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  • CGGS Newsletter – Sept 2022

    Upcoming News

    Garlic, Cleanup, Kombucha, & Boomerang Table 

    Saturday, October 1, 2022

    9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

    Garlic For Planting & Eating

    Please email Jenny directly by Friday, September 23 if you would like some garlic.  

    General Garden Cleanup 

    Move compost into the middle bin, remove non-compostable items and chop large items.

    Remove and take home trellises, stakes and other plant supports.

    Empty water barrels and re-level bases; put away hoses (this may be weather-delayed)

    Clean up of common trellis beds (42 and 45 with benches attached).

    Clean up of other common plant areas that are maintained by CGGS.

    Weeding! Removing weeds from paths and redistributing mulch to cover bare spots.

    Kombucha Brewing

    Please email Diana directly by Friday, September 23 if you would be interested in receiving your very own kombucha “mother” and instructions on how to start brewing your own kombucha.

    Boomerang Community Table

    Bring along any tools you would like to part with. The only hitch is that like a boomerang, once the hour is up, anything not grabbed up, returns to you and you get to take it back home. It will be a “freebie table” but not a “dump & run.” The Garden will not be responsible for leftover items and our shed is already full!

    Registration for 2023

    An email will be sent to members in early November. If you miss the November 15, 2022 deadline to register, know that your garden bed will be held for you until the February 15, 2023 drop-dead Renewal Deadline. Our late registration will run from February 1 to 15, 2023. 

    Our Annual General Meeting will be on Tuesday, February 28, 2023.

    If you do not intend to garden with us in 2023, please drop us a line at hellocggs@gmail.com

    In the Garden

    10th Year Anniversary Party

    On Saturday, August 27, 2022, the rain held off and we were not boiling in 30C heat. There were a perfect number of attendees so that we could all sit comfortably on our benches in order to take in Carmen Lamoureux’s inspiring presentation on the twelve principles of permaculture design. Carmen is the owner and founder of Calgary’s Urban Farm School and The Urbanfarm Permaculture Project. 

    Carmen spoke of how in nature there are relationships. Everything is connected and even humans have a role to play. We are also part of the ecosystem. 

    I know Debbie for one was happy when Carmen sang the praises of our otherwise shunned dandelion! 

    What also helped prepare us for Debbie’s Fall Soil Preparation Lecture was when Carmen advised that soil left bare through loss of moisture becomes dead soil. We all grew up thinking that we needed to pull every last item out of the garden and leave a nice empty bed. Now, we need to revisit that! 

    Carmen also talked about succession planting, where you plant vegetables which will grow tall but will also take a long time to harvest and then beside them you plant other smaller plants which germinate quicker and then once they are finished, your original plants are ready. In the meantime, they have been providing shade and nutrients to the smaller plants. 

    In gardening, challenges can become opportunities.

    Thank you, Carmen, for sharing your wealth of knowledge with us!

    I would also like to extend my gratitude to Diana for ordering and picking up our beautiful 10th Anniversary cake for us. Thank you also to Sharon for picking up coffee.

    Karrie from the Oakridge Co-op also provided us with a $50.00 gift certificate for our celebration. Diana was able to use it for refreshments. Kudos to Adrienne for contacting Karrie at Oakridge Co-op on our behalf! 

    And thank you to Penny for taking photographs of our event!

    Jayne M.

    Fall Soil Preparation Lecture

    We were fortunate to have Debbie VanDeventer share her expertise with us.

    Debbie mentioned how unfortunately we have all been conditioned to think of gardening from May until Labour Day. After we have harvested our last crops our soil is tired. We have little tiny plots of black gold which we are only utilizing for four months. There are things we can be doing.

    As Carmen Lamoureux mentioned, bare soil becomes dead soil. Our soil gets depleted over the growing season, then we leave it and rebuild it back up in the springtime. Instead it would be beneficial to have active bacteria and fungi in the soil.

    To help give back to our soil, annual cover crops which can handle the cool weather can actually germinate. These include legumes and grassy crops like wheat, oat, barley, and buckwheat. You just plant it thickly and let it be. No thinning! I like that idea a lot. This starts a new cycle working underground.

    These crops are also relatively pest-free and drought-tolerant. You end up with grassy tops and a fibrous root structure underneath. The roots actually bind the soil together and prevent erosion. This results in keeping the soil fed and putting nutrients back in the ground. 

    To plant a cover crop you simply level out your soil, loosen it up, sprinkle the seeds with your hand, rake them in with a hand cultivator, and then water in and then no further watering is required! I also like that! The water will help the seeds flow down through tiny rivulets of water. Then in spring you flip and turn the crops into your soil.

    Debbie actually planted a crop of red clover and purple tansy in her garden plot three weeks before her session with us. She pulled out a three-week old red clover to show us that its root system was well over two inches long already! 

    Jayne M.

    Garden Volunteer Roles

    Below is a synopsis of our current garden volunteer executive and lead roles; highlighting our vacant roles. At the end of this article you will also find some new volunteer roles which will be available when you register for the 2023 season. So, now you can start thinking about which team you would like to be on or to perhaps even lead! 

