Get Ready to Garden 2021 | Learn Through (Virtual) Gardening Workshops and Resources

Gardening 2021 Workshops and Resources in Ottawa

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Click to see details below:

1. Just Food Gardening Basics – Free Workshops

2. Free Garden Guides for Ottawa in English, French, Mandarin, Spanish, Arabic

3. Canadian Organic Growers Gardening Symposium 2021



1. Just Food Gardening Basics – Free Workshops 

Gardening Basics brought to you by Community Gardening Network at Just Food, for home gardeners or community gardeners alike.

This series aims to cover every aspect of gardening, from starting seeds to growing in smaller and larger spaces, and is taught by experienced gardeners from the Ottawa region. 

These free workshops and slides can be accessed on Just Food site HERE

Topics include:



2. Free Garden Guides for Ottawa 

Available in five languages! And YES by all means share them!

CGN Garden Guide – English (pdf, 2.5 MB)

Le guide du jardinier – French (pdf, 2.2 MB)

Guía para huertos – Spanish (pdf, 2.1 MB)

دليل البستن ة – Arabic (pdf 2.4 MB)

渥太华菜园指南 – Mandarin (pdf 2.5 MB)



3. Canadian Organic Growers Gardening Symposium 2021

Just in time! Canadian Organic Growers (COG) local chapter and its wonderful Senior Organic Gardeners (SOG) program, will be hosting their Gardening Symposium 2021 through a series of online gardening workshops. These at-cost workshops are run on Wednesday afternoons.

  1. Wed, Mar 3, 2021 1:30 PM – Supporting Your Immune System: In the Garden with Elycia Kellett
  2. Wed, Mar 10, 2021 1:30 PM | Container Gardens- With Rob Danforth
  3. Wed, Mar 17, 2021 1:30 PM | Making Your Own Herbal Teas – With Kayoki Whiteduck
  4. Wed, Mar 24, 2021 1:30 PM | Pollinator Gardens- With Rob Danforth
  5. Wed, Mar 31, 2021 1:30 PM | Square Foot Gardens: Companion Plants with Chelsea Dozois

The above sessions can be registered on SOG’s event page HERE.

Down to Earth – check out the wealth of food growing and gardening notes from our partner Canadian Organic Grower at https://www.cog.ca/ottawa/down-to-earth-newsletter/.



HAPPY GARDENING!

March 2021 | WORKSHOP How to Start a Community Garden

Join us on March 23 or March 27, 2021 and learn about the steps involved in starting a community garden. How to search for land, what is essential when starting a community garden, the support available, tips for organizing and much more!

Suitable for new gardens, or existing gardens looking to onboard new volunteer coordinators.

The attendance of at least one garden coordinator (or a member of the garden who is working on the proposal) at a How to Start a Community Garden workshop is a requirement in order to apply for funding through the Community Garden Development Fund (CGDF). The CGDF applicant must have attended a workshop in the past 3 years, as criteria and processes have changed throughout the years, and we encourage more than one to attend at a time.

TWO IDENTICAL SESSIONS – CHOOSE EITHER ONE

TUESDAY EVENING SESSION: Tuesday, March 23, 6:30–8:30pm.

WHERE: ONLINE ZOOM MEETING

RSVP: CLICK THIS LINK TO REGISTER

SATURDAY AFTERNOON SESSION: Saturday, March 27, 3:00–5:00pm.

WHERE: ONLINE ZOOM MEETING

RSVP: CLICK THIS LINK TO REGISTER

FOR QUESTIONS please contact Sun Shan at communitygardening@justfood.ca.

Input into Ottawa City Council’s decision on the urban boundary expansion

Tomorrow, Ottawa City Council will meet to vote on recommendations made at a joint meeting of the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee and the Planning committee, in late January. The recommendations include the selection of lands slated for development in a new, expanded urban boundary. These decisions are significant, difficult to overturn, and therefore will have a lasting impact on our city.


Urban Development on Prime Agricultural Land

In that joint meeting in January, a motion passed which would remove 106 hectares of low quality land that was selected by City planners to be added within the new urban boundary — on either side of Bowesville Road south of Rideau Road— and replace it with an equivalent amount of prime farmland that is currently within both the ‘untouchable’ Agricultural Resource Area and the newly proposed Gold Belt.

