesty, I’d stopped looking at them. And then! And then! Surprise of surprises, there they were, hiding away underneath their leaves.
The air was cool but the sun was out this afternoon. A quick application of sunscreen on the faces of babes prepared them for another Sunday of gardening at Pippy Park. We began by digging for weeds and worms, built another castle for King Dirty and then finished harvesting our row of potatoes. We were excited to see how big the tomatoes were getting on the vine, and one young gardener harvested them for us by gently removing them at their stems.
Three generations of a family harvested onions together at their bed, with Nan loosening the soil at their base, Mum holding the onion greens and (Grand)daughter pulling the onion from its roots. They shared their harvest with another family and we all agreed that they smell very, very good. Nan announced that she would put them on sandwiches for herself and Pop tomorrow. When her granddaughter questioned why she would not have them at dinner that night, she explained that they were going out to eat, and promised that the onions would, indeed, be enjoyed very soon.
Thanks to one of our gardeners, we have been given the materials needed to construct a soil sifter, and at craft time we decorated it with pictures of flowers, vines, snails, spiders, sunshine and rain. We are also delighted to have a few new gardening tools, thanks to FEASt Board Member Costa, who purchased them and dropped them off for us today.
At snack time we enjoyed sliced apple, carrot, hummus, apple juice and granola bars. Next week we will be taking a group photo underneath our favourite tree.
Sunday, Sept. 11
We had so much fun harvesting some of our potatoes today!
The children tried their hands at finding potatoes in the soil, and we marveled at the different shapes and sizes that they grew into. Each time we dug into the dirt and found one we reacted as though we were watching fireworks. “Oooh! Look at this one!” “Ahhh! That one’s so small and cute!” One looked a bit like a face!
Afterward, Nikki taught the children how to make friendship bracelets. At snack time, we drank blueberry juice and made a toast to her. Nikki’s been an AMAZING aspect of our garden! Today was her last day with us. We wish her the best of luck with her future endeavours.
Today we performed our regular gardening activities and also played a game of soccer! Salad greens, tomatoes, and arugula went home with participants.
Check out the September edition of SNAP St. John’s for a story about Open Garden Day!
Sunday, August 28
We had a fantastic day at the garden!
The brussels sprouts are coming along! Our tomatoes are continuing to grow, and there were two red ones ready to harvest today!
Our garden keeper is almost finished now, but we will have to give it a face and a name next week. We’ve made it out of newspaper and grocery bags, dressed it in blue corduroy pants, a plaid shirt, and will also offer it a hat once we’re finished decorating its face.
At the garlic workshop, we discussed proper growing, maintenance and harvesting techniques. We also shared our favourite garlic recipes. As it turns out, most of us put garlic in everything. Garlic vinaigrette, roasted garlic on bread, pasta sauces, pesto, and forty clove garlic chicken were just a few of the dishes we talked about today. You can find a garlic chicken recipe here: http://www.canadianliving.com/food/chicken_with_40_cloves_of_garlic.php Mmmm our mouths were watering by the time the workshop was over!
During snack time, the children are enjoying collecting fruits that are growing in the bushes that surround the garden. We have raspberries, gooseberries and currants. Yum!
Because it was such a sunny day, watering the garden was one of our favourite activities today. Everyone helped out, and we practiced watering our plants at their roots again, making sure to give them a big soak.
Each family has planted individual plots, and, for the most part, they are doing very well. One family has planted corn, swiss chard, brussels sprouts, salad greens, leeks, beans and squash. We were excited to see the growth that has occurred over the past week, especially the brussels sprouts! Elsewhere, one family is encouraging slugs to feed on a glass of beer instead of their cabbage leaves. New skills were also passed on from mum to nephew today, as one little boy learned how to pollinate squash.
Take a look at our photos!
Hope to see you next weekend!
Sunday, August 28
Join us for a workshop on Garlic!
Learn how to grow and harvest garlic!
Pick up a few garlic recipes!
