Gardening Resources

How to Garden in Ottawa

2015 CGN Garden Guide (pdf, 2.5 MB)

A Product of the Community Gardening Network of Ottawa, this is an easy beginner guide on the basics of gardening in the Ottawa region. Start with the basics needed to set up a community garden – from soil, composting and seeds to harvesting and preparing for the winter.

Please click on the link to open it as a .PDF in browser, you can download it there.

Gardening Workshop Series

Just Food delivers an annual workshop series that parallels the growing season. All workshops are typically $10.00 or pay-what-you-can.

Seed Saving
Seed Saving is a way to ensure that our food supply is not reliant on a small selection of crop varieties that can lead to vulnerability, disease, pests, and changes in climate. The practice of seed saving and sharing, seen as a hobby to some, promotes genetic diversity of crops and overall food security. This workshop will provide an overview of seed saving & will include the opportunity to access seeds through the Ottawa Seed Library!  “Borrow,” seeds from the Ottawa Seed library & return them at the end of the season!  This practise will allow more seeds to enter the library & ensure more people can participate in future years using seed YOU return.

Food Preservation
Food Preservation is a useful skill to save the harvest and to save money. At this workshop you will learn the basics of food preservation, with a primary focus on Hot Water Bath Canning, that will allow participants to enjoy nature’s bounty throughout the winter months.  Specific workshop topics include Pickle Making, Jam Making, Tomato Preservation & Salsa Making.

Beginner Organic Vegetable Gardening
Interested in gardening but don’t know where to start?  This workshop is great for any gardener wishing to brush up on their gardening theory before the season.  Whether you have never gardened before or your confident in your abilities you are sure to learn something at this workshop.  This workshop focuses on growing common variety vegetables in the Ottawa region –  without the use of pesticides or herbicides.

Natural Pest Control
This workshop will help the organic gardener manage those pesky pests that tend to take up so much our summer!  Some of this workshop instructs on removing pests from the garden, but it is primarily concerned with proactive decisions in the garden’s early stages. Learn to encourage more beneficial insects to your garden & plant in ways that prevent pest & disease issues.

Square Foot Gardening
Square Foot Gardening is an innovative technique used to increase production in small-scale systems where gardening in rows is not efficient enough.  Mel Bartholomew’s Innovative Square Foot Gardening technique is presented by Certified Square Foot Gardening Instructor Carolyn Klickermann.

Herbal Tips and Tricks
This workshop that highlights the benefits of specific plants, such as Calendula, culinary herbs, and many more.  Participants of this workshop will learn about the uses of these plants & how to grow them.

Working with Nature in the Garden
Permaculture Principles & Design with Bonita Ford (usually just 1 workshop per season!!) What can nature teach us about gardening? Learn about permaculture principles and various ways to apply them in our gardens, as well as permaculture design examples in the garden and in an edible forest garden.

Edible Perennials 
Break free from convention and find out about the world of edible perennials.  It’s bigger than herbs, fruits and the odd vegetable. Some have been forgotten and are hiding in plain sight in many people’s ornamental garden.

Container Gardening
Those of us with green thumbs & limited gardening space are all too common.  This workshop will instruct participants on how to create a productive garden using containers in limited spaces.  The applications are useful for those with backyards, a balcony, and everything in between.

If you would like to:

  • participate in a workshop
  • help organize a workshop in your neighbourhood or workplace (we will provide the trained facilitators)
  • train to become a workshop facilitator (training provided for free)

Contact the Community Gardening Network Coordinator.

We would like to thank Bernardin, who has partnered with Just Food over the years by donating canning toolkits and recipe books to this community initiative.