The proponent of this land swap said “…it would be a 15-minute community except for that one glaring hole that now exists. On the south side of the rail line we’ve had to exclude a tract of land that is designated agricultural. And I voted to protect agricultural lands, like you all did. It’s important that I stand by that principle. However, at this point, it doesn’t really make sense in Riverside South.”

It is precisely at points like these that all Councillors must stand by the principle—if it is to have any meaning. Every time that Council is asked to sacrifice prime agricultural land, the circumstances are described as exceptional. To the extent that, in Ottawa, it is no longer exceptional to hear the sacrifice of prime farmland to urban expansion described as exceptional. 

Now is the time for Councillors to do something truly exceptional: to stand up for the principle they supported unanimously nine months ago—to defend agricultural land from urban expansion—when it actually matters, when they have a real, tangible, significant expanse of prime farmland, some of the best farmland in the city, within their power to preserve.

Make no mistake, this land swap opens the door to future expansion and development on prime agricultural land. The proposed ‘Gold Belt’ offers only nominal protection, and that protection is already mocked by this land swap before the belt is even implemented.


This is not Transit-Oriented Development

And Council should not be swayed by arguments that this land swap represents ‘Transit Oriented Development’, their opportunity to complete a 15-minute community around the Bowesville transit station. It is not.

The joint committee was swayed by the claim that the millions of dollars already invested in Bowesville station would be wasted unless this prime farmland is developed into residential properties within walking distance of the station. This is not true – the fact is that this prime farmland is not within walking distance of the station, because the land within walking distance of Bowesville Station is already contained within the new urban boundary! All of the land immediately south of the new station, on either side of Bowesville Road, is Category 1 land already designated for urban expansion. 

The station, which is under construction, will be located 300 metres east of Bowesville Road. The nearest corner of the block of prime farmland that would be sacrificed by this motion is over 1 km from Bowesville station. Any residential properties built on this block of prime farmland will be between 1 km and 2.5 km from the station. The block of pass 2 land already recommended by staff for inclusion, which was swapped out in this motion, is all closer than 2.5 km from the station.

There is no ‘win’ here for walkability, for 15-minute communities, or for ‘Transit-Oriented Development’: there is only the loss of a large block of the best agricultural land inside the City of Ottawa.

Now that it actually matters, councillors must stand by the principle that they all supported less than a year ago, reject this flawed recommendation, and reverse the permanent loss of prime farmland that it represents. 

(Questions or comments please contact phil@justfood.ca)

Ironic Developments: Sacrificing Agricultural Land for a Food Distribution Hub?

In an opinion piece, Civic Action Ottawa has advocated for sacrificing farmland along the 416 and 417 to create space for distribution facilities—using a passage in the addendum to our 2012 community-developed Ottawa Food Action Plan to conclude “We do not have a farmland issue in our region; we have a problem with the access and distribution of our local harvests.” 

Just Food firmly believes in the need for more investment in infrastructure to support non-profit and for-profit wholesale distribution of foods from coast-to-coast-to-coast as well as regional food. In addition to providing increased community food security, this infrastructure would help both businesses and public buyers (e.g. hospitals, universities) to access more food from farms in this region, supporting stable livelihoods and resilience in the regional rural economy. 

However, we also clearly know that City planners have identified more than enough industrial land—in the existing City plan and in the current proposal—to build multiple large-scale distribution terminals over the coming decades.  

With the continued rate of loss of viable farmland, farmland preservation remains a cornerstone of community food security.  We most certainly do not need to permanently remove from production yet more agricultural land in this area. Future generations would not thank us.

People’s Official Plan calls on Ottawa City Council to defer urban expansion decision

PRESS RELEASE
Tuesday, February 9, 2021

(OTTAWA) – Representatives from the People’s Official Plan¹ – a coalition of community and  environmental groups focused on strengthening climate action and equity in Ottawa’s new Official Plan – are calling on Ottawa City Council to defer a major decision regarding urban expansion. Currently, Council’s decision is scheduled for February 10, as it meets to vote on urban expansion recommendations from the January 23 Joint Meeting of the Planning Committee and Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee. 

