Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Early Spring Snapshots & April Schedule

Martin from the Vancouver Fruit Tree Project draws a diagram during the Horley Street Orchard pruning workshop.

Wow, March has flown by in a flurry of activity and we're moving on through the agricultural season. We're on the lookout for the big "Last Frost" milestone so that more delicate crops can be put outside. We have several plots still available at the Cheyenne Avenue Garden (for people who live in the neighbourhood, naturally) and are working closely with City of Vancouver staff to prepare the Horley Street Site for tree planting.

Preliminary designs for the Horley Street Orchard will be up soon, including a gathering area surrounded by twining kiwis, espaliered quince and cherry trees, fig trees, and more. The site is currently inhabited by a 20 year old cherry tree, a 10 year old plum tree, and a 5 year old plum tree, as well as a group of overgrown ornamental laurel trees. Before fruit tree planting can really commence we will need to remove most of the laurels because they're damaged and diseased. Stay tuned for more news, or visit the site directly at 2723 Horley Street and help us dream about its future.

Meanwhile, we look forward to building a tool shed at the Cheyenne Avenue Garden, creating a living wall demonstration on the Rooftop Garden, and planting new fruit trees in Slocan Park.

Here's the April schedule (click on it to read the detail) and some snapshots of what's been going on early this spring.

Preparing soil for planting on the Rooftop Garden.

Overwintering crops at Cheyenne Avenue Community Garden.

Annual Seed Swap and Sale at Renfrew Community Centre.

At the cabbage kimchi workshop, a resourceful participant saves green onion roots to plant in her garden.

Kimchi mixing!

The Community Lunch volunteer team eats together after the big service rush. Lasagna day is always especially popular!

Community kitchen featuring handmade green onion pancakes, quinoa salad, and crab cakes.

Removing a diseased branch from a plum tree. When pruning it's helpful to remember the "4 Ds": Damaged, Diseased, Dead, and Directionally Challenged. Branches that meet any of these criteria are good candidates for removal.

Another example of diseased wood removed from a plum tree. To encourage recovery in the tree, it is best not to remove more than 25% at one time. When pruning an older, neglected tree it's best to have a gradual 3 year pruning plan rather than cutting away all the unwanted branches at once.

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