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January 2024 Seed-lending or Intake Days

Happy growing in 2024!

Here are our January seed-lending or intake days:

🌱Saturday January 13th Galiano Island South Community Hall – Winter Market from 10am-2pm
🌱Friday January 26th Galiano Community Library – 12-2pm
🌱Saturday January 27th Galiano Island South Community Hall – Winter Market from 10am-2pm

We’ve plenty of seeds to start early: flowers, herbs, onions and leeks.

By |2024-01-30T15:38:19-08:00January 17th, 2024|Events|

SLOG Events, Winter and Spring 2023

SLOG will host a number of “Seedy Saturdays” this winter and spring.

We will have seed lending, sorting, and drop-offs on the following days:

January 21 (Winter Market, South Hall 11am-1pm)
January 28 (Library 12-2pm)
February 18 (Winter Market, South Hall, 11am-1pm)
February 25 (Library, 12-2pm)
March 4 (Library, 12-2pm)
March 11 (Library, 12-2pm)
March 18 (Winter Market, South Hall, 11am-1pm)
March 25 (Library, 12-2pm)
April 29 (Winter Market, South Hall, 11am-1pm)

If you’d like to learn more about the Seed Library, our seed inventory and other resources are available here on our website at seedlibrarygaliano.org.

By |2023-01-30T22:05:40-08:00January 30th, 2023|Events|

Jack

By Barry New

I wanted to write an article about beans. Then I realized that I wrote my best thoughts two years ago. But I still wanted to write more. I include here a story that might bring it all back home.

Thirty four years ago I moved to Sheffield, in 1988, and right away I signed up for an allotment. It came through shortly after that. It became a retreat from my busy working life and an oasis from urban concerns. I had had it for 20 years before I gave it up to return to Canada. Fortunately, my neighbour from that time, Jack, adopted it and most of my plantings. Seeds from that plot were part of my baggage when I came through Canadian customs in 2008. (That is another story!)

Anyways, I was fortunate to be able to revisit Sheffield last October, 2022, after a five- year gap to reconnect with my oldest/best friends. One special day, I sauntered among the many allotment sites on Sheffield’s outskirts. I didn’t know what to expect after being away for 15 years but at my old plot I saw someone moving amongst the overgrowth. It was Jack!

We had first met 33 years before and he had kept my old plot. Some of my trees were still there and my old shed. It was late in the season and he was harvesting some beans and more. He gave me some of runner beans to share with the couple I was staying with. Interestingly he was growing much of the same things I would be growing on Galiano; Brassicas, squash, greens, and tomatoes. He shared some ‘tree spinach’ seeds I will be trying this year.

It was probably the most emotional episode of my trip. I walked back to my ‘digs’ noting how all the shopfronts had changed. While my mind was elsewhere, my legs that had taken me home a thousand times knew the way.

Upcoming Events:

SLOG will have a number of “Seedy Saturdays” planned this winter and spring.

We will have seed lending, sorting, and drop-offs on the following days:

Jan. 21 (Winter Market, South Hall 11-1)
Jan. 28 (Library 12-2)
Feb. 18 (Winter Market, South Hall, 11-1)
Feb. 25 (Library, 12-2)
Mar. 4 (Library, 12-2)
Mar. 11 (Library, 12-2)
Mar. 18 (Winter Market, South Hall, 11-1)
Mar. 25 (Library, 12-2)
Apr. 29 (Winter Market, South Hall, 11-1)

If you’d like to learn more about the Seed Library, our inventory and other resources are available on our website at: seedlibrarygaliano.org.

By |2023-01-30T22:01:03-08:00January 30th, 2023|Articles, Seedy Stories|

What does growing success look like to you?

by Elizabeth Latta, life-long grower

Do you have a favourite vegetable that you thought you heard was easy to grow? And it turned out that you couldn’t grow it for love or money (or so it seemed)? Such is my experience with spinach and beets. Did you know that in Hong Kong they sprout their beets indoors before they plant them out because the weather just is not cooperative otherwise (information gleaned from a Hong Kong gardener)? Here’s a brief account of my frustrations with these crops and how I have partially solved the problem.

Our main garden is on a south slope, with hardpan about 6” down, the site of an old log dump which had a great deal of island gravel dumped so that the trucks could load the logs. So, think of Findhorn, born on an old gravel pit in inhospitable conditions, only think of beating your head against a brick wall trying to duplicate that situation with too many other things to do to spend the time to bring in the necessary materials for the 10 pound cabbages.