Council should send the staff report back to the Committee until it has successfully addressed the following concerns:

  • Decisions related to unceded Indigenous land must be within a transparent, robust, inclusive reconciliation protocol. An appropriate protocol would centre on broad Indigenous engagement and benefit, and not be based on a rushed development process within age-old colonial processes that continue to drive wedges between communities;
  • Failure to account for the greenhouse gas emissions and related public costs of options, despite declaring a climate emergency; 
  • The Joint Planning Committee and Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee’s disregard of the unanimous council directive to not even consider prime agricultural land in this urban boundary expansion; and
  • Poor quality and duration of community consultation on many dimensions of the new Official Plan, particularly the Growth Management Strategy.

“These major decisions are being rushed for no reason other than political expediency”, says Paul Johanis, Chair of the Greenspace Alliance of Canada’s Capital. “We were already concerned that the City has approved an urban expansion even though no expansion is the better option in response to the climate emergency. The long-term implications of COVID-19 are not taken into account in this plan and the massive (250 pages plus Schedules) draft Official Plan only circulated at the end of November is clearly not ready for primetime. Bungling into a controversy over Indigenous rights and land claims is the last straw. We call on the City to, at a minimum, adopt the staff recommendation to take the time to properly assess the implications of the expansion options that were proposed, or, even better, to extend the deadline they arbitrarily set for completing the review of the Official Plan. Climate justice, reconciliation and the well-being of all our communities deserve our best shot.”   

“Respectful consultation takes time. It has become clear that the City has not yet meaningfully consulted with all the Algonquin communities. This should take precedence. Indeed, the Province legally requires that the City engage and coordinate with Indigenous communities on land use planning matters”, said Angela Keller-Herzog, co-chair of Community Associations for Environmental Sustainability (CAFES).

“Expanding the urban boundary to include 450 hectares that rates poorly under Council’s own methodology, is not sound public policy”, says Alex Cullen, President of the Federation of Citizens Associations. “We urge Council to take the time needed to properly consult with all affected stakeholders and to make a sound, evidence-based, decision”.

One Planet Living, the sustainable development framework put forward for the Tewin proposal by the Algonquins of Ontario, with funding from Taggart investments for the purchase of the land, is an aspirational label that relies on members to monitor their own progress. It lacks the rigor of independent assessment,” says Daniel Buckles, Adjunct Research Professor at Carleton University. “The Zibi development, which is the only other project in Canada with the label, has already had to push back its target for zero carbon energy. It would be risky for the City to count on developers with little prior experience in this arena to hold themselves accountable to sustainability goals.” 

“Over 106 hectares (250 acres) of the best farmland in the City of Ottawa was added into the proposed new urban boundary at the last minute without proper debate, illustrating the problems of a rushed process.  The evidence shows that this land swap is not supporting ‘Transit-Oriented Development’”, says Phil Mount, Associate Director, Just Food and member of the last Land Evaluation Area Review (LEAR) conducted by the City of Ottawa. “Councillors should not be discarding the principle that they unanimously supported less than a year ago—to defend agricultural land from urban expansion without exception.”  

“We know urban sprawl is a climate killer,” said Robb Barnes, Executive Director of Ecology Ottawa. “Council voted for more sprawl in May 2020, but there is still time to minimize the damage caused by this decision. The current process – rushed, with minimal consultation and completely lacking analysis on climate impacts – means council is flying blind on one of its most important votes this term. We need council to step back from the brink.”

Ottawa City Council’s upcoming vote on urban expansion is part of a broader series of decisions affecting Ottawa’s new Official Plan. The new Official Plan is the city’s major land use and policy document, meant to guide development of the city until 2046 and beyond. Council is currently slated to vote on the new Official Plan in June 2021.

1. People’s Official Plan member organizations who endorse this message include: Community Associations for Environmental Sustainability (CAFES); Ecology Ottawa; Greenspace Alliance for Canada’s Capital, Federation of Citizens Associations and Just Food.

