Happy Earth Day! Celebrate by Growing Your Own Food

Gardening News, Webinars, Seeds, Garden Guides and More
Brought to You By Just Food

Being able to find, get, grow, cook and buy food have all become top priorities for everyone, if they weren’t already so. For thousands, access to seed and land have been critical questions over the past week.

The best way the whole Just Food team can think of to celebrate this 50th anniversary of Earth Day is to ensure that everyone in Ottawa, who wants to, has a way to grow food to feed family, friends and the broader community.

We’re here to help you with this, before, during and after COVID19.
Here’s to Good Food For All. 

____

A reminder to please share these sites throughout all of your networks as
quickly as possible to ensure everyone has updated information on
where to find food: 

www.goodfoodottawa.ca

www.bonnebouffe.ca

____

Table of Contents


Community Gardening News for Ottawa and Ontario

1. BREAKING NEWS on Gardening in Ontario – April 20

2. MORE BREAKING NEWS on Motion from Ottawa Board of Health – April 20

Grow Your Own Food

3. May 23 | Announcing Just Food’s First SeedLing Saturday

4. Garden Guides Available in English and French and Announcing New Guides in Spanish, Arabic, Mandarin

5. Request Seeds from the Ottawa Seed Library | Email seeds@justfood.ca

6. New Kids Gardening Project! 

7. FREE Online Gardening Workshops | Get a Head Start on your Growing Season including Seed Starting – Watch at Any Point 

Live Gardening Webinars

(Good for Getting Your Questions Answered)

8. Apr 22, 27 and May 2 | Basic Organic Gardening (English, Français)

9. Apr 25 & 29 | Seed Saving Up Above – Garden Planning Considerations

10. Apr 26 | Outdoor Compost and Ways for Soil Building

11. May 6 & 9 | Herbalism Workshop – Herbs to Grow and Weeds to Keep

Backyard Chickens

While we know that the City of Ottawa does not allow backyard chickens at present, we also know that hundreds of people are successfully doing so already, thanks to agreement from their neighbours, as Bylaw enforcement is based on a complaint system. We also know that stocks of starter chicks have depleted so it will be difficult for those who haven’t started to start this season, however, given the priority of the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs along with the Poultry Industry Council to present the following instructional video, we want to share this for those of you who can use it.

12. Apr 29 | Raising Backyard Chickens Workshop by Poultry Industry Council 

Newsletter Content


1. BREAKING NEWS on Gardening in Ontario – April 20 

Multiple offices have been meeting over the past week (Ministry of Health, Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Premier’s Office), are giving “serious consideration” to the issue and are “making good progress towards an exemption for community gardens”. 

We requested an announcement this week that all food providing gardens (community gardens, allotments, apartment gardens, etc) are deemed essential food services, with the request that gardens can open at the end of this current emergency period – May 12 at the latest. This allows for flattening the curve on the incidence of COVID cases, and for time for gardens to organize health and safety protocols to ensure individual and public safety.

The Premier’s Office made special note of the efforts that went into developing the recommendations and found these very helpful. (Thanks to everyone that fed into this!!). We also heard that contacting your MPPs and media coverage really had an impact and emphasized the importance of food-producing gardens.

So while there’s no confirmation yet, it seems to be heading in the right direction, and we are hopeful to hear something more definitive soon.

2. MORE BREAKING NEWS on Motion from Ottawa Board of Health – April 20 

A motion put forward by Chair Egli passed unanimously on April 20 for the Board of Health of the City of Ottawa to direct the Chair of the Board of Health to write a letter to the Premier of Ontario and to the Ontario Minister of Health to exempt outdoor allotment gardens and community gardens from the closure of outdoor recreational amenities.

This would apply in gardens where public health measures can be implemented to support their safe operation to prevent the spread of COVID19. Please see the proposed regulations here.


3. May 23 | Announcing Just Food’s First SeedLing Saturday 

Buy food seedlings from local farmers for your own home gardens. 

