A quick posting to update you on our progress last week - we started an inventory! And sprouts, and a watering plan, and a seeding plan, and a planting plan! All of the plans!
The greenhouse has now been filled with soil and so we are investigating how to get water in to it. We will likely be reclaiming our old water tank which gets installed in to the back of the truck in order to run a hose to the greenhouse. The other options we discussed were carrying watering can back and forth between the College and greenhouse, or Challenge and greenhouse, which would be very time consuming and physically draining. If you have ideas on how we might be able to get water in to this location, please don't hesitate to comment below.
Our sprouts are still making moves upwards and we're continuing to care for them as we go.
Our composting systems received a lot of attention two weeks ago so were not worked on much this past week.
On Tuesday our team went to have a tour of the greenhouse at Changing Gear which is where we will be starting all of our seedlings for the city planter boxes. Most of the work this past week went to planning start times for planting and how to make sure that we plant everything soon. Thank you to West Coast Seeds, again, for their speedy delivery which allowed us to make growing plans and we can hopefully get started this week. The seeds we ordered vary from plants, such as amaranth, to vegetables, such as cucumber, to edible flowers.
Additionally, our greenhouse guys finished an inventory of all the seeds that we have on hand and have started an inventory of all of our greenhouse supplies. As we often have to replace items or purchase new bags of soil, etc, it is in our best interest to have a formal process for our many things!
We all took Friday off last week as well to celebrate Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous! If anyone checking in is from Whitehorse, we hope you had a lovely Rendezvous week and ate all of the Cabane A Sucre!
Good afternoon fruit flies! (in a good way)
Speaking of thank goodness, our little red mites seem to be relocating.... somewhere far, far away. Or all over Terri. Either way, we're glad to see them go.
We've had some struggles with our Bokashi buckets lately. We had a tap break, as well as ended up dumping two because we didn't start them right in the fall. After doing some research, we found that we aren't using enough dry ingredients, so need to balance the buckets out with more breads and eggshells. Also, the buckets were likely getting too much oxygen and so we will be opening them less to allow them to ferment properly. A couple of side steps we had this week were causing our new pregnant AOC to dry heave after smelling the buckets, as well as an unplanned dumpster dive when losing a tray during dumping out the buckets. What. A. Waste. (get it.... cause it was garbage!?).
For more Bokashi bucket support, see here: http://www.leangreenhome.co.uk/bokashi/bokashi-troubleshooting/553
It's a dirty job, but somebody's gotta do it! We finished the digging out the greenhouse and filled it with brand new, beautiful smelling soil. It is yet to be watered - looking for winter solutions currently. Let us know if you have any ideas.
SPROUTS! We successfully started new ones, and harvested, spicy lentil crunch, radish sprouts and kamut. The radish sprouts are spicy and hot if you're looking for a little heat - like our woodshop supervisor! Yum. :)
Speaking of planting, the 6-Plex has been labeled and successfully seeded (pictures below). Some of the things we planted include Amish Deer Tongue lettuce, which actually looks like a deer tongue, hard and soft garlics, some lovely edible flowers (nasturtiums) and sweet peas! We have started some seedlings outside of the tower to ensure they grow properly which include two types of basil, peppermint, chives and parsley. Only the strong will survive - and make it in to tower.
With our office tower, on location, we have put up a quick list as we are hiring lots of new people during this time of year, to make sure our garden tower is cared for with as much love, by everyone at Challenge, as we give it everyday.
This week we started the funnest vegetable garden you'll see. We used our Psychedelic Salad kit and Funky Vegetable kit which we ordered off of Amazon from Plant Theatre. If you want to buy your own Plant Theatre products, follow this link: https://www.plant-theatre.co.uk/
You can also track our blog to see how your experience goes growing these kits.
This morning our team went up to Changing Gear which is the location for our seed starting for our city streets planter boxes. We mentioned these in an earlier post and will keep you posted on this production process. If you want to check out Changing Gear, it is not quite a greenhouse building but their link is here: https://changinggear.ca/
Our last project today, which Bastien is leading, is a total seed inventory of all of the lovely seeds we have purchased, received by donation and found along the way.
Last but not least, and on top of all of this awesome greenhouse stuff, the Challenge program participants received WHMIS certifications and Terri did up our Rendezvous window in our soon to be opening shop! Our woodshop, Twisted WoodWorks, will be having their shop grand opening on February 20! Be there, or be a turnip!
Grow strong, see you next week!
Good morning blueberries!
We hope you had a lovely couple of weeks. We know we have as we have been VERY busy. We had to take a break from posting last week as we were in volunteer week where we provide labour for local organizations such as Whitehorse Food Bank and Freedom Trails.
A quick update on the current status of our tower - we had to chat with some coworkers because we were finding that our softneck garlic was being braided in the tower. Although it looks pretty, it is not good for our little garlics as they grow. If you are growing at home, do not braid them prematurely please.
Our Alien onion arms are growing successfully! Who-da-thunk-it!? Although not expecting this outcome, we are pleased to support our onions.
A quick update on our little red mites who have taken over our vermicomposting bin. We tried the bread soaked in milk which worked initially, although didn't get rid of all of the mites. Now they are crawling up our participants legs - kidding! Right now we are trying watermelon and honeydew as a blog posting suggested, results TBD. Another effort was to remove some sprouts that were growing in the dirt in the chance that the mites might be attracted to those, as well. Ta-da! Our last resort, when it is warmer than -30C, will be to pick up some horticultural oil spray which was also suggested for getting rid of unwanted bugs.
Speaking of bugs, we are still having some wandering fruit flies so will be trying to keep our eyes open, and our minds exploring, for additional trapping options.
BOKASHI! Been doing very well so far. Our garden guru, Catheryne, found some strainers which are supposed to be placed at the bottom of the Bokashi buckets (pictured below) and may be the cause of some different colours found (red vs yellow). However, they are all fermenting... deliciously...
Now the moment you have been waiting for! The winterized greenhouse has been emptied of the contaminated soil - 120-130 buckets later - and has now been filled with 9 bails of new sunshine mix #4 from Cliffside Greenhouse (pictured below). We have requested an additional 6 bags as the 9 we have already used do not quite fill the entire greenhouse. We will hopefully explore this more next week.
Today we had a fun, surprise guest speaker. A local gardener in town had some awesome results following developing a solar collecting irrigation system for his own growing needs and we brought him in today to explain to us what he did! The end result of his growing project led to a 5 inch tomato from an 8 foot tall plant which was planted outside, in the ground, 1 month after ideal growing season. We can benefit from his information as the Yukon is undergoing MANY sustainability projects at this time - such as our garden tower! Great experience to connect with local innovators and share information. Thank you!
Keep sprouting! We'll catch you next week!
We are part of the Employ Ability Skills Program with Challenge Disability Resource Group. We take part in a 12-week program that allows us to learn new skills and foster our interest in growing our own food organically.