Copy
GARDEN GAZETTE
Spring 2014
Volume 20, Issue 10 - May 2014
Yellowknife Community Garden Collective
 
In this Newsletter:

Ask A Gardener
YCGC Meeting with ENR
Niven Work Bee: June 14th
What is Organic Gardening?
Update from our Education Co-ordinator
Volunteering
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What date do you wait until to plant your first vegetables in the garden?
Share Your Answer Here
May Question: 
What Plants Grow Best in Yellowknife? Any Growing Secrets?
- Potatoes grow very well and are low maintenance.
- I like growing cherry tomatoes; they love the Sun and we have more tomatoes than we know what to do with!
- Beans and peas are very easy and child-friendly vegetables to grow.
 

Thank you gardeners for all your responses!
YCGC Meeting with ENR
Last summer; a new load of soil purchased by YCGC was found to have higher than acceptable levels of certain metals (based on the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment standards) following soil testing by YCGC. This soil was replaced and the findings reported to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (ENR). This also led to some further questions from concerned community gardeners about where the soil came from; and how to prevent this happening in the future.

Recently, YCGC was invited to participate in a meeting with representatives from involved departments to advise of their findings and actions thus far. Representatives from the involved GNWT departments (Environment, Health, Industry) have been working with the City of Yellowknife to establish locations where local contractors are obtaining materials (i.e. sand, peat) to mix soil for purchase. This will allow for sampling of the soil in these areas to occur to ensure the components meet acceptable environmental standards. As always, making changes like this takes time and YCGC will continue to have soil tested before we purchase large amounts for our new garden sites.

The meeting certainly served to highlight the complexity involved in the process, and we look forward to hearing updates about the progress on this matter (and passing those onto you!).
 
 

Niven Work Bee


When: Sat. June 14th starting at 10am (it will be an all-day event)

What: Work Bee at Niven Garden

Where: Moyle Park in the Niven Lake area

Contact: Katarina Carthew
niven@ykgardencollective.org
 

The City of Yellowknife has confirmed that they are working towards completing the grading of the Niven garden site in early June. So our first exciting "work bee event" will be to build garden boxes!
 
We are planning to have the event on June 14.  And we are planning to have it take place at the site in Niven. It will be an all-day-event starting at 10 am.
 
We will need different tools for putting together the garden boxes. A more detailed list will be sent out closer to the event, however here are a few things we wish to highlight:
  • A volunteer with a trailer who could transport the wood for the boxes to the site.
  • A  2500 Watt generator is needed to run the saw.
  • A volunteer with some experience who would like to direct the work bees during the day. 
  • If you have any tools that you could bring to use, that would be much appreciated: hammers, tape measures, levels
Hope to hear from you soon!
Katarina Carthew

This is a great opportunity to fulfill your volunteer requirements while having fun with fellow gardeners!



 
What is Organic Gardening?
At the Yellowknife Community Garden Collective, when we register for a plot, we commit to growing fruits and veggies following organic principles.  Just what does this mean, and how can I grow beautiful, bountiful produce using organic production techniques?  
 
Growing organically means that we tend our gardens in a manner that protects the environment, nurtures soil health, minimizes pollution and promotes biological productivity, diversity and long-term soil fertility.  Organic production also focuses on using renewable resources.
 
You can nurture a productive, organic garden by following these basic steps:
 
1) Herbicides, pesticides and fungicides cannot be used at the community garden.  If you have any questions about whether a particular more "natural" product is allowed at the garden, please contact the Garden Board or your site manager, prior to using the product at the garden.
 
2) Please use organic fertilizers to build soil fertility in your garden plot.  Examples of organic fertilizers include the following:

manure
compost
bone meal and blood meal
kelp
liquid fish fertilizers
hard and soft rock phosphate, granite dust and greensand
wood ashes
 
If you are at the store, and wondering if the fertilizer you are looking to buy is organic or not, a very general rule of thumb is that if the numbers on the package are greater than 10-10-10 (Nitrogen-Phosphorus-Potassium), the fertilizer is NOT organic, but is a chemical fertilizer.  Again, if you have questions, please always feel free to ask the Garden Board or your site manager!
 
Please let us know if you have any questions on this topic. Happy organic gardening!
Quite the turn out from our previous workshop on starting your own tomato seeds!
We are just about ready to plant our seedlings in the garden!
Photo Credit: Jennifer Broadbridge
Update from our Education Co-ordinator
The YKCG education coordinator wants you to watch out for upcoming education events such as thinning your greens for optimal yield, composting, and an open house at Yellowknife gardener France Benoit's garden in July. Dates to be announced.

Fiona would like to know how many people are interested in a seedling exchange, as well as what topics fellow gardeners are interested in hearing about? If there is enough interest and extra seedlings she will organize a fun gathering for fellow gardeners!

If you are interested in having a seedling exchange, or have suggestions for upcoming workshop topics, please feel free to contact Fiona at education@ykgardencollective.org. We also encourage those who might be interested in presenting a topic to get in touch with us as well. It does not have to be a large, formal presentation by any means. Come on out as a fellow gardener and share your thoughts and ideas with us!
Volunteering: 

With the upcoming season at the forefront of our minds remember that we are all part of a Community Garden. Please participate in the site chores, work bees, and events throughout 2014 to keep our gardens growing healthy and beautiful.
In your garden shed there is a "Chores List"; please sign up for something that you can do. Happy Gardening!
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