Tuesday, 24 June 2014

AHHHH everything is growing!!!

With this warm weather and frequent rain the Lakeshore Collegiate Garden is really blooming and almost unrecognizable from one week to the next. It's been busy; planting, seeding, harvesting, weeding, harvesting, weeding, harvesting, oh and weeding too.

Nikki from Daily Bread Food Bank with our first of many harvests of this season

Raised Bed Pollinator and Medicinal Herb Garden

With the major help of Malcolm, our OISE intern/master builder/garden dreamer, we got also busy with some extra gardening projects. Remember that pile of scrap wood and junk that the weeds used to grow in between? Well no more! It's been transformed into a raised bed garden, complete with bee hotel, medicinal herbs and pollinating flowers! And best of all, it's wheel chair accessible!
Malcolm's creative juices flowing


                       ...AFTER !!!


Malcolm with our magnificent trellis for our rapidly growing hops!

We made this outdoor sink too with a sink Malcolm found in the trash. Pretty cool.

Back at Sorauren Farmer's Market for another season

We are killing it at market this year. Beautiful and bountiful produce, terrific student volunteers and super rad cargo bikes and flatbed trailers to pull our goods to market free of petrol! Check us out on alternating Mondays at Sorauren Farmer's Market from 3-7pm. Next market is July 7th, see you there!

The Three Sisters

The pots are for irrigation, and the green you see is clover, which will grow as a permanent path
Late last summer we blogged about some major quack grass removal, opening up a large unused space in the garden. And here it is! Our three sisters: Corn, squash and pole beans! The three sisters is a completely harmonious method of companion planting used by the Iroquois peoples, providing long-term soil fertility and protection for plants. Here's how it works...
The corn is planted first. When the corn is 4 inches tall, the pole beans and squash are planted. Pole beans are a legume, and all legumes take nitrogen from the air and fix it into the soil. Squash and corn love, love, love nitrogen and benefit from their friend pole bean. In return for the favour, the beans climb up the corn using it as a trellis. The squash does its part by covering the soil with it's large leaves, acting as a living mulch and shading out the weeds. It's spiky leaves feel terrible on the paws of corn eating critters, and so it helps protect the crop. The whole thing is gorgeous once in bloom, more updates to come as we grow.


We're Growing Mushrooms

Yes, you heard correctly...we're growing mushrooms. We got our hands on some wine cap mushroom spawn, and this particular mushroom likes to grow on wood chips in either sun or shade. Here we are inoculating our wood chips with the spawn and we'll be sure to keep it moist, as is the preference for our mushroom friends. We got a late start with the mushrooms, but they're said to produce this season. We'll have to wait and see...fingers crossed.
Wine cap mushroom spawn!

Inoculating the wood chips

 Special Visitors

Baby raccoon siblings take shelter at LCI
These two little raccoon critters were found in my garden not too long ago. They chewed on things in the dirt and took naps under the cabbages. Animal Services reported that sometimes when a mother is relocating her cubs she'll leave them someplace safe until she can find a proper home. The mother will usually return within 24 hours to collect her babies, so if you encounter the same scenario, give it some time. Our babies were soon collected by mama raccoon, and we hope not to see their cute little faces eating our tomatoes and corn anytime soon. 

Wanna help out?

Lakeshore Collegiate needs your help! We have several projects on the go that need many hands, and many weeds needing those many hands for pulling. Oh my goodness, the weeds are unstoppable, please come help me. Contact Aga at LCIgarden@gmail.com

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