For more information or to arrange an interview, contact: 

Two Dates in February 2021 | WORKSHOP How to Start a Community Garden

community garden
Community Gardening Network of Ottawa

Join us on Feb 16 OR Feb 20, 2021 and learn about the steps involved in starting a community garden. How to search for land, what is essential when starting a community garden, the supports available, tips for organizing and much more! Suitable for new gardens, or existing gardens looking to onboard new volunteer coordinators!

The attendance of at least one garden coordinator (or a member of the garden who is working on the proposal) at a How to Start a Community Garden workshop is a requirement in order to apply for funding through the Community Garden Development Fund. The coordinator must have attended a workshop in one of the past 3 years as criteria and processes have changed throughout the years, and we encourage more than one to attend at a time.

TWO IDENTICAL SESSIONS – CHOOSE EITHER ONE

TUESDAY EVENING SESSION: Tuesday, February 16, 6:30–8:30pm.
WHERE: ONLINE ZOOM MEETING
RSVP: CLICK THIS LINK TO REGISTER

SATURDAY AFTERNOON SESSION: Saturday, February 20, 3:00–5:00pm.
WHERE: ONLINE ZOOM MEETING
RSVP: CLICK THIS LINK TO REGISTER

FOR QUESTIONS please contact Sun Shan at communitygardening@justfood.ca.

Farm-specific Value-add Training

Starting in March we will offer a training series Adding Value to your Farm with sessions including:

  • Adding a commercial kitchen component onto the farm;
  • Equipment options in Ottawa Kitchen for farmers; 
  • Sourcing local food products for food businesses

Keep an eye on this space for the latest updates and details on dates, trainers, and pricing.

Greenhouse Training

greenhouse

Organic Seedling Production 
On Saturday, January 23 and Sunday, January 24 — from 9-12 both days — we are offering a 2-session intensive workshop for those looking to learn greenhouse production of organic seedlings.

These sessions are led by Sophie Clark of Trout Lily Organic Seedlings, and cover topics from operations to configurations (irrigation to ventilation) as well as lessons learned on timing, expedience, convenience and efficiency. The sessions will not be recorded, attendance is ‘live’ only.

When: 9:00a.m. – 12:00 on January 23 and 24, 2021
Where: Online via Zoom
Pre-requisites: None
Language: English 
Cost: $70 (Some subsidized spots for those with serious financial barriers)

For questions or more information contact: phil@justfood.ca

To register, please e-transfer the workshop fee ($70) to financials@justfood.ca and send an email with your password and contact information to Carmen (works Wed-Fri) at info@justfood.ca 

Ottawa (virtual) Screening of Gather

For anyone who missed the first screening of Gather — a film that celebrates and honours the critical and leading role Indigenous peoples play in protecting biodiversity on Earth as the basis of our shared food — we hope you can join the Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health and Just Food for a second and final screening of the film from February 4-6

While the Indigenous food sovereignty projects in the film are based in lands south and west of here, their importance will resonate with viewers all over Turtle Island.

This is a free event, with the request that those watching, who can, will donate to Wabano’s Indigenous Food Sovereignty Project, (please choose Wabano Indigenous Food Sovereignty Project on the drop-down list) housed at Just Food Community Farm, with funds going to purchase seeds, tools and other materials for food production starting in 2021.

Gather will be open for viewing for 55 hours!
Watch at your own leisure from Thursday, February 4th at 5 PM to Saturday, February 6th at 11:59 PM

Length of film: 1 hour, 14 minutes 

Register by noon on Wednesday, February 3rd here
You’ll be sent the movie link by email by noon on February 4th

Please click here to donate to Wabano (and please choose Wabano Indigenous Food Sovereignty Project on the drop-down list).

We’re also very grateful to the many people who donated to the
Wabano Centre’s Indigenous Food Sovereignty Project. All proceeds from the film screening will go towards Wabano’s food project
at the Just Food Community Farm in 2021.

More info:

The Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health is an award-winning and internationally recognized healthcare facility located in Ottawa, Ontario. Wabano’s unique model of care emphasizes the importance of nurturing the mind, body and spirit through the provision of a full medical clinic, mental wellness and addictions services, community and cultural programs, and community outreach. The result has been the creation of a place of belonging where culture flourishes in support of Ottawa’s Indigenous community.

