Thursday, July 31, 2014

Bees forage on corn

We assume that corn is wind pollinated, but bees do forage on corn pollen as well. That is one of the reasons why neonicotinoid pesticides are so dangerous. Neonicotinoids are systemic pesticides and although applied to the seed, residues are found in the corn pollen.

There are over 450 species of wild bees in BC. who are important ecosystem pollinators. Wild bees such as bumble bees, leaf cutter bees and blue orchard bees provide important pollination services to farmers. Neonicotinoids are lethal to these bees affecting their maturation rate and their ability to reproduce. Unfortunately, wild bees cannot be moved away from corn and other commercially grown treated plant species during the period of pollen production.

Recently, a panel of 50 scientists that formed the Task Force on Systemic Pesticides studied 800 research papers on pesticides. The combined papers provided conclusive evidence that pesticides are causing mass deaths of bees and butterflies. Neonicotinoides can persist in soil for months or years after a single application. The studies concluded that the use of pesticides present a significant risk to the ecosystem by harming microorganisms and earthworms in the soil.

Bees foraging on corn in the children's community plots at McDonald Park 

Bees foraging on sunflowers  in the children's community plots at McDonald Park

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Public Produce at Elm Avenue

Another Kamloops Food Policy Council public produce initiative is located at the corner of Elm Ave and Tranquille. Check it out, pull a weed and pick a bean.

Public Produce at Kamloops City Hall

City of Kamloops horticulture staff have created another lovely garden in front of city hall combining ornamentals with edibles.

Gazebo needs a coat of stain

What a lovely gazebo in McDonald Park Public Produce Garden! 
It will provide shelter from the hot sun for lots of children's programmes & adult learning.

But it needs a coat of stain.
Can you donate a few hours of your time on Thursday? between 8:00 am - 12:00 pm?  Possibly an evening session too. 
Shelaigh will provide goodies and refreshments.
Please contact Shelaigh if you help.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Bagging Apples

Because codling moth is a problem in Kamloops, we're experimenting with various methods of bagging apples so that insects can't lay their eggs on the fruit. We're trying plastic ziplock bags, a homemade netting bag, and a 'footie/sockie'. We've also tried stapling on white paper pastry bags but these all blew off in a Kamloops windy storm. We've got a bit of an apple tree guild going on here, too, with beebalm and borage acting as a forage for pollinators and beneficial insects, green beans as nitrogen fixers and yarrow acting as a nutrient accumulator. It's a permaculture idea that a home gardener could certainly try. Come check it out.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Friday, July 4, 2014

New signs at the garden

Currants are ready to eat - try adding to a tomato & mint salad. 

Gooseberries are ready to eat when pink & soft to the touch. Watch those spines! 

Most herbs are essential food sources for pollinators.
White currants are delicious! 

As soon as this sign was put up a hummingbird appeared! 

Friday, June 27, 2014

Thank you to Farm2Chefs Collaborative for funding printing of Public Produce Start Up Guide

David Tombs of the Farm2Chefs Collaborative receiving the Public Produce Start Up Guide from author Elaine Sedgman
(all photos by Pat Davies)

Master Gardeners Phyllis Mader & Bill Davies inspecting the garden

Master Gardener Elaine Sedgman giving a tour of the beautiful Public Produce Garden at McDonald Park

Looking at the "Growing Vegetable Soup" children's community garden plot. 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Farm2Chefs Collaborative to be acknowledged Wednesday June 25th at 11:00 am

Meet Farm2Chefs Collaborative member and Terra Restaurant chef/owner David Tombs and Master Gardener Elaine Sedgman at MacDonald Park Public Produce Garden on Wednesday June 25th at 11:00 am.  

Try some currant & bergamot tea prepared from the garden & nosh on some muffins & strawberries.

Elaine will present David with the newly printed Public Produce, Growing Food in Public Spaces: A Start Up Guide that the Collaborative funded.

