The Color Purple
The student community at Thistletown Collegiate is working tirelessly to support improved local food security and access to fresh organically grown produce. In 2012, participants began adding a variety of fruit trees to the garden. At center, a pear tree named 'Peachy', surrounded by Burdock, Queen Anne's Lace, Yarrow, and Phlox, and a thriving and diverse insect population. The youth were keen to begin establishing an orchard onsite, and, dreaming of future snacking potential, decided they wanted their first planting to be a peach tree. To their disappointment, suppliers were out of peach trees at the time; the name 'Peachy the Pear Tree' seemed the only reasonable choice for a name given the situation. The legacy associated with tree planting has been a topic of frequent reflection and curiosity amongst program participants.
As of 2012, the farm at TCI also now has healthy cherry and apple trees, as well as raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, and red and black currants. This summer, the TCI strawberry beds now feature favourite companion plants onions and dill, and have been producing excellent berries for several weeks.
The TCI farm has had lots of success with cold crops such as kale so far this season, and hot crops like tomatoes are set to really take off with some more warmer weather in the near future. Grasses, dandelions, and thistles have been growing very happily as well!
Parts of the garden grew up some scary weeds so tall the crops disappeared entirely! We will be attempting to solarize our 4ft X 4ft X 4ft weed piles to prevent the weed seeds from remaining viable and to return the biomass into nutrient rich soil.
Big shout out to all the volunteers who have been putting a ton of effort into the garden, especially with weeding and mulching. To help reduce weeding and watering requirements, and create clear paths between beds, waste wood mulch obtained from a local arborist was used. Thank you very much to the staff at Coen & Master!
To volunteer on weekends please contact Ben at email@example.com or 647-278-0546