Just Food is a community-based, non-profit organization working towards vibrant, just and sustainable food and farming systems in the Ottawa region. 

New Farmer Training

Training Series for New Farmers: Vegetable Production 

Starting Tuesday, February 2 we are offering a 12-session series of online workshops for new farmers, focused on vegetable production and covering a diverse set of topics to start (or enhance) your farm enterprise. The training series will not be recorded, attendance is ‘live’ only.

When: February 2 – April 24 (see full calendar below), mostly Tuesday / Thursday evenings 6-9 pm

Where: Online via Zoom
Pre-requisites: None
Language: English 
Cost: 12 workshops plus a review of your farm enterprise plan for $500 
(Some subsidized spots for those with serious financial barriers)
To take one to three workshops contact Carmen (working Wed-Fri) through info@justfood.ca

For questions or more information contact: phil@justfood.ca

To register, please send an email with your contact information to Carmen (works Wed-Fri) at info@justfood.ca and e-transfer the workshop fee ($500) to financials@justfood.ca

Trainers:
Mat Levinson – Capital Greens
Phil Mount – Flat Earth Farm
Dan Van Vliet – Van Vliet Horticulture
Simon Neufeld, MSc, CCA – Chief Agronomist, Earth Alive Clean Technologies Inc.
Moe Garahan – Just Food Community Farm+ Guest trainers 

Full 2021 Calendar – Training Series for New Farmers: Vegetable Production 

1. Tuesday, February 2 (6-9 PM)
Organic certification and record-keeping 

2. Tuesday, February 9 (6-9 PM) 
Crop planning and production (includes organic record-keeping, planning for pest control)

3. Thursday, February 11 (6-9 PM)
Introduction to Farm Business Planning (includes CSA model)

4. Tuesday, February 16 (6-9 PM) 
Best practices for Starts and Transplanting; Equipment / irrigation supplies and sourcing

5. Thursday, Feb 18 (6-9 PM)
Marketing, pricing and sales

6. Tuesday, Feb 23  (6-9 PM)
Accessing Land; Land tenure agreements

7. Thursday, Feb 25 (6-9 PM)
Soil fertility through organic production practices

8. Tuesday, March 2 (6-9 PM)
Financial Planning, Investment Strategies and Farm Taxes

9. Tuesday, March 9 (6-9 PM)
Intensive vegetable production techniques (including pest control)

10. Tuesday, March 23 (6-9 PM) 
Post-harvest handling

11. Tuesday, March 30 (6-9 PM)
Farm Safety

12. Saturday, April 24 – 10-3 
Small-scale farm infrastructure & equipment use – on site at Just Food Community Farm 

Start-Up Farm Program

Spots are available at the Just Food Community Farm for those interested in incubating a plant-based farm enterprise idea for the 2021 season (4 spots) and/or an artisanal poultry business (1 spot) for the 2022 growing season.

Pre-requisites:  Completion of Just Food’s New Farmer Training Workshops  (See above). If you have taken an equivalent, please email phil@justfood.ca for verification.

For those interested in artisanal chicken incubation, please send a documnet outlining relevant background information and experience to phil@justfood.ca

Language of support:  English 

Details here: https://justfood.ca/start-up-farm-program/

Farmer Training Topics Coming Soon…

This Winter: 

  • Value-add Food Processing 
  • Greenhouse start-up
  • Livestock production

This Summer:

English as Second Language New Farmer Training 

(including supports in French and Arabic)

If you are interested in these, please contact comms@justfood.ca

More details coming soon!

The Seeds and Soil Home Garden Project

Just Food and the City of Ottawa’s Human Needs Task Force are partnering to provide
free seeds and soil to 3000 households living on lower income or who lost income because of COVID-19 in Ottawa.

Are you looking for a way to increase your food supply with a garden?
There is still time to plant greens, beans and other food for your home use.

Home gardens are a great way to grow your own food, stay active, and support positive
mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Distribution starting Tuesday, June 16. First come – first served!

All information can be found here: https://justfood.ca/garden2020/ or https://alimentationjuste.ca/jardin2020