Earth Day 2015

       From local solution to global showcase History The Foundation for Building Sustainable Communities (FBSC) have been organizing Earth Day events since 2004. Focussing on education to promote local food, conservation, repurposing and actions, activities include quizzes, waste reduction, competitions, energy & water conservation and planting seeds. To address such a wide range of activities and solutions, FBSC partners with diverse individuals, organization and businesses, including; the Oshawa Centre, Ontario Power Generation, University of Ontario Institute of Technology. The activities are specifically design to promote education, fun and ease of action. A good example is the annual hands on children’s vegetable seed planting event to promote growing your own food and creating educational insights of the wonder and power of nature is definitely one of fun and inspiration. Earth Day 2015   From local solution This year is the UN International Year of Light, and in celebration of Earth Day and Climate Change Week, and supporting women in engineering, FBSC is hosting an off grid brainstorming weekend to solve the need for electricity for the greenhouse located at the Canadian Victory Gardens. The task of the brainstorming session is provide a conceptual engineering solution that will provide lighting, heating and pumping water to grow food for longer periods. The 2 day retreat will start with students on a field trip to the garden, a session at the University to define the challenge and breakout sessions to brainstorm and conceptualize a design. The designs will be presented the next day. The project is organized by the Foundation for Building Sustainable Communities (FBSC) and facilitated by Percy Butch Shadwell,...

Growing food in pots & containers

Food gardens of any size can be part of a aesthetically pleasing design.  The traditional approach of a victory garden is to grow what you can maintain, which also take your time in consideration.  A modern victory garden is about how we experience the growing and nurturing from seeding to harvesting. Using pots and  lots of different types of containers can really beautify your victory garden.  Different pots and containers with different plants can give a garden a look of simple abundance.  A victory garden is all about garden design that fit your lifestyle and customize a look for you while enabling you to grow food.  Here are some ideas for growing edible herbs, in decorative vases and large flowerpots.   Some reasons to consider pots and other containers: 1) You can place them in bare spots and move them around as the garden become more lush; 2) The containers can add interest; 3) Designing the look of a container is manageable; 4) Can be elevated with a stand or wall for easier maintenance; and 5) Grouped together to create a beautiful effect Using containers for gardening is flexible and convenient, alllowing you to use different types of containers, large and small, old and vintage, wooden and metal.  Containers can help you learn and beautify you home victory...

Creating a food space

How delicious is fresh beans, lettuce, carrots, cucumbers or tomatoes? Sumptuous. Nutritious.  Creating a victory garden for today’s modern society is easy because it can take many forms, such as pots, unused space, and buckets.  One of the biggest decision is to plant something.  When designing a home victory garden, think about the overall look: colour; structures; perhaps a theme, shape and size are a few of the considerations.  Be mindful that most vegetables require at least 6 hours of sunlight. If you already have a flower garden, perhaps a few potted vegetables placed, or space between flowers, being mindful for the sunlight, water and soil conditions. Other considerations: time and budget.  There is no gain if you spend money to buy seeds, without the time to maintain the plants and enjoy the harvest. If time is an issue, you can become a member of a CSA, or support your local farmers market. The goal is to plant what you have the time to maintain. Other ideas for planting: Use pots, trellises, fences, bare spots, table, chairs, and even old iron beds to create interest, wonder and inspiration. An old ladder with pots, boots, tools can also serve as a trellis for beans, or tomatoes or both. Plant Marigolds to keep rabbits away. You can also add herbs, and edible flowers around fruit trees, berry bushes in the ground or in pots for a different look. Designing a space for food is as individual as the person designing or using it.  It doesn’t matter about the size, what matters is planting something. By looking around your garden, you can find a spot ot...

What is a victory garden

                Victory Gardens are designed to specifically address the nutrient value of food for the growing season. Victory gardens, also called war gardens or food gardens for defense, were vegetable, fruit and herb gardens which were grown at private homes and public parks.  Victory Gardens are sometimes referred to as Peace Gardens. It was emphasized to home front urbanites and suburbanites that the produce from their gardens would help to lower the price of vegetables needed by the military to feed the troops, thus saving money that could be spent elsewhere on the military They were popular during WW 1 and WW 2. to reduce the pressure on the public food supply brought on by the war effort. In addition to indirectly aiding the war effort these gardens were also considered a civil ” morale ” booster” — in that gardeners could feel empowered by their contribution of labor and rewarded by the produce grown. Production Planting of victory gardens by nearly 20 million Americans. These gardens produced up to 40 percent of all the vegetable produce being consumed nationally. Canada & US By the end of 1943, there were more than 200 000 victory gardens in Canada, producing about 550lb of produce each! One gardener in seven was a city dweller. There were 15% more home gardeners than in 1942; 24% more than 1940. The number of gardens in Vancouver, including New Westminster, Burnaby, North and West Vancouver by the end of the year was 52,000; the value of the food they produced in the 1943 season was estimated (in the dollar...

Planting seeds basics

 Growing your own food is pure satisfaction for fresher, tastier and enjoyable dining. One of the ways to grow your own foods is to plant seeds and a little organization can help to make it fun and easier to maximize the planting seed experience.  Feel free to share your tips. Here some tips: I washed the trays in soap and water and rinse well, a few day before starting to plant the seeds. Other suggestions can be found here Create a space for the planting, I used a table with some plastic for easy cleaning up; Materials and supplies ready for planting- trays, seeds, labelling sticks, permanent marker, soil mixture, water, and cleanup cloths; Read the instructions on the seed packages before planting, as each variety have different needs; Depending on the amount of seeds, schedule a couple of hours for planting. How deep and how far   The general rule for planting is one and half times the width of the seeds  It is better to plant more than less. When planting in trays, I usually put more than one seed in the compartment, especially if they are my own seeds saved from the previous year. If it’s in the ground (after the last frost in Ontario), I tend to plant them a little closer together than the recommended distance, so if all of the seeds don’t sprout, there is enough plants to thin out to easily fill in the bare spots. The victory garden is about self sufficiency and doing it yourself. Start growing your own food, you’ll love...