Tag Archives: permaculture

Fall Field Trip, Sunday Oct 14th, 9 am – 3:30 pm

Eco-sense Cob House

We’ll start our day with a tour of Eco-Sense.  If you’re not familiar with this rad house, it’s North America’s first code-approved seismically engineered load bearing insulated cob house.  It features solar PV with grid tie, an option for future wind turbines, solar thermal hydronic heating, passive solar design, LED lighting, earthen floors, natural plasters, grey water re-use, composting (NO FLUSH) toilets, rainwater harvesting, and a living roof. The home is zero waste and net zero energy.  Besides all the amazing environmental features, it’s a beautifully designed and built space, and a really inspiring house to tour.

After the Eco-Sense tour we’ll have a picnic lunch.  To keep costs down, please pack a lunch for yourself, but we will supply lots of snacks to share.

Haliburton Farm: photo by Laura Lasby

After lunch, we’ll head to Haliburton Farm for the  afternoon.  Haliburton is a publicly-owned farm; they currently house 5 farm businesses, offer workshops for farmers, gardeners and and consumers, give tours to school and community groups, and have regular CSA/box programs.  They offer a really cool model of how to organize a farm to include and educate the surrounding community.  Plus, the farm itself is beautiful and includes restored wetland, resident salamanders, nesting birds and other exciting natural residents.

We’ve rented a van from the carshare for transportation, and the first five folks registered can catch a ride with us.  Other than the van, I can help facilitate vehicle sharing, so please let me know if you need a ride or have space in your vehicle to offer.

Please email slugs.coordinator@gmail.com to register.  If you’re under 18, let me know, as I’ll wrangle you a guaranteed seat in the van and will need to get you to have your parents sign a form.

Cost:  $15-30 sliding scale.

Soil Building workshop, Wed September 26th, 6-8 pm

Image by rcferdin, used under Creative Commons license

A productive garden starts with healthy soil.  Learn how to build your soil naturally (and cheaply!) to increase your food yields as well as the nutrition of the veggies you’re growing.

Topics covered will include:  an overview of organic soil building strategies, physical analysis (soil types and structures), organic matter, composting basics, soil nutrients and pH, sheet mulching (aka lasagna gardening) and green manures.  The wonderful Jill Dalton of Lifecycles will be teaching, and if you’ve ever had the pleasure of learning from her, you’ll know that her workshops are packed with information but also extremely fun and encouraging/empowering.   Don’t miss this event!

Email slugs.coordinator@gmail.com to register

Location:  The straw bale building at the Compost Education Centre, 1216 North Park St, Victoria, BC

Suggested donation:  $5-10 (no one turned away)

Haultain Common: The Season in Photos

Photo by Mike Large

As you may know, SLUGS has been partnering with the Haultain Common for 2012 and holding monthly workshops/work parties at the Common.  We’re stoked to have the chance to work with the Commoners because it gives us a chance to put all our gardening learning into practice while helping to build an amazing community food resource.

We’ve been snapping photos when we have a chance throughout the year, and I wanted to put them together in one place so you could see the evolution of what we’ve been working on.  From a dormant winter garden on a drafty February afternoon to a riotous food forest in the August heat, here is the season at the Common! Continue reading

Haultain Common Tour and Work Party, Monday August 13th, 7-9 pm

Another great opportunity to tour this amazing community boulevard garden and food resource and lend a hand with a few tasks here and there.

The Common-ers and youth from the SLUGS program have been spending the season planning, building, weeding and harvesting at this rad communal garden space!  From a mostly bare boulevard in February to the bountiful food forest that exists now, it’s been a lot of work, but with really satisfying (and delicious) results.

Stop by on Monday August 13th to tour the Common, learn more about permaculture food forests and boulevard gardens, and help us do a bit of weeding.  We’ll be meeting at 7pm — the day’s heat will have mellowed by then, but we’ll still have plenty of light to work and talk and learn by.  Hope to see you there!

Location:  The Haultain Common, 1420 Haultain (at Asquith)

Cost:  free!

Haultain Common Tour and Work Party, Sunday June 10th, 2-4 pm

A great opportunity to tour this amazing community boulevard garden and food resource and lend a hand with a few tasks here and there.

The Common is happening! Come & see the new Strawberrium, with its sweet winding path, designed with kids in mind. See the paths, with their new wood chips. Marvel at how the perennials have nestled in & sunk their roots. And guess what? There are artichokes!

Plus, while you’re there, you can take a bit of time to lend a hand with pulling weeds here and there as well as doing a bit of mulching.

Cost:  free!

Location:  The Haultain Common, 1420 Haultain (at Asquith)

Re-growing vegetables

If you’re looking for a creative way to make your food budget stretch further and get a bit of gardening into your life, you might want to try re-growing your used up veggies!

I recently read about re-growing green onions on a windowsill, and was amazed at how simple the process is.  You just use the onions normally, leaving the bottom white part and roots intact.  You plunk the roots into a jar of water, forget about it on your windowsill for a week or so, and then come back to harvest the regrown green parts.  I gave it a try at home, and was stoked on how ridiculously easy it was.  This would be an especially great way to extend the life of your food in the winter when you’re often forced to buy most of your food at the grocery store rather than pluck it from your garden.

I was so excited about the success of the green onions that I started looking into whether this technique could be used for other plants.  Apparently there are a ton of other plants that can be re-grown this way — who knew?

Here is a rad tutorial on re-growing celery.  Like the green onions, you start the stalk sprouting in a dish of water, but after that you transplant it into a container, and it keeps on keeping on from there.  Mary and Tim of the blog 17 Apart who put together the celery tutorial also have amazing how-to guides on re-growing sweet potatoes and bok choy on your windowsill.

If bok choy and green onions aren’t exotic enough for you, you can even try re-growing a pineapple in a container!   This is a pretty posi way to enjoy tropical deliciousness while keeping the travel distance of your groceries reasonable.

Have you ever tried re-sprouting any of these plants or others?  I would love to hear about your experience with this cool technique.

Haultain Common Planting Party, Sunday April 22nd, 2-4 pm

The Common is really starting to come together for the season, but we will need your help to get more elements of the permaculture food forest in place!  We will be planting blueberries and strawberries (tasty times ahead!), constructing keyhole paths, and weaving a pea fence out of willow branches (a very cool skill to learn).  This event is a great chance to learn new skills, hang out with rad and community minded gardeners, and help out an important community resource.  Hope to see you there!

Cost:  free!

Location:  The Haultain Common, 1420 Haultain St at Asquith