Monday, April 30, 2012

Earth Steward Scenario Video

Earth Steward Scenario from Blue Heron Productions on Vimeo.

I liked this video so much, I wanted to share it on the blog.

It is of the Earth Steward Scenario - the best of the four 'Future Scenarios' by David Holmgren (in my opinion).

Sunday, April 22, 2012

From Container Gardening to my 1st outdoor garden

In honour of Earth day I've decided to take my first step in blogging and what better place to start than here - a great, local gardening group!

My 1st tomato plant!
Wow I can grow things!

I can honestly say I'm a relative newbie to any type of gardening - having broken soil for the first time less than 5 years ago.  I chose to start small and because we were renting a house, thought dabbling in some containers on the front upper balcony would be fun - guess what, it was! To see the fruits and flowers of my labour come to life got me hooked and I felt like a mother hen tending to them every day to help them grow and flourish.  This was the summer of 2008 and my love of growing thing truly started.

Tomato & Lettuce Year 2
The next year my mum was in town from England when it was planting time so I had her expertise, help and a generous early birthday gift of plants and flowers to start my second year of container gardening.  My mum's gardens have always been a thing of beauty and as an adult I've come to learn and appreciate all the work she put in over the years to make our many different gardens look beautiful.  Although I had no interest in gardening as a kid, the saying "the nut doesn't fall far from the tree applies" because I certainly absorbed some know how from just observing all those years - thanks mum!
Herb containers Year 2

Year three I was a bit overwhelmed with the addition of a puppy in our lives at the same time as gardening season so my containers took a bit of a back seat and I didn't even take any pictures in 2010!

Last year we bought our first home in late spring and got possession in early August so knew it wasn't going to be my summer of growing - I chose not to plant a thing in lieu of packing and getting ready to take on home ownership, knowing full well 2012 would be my first chance at a real garden, in my own front and back yard! 

Front Garden (as is) of OUR house
So now it's here, and I'm a bit behind in my planning but it's not phasing me.  I'm scoping out my space, looking at what I've got to work with and wisely (I think) choosing to start small, and grow my ideas and gardens as we truly settle into our home.  I also know I have some fun challenges ahead - with two basset hounds I know I need a secure area that they cannot get into - the prime space for this however is quite shady.  No matter, I'll learn best by experimenting with what grows better in low sun areas and take advantage of my sunny areas and go back to what I know best - containers so my fur beasts (truly, babies) don't wreak havoc before I begin.
Future pallet shade garden
(right fenced area of back garden)

Oh yes, also thanks to the brilliance of this group, I'm also going to give pallet gardening a try in my shady area. Stay tuned for pictures and some updates as I go.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Starting Slow... The Experiment 2012

Last year there were too many gardens to viably maintain so this year we have changed it up for Year 2 of the Experiment!

Garden 1
Garden 1. is the same plot as last year. It's development is tbd - but are thinking to include a diversity of plants to encourage birds, butterflies and bees to visit as well as a selection of herbs.

Garden no. 2 is a from scratch project. We are acquiring as many pallets as we possibly can to set up a compost bay, raised beds... and try a few other experiments along the way.

We will set up a water collection system that will completely eliminate the use of fresh water for outdoor use.

Garden no. 2 - so far
For year 2. we are going to try more of a 'how to' approach - posting videos on Youtube sharing trials of the experiment in video format.

We hope to include:

Building with Pallets
Water Collection System
Espalier Fruit Trees
Raised Beds

Your Experiment 2012:
 If you are experimenting in your yard in Stratford (or even just growing a few veggies) Please Share! We hope to get more participants working on their own yards to help out by blogging or posting photos on the Facebook Page.

Everyone can experiment! Let's share the great things happening in Stratford!!

(for those who volunteer to help with the Blog and Facebook SUFE will help with some of your gardening costs - providing seeds, plants, rain barrels)

interested? email or send a message on facebook