Archive for April, 2008

Saturday’s hike to Blue Mountain was extremely enjoyable with signs of spring popping up everywhere. In attendance was Lis, Akhtar, Jed, Silas, Skyler, Megan, Rong, and myself (Crystal). Lis brought her camera and took many great photos for the report.

We came across many interesting, plants, mosses, and lichens. Initially we saw some Colts Foot in bloom, this was followed by several bushes of Pussy Willows at different blooming stages. Wild Cranberry plants from last year (img 502, img 503) were spotted along the path as well as budding maple trees (img 512). Along the way there were several lichen colonies, including British Soldiers (Cladonia cristatella) (img 499) and different species of Usnea. The high presence of lichens and specifically the presence of Lobaria pulmonaria indicated that air quality was probably very high (lichens absorb nutrients through their outer surface and are highly sensitive to air pollution, hence a high lichen diversity and presence, is indicative of low levels of pollution). We also came across two unknown moss varieties, one that seemed to mimic pine (img 518) and another that seemed to mimic cedar (img 522).

Along the way Trailing Black Berry (img 523), Lambkill (img 505), Native Rhodora (img 514), and Leather Leaf (img 520, img 521) were spotted. We also came across some Snowberry Plants (img 516) (img 517), no berries were present but a faint trace of mint fragrance could be detected. Jed found some pine gum from a stump in a cut lot. Silas and Lis later gathered rose bushes from this same cut lot.

Along the path towards the top of the mountain, under a heavy tree canopy some was still snow present. On the path Golden Thread plants were found and their roots sampled, they were very bitter. On the top of Blue Mountain; Club Moss (img 531), Broom Crowberry (img 532), Juniper, Wintergreen, and different varieties of lichens were found. Some Juniper berries and Wintergreen berries were sampled, the wintergreen berries were extremely sweet. On the way down May Flower blossoms were spotted. May Flower is the official flower of Nova Scotia.

The day ended with a sample of wild carrot. It was a nice way to finish off the day’s adventure.



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Earth Day activities

Earth Day 2008:  2 Dirty Events
April 22.

Creative Containers workshop at the Dal women’s Centre garden, 1-4pm. Potluck style: bring some local-organic nibblies if you can.

For the workshop: you bring the containers (cups, pots, blenders, barrels… garbage night scavenging starts getting good these days!).
We have the worm castings, soil, seeds, and some little plants.
Let’s make a bunch of great containers for our homes, the community gardens, and beyond.

Then, in the evening…
You Don’t Need Pesticides to Feed the World – An Evening Partnering with our Smallest Livestock
Talk + Film + Door prizes: 7-9 pm
At the downtown Dal campus:  Medjuck Bldg. TUNS 5410 Spring Garden Rd., Halifax

Join international speaker Jason Hofman of the Soil FoodWeb Atlantic to hear about how healthy soil functions, and how it is possible to grow more healthy, affordable food  while helping the planet heal at the same time.  The presentation and film will be followed by an opportunity to be part of the breakthrough via CEDIFs.

Free.  + You could win a compost thermometer!

Put on by the Food Action Committee -Ecology Action Centre, Seemore Green Collective Garden, & Soil FoodWeb Canada East.
For more info call: 421-5696
or email:  garden -at- nspirg.org

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Mudder’s Day

May 11, Mother’s Day,  of this year we will celebrate not only mothers, but the original mother earth, kids, food, healers, local plants, the Common, music, and traditional cultural heritages with a full-out make-our-own-festival.  In a few short weeks Mudder’s Day:  a celebration honoring local plants, earth, and mothers will be taking over the commons.

This fun community event will be a launch into the growing season.  It will be an opportunity to encourage civil participation and strengthen relationships among volunteers, non-profit groups, and the general public.  It will be a space to open dialogue regarding urban agriculture, community gardens, planning, community design, and to raise awareness of the existence of Freshwater Brook beneath the Common.

The festival will include:

– workshops on gardening and composting
– tables where local farmers, gardeners and community members can share information, seeds, food, plants, etc.
– Public art installations
– A red tent hosted by the Midwifery Association
– three handmade 16′ yurts made of Nova Scotian coppiced red maple and white canvass, from Little Foot Yurts. The yurts will house workshops, music, film screenings, etc
– games for children
– live music and dancing

The event will be FREE and open to everyone and all ages.

The possibilities for you to participate in this event are endless:   You and your organization are invited to attend the event.   You would like to run a workshop, have a table, sell merchandise or food, or sponsor the event in kind or in cash, please let us know in what capacity you would like to be involved.

If you are interested, please come to the pre-event planning meeting on Thursday April 10th, 7pm in room 201 of the Bloomfield Center.   At this meeting you can get an idea of the event framework and how you can participate.

If you can’t come, let us know, and we will weave your ideas in.

So, come on -let’s play!  Let’s show Halifax (including ourselves) that there are so many people doing great work,  that the paradigm shift is happening, and that ‘alternative culture’/ social & environmental justice/ loving the land/ etc. is fun, delicious, colorful and hilarious.

Hope to see you on April 10th, 7pm at Bloomfield,
and May 11th on the Common.

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