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  • Writer's picturePaula Robertson

A snowy March at school

We began March with heaps of snow covering our gardens. One last little rest until the sun came out and melted it away to all our delight. We kept busy the first two weeks measuring and transplanting our peas and sunflowers into their 4 inch pots, and taste testing in our greenhouse (mustard, arugula, broccoli, radish, cilantro and beets). Bucket after bucket, wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow, we mulched our Food Forest with cedar chips so we knew exactly where the walking path was and to build soil for critters to come live. We dug up a Nootka bush to transplant and harvest from in the summer. Have you ever made sweet honey with their petals?

Connie Kuramoto (Master Gardener Extraordinaire) presented two workshops for our Intergenerational Garden Club the first weekend of March. On Seedy Saturday, our goal was to move an apple tree to a new location due to it blocking our gate and sadly getting trampled on. It was a huge success. We had amazing volunteers of all generations join our seniors. We all feel hopeful the apple tree will thrive in her new spot.

Sunday was a beautiful day for our perennial bushes, vines and trees' annual winter haircut. Each year we learn a little more and think we can do the pruning on our own, however, we've decided Connie is our honorary Senior in our Club. She will just have to keep on coming back. Connie spent endless hours answering our questions and guiding us in pruning our Food Forest. We all are excited to see the transformations.

We were blessed to have 15 students from Pearson College come and volunteer with us for two days. Pearson College is a two-year, pre-university school in Victoria with students from over 150 countries who live, study and learn together while pursuing the International Baccalaureate and an outdoor-oriented experiential education. Their enthusiasm and commitment to environmental issues worldwide was inspiring and induced hopefulness for our future. Plus, their work ethic was outstanding! Many of the students had some gardening background - from working on a farm to growing in pots on a veranda. It was interesting sharing our ideas.

A huge thank you to Colin the Mushroom Man for teaching our Intergeneration Club about the mushroom poles and planting one in our Food Forest. He created a huge shade cover for them. We're excited to watch the blue oysters grow and to harvest them.

We are so happy to welcome our little green thumbs - who have seemed to have sprouted themselves! - back to the gardens this week. All eyes were spying the many changes that have been made while they were away. We got busy tasting our new greens, transplanting, measuring growth, taking soil temperatures, fertilizing, learning soil blocking, checking up on our container winter sowing, and planting asparagus again.

The little green house is filled with every available space with our new seedlings! It's been a garden changer for us. The students are dreaming big that we can add on to the greenhouse this fall so we can fit an entire class inside and plant more to eat over the winter.

Have fun and we will see you in the garden!

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