    There are a few roles needing to be filled with the executive role of the President having gone unfilled for a while. It is not unusual for members to be reluctant to take on this role, probably as the title implies it is the most important role and therefore must have the most responsibilities and time required. But as there are over a dozen other executive and lead roles that do the work of keeping the garden running it is not actually that imposing.

    So that new members (and old) have a better idea of how the Society team works, the roles are briefly (and by no means completely) described below. Some years can be more intensive for certain groups and others less so. Most members in their current role have also been in other roles or have been with the garden so long that they are very knowledgeable on all the tasks that need to get done and are able to help out members in new roles. If you are interested in any of the roles let us know and we can give more details. Splitting the role with another member is also a good way to try it out as is shadowing a role for a year. Also, “managing” means “delegating” – you will have a team and do not have to do all the work yourself!

    Executive:

    The executive names and addresses are registered with Service Alberta every year after being voted in at the AGM.

    President: vacant

    – Formal head of the society

    – works with the other executive to ensure the society is operating as per its bylaws and Service Alberta

    – chairs meetings including the AGM – usually via zoom

    – creates the agenda with other executive

    – liaisons with the Library, City and community in general

    – helps where they can or want to in other areas such as social functions, events, communications, maintenance, registration, etc. Being president they are able to make the role suit their strengths and be involved in the future of the garden.

    Vice President: Diana 

    – is often the past president or a member thinking of taking on the President role

    – helps the executive in general and helps fill in for the President

    Treasurer: Jenny

    – creates the budget with the executive and leads

    – creates, presents at AGM and files the financial report with Service Alberta

    – manages the bank account, issues cheques,

    Secretary: Jayne M

    – keeps minutes of meetings

    – creates agendas and Garden Schedule

    Non-Executive Roles:

    These are often voted in at the AGM or at a meeting of executives and leads. 

    Communications Lead: Jayne M

    – manages the communications team including managing the email account and website

    Registration: Kerry

    – manages new garden member inquiries, renewals, allocating beds, ensuring contracts are signed, and garden angel and volunteer duties are assigned.

    Garden Angel Lead: Sharon

    – provides ongoing orientation and help to new members and ensures garden angels are aware of weeks, etc.

    Maintenance Lead: Nancy

    – manages team to maintain garden infrastructure 

    – major yearly initiatives – bed replacement and compost delivery

    Weeding & Garbage Lead: vacant 

    – manages the weeding and garbage team 

    Compost Lead: Lesley 

    – manages compost bin team to ensure it is turned, watered, garbage removed

    Pollinator Bed: Debbie

    – maintains the pollinator bed with helpers

    Herb Bed (and Planters): Jenny

    – manages herb bed with team

    Members at Large: Jean

    – members wanting to attend meetings, be involved with the running of the garden, may coordinate a special project and/or help other executive/leads

    New Volunteer Roles

    For our 2023 season when you complete your registration, you will notice a few more choices when it comes to volunteering.

    Social Lead: New! vacant

    During the uncertainty of COVID and absence of socials this role was covered by the executive and interested members. A lead position to plan and coordinate upcoming socials is needed to spread out the work involved

    Photographer (under the Communications Team): New! vacant 

    It would be great to see photos at the beginning, mid-way point, and when everything was in full bloom. So, we will be instituting a volunteer role for a photographer to take time-lapse photos throughout our growing season for use in our newsletters and for creating a PowerPoint presentation during our AGM.

    New Projects Team Lead: New! vacant 

    For something new and exciting if you are an idea-person, into marketing, or a visionary, this may be just the team for you. We will be creating a New Projects Team to work on short- and long-term visions for our garden. In order to apply for grants, we need to have a project and a plan. For 2023, we could have more of a budget discussion at the beginning of the year. It would be helpful if we had some direction from you, our gardeners, as to what your short- and long-term goals are for the garden, so that we can plan and make it happen. What is your vision and what would you like to see happen? Should we be seeking a new sponsor now that the original Encana grant has finished? Even if you do not want to join this team, we would still be interested in hearing any ideas you may have. Please forward them to hellocggs@gmail.com.  

    Aside from these new volunteer opportunities, if you have a unique skill set or you can think of yet another volunteer role we have not yet thought of, please let us know at hellocggs@gmail.com.  

    Happy volunteering! 

    Jayne M. & Jenny H.

    Safety

    Common Ground is a public space. We occasionally have vandalism in our garden. If you see vandalism, report it to plots@cggs.ca.

    If you find drug paraphernalia in the garden please contact the police non-emergency line (403-266-1234) or DOAP Needle Response Team (403-796-7388). The DOAP Needle Response Team has a trained crew that will come to collect used needles and other items on public and private property.

    Covid-19 continues to require that gardeners observe provincial health protocols. Use of garden gloves, hand hygiene on high touch areas (taps, hose nozzles, locks and shed tools) is encouraged and please have someone else help if you are feeling unwell.

    Communication

    Members wishing to send information for list-wide distribution can send an email to hellocggs@gmail.com which will be forwarded to all members. Questions, comments and concerns in and about the garden can also be sent.