Thursday, 25 June 2015

Welcome Back!

Hello all!

Welcome back to our garden blog, and thanks for checking in with us as we enter our third year as an operational community garden space! As you can see we've made some changes, but for the time being you can still access our previous blog here. Planting is well underway with a lot of exciting news!

Our community gardens are looking fantastic!
First off, we’d like to thank the Fredericton Community for being so involved with our community garden project. The community garden portion of our space is over 90% planted by community members who use our Food Bank services, and many of the garden plots are already well on their way to producing a successful crop. So far we’ve seen everything from leafy greens and brassicas (broccoli, cauliflower, etc.) to flowerbeds of gladiolus. We’re very excited to see what our community members will harvest, and we’re so glad to see so much dedication already this year. Our volunteers have been fantastic and have taken loads of work off the garden team’s shoulders already, and we wouldn’t be so far along in our schedule if it wasn’t for their hard work and dedication.

Brandon and Jordan have been busy transplanting!
With a new season also comes new staff, and we’d like to introduce our new Garden Coordinators, Brandon and Jordan! Both are with us as part of the summer student work program, and they’re learning fast and proving to be very hard workers. So far they’ve built some lovely beds for our butterfly project, completed a LOT of work in the greenhouses, and have been avidly learning from our returning Garden Coordinator- Brandi (Me!). I’ll be heading up our Monarch Butterfly Restoration Project this year. Please make sure to stop in and introduce yourselves to us if you happen to be in the area, and don’t be shy about asking any questions you may have.

Our greenhouses this year are going to be the space where we do most of our planting for our U-pick program. Last year the U-pick program sent home over $6,700 in fresh, organic produce through our Food Bank distribution and we hope to increase that number this year. Last year we were working with two greenhouse spaces and a number of raised beds in the community garden. This year we’ve added a third greenhouse and a very large bed on the south east side of the building which will account for the majority of our planting space. We’re very excited to see what we’ll be able to produce, and to increase the variety of fresh produce available for our Food Bank. Right now on the planting roster we have: lettuce, Swiss chard, beet greens, carrots, peas, string beans, broccoli, zucchini, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, three varieties of pepper, eggplants, a wide variety of herbs, kale, and spinach. We haven’t decided on our fall crops yet, but we’ll possibly be introducing turnips, beets, and rutabaga. Currently only the leafy greens are available (lettuce and beet greens mainly) but the rest of the plants are well on their way to being productive for the end of July/August. We also have renovated the fronts of all four greenhouses and they’re looking fantastic! This was only possible due to the contributions made by the Nashwaaksis Lions Club and Salesforce to whom we’re incredibly grateful.

This year we’re very excited to finally be able to begin our Monarch Butterfly Restoration Program, making use of the butterfly house that was existing on the property from the past owner. The Monarch Butterfly is currently a species of Special Concern, and we hope to help the Monarch recover and thrive in New Brunswick through a raise-and-release program. There will be a number of activities centered around this especially as we hope to raise and release around 400 Monarch butterflies this year! We’ll be blogging about this program quite a bit, so keep an eye out! Also keep an eye on our instagram account: @greener_village.

Thanks so much for stopping in, and keep growing!

The Garden Team

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