More specifically, my challenge first was spinach and second was beets. Apparently spinach doesn’t like to grow when it is too hot. So when you seed it outdoors at the end of the summer as you are directed to do, it doesn’t sprout. Then you try to grow it indoors in little flats in late August with an idea of transplanting it in September when the weather is cooler. But somehow, in September, they just don’t thrive and by the time the first frost comes along you have miserable spindly plants that would only provide spinach to a mouse (of which we have an abundance). I have tried again, in the spring, to grow indoors and transplant but somehow, if the spinach gets above 6 inches, it goes to seed immediately (I guess I planted it too late but it was cold….).

Last year I had some success. Though it all comes at the same time and goes to seed pretty much the same way. You know how spinach produces a multitude of seeds on each plant? Well, there is a reason for that. Only some sprout, only some grow to any sort of maturity and they are not a long lived crew when the seasons change so rapidly as they have been doing. But my solution is companion planting with peas. I planted both my peas and my spinach in February and covered them with remay. The peas came first and some time later (3 or 4 weeks?) the identifiable first 2 leaves of the spinach appeared. They never grew to the size you can buy in the store but they were totally organic with only the nitrogen provided by the pea plants as additional nourishment. (Though we have tried over the years to make the soil more friable with liberal applications of leaves and chicken manure.) I’m thinking that if I had thinned the spinach and fed them with compost tea or other such goodies, they might have got bigger but there was enough and I didn’t have to labour too much over them. Broadcast the seeds in February (a wee raking to cover them a bit) and harvest about 2 months later.

As I am getting so very much older, companion planting where I don’t have to weed much and the plants really do feed each other seems like the ideal solution. And as for those beets, I have tried the plant and transplant method but with really minimal success. I am going to follow the advice of a very enthusiastic new gardener who told me that she grows what she grows with success and what else she needs she buys from those whose success lies in other areas.

How to contact us:
If you would you like to borrow seeds from the Seed Library of Galiano Society and/or share your successful, locally grown seeds with others in the community, please contact us at: seedlibraryofgaliano@gmail.com, or visit our website at seedlibrarygaliano.org for more information.

By |2023-01-30T21:47:56-08:00January 30th, 2023|Articles|

Asian Loose-Leaf Red Lettuce

By Lezlie Wagman, Board Director

Thinking about what salad greens to plant this spring? What about Asian loose-leaf red lettuce? Your Galiano Seed Library has just acquired some of these easy to grow seeds, Galiano-grown and adapted to our local conditions.

This is a beautiful lettuce not only for eating but decorative for any garden. The leaves are ruffled and green at the growing point turning to a deep red hue towards the edges. When mature the leaves are about fifteen cm long and fall out as loose leaves do from the centre. The texture has more bite to it than regular green leaf lettuce and has a very fresh taste. It tears easily for salads and also has enough hardiness to be used as a wrapper for grated vegetables and grilled meat, which is how it tends to be used in South Korea.

As with most lettuces this one grows best in cool weather during the spring and fall. Well-drained, fairly fertile soil and lots of sunlight is a good recipe for growing. I sow these seeds directly outside and usually start in early April. The birds love the new growth so covering the baby lettuce with a cloche or some other bird barrier like a screen is essential. Once the plants are ten cm tall they’re not in near as much risk to being munched on by our feathered friends. You can also start these seeds indoors or a greenhouse. If starting in-doors you’ll need a very good grow light otherwise the plants become leggy and weakened.

For continuous harvesting, sow seeds by scattering lightly on prepared soil or in shallow short trenches five mm deep with a light scattering of earth on top. Planting can be done every two to four weeks. Germination should happen a week from planting if the conditions are right. The first little salad leaves are usually ready to eat about a month after germination. For fuller heads this lettuce will mature in approximately sixty-five days. It’s important to ensure even watering as it’s growing otherwise the lettuce can become a little bitter. An interesting feature of this Asian loose leaf red lettuce is that after maturity the leaves can be used in stir-frys and for steaming and retain a good flavor. Even once the flower stock appears these too may be cooked.

Seed saving of this fine plant is easy. Let the flower stocks mature into little yellow flowers. These will eventually fall off and you’ll be left with a tiny seed ball resembling a very miniature dandelion puffball. Once these seed heads form they can be cut and placed in a paper bag to dry before gleaning the seeds. To keep this variety as pure as possible it’s important to know that lettuce cross-pollinates easily with other kinds so keeping it in a separate area of the garden is helpful.

April seed lending days will be held at the Community Library Meeting room on Saturday, April 2, and Saturday, April 23, 2022, both days from 12-2pm.

Membership is $10 to join the Seed Library.

By |2022-05-24T22:07:34-07:00March 30th, 2022|Past Featured Seeds|

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