Author Archives: Serge

About Serge

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Harvest celebration – volunteer recognition

Harvest Party
2023 September 24 from 4:30 pm – 7:00 pm
Location: Groundswell Greenhouse and Garden
Address: Corner of 15th Ave and Westridge, Invermere BC.
Tickets: $20 per member, Free for volunteers.
Members buy tickets and volunteers willing to attend should RSVP, see below.

Included: Farm to table canapés, Welcome drinks, Music, Door prizes.

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Preparing Raised Garden beds for Winter (August 2023)

After a couple frosts in the fall (end of Sept or in to Oct) and your plants are dying you can start to get you raised garden bed ready for winter. Our focus is on creating living soil that will naturally feed your plants. Living soil is teaming with microorganisms, worms and other insects which turn your soil into soluble food for your plants. By adding compost, manures and mulch you are feeding and keeping alive these important communities of microorganisms, fungi and bugs in the soil: Living Soil! Following these steps:

  1. Remove weeds and put in compost.
  2. Remove stakes and trellises.
  3. Clean up dead plants and put in compost. Chop large plants up so they will breakdown easier in the compost.
  4. A good time to collect seeds for next year. You can leave some of your plants to go to seed and collect the seed before composting. Dry in a paper bag, or on a plate in a warm dry place. Some plants like arugula, you can take the plants in bunches and hang to dry. Taking the seeds from the pods once dry.
  5. Add about 2 inches of compost and other organic material; worm castings, composted manure, compost to you bed, no need to dig it in. Your plants next spring will love this!
  6. Add another couple inches of mulch on top of the leaves, straw, grass clippings. If no mulch available cover with jute coffee bags from Kicking Horse Coffee or even plastic. Hold down with rocks, bricks, wood or pots of soil. You can also put these bags over your mulch to hold it down and so it won’t blow away.
  7. Take care of perennials. … the perennial beds plants at each site could use weeding and cutting back. If you have herbs in your raised bed that will overwinter, leave in the garden and mulch around them.

A mantra of the serious gardener is never to leave bare soil. One of the simplest techniques for making sure soil is protected and enriched is using mulch. “Mulch creates a great environment for the development of soil biology,” Kempf says. “When we mulch the soil, we get good levels of biological activity, nutrient availability and aggressive plant growth the following spring.”
Mulch is a blanket that protects plant crowns and roots from the extreme temperature fluctuations of winter. One of the best mulches is a good snow cover, but even very cold regions occasionally have winters with little snow. Thus it is important to mulch with plant material that does not compact and retains a certain degree of “fluffiness.” Chopped leaves work well, as do straw and grass clippings.
Website for more info: There are lots of great videos online. Search around and find one that speaks to you.

Homestead harvest happy hour

Local bug expert, compost king, and market gardeners, Lana and Garth, will share their know-how, in a garden tour of a historic homestead and growing food processing business.
You will enjoy new ways of growing strawberries, cantaloupe wearing pantyhose, ask your questions about insects and get a handle on how food goes from the earth to a delicious product that can be eaten all winter. Refreshments and appies will be served under a 100 year old apple tree at the end of the tour offering an opportunity to ask your questions and visit with fellow gardeners.
fresh produce
Date: was June 17, 2023
Time: 3 to 5:00 – tour and then refreshments and apples under a 100-year-old apple tree during the Q&A and chance to meet fellow gardeners and share gardening stories.
Price: Members – $25.00 Non-members: $35.00
Location: Close to Invermere – you will receive the address with your ticket.
Things to bring: comfortable walking shoes, dress in layers, bug repellent, water, sunscreen, hat, garden journal (if you don’t have one you can buy one that afternoon from Groundswell for $10).
Special note: there is an honour system market stand with produce and all kinds of goodies so you may want to bring some cash for goodies.

——-after event update:

Dr Garth took the temperature of 3 different compost piles and declared them all healthy. We saw the most amazing system in place to use green waste. Garth and Lana are using it to rebuild the soil of her grandfather’s potato farm and what a job they are doing.

They taught us a lot about hunting for garden bargains and we learned about the step process they were using to reclaim a field, a perennial bed, and a used greenhouse. Hard work, lots of imagination, and joy in creating nutritious fresh & dehydrated food resulted in such beauty and abundance in just one year from last year’s tour to this year.

We ended the day with Happy Hour under a 100-year-old apple tree. The perfect Saturday afternoon.
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