West Hamilton Produce Cooperative

Do you live in West Hamilton and grow some of your own food? Would you be interested in exchanging your surplus garden produce with other local backyard vegetable gardeners? Join the West Hamilton Produce Cooperative: a free, twice-a-month exchange of fruits, vegetables, herbs & flowers.

Mulch and Water Conservation

Raised beds are notorious for drying out faster than regular gardens. There is more exposure and places for the water to evaporate. Plants then get stressed, more water is used, and it take more of your time. What to do?
Mulch, mulch, mulch! By covering the soil with a 'insulating layer', less water will be lost to evaporation. Use newspapers, grass clippings, straw or anything else to build up a layer.
Some things to keep in mind:

Soil Blocks for seedlings

"Plastic pots reduce air flow and make seedlings root bound. A compact, air pruned soil block does not limit oxygen to the roots." (http://www.pottingblocks.com/) On Sunday, March 25, a dozen or so of us gardeners made 40 blocks each to try out with our seedlings for this year.

Hill Street Garden full for 2012

We had overwhelming interest in obtaining plots this year, and now we are full.
If you'd still like to garden somewhere this year, you have a couple of options:

Powdery Mildew

Watch out for powdery mildew on squash and zucchini plants. Spots of white fuzzy are indicators; dying / wilting leaves mean it's spreading. To counteract:

  • if leaf is wilting, cut it off at the vine and put in the green bins (not the compost - don't want to spread it to next year's plants)
  • if only some spots, spray every 2-3 days with a mixture of one part milk and 9 parts water. This seems to change the pH of the leaf so the mildew can't grow

If you leave you plant alone, it will die - so keep a watchful eye, especially when it is hot and humid.

Homegrown Lettuce

(Courtesy of Raymond, everyone's favourite gardener!)

Homegrown lettuce is so tasty and tender for salads. But special tricks are needed to pick lettuce from the garden now, when it’s hot.

This time of year, lettuce tends to bolt — that is, to flower and make seeds. Once a flower stalk starts pushing up through the whorl of leaves, those leaves turn bitter and tough.

Garden Party Rain Plan: Wed Jun 22

If it is raining at 6pm, consider this event postponed until next Wed. However, we do have tents so we can still go ahead if it is threatening to sprinkle. Hope to see you all at 6:30pm.

Tomato suckers

large suckerBushy tomato plants are lovely, aren't they? However, it is important to sucker your tomatoes as tomato suckera bushy plant will actually have less tomatoes. A sucker is a non-bearing branch that grows out of the stem at a 45 degree angle off the branch that will have tomatoes (these grow straight out). Pinch these off as soon as you see them started (idealy before they get an inch long). [Picture credits: finegardening.com and about.com]


Greening Sacred Spaces annual award of excellence

The Hill Street Community Garden is one of two Hamilton recipients this year receiving the annual award of excellence from Greening Sacred Spaces. GSS is a practical program developed by Faith & the Common Good to assist faith communities with both the educational and spiritual dimensions of working towards a more sustainable future. Well done!

HSCG mentioned in Alternatives magazine

There's a great little article about us in the April/May 2011 “Just Food” edition of Alternatives Journal. Alternatives is Canada’s national environmental magazine with thoughtful analysis and intelligent debate on Canadian and world environmental issues and profiles of environmental leaders who are making a difference. In the article, Beatrice from Environment Hamilton talks about the collaboration of the churches in starting the Hill Street Community Garden and Emma talks about “renewing the urban environment and people’s relationship to the land.” Way to go garden!