March – Tuscany Sun Series

March – Seeds and Seedlings

Now that you have planned out your garden March is a great time to gather your seeds and prepare to start some seedlings indoors.

Most vegetables grow really well from seed however some need a 4-6 week head start inside on our short growing season. Seeds are also cheaper than buying many seedlings from places such as the Garden Centre. You also have a much wider choice of varieties, tastes, and textures—and you can experiment with new ones, too!

Tomatoes, peppers, squash, cabbage and collards are examples of seedlings you can start indoors here in Calgary. Then transplant after the threat of the last frost.

If you are looking for additional resources or guidance in starting your garden here are some suggestions:

– The Old Farmers 2019 Almanac is great place to start.

– ‘Seedy Saturday’ held at Hillhurst Sunnyside Community Centre on March 16th from 10am – 3pm. This is a great event to chat to local seed savers, buy from Prairie seed companies, check out Native plant collectors, discover Organic growers and find Permaculture groups.

Here are a few suggestions if you are interested in growing or cooking workshops.

– The Calgary Horticultural Society

– Permaculture Calgary Guild

– Urban Farm School

– Common Digs

– Poppy Innovations

Registration opens for the Tuscany Community Garden on April 1st.

As an early bird registration incentive the Tuscany Community Garden will provide you with seeds to grow in your garden plot.

If you have any questions or would like further information please contact

communitygarden@tuscanyca.org

March_Tuscany Sun Series

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February – Tuscany Sun Series

February – Planning

Last month’s topic was Dreaming about your garden.

February is the time to start planning out some of the ideas you may have.

Perhaps you are a visual person and want to draw, paint or sketch out your space filled with colour or details.

Maybe brainstorming words onto a page works better for you.

A simple exercise is to jot down what you and your family like to eat throughout the Summer and Fall. Is it possible to grow any of these vegetables yourself?

Some of the vegetables that grow well here in Calgary include Carrots, Beets, Peas, Beans, Spinach, Lettuce, Tomatoes, Zucchini, Onions.
Some herbs include Basil, Parsley, Cilantro and Mint.

Think about where you would like to start growing. On your windowsill, on your deck in pots, in your backyard or maybe at the Community Garden?

“Everyone can grow something, somewhere!”
(Source: Anywhere Farm, Phyllis Root)

If you have any questions or would like further information

Please contact communitygarden@tuscanyca.org

February_Tuscany Sun Series

January – Tuscany Sun Series

January – Dreaming

Now that Christmas has past and we in the midst of our prairie winter, I find myself dreaming of my garden. What will it look like, how will it smell and what can I go and harvest for dinner?

This is the Dreaming stage.

You may be a seasoned gardener and this story is aligned with your current thoughts. Perhaps this is something you have just started to think about or maybe you know nothing about growing things but are curious.

“Everyone can grow something, somewhere!”
(Source: Anywhere Farm, Phyllis Root)

You may be on a piece of land with endless growing potential, you may have space in your backyard, a plot at the Community Garden, some container space on your balcony or pots on your windowsill.

Let me guide you through this exciting time.

You also may be wondering, why we are even thinking about gardens in the middle of winter?

The Dreaming phase is important for feeding our souls, the opportunities are endless, there are no rules or boundaries and it helps get us through the cold days.

‘My garden has colourful flowers, butterflies and bees zipping from one bunch to another collecting their nourishment.

There are picnic blankets strewn on the grass with kids in bare feet, the hose and sprinkler at the ready for giggles and cooling down.

Lawnmowers fade in the distance and BBQ’s are lit for the gathering of friends and family.

I grab my basket and scissors and gather baby spinach greens, snowpeas, cherry tomatoes and a bunch of spring onions for tonight’s salad. Maybe tomorrow I’ll pick the spicy Arugula greens. I might pull out a jar of beets I preserved last Fall and sprinkle with some Goats Cheese and Sunflower seeds.”

What does your garden look like?

Would you like calendula infused oil to add to your own lotion? Crunchy carrots fresh from the dirt, Lavender for scenting your drawers, homemade posies to pick or peppermint for your own tea?

Let’s savour this Dreaming phase, the opportunities are endless…

January_Tuscany Sun Series

2016 Garden Registration

Do you enjoy gardening but need more space than you have in your backyard? Would you love to harvest and eat your own vegetables? Would you like to teach your children about growing food? The Tuscany Community Garden has plots available for new and returning gardeners for the summer of 2016, and we’d love to have you join us, whether you’re a veteran gardener or a novice who is eager to learn.