David & Elaine will then take you for a tour around the garden to talk about the possibilities and potential of Public Produce within city landscapes.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Integrated Pest Management Techniques

Volunteer Thompson Shuswap Master Gardeners use Integrated Pest Management techniques with regular monitoring of the MacDonald Park Public Produce Garden. They've been monitoring the aphid damage on the currants, hoping that lady beetles might lay their eggs.  Tonight Vicky blasted the aphids with a strong spray of water to dislodge the aphids from the underside of the currant leaves.

Master Gardeners Charyle & Vicky transplanting donated mint plants. Mint is set out in bottom-less pots to stop it  from spreading.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Public Produce, Growing Food in Public Spaces: A start Up Guide is now published

Public Produce, Growing Food in Public Spaces: A start Up Guide is now published.
Thank you to the Farm2Chefs for their generous grant that allowed the Kamloops Food Policy Council to print a number of copies.
The print version of this publication will be available to our stakeholders.
The web version is available as a free pdf download at the Kamloops Food Policy Council's website.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Planting McDonald Park Garden today

We had a great time planting the McDonald Park Public Produce Garden today. A huge thank you to  all our volunteers!

Thank you to the Thompson Shuswap Master Gardeners, Bill, Barb, Elaine & Marvin and to Kyle Kapsha, Urban Agriculture Coordinator, who demonstrated various gardening techniques and tips.

Kyle arrives on his bike with the Mulberry & Plum trees.
Barb demonstrates how to transplant a seedling.
Kyle planting our new columnar apple tree while Barb gives some gardening advice. 
Marvin demonstrates how to tease out roots that are pot root bound before transplanting.
Elaine demonstrated how to thin apples & various ways to bag them against  codling moth damage.
Haskaps are ready to eat! 

Friday, May 30, 2014

The Big Public Produce Plant-In

Kamloops Public Produce is inviting everyone to THE BIG PLANT-IN at the McDonald Park Public Produce Garden
Sunday June 1st at 9:00 AM.

*Learn all about Public Produce.
*Learn about attracting natural enemies of garden pests. It’s all about flowers!
*Planting demonstrations by Thompson Shuswap Master Gardeners.

Bring your gardening gloves & trowels & help transplant & seed this lovely space.
Refreshments provided.

For more info contact:

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Mixing things up at MacDonald Park Public Produce!

Happy March everyone! We're 9 days from Spring, but these passed couple of days feel like it's here already!

This season is going to be an interesting one with big expansions to the Elm St. Public Garden (such a big space, it's time to use some more of it!) and a big shake up at the MacDonald Park Public Garden.

The Thompson-Shuswap Master Gardeners have offered to take over the care and maintenance of the MacDonald Park Public Demonstration Garden and have already had their first meeting at the Garden to discuss some changes to be made. Plants are going to be growing legs and moving all over the Garden! If you're interested in taking part in the Great Replanting send me an e-mail - to volunteer. The Master Gardeners and I will need all the help we can get moving the cane fruits, fruit shrubs and herbs to more appropriate places in the Garden to make room their rapid growth. Expect more Permaculture Design practices to be discussed and implemented!

The Great Replanting will coincide with the Pruning and Planting Workshop, which you shouldn't miss, as Greg is a fountain of knowledge! (see below)

Can you believe this photo was only taken a week ago!? (Master Gardeners and I discussing plans for changes to the MacDonald Park Garden) The snow is all melted again now and my green thumbs are getting itchy!

On March 29th Greg Houghton (City of Kamloops Arbortist) will be doing a Pruning and Planting Workshop where he will demonstrate the proper planting of a young fruit tree (two of the Garden's apple trees are going to be transplanted into new spots in the Garden). Check out the City of Kamloops Activity Guide for more information on how to register (although, if you show up to the event without registering or to volunteer for the Great Replanting I wouldn't worry about being turned away!)

Looking forward to a great season, and I hope to see you out enjoying the North Shore's Public Produce Gardens.