This season the Environment Centre is happy to offer another set of workshops to establish edible gardens around the Centre and to teach participants how to achieve the same results in their own yards and communities.
Our pilot project is well underway and we have prepared the circular space in front of the Centre to be planted with herbs, edible flowers and fruit bushes. The first three workshops of the 2017 season will take us through the process of planting and seeding this space and the last three workshops will involve the ongoing care of our new garden as well as a field trip to a more established garden using edible plants for all aspects of the landscape design.
Each three hour workshop will involve two components. The first is labour, we will all work together to prepare, plant and maintain the garden. This allows participants time to ask questions about the process and time to get to know each other and the land as well as our plants and their needs. The second component is a lesson. The themes of each workshop are listed below. Teachings are in the permaculture style which incorporates ideas of organic, small scale, intensive, holistic and sustainable living and gardening.
Workshops run from 1:30 to 4:30pm.
- April 23, 2017 – Herb gardens
- May 14 – Starting from Seed
- May 28 – Caring for Fruit Bushes and Trees
- June 11 – Weeds and Pests
- Sept 10 – Relationships within Ecosystems
- Sept 24 – Edible Landscaping
Workshops are $15 each.
Children are welcome but must be registered and accompanied by a supervising adult. If the cost of the workshops is preventing you from registering either yourself or a child please choose the pay by cheque option and pay what you can. Participants will be contacted if rain prevents a workshop and rain dates will generally be on the following Sunday. Money raised at the workshops will go toward further workshops and more gardens around the Centre.
Looking to the Future…
We would like to create the opportunity for everyone to help make this garden grow. Do you have some gently used tools you can donate toward the project? Do you have some plants you can share? Our wish list includes, strawberries (wild and cultivated), fruit bushes, sage, tarragon, lovage, sweet cicely, daylilies, violets, low growing thyme, green onion, Egyptian walking onion, garlic and onion chives, beebalm, lemon balm, sorrel, lavender and asparagus. You or your organization can also donate money for further workshops and initiatives.
We would like to increase the number of workshops we are offering until we have a year long program of 30 workshops. These workshops would take us through all the seasons in the garden with the goal of giving participants the knowledge to initiate projects in their own yards and communities.
Let us know topics for workshops that interest you. Further workshops could include teachings on working with water and energy, natural building design, pattern understanding, pruning and orchard maintenance, animal forage systems, aquaculture, veggie season extension, food preserving and storage, greenhouse growing, composting, caring for tools, propagation and seed saving, plant diseases, insect pests, growing fruit, pollinators, urban and community permaculture, current food and energy systems, waste treatment and other topics that participants feel will lead them to being more self sufficient.
Further work around the centre could include maintaining existing gardens, harvesting, renovating the old orchard and creating new gardens with raspberries, strawberries, fruiting bushes, herbs, perennial veggies and medicinal, craft and dye plants.
We will be taking this project one step at a time and be guided by community support and input. Our ultimate goal is to have a permanent community edible garden where we can come together to learn and share ideas.
Please contact Cathy Hooper with any offers of donations or ideas: firstname.lastname@example.org
Cathy Hooper is certified as a Master Gardener and Permaculture Designer. She homesteads on five acres in Warsaw where she is implementing permaculture design . Cathy provides teachings to different community groups and individuals on permaculture, edible landscaping and other sustainable gardening practices and works for By the Bushel which is an organization connecting local farmers to local consumers. For more information, visit her website www.growediblegardens.org.