Spring is Here -- Gardening Time!
OUT IN THE GARDEN: Between showers of rain and hail, thunder and lightning, bursts of wind and sunshine — spring is the time to start planning what to plant where, to clean up the garden beds, start pulling unwanted weeds as they become evident — before they spread and dominate your landscape entirely.
But before you get too down on the ebullient dandelions we’ll see blooming soon, check out this CBC article on their possible cancer-fighting value.
Some people are out optimistically digging their garden beds and stirring their compost piles; others are inside starting seeds in flats, trays and little pots. Some are bemoaning the low germination rate of their onion seeds and wondering whether a different starting medium would give better results. Some keeners have cold frames outside with cold-tolerant salad greens growing.
Garlic is sprouting where it was planted last fall; a few people have planted peas and spinach outside and have their fingers crossed. Some of us are always wondering what we could do better for healthier vegetables.
There are courses to help us, right here in Rossland. On April 15, there is a 2-hour workshop on soil and soil amendments at the Miners Hall, from 7:00 to 9:00 pm. For details, click here.
On May 8 to 10, the Monashee Institute plans to hold a three-day Permaculture workshop, inlcuding meals. To find out more, click here.
Plant Exchange & Sale:
On May 9, there will be a Plant Exchange and Sale in the courtyard beside the Mountain Nugget chocolate shop, from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm. To find out how the plant exchange works, click here.
Why Bother Growing Vegetables in Rossland?
With California crops increasingy impacted by drought — soon to get worse, with this winter’s low snowpack in the Sierra Nevada (and elsewhere), people with vegetable gardens will enjoy fresher, tastier, more nutritious food, and be more assured of having what they want. Yes, it takes a bit of time and effort — but it’s well worth it, and it’s a therapeutic activity, and besides, you can’t be out mountain biking ALL the time!
Vegetable gardening in Rossland, with its relatively short growing season and temperamental mountain weather, is often regarded as a challenge. But many crops grow very well here: beets, carrots, lettuce, spinach, various oriental greens, peas, cabbage and kale, cauliflower and brussels sprouts are all fairly easy to grow. Beans and squash are more reliant on some warm weather, but there are many years when they do very well too. Pick earlier-maturing varieties. Tomatoes usually benefit from being grown on the south side of a building, under some kind of protection from rain. Many crops benefit from the use of “crop cover” fabric to protect them from frosts, hailstorms, and bugs. They all benefit from having the right soil amendments dug in before planting.
If you’re new to gardening in Rossland, just find a few people out digging in their yards and ask a few questions. You may get contradictory answers — that means you can pick the ones you like best, and experiment! And you’ll be welcomed into Rossland’s gardening community. Check out Rossland Real Food on Facebook, too.