The community garden is located on Tuscany Hill, south of the Tuscany Elementary School. Each member receives a garden plot, in which you may grow annual plants such as tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, beans, peas, squash, or flowers. Gardeners are not permitted to plant perennials or invasive plants, and the garden is chemical-free.

Each gardener is responsible for planting, weeding, watering, and harvesting his or her own plot. In addition, each gardener is asked to donate a few hours during the summer to weeding communal areas and watering trees and flower beds.

Online registration for returning gardeners opens on March 15 and for new members on April 1. Click the “Register” tab above.

In May, everyone who has registered will receive a plot assignment. In early June, we will hold a planting day for those members who would like to meet their fellow gardeners. If you’re a first-time gardener and would like some advice about how to plant your seeds, there will be plenty of people available to help.

We also welcome volunteers to our steering committee.

Get involved, and grow with us!

2015 Garden Event: Neighbourwoods Program

Upcoming event:

June 16, 7:00 – 7:45 p.m. Presentation by City of Calgary — Neighbourwoods Program

Find out everything you need to know get involved in helping the City plant more trees in Tuscany! You can plant a tree on the edge of, or adjacent to, your property. The City digs the hole and provides the tree, you plant and water, and the City prunes it. There is a registration cost of $30. To learn more, come to this presentation to hear all the details and have your questions answered.

Location: Tuscany Community Garden (on Tuscany Hill just south of Tuscany School)
More Info: http://www.calgary.ca/CSPS/Parks/Pages/Programs/Tree-planting/Neighbourwoods-program.aspx

Calling All Tuscany Gardeners!

Do you enjoy gardening but need more space than you have in your backyard? Would you love to harvest and eat your own vegetables? Would you like to teach your children about growing flowers? The Tuscany Community Garden has plots available for new and returning gardeners for the summer of 2015, and we’d love to have you join us, whether you’re a veteran gardener or a novice who is eager to learn.

The community garden is located on Tuscany Hill, south of the Tuscany Elementary School. Each member receives a garden plot, in which you may grow annual plants such as tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, beans, peas, squash, or flowers. Gardeners are not permitted to plant perennials or invasive plants, and the garden is chemical-free.

Each gardener is responsible for planting, weeding, watering, and harvesting his or her own plot. In addition, each gardener is asked to donate a few hours during the summer to weeding communal areas and watering trees and flower beds.

Online registration for returning gardeners opens on March 15 and for new members on April 1. Click the “Register” tab above. Plot rentals are $35 for Tuscany Community Association members. (If you’re not already a TCA member, you can add a family membership ($25) when you pay.)

In May, everyone who has registered will receive a plot assignment. In early June, we will hold a planting day for those members who would like to meet their fellow gardeners. If you’re a first-time gardener and would like some advice about how to plant your seeds, there will be plenty of people available to help.

For more information about the Tuscany Community Garden, call Pam at 403-245-0552. We also welcome volunteers to our committee. Get involved, and grow with us!

Calling All Tuscany Gardeners!

Are you interested in gardening? The Tuscany Community Garden still has plots available for new gardeners for the summer of 2014.

If you’re new to gardening in Calgary, you might be surprised to learn that Calgary’s growing season—at 114 days—is shorter than Edmonton’s and Winnipeg’s and is similar to Yellowknife’s! Therefore, gardeners need to plan their gardens with Calgary’s climate and altitude in mind.

The gardeners at the Tuscany Community Garden have had good success growing zucchini, tomatoes, potatoes, peas, and carrots. Other vegetables, such as corn and butternut squash, don’t do well here because they don’t have enough time to ripen.

For new gardeners, here are some hints for preparing for your garden:

1) Planting from seed: Vegetables like lettuce, carrots, peas, beans, and potatoes are best seeded directly into the ground. Lettuce and peas can be seeded in mid-May. Beans require warm soil to germinate and can be planted in early June.

2) Planting seedlings: If you want to grow peppers, tomatoes, or basil, which are warm-weather crops that require a longer growing season, your best bet is to give them some extra time by started seedlings indoors in April or buying seedlings from your local garden store. Transplant the seedlings into your garden around June 7.

3) Choosing varieties: You might be overwhelmed by the different varieties of each vegetable available at the store. Take a look at the package or tag to see how many days are required for the vegetable to mature. The lower the number of days, the more likely you’ll get produce in our short growing season. If you are hoping your tomatoes will ripen on the vine, choose smaller tomatoes (cherry, for example, rather than beefsteak).

That’s all you need to know to get started!

Register now for your garden plot, and watch for announcements about Planting Day. On Planting Day, come with your seeds and take the opportunity to meet fellow gardeners. If you’re a first-time gardener and would like some advice about how to plant, there will be plenty of people available to help. We’d love to see you there!