By Jude Major
As the weather suddenly took a turn for the better and the warmer, so too did the plots in the Musquodoboit Harbour Community Garden. It’s amazing what a little sun and warmth will do for growing green things and for improving a mood.
Garden members are growing all kinds of things in the twenty-five plots. Each plot is rented by someone in this community, who then grow whatever vegetables and flowers that make that person happy. An annual fee of $25.00 gives you access to your plot year-round, which is great for people who want to grow fall garlic or have greens under the protection of a hoop-house over the winter. (I usually teach a hoop-house building workshop each autumn, using easily available inexpensive material.)
As manager of the garden, I offer assistance of all kinds to gardeners, twice a week, on Wednesdays and Sundays from 1-3 pm. With almost fifty years of experience in many aspects of agriculture, from ranching sheep, running a dairy goat barn, raising poultry, fruit farming, and growing many vegetables as a Certified Organic farmer, I can usually help with whatever problem or question that arises.
In this time of COVID-19, I can no longer offer in-person workshops, so Karen Bradley generously offered to do video shoots instead. The videos are posted to the Old School Community Gathering Place website and Facebook group. The most recent video was about tomato culture, where I explained the difference between determinate and indeterminate types of tomatoes, and the difference in their care. We have also covered potato plantings in seaweed, as I am die-hard proponent of mulch. The less weeding and watering the better!
As the climate changes, we need to develop more efficient and less wasteful ways of growing food. Many of us have seen significant shortages of seed this spring, and self-sufficiency is always to be encouraged.
As regards cleansing and sanitation issues, we have added a soap dispenser to the water tap, which can be identified by the fluorescent orange post at the foot of the Old School driveway, across from the garden. The tap is the result of a water diversion project we did last summer. It diverts rainwater from the roof of the Old School into a holding tank, which pipes the water down to the tap. The water is not for drinking but is for garden watering and hand washing. We don’t have towels available, so you’ll have to air dry your hands.
There’s one other COVID-19 garden issue: right now, access is restricted to plot holders only. I am sad that people can no longer just drop by. I like to be available for questions and consults but that now has to happen more indirectly. I can be reached by calling the Old School at 902-889-2735.
I look forward to meeting with any gardeners this summer—carefully self-distancing, of course. There will be more videos about a variety of fun and odd topics, from the astrology of planting to the practicalities of tomato pruning and food preserving. And of course, more mulch!