Hear about its medicinal uses and properties!
August 21, 2011
Open Garden Day
The sun shone brightly yesterday, making it a perfect day for gardening.
We were pleased to host 15 visitors to our garden on Sunday. We offered guided tours of the garden and workshop, encouraged interested persons to join us on Sunday afternoons, and offered more information about how we operate.
Along with our Open Garden Day activities, we ran our regular programming, which included a craft and snack time. Nikki guided the children in constructing treasure chests, made out of egg cartons. These were filled with collected flowers, seeds and grasses that were found in the garden’s vicinity. Afterward, we shared sticky squares (rice krispies), granola bars, hummus and pita. At the end of the day, families were given the remainder of our garlic bulbs.
As for the garden’s growth, it was exciting to see one orange tomato growing on the vine, a zucchini, and ever-flourishing heads of lettuce. Although it has been a challenging year for our garden, as a result of this summer’s growing conditions, we are happy with our produce and look forward to seeing what September will bring.
August 17, 2011
We are currently harvesting:
With a little help from the sun, we should be harvesting the following items soon:
Participating families are also harvesting the following items from their rows:
On Sunday, July 30, we were joined by visitors from the Daybreak Parent and Child Centre Garden. We enjoyed an afternoon of weeding, socializing, and swapping notes on our gardening activities. Children planted edible flower seeds, which were taken home. At the end of the session, Pippy Park Family Garden participants shared snacks and refreshments.
FEASt and the Pippy Park Family Garden had a blast at this year’s Lantern Fest!
We made pots out of newspaper, planted seedlings, and passed out information about FEASt activities.
We were delighted to host a very special guest on Monday, July 18 - a man who once lived on the property that now serves as our garden. He is ninety-nine years old, and still pays a visit to his former home every summer. He shared stories about chicken farming with us, as well as a photograph of what the land used to look like. An avid gardener, he described growing tomatoes in a hot house, along with vegetables, greens and flowers. He also built his own house! Two of his friends accompanied him, and one of them guided us on a tour, pointing out where the foundation of what was once the gentleman’s chicken barn remains. It was wonderful to hear his stories about life on Mount Scio Road. Although he misses living there, he was happy to see the land being used, and offered us kind words about the Family Garden project. We hope to see him again next year!
Sunday, July 18, 2011
Join us for walk around the garden grounds. Nikki will be leading a child-friendly foraging trip in the area surrounding the family garden. Afterward, try your hands at etching! This week promises to be a creative session. Hope to see you there! Activities will be running from 2:00-3:30pm. Snacks and refreshments will be provided free of charge.
Sunday, July 24, 2011
This week we will follow our weeding and watering activities with garden stories and games. The session will be running from 2:00-3:30pm. Snacks and refreshments will be provided free of charge.
Sunday, July 10, 2:00-3:30pm
We are happy to report that our garden survived the wind on Sunday afternoon. Thanks to the Organic Farm’s tried and true Lotta Tomato Seeds, our tomatoes are thriving and beginning to flower. When we arrived to the garden we found them leaning a little, but remaining upright. Big relief! Our beans are coming up now, the squash is getting ready to flower, and our lettuce transplants are doing well. We’re looking forward to harvesting in a few weeks!
As for activities, a small group of us carried out weeding tasks and watered the garden beds today. Even after the rain on Saturday night, the ground was dry this afternoon and our plants needed another good soak. Two of our youngest gardeners were especially keen to help out with watering, so we practiced our water conservation skills by using our cans to water the plants at their roots.
At craft time, children finished painting our veggie markers. One young gardener also built a castle for “King Dirty” and enjoyed digging in the soil and making rock walls for the kingdom.
We could not have asked for a more beautiful day! With the weather heating up, it’s a good idea to pack sun hats and sunscreen in your gardening bags!
This week, we enjoyed snacks and refreshments after our gardening activities. Hummus, pita, apple slices, fruit juice and granola bars were enjoyed by children and parents alike.