WHEN: Saturday, May 23
Times slots you will be able to register for: 10am, 11:30am, 1pm
WHERE: Just Food Farm, 2391 Pepin Court, Gloucester, ON (Blackburn Hamlet)
PAYMENT: Free entrance.
Debit, credit, e-transfer and cash will all be accepted.
For some farmers, an option to pay online and pick-up will also be available.
RSVP: Links to register will be sent in the next Just Food newsletter.

Physical distancing will be set up. There will be three time periods for people to register to encourage physical distancing, and the transplant inventory will be divided equally into those three time periods to ensure better access throughout the day. Stay tuned for more information in the next newsletter.

4. Garden Guides Available in English and French and Announcing New Guides in Spanish, Arabic, Mandarin 

The Community Gardening Network of Ottawa brings you an easy beginner guide on the basics of growing food in the Ottawa region. This guide covers the basics from soil and composting to plant profiles and planting calendars, all presented in a way that is fun to follow and easy to learn.

The guide is now available in 5 languages: English, French, Spanish, Arabic and Mandarin. To view the Garden Guide, click here. Veuillez cliquez ici pour les guides de jardinage. And a big thank you to Ottawa Public Health for paying for the new translations.

5. Request Seeds from the Ottawa Seed Library | Email seeds@justfood.ca 

Just Food is announcing an enhanced project this year through our Ottawa Seed Library for those looking to have access to seed.  

We have packages of seeds to suit different sized growing spaces.  If you have not been able to get seed, you may be put in a request by emailing seeds@justfood.ca your location in the city, experience level in growing (first time, beginner, intermediate, growing for years), and size of your growing space (balcony? raised bed? small yard? what dimensions?).

A team of volunteers is working hard to package up seeds to suit different food garden sizes. We will be distributing as long as supplies last, with the request that anyone accessing seeds watch the videos that will be available on seed saving and save seed for your family for future years, hopefully also giving some back to the library for others.

A quick note that you can still buy seeds from these Ottawa-based seed companies: 
Bird and Bee: https://www.birdandbee.ca/
Gaia Organics: https://www.gaiaorganics.ca/
Greta’s Organic Gardens: https://www.seeds-organic.com/

6. New Kids Gardening Project! 

Ottawa Carleton District School Board and Just Food are pleased to announce for Earth Day the Kids’ Garden Project for 1000+ families. The focus is on kids learning how to grow their own fresh food, even in very small areas and containers, and to save seed for upcoming years.

Families who are struggling with income and other barriers are being chosen through their schools for the full program, which includes receiving seed and soil in May, and instructions over the growing season. Kids will be able to ask questions each week through email and other media, and get answers from local farmers at the Ottawa Farm School at Just Food Farm.

In addition, all kids in Ottawa who have access to their own seed will be able to watch the videos posted, and get their questions answered on growing their own food. 

7. FREE Online Gardening Workshops | Get a Head Start on your Growing Season including Starting Seeds – Watch at any Point

We have been posting free, pre-recorded workshops to learn the gardening basics from instructors who are experienced. There are three workshops currently available with more workshops coming soon:

  1. Urban Organic Vegetable and Herb Gardening – Container and Small Space Gardening
  2. Indoor Seed Starting
  3. NEW! Grow Vegetables and Herbs in Your Backyard, Front yard or Community Garden plot

Please stay tuned to the page Gardening Workshops on the Just Food website to view more free gardening workshops as they become available. 

Gardening Workshops

These online workshops are produced by Community Gardening Network at Just Food, in partnership with community partners and garden instructors.


Live Gardening Webinars

Please note: All of our 2020 Gardening Workshops will be online until further notice. Our goal is to enable as many gardeners as possible to grow food successfully in our region. All facilitators are experienced gardeners who have teaching experience and understand growing conditions in our region.

8. Apr 22, 27 and May 2 | Basic Organic Gardening 

Interested in organic 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 hoping to boost your confidence in your abilities, you are sure to learn something at this workshop. 

