What’s that pest?

Did anyone else’s garden double in size after that big rainstorm?   If you have planted spinach, beets or swiss chard in your plot, you might be noticing something that looks like this:

IMG_2860 (Custom)

That dead patch of leaf tissue is caused by leafminers!  The leafminers that attack garden crops are small flies that crawl out of the soil in the spring and lay eggs on the leaves.  When the eggs hatch, the larvae earn their name by tunneling in between the layers of plant tissue and eating it up as they go, leaving the trails and dead patches seen above.  Essentially, they eat up your greens before you get the chance to and leave a sad husk behind.

In our organic garden, you can help control leafminers by tilling up the soil at the end of the gardening season to help destroy any adults preparing to overwinter.  You can also remove infested leaves from your plants when they are still small, and pinch the dead patches between your fingers to see if anything goes “squish”!  Brutal but effective…

Leafminer information found here:  http://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/insects/find/leafminers-in-home-vegetable-gardens/

Remember, no chemicals allowed!

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Spring offerings

IMG_2811 (Custom)

These beds have some healthy looking rhubarb!  Bed owners, if you’re looking for a way to use it up, why not make a rhubarb cake?

As the communal rhubarb was recently transplanted, it might be best to leave it for another year to become better established in its new home.  But rhubarb can also be found in the markets this time of year if you don’t have any of your own growing.  Or make friends with someone who has a thriving plant and is willing to share!

Rhubarb Cake
1 1/2 cups raw rhubarb, cut into small pieces
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup shortening
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups flour, divided into 1/2 and 1 1/2 cups
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 cup sour milk, buttermilk, or thinned yogurt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 9 inch x 13 inch pan.  Take 1/2 cup of your flour and mix it with the rhubarb; set aside.
Cream together sugar and shortening.  Add egg, vanilla and salt, and mix well.  Combine dry ingredients and add to the mixture, alternating with the milk in two batches.  Add the floured rhubarb and mix.
Spread into the greased pan.  Make topping.

Topping:
Combine 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1/2 tsp cinnamon.  Spread over the cake batter.

Bake for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.

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Big Plant Sale, this Saturday!

It looks like spring is finally here to stay!  Why not celebrate by picking up a few new plants to add to your garden?  The Sault Horticultural Society, Clean North and the Allard Street Community Garden are hosting their big plant sale this coming Saturday, May 21st, from 8 until noon at the Allard Street Garden (105 Allard Street).  There will be a big selection of trees, shrubs, annuals, perennials, herbs and vegetable seedlings, all waiting to go to good homes for very reasonable prices.  Come early rain or shine for the best selection!

plant sale 2016

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More good press for the garden

The Allard Street Community Garden was featured in Sault This Week!  In case you don’t get a hard copy of the paper, here are the links to the online stories:

http://www.saultthisweek.com/2015/08/10/community-gardens-community-centred

http://www.saultthisweek.com/2015/08/10/first-garden-bed-stolen-persistence-rewarded

And don’t forget to come out to the Harvest Social tomorrow night (August 20th).  Bring your favourite dish to the garden for 5:30pm.  Dinner starts at 6.

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Reminder: Upcoming work bee and socials

Just a reminder that the next work bee and social is happening TODAY, August 6th from 5:30 to 8 pm.  Bring your favourite dish (be it an appetizer, entree, side or dessert) to share at 5:30 and then stay for some garden maintenance.  All time worked will go towards your 8 volunteer hours.

If you can’t make it tonight, the next opportunity will be on Saturday, August 15th from 9am to 12pm.  The same rules apply, except the communal meal will happen at the end instead of the beginning.

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The importance of community gardening for fresh local produce

Many garden for fun.  But some do it out of necessity:  it’s the only way to ensure they have affordable access to fresh produce (though fun can be had at the same time.)  Northern Hoot has just published an article written by Steffanie Petroni that highlights the issues surrounding access to local fresh produce for lower income individuals.  As well as being an interesting read, it features Suzanne Hanna and the Allard Street Community Garden.  Follow the link to read:

http://northernhoot.com/the-farmers-market-when-youre-too-poor-to-support-local/

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What does your garden grow and why?

Every gardener’s plot is different.  We’ve asked a few gardeners what their favourite crop to grow is, and why.

– Taylor, plot XB:  “Tomatoes, kohlrabi, and kale.  Kale is hardy, can be picked multiple times, and is hard to kill.”

– Tim, plot 33:  “Green onions.  They’re quick growing, are full of vitamins, and are versatile.  They taste fresh and remind me of spring.”

– Tony, plot 46:  “Onions, lettuce, carrots and cucumbers.  I love onions.”

Kale is a popular crop

Kale is the favourite crop in this plot

– Udo, plot 45:  “Garlic.  It grows readily, is easy to acquire and is phenomenal health-wise.”

– Paul, plot 6:  “Tomatoes.  They’re productive, great for canning, and you can’t buy them in the store with the same flavour.”

– Lorraine, plots 22 and 31:  “French filet beans, salad fixings, and every year I like to grow something exotic.  This year it’s ground cherries.”

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Work Bee and Social, July 11th 2015

Our next work bee and social is this Saturday, July 11th 2015.  It starts at 9am and ends with a potluck social at 12pm.  All work done counts towards volunteer hours.  Bring a potluck item to share such as a main dish, a salad, dessert, bread, etc. but please try to make it a garbage free event.

Come out and meet some of your fellow gardeners!

Welcoming committee

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Signs of summer

Mmmm...

Mmmm…

A ripe strawberry is a sure sign of early summer and many of our veggies are enjoying the warmer weather.  As are the gardeners!

The warmer weather means that our beds can dry out faster than they did previously – make sure to keep your bed well watered to ensure the plants keep thriving.  Also remember to refill the water barrels when you are done!

No flowers yet...

No flowers yet…

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Allard Street Community Garden Open House, June 20th 2015

The Allard Street Community Garden Open House is early this year!  This Saturday, June 20th from 11am to 3pm, join us in celebrating 12 years of community gardening at the Allard Street site.  There will be refreshments, children’s activities, displays and demonstrations and live music featuring Roman Peredun.  Everyone is welcome, so members, encourage non-member friends to come see what our community garden is all about.

ASCG Open House poster 2015 copy

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