So far, participating gardeners do not have any food allergies, however, please email Laura at firstname.lastname@example.org in order to offer your family’s food preferences so that we may continue to share snacks that everyone can enjoy.
Sunday, June 26, 2:00-3:30pm
This week’s activities included planting and socializing. Many of those who arrive on Sundays are continuing to get to know each other, so we enjoyed tending the plots together and sharing some of our own gardening stories with one another.
One of our main garden tasks involves rock collecting. There seems to be an endless supply of them in our garden beds! We are utilizing these treasures as material for our garden paths.
Participating families continued to work away on their beds, and were assisted by Nikki and Laura, who are working at the garden this summer. We distributed our energy over family and communal plots, and also ran another craft activity.
We have planted potatoes, lettuces, beans, tomatoes, squash, peppers, cilantro, basil, nasturtiums, brussels sprouts, leeks and carrots. Families have planted these items and more in their allotments. Seed and seedling sharing occurred informally today, and some of the leftovers were donated to our communal plots.
Should you be interested in visiting us, please do not hesitate to contact Laura at email@example.com
Sunday, June 19, 2:00-3:30pm
Happy Father’s Day!
This week, we took some time to discuss the organization of the garden. All those who arrived shared their hopes for the summer, and also expressed that they wished to plant their own rows, and come to the garden throughout the week. After considering each others interests, we decided to distribute two row allotments, and reserve a few communal rows for those who are only able to stop by from time to time. This will ensure that all those who visit the garden at harvest time will be able to enjoy fresh produce.
So far, five families have planted their own plots, and we are sharing labour at the communal beds.
New garden signs have been decorated, and children were also invited to leave their mark on the wall inside our garden shed. When the day was over, one child exclaimed “This is the best day of my life!” We’re thinking that’s a pretty good indication that things are going well this year.
Sunday, June 12, 2:00-3:30pm
This week’s family gardening activities will feature songs, planting, and an edible hike hosted by Costa Kasimos!
Hope to see you there!
Please join us at the Pippy Park Family Garden on Sunday, June 5th for our first official event of the summer.
The theme is seeds!
Enjoy stories, songs and a workshop on seed selection hosted by Sarah Crocker (of the Seed to Spoon Organic Farm Collective)! Activities will be occurring from 1:00-2:30pm.
Know of any families that might be interested in participating? Pass it on!
Would-be weeders and planters of all ages are also invited. Spare hands and enthusiasm are welcome, most certainly!
Email Laura at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information
Lots of progress has been made on the garden in the past month. We started with a weed-filled plot of land, and weeded, and weeded until all the dandelions, thistles, and grass were gone. The children weeded while singing Mr. Weed, Weed, Mr. green green weed, won’t you please get out of my garden! (to the tune of Mr. Sun). Then we built beds in the shape of a rainbow. So far we’ve planted potatoes, cabbage, broccoli, peas, beans, tomatoes, swiss chard, squash, parsley and dill.
Every Sunday we’ve planted something new, and the kids and parents have been working together. We’ve identified flowers, played farmer vs. weed tag, had story time…and sometimes just dug in the dirt!
The garden is doing great thanks to everyone’s help! We’re still looking for more participants for the coming weeks, if interested, please contact email@example.com.
On Sunday, June 13th, the Friends of Pippy Park in partnership with FEASt, launched a new gardening program for children and their parents. This is a family program targeted at younger children to come with one or both parents to learn through having fun, all about soil and all the creatures in it, plants including weeds and where our food comes from and how we grow it. The program includes storytime, sing alongs as well as growing flowers and vegetables.
The program is very informal and no child is too young to come along. In this first session we had children form 2 weeks to 7 years old and they all had a good time! The program runs throughout the Summer on Sundays at 1 pm for about an hour and a half at #5 Mt. Scio Rd.
There is a one-time $10.00 fee.
For more information or to register contact firstname.lastname@example.org.