Two identical sessions and one French session:

April 22

WHEN: Wednesday, April 22 at 7pm 
WHERE: Online (Zoom meeting – participants can access for free using a computer or phone via internet browser, or by downloading the Zoom app)
COST: $5 per person
(If payment is an issue, click this link to request to attend for free)          
RSVP: Click here to register for April 22

Le 27 avril

QUAND: lundi 27 avril à 19:00
OÙ: En ligne (Zoom – les participants peuvent avoir l’accès gratuit en utilisant un ordinateur ou un téléphone via l’internet, or par télécharger l’app Zoom)
PRIX: 5 $ par personne
(Si le paiement c’est un problème, cliquez ce lien pour demander de participer gratuitement)
REGISTRER: Veuillez registrer ici pour le 27 avril

May 2

WHEN: Saturday, May 2 at 2pm 
WHERE: Online (Zoom meeting – participants can access for free using a computer or phone via internet browser, or by downloading the Zoom app)
COST: $5 per person
(If payment is an issue, click this link to request to attend for free)   
RSVP: Click here to register for May 2

This workshop focuses on growing common variety vegetables in the Ottawa region in various settings – your living room, small space and yards – without the use of pesticides or herbicides.

9. Apr 25 & 29 | Seed Saving Up Above – Garden Planning Considerations 

Just Food, in partnership with Gaia Organic Seed, brings this workshop just in time when you are starting and planning your garden this year. This workshop will equip you with the necessary skills to harvest your own seeds successfully for growing in the next years to come.

April 25

WHEN: Saturday, April 25 at 2pm 
WHERE: Online (Zoom meeting – participants can access for free using a computer or phone via internet browser, or by downloading the Zoom app)
COST: $5 per person
(If payment is an issue, click this link to request to attend for free)          
RSVP: Click here to register

April 29

WHEN: Wednesday, April 29 at 7pm 
WHERE: Online (Zoom meeting – participants can access for free using a computer or phone via internet browser, or by downloading the Zoom app)
COST: $5 per person
(If payment is an issue, click this link to request to attend for free)          
RSVP: Click here to register

This workshop focuses on what you need to know to be able to harvest seeds from your own garden plot or pot. Plants naturally go to seed, but to grow vegetables for seeds, there are basic principles to follow and techniques to use.

10. Apr 26 | Outdoor Compost and Ways for Soil Building 

Good soil is the basis for good gardening. Compost is the most important nutrient to give to your garden, especially in. It’s also free and easy to make in your own home when you know how. Composting is an environmentally-friendly way to ‘up-cycle’ your kitchen waste and yard waste.

WHEN: Sunday, April 26 at 7pm 
WHERE: Online (Zoom meeting – participants can access for free using a computer or phone via internet browser, or by downloading the Zoom app)
COST: $5 per person
(If payment is an issue, click this link to request to attend for free)          
RSVP: Click here to register

This workshop will teach the various ways of making compost, and how to use this ‘black gold’ to build healthy soil for your gardening success. Whether you are new to gardening or want to learn more about composting design for your garden, to ask questions.

11. May 6 & 9 | Herbalism Workshop – Herbs to Grow and Weeds to Keep 

Just Food, in partnership with Amber Westfall of the Wild Garden, presents this workshop on herbalism! Do not miss this inspiring session with Amber that may just elevate your relationship with your garden plants to a new level.

May 6

WHEN: Wednesday, May 6 at 6:30pm
WHERE: Online (Zoom meeting – participants can access for free using a computer or phone via internet browser, or by downloading the Zoom app)
COST: $5 per person
(If payment is an issue, click this link to request to attend for free)
RSVP: Click here to register

May 9

WHEN: Saturday, May 9 at 2pm
WHERE: Online (Zoom meeting – participants can access for free using a computer or phone via internet browser, or by downloading the Zoom app)
COST: $5 per person
(If payment is an issue, click this link to request to attend for free)
RSVP: Click here to register

Learn about adding good and healing herbs into your gardening project and how to meet those ‘weeds’ that might be worth keeping!


12. Apr 29 | Raising Backyard Chickens Workshop by Poultry Industry Council 

WHEN: Wednesday, April 29 at 10am
WHERE: Online 
COST: $35 per person
RSVP: Click here to register