Friday, June 20, 2014

Celebration of Roses

mom loved roses. wild roses, yellow roses, all kinds of roses. we were lucky enough to inherit a large wild rose bush with this garden space, and we added a mini rose bush in our first year here. the roses are large and lovely right now, you can smell their sweet perfume on the breeze all the way down the street. they are amazing.





 the bush along the house also extends right down the fence, and part way around the back yard. the wall of roses helps us out with some afternoon shade on the back patio, and for the month of June, smells so good. i was sure to take a couple and press them in a book. happy rose season!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

the rain.

one big difference between this year's garden and last, we've barely had to water. it seems to rain a little each day, with a nice big heavy downpour once a week. we've had to give the seedlings water maybe for the first few days their in the ground, but then after they hold up on their own.


i think what is also helping is having a ground cover layer in the bed. it protects the soil from the midday sun keeping it moist and cool. the plants are finally starting to gain some height, and our first little batch of strawberries is almost ripe. in the next few weeks, the sunflowers will form an amazing canopy layer in the foodforest. things are looking up..

Thursday, June 5, 2014

chores

it's been an interesting spring so far. the sun is warm and inviting, and the air is cool most days. in other words, ahhh perfect weather. also very helpful for getting yard work done.. and the whole house comes out to play. our friends upstairs have decided to try their hands at gardening this year with us, and have started some cukes from seed. also, their pepper patch is coming along nicely.


the entrance to the main kitchen garden is lined on either side with strawberry plants. they're already producing fruit, but it's up to us to beat the squirrels to the finished product. once they fill in, they'll make a really nice perennial ground cover to keep the soil together. most of the outer edges of the food garden are now perennial, including the far row of sunflowers that sow their own seed. with the help of the squirrels of course.

in other excitement, in the next few days the side of the house will be bursting with bright pink wild roses. what an amazing perfume.. you can smell them all the way down the road when the wind picks up. can't wait!


Saturday, May 31, 2014

Animals!

here's a few of the animals that we are blessed to share our home with. Miss Ollie Cat was my mother's old friend who has come here for her retirement to enjoy her own space, gourmet natural food, and access to the outside world. the rest of our four-legged friends live with our other housemates.

Miss Ollie Cat

Arthur Dent

Squirt

SweetPea

Max

i'll have to get better photos of the other kitty upstairs, and the chinchilla! Max is my little buddy, and belongs to our good friends upstairs. i take him out to the yard with me to run around and play tug of war. he still needs a little work leash training, so we're building a routine. Squirt is an old girl, she loves to lay out in the grass and soak up the sun. Arthur has too much energy for his own good, but he's certainly entertaining. and who doesn't like cats and dragons!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Welcome

hello! welcome to Sandy Shores [Urban] Permaculture farm. as a gift to our mother for mother's day, my brother Dan and i pooled our resources to build her a 'farm' here in the city. i've been working towards one day having some acreage to call home, and she knew she'd be welcome to come stay on the farm. it was always a dream of hers to see it come together. knowing it's a little far down the road, i decided to start urban farming food and flowers so that she can come over for tea and sit in the garden.


last year was our first year in this location. we had a small plot planted as a kitchen garden, and way in the back a perennial berry and flower bed was prepared. my partner matt and i grew many vegetables and herbs, and my mother's favourite was the fresh tomatoes. we'd bring her a bag a week when they were in season, and she enjoyed every one. toasted tomato sandwiches were her favourite!

we decided that this year, since we'd finally have a vehicle to go and pick her up, we'd expand the garden and put a nice path in so that she could enjoy the country-like setting and get out of the house. unfortunately, the finished path and garden were to be a part of her mother's day surprise, and we never got to show her the end result. we finally came up with a name for the 'farm' just in time... Sandy Shores.

in dedication to our mother who loved to garden, and always dreamed of one day living out in the country. she shall live on in our hearts and in our memories. in dedication to mothers and the motherly everywhere. be good to one another, love yourself, take care.

...

check back weekly for updates on the farm!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

sprouts and perennials.

taking a look around the garden, we can see many things that have returned from last year. it was fun to watch the rhubarb come out of the ground. at first it sort of looks like a clump of crumpled up foliage that could be mistaken for garbage or kitchen scraps. now with all the rain we've been getting, the plant seems to have exploded over night!

rhubarb

this year hopefully we will actually get enough off the plant to make something from it. last year it didn't do so good, and we actually weren't expecting to see it survive the winter, but we're glad it did. next up, classic chives. they were probably the first thing to come out of the ground at the beginning of the season, their distinct bright green cylindrical sprouts are a giveaway.

chives

last year was the first year we had planted them, so this year we are hoping to see flowers. last year's lettuce had also gone to seed, and we were surprised to find little lettuce leaves in the back bed where they had been the year before. tiny tender green and purple leaves!

lettuce

something else we're hoping for this year is for these lovely blueberry bushes to make some fruit. at our last house it took a couple of seasons before we fianlly got berries, and then we had to leave them behind. though we hope to be here a few more years still, it'd be nice to see some berries this time around.

blueberries

the blueberries aren't the only berries making a comeback, the blackberries look like they are really taking off this year. they started as a small transplanted cutting from the old house, and now seem to be making a cozy home in the back corner of the yard.
 blackberries

this year we're hoping to expand on our variety of fruits. we already picked up a flat of strawberries, and we've been told by a friend at the farmer's market that we should be able to get gooseberry bushes from her this year. how exciting!


Monday, May 12, 2014

a new beginning.


welcome to the garden! here's a collage of the main kitchen bed in it's beginning stages this season. the closest half is this year's expansion, and the back half  has seeds sprouting from last year's crops. we're using a technique called cardboard gardening or 'no dig' gardening, which uses layers of mulch and soil to build beds from the ground up. so far so good!

to be continued...