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  • Writer's pictureLeah Austin

Grow Local Chronicles - February 2022

Happy new year and blessings for the best growing season ever!

Now that the winter solstice is behind us, we will start to see some of the winter veg and greens that were under cover growing again. If you haven’t grown anything over the winter, or your greens were trampled by all that snow we had, no worries, planting season is upon us and there are so many ways to get your fresh veg on (even now).

As we have seen over the past few years, our food supply chain has been broken a few times due to weather, road closures, and more. Although we can’t necessarily grow all of our food, there are so many ways to grow some of our food over the years - even if you live in a tiny apartment. It's about getting creative and learning new ways to grow. Get the whole family involved or your fellow roommates…it's fun for everyone and the kids will learn about their food and be excited to watch it grow.

Let's go over some ways to keep us going with fresh food over the winter.

  1. Micro-greens, sprouts and salad greens. These can easily grow inside your house with or without lights with very little effort and money. All three provide excellent nutrition and the bonus is that kids love to grow and tend them which often leads to them wanting to eat their harvest! There are so many resources and ways to grow them. Here’s one quick video to start. 3 Techniques for SPROUTING SEEDS & Growing MICROGREENS to Eat in DAYS!

  2. Mushroom kits. These are so fun and surprisingly fast to grow. You can attempt to create your own mushroom growing set up or purchase one all ready to grow. Here are a few places to find kits. If there is enough interest, OCN garden centre will bring in kits for us too.

  3. Herbs. Herbs like cilantro, basil and parsley will grow inside quite nicely and is a quick and inexpensive way to add them to your meals. I find that if they are handy (right there on your kitchen windowsill or counter), I use them more often than if I need to suit up to walk out to the greenhouse in the pouring rain in the dark. :) Here’s a little video and article on tips to grow your herbs.

  4. Grow your kitchen scraps! Yes, I said it…you can grow so many of your veggie scraps. Veggies like celery, onions, lettuce, bok-choy can re-sprout and keep growing for you. You don’t need anything fancy and you don’t even need soil. You have all you need at home. Check out these resources for more info:

Have you heard about winter sowing? This is the newest garden buzzword and is a way to get a head start on your spring garden. It's a very inexpensive method using vessels like opaque milk jugs, salad green clamshells, etc. Lettuce, greens (like bok-choy), onions, celery, beets, etc. will do really well. It's also a way to start many of our edible flowers. Although most resources say to plant and leave them til spring, we have a bit of a finicky, all over the map climate, as well as bugs that will munch on seedlings all winter long. We can anticipate a little extra effort but it will pay off with robust, strong, and healthy seedlings all ready to be planted out in early spring. No need to harden off these ones!

Happy sowing,

Leah Austin

Board Member and Local Growing Enthusiast

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