Posts Tagged ‘workshops’

This week in Seemore Green, we had planned a composting workshop for Tuesday, but due to the Chebucto madness, we are going to postpone the workshop for a week, and head down to city hall for a celebration of Active Community.
This tuesday July 8th @ 5pm Grand Parade Square.
There will be music and dancing. Wear yellow, bring your friends, bring your kids and LETS SHOW OUR COUNCIL WHAT WE VALUE FOR OUR FUTURE AND OUR COMMUNITIES.

On Wednesday, Jomni has been doing residential worm composting workshops. If you are interested, contact: micheljv (at) hotmail.com

On Saturday, at the Freeskool, David Greenberg is doing a talk “Looking at our food system, from tragic times to abundance for all”, at 3pm. Check the Freeskool site for info: http://halifaxfreeskool.wikispaces.com/

2. So the July schedule now looks like this:

July 15th Urban Composting with Compostmeister Silas Magee. 5pm.
July 19th. 24 hour zine extravaganza at Anchor Archive: we want to do a fleet of zines; we have topics, and need more ‘ziners. If you want to join in, email honeybee (at) nspirg.org
July 22. Welcoming the Bees!!! How to have urban honeybees, the first of our new ongoing project and workshop series.
July 29. Wildharvesting Walkabout; finding medicines and dye plants with Jayme and Brenna.

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seemore’s july calendar

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June schedule!

Seemore Green Calender for June.
Meeting point for all events: Seemore Green- behind 1411 Seymour Street, unless noted.


June 3 (bike week):  guerrilla gardening bike ride to see community gardens;  bring your bike.  make some seed bombs if you can and lets ride around checking out gardens.  Meet at 5pm at Seemore Green, we will leave by 5:30.

June 7 (Saturday):  Native plant gardening and plant walk, with Billy the Elder, and hopefully Laurie Lacey!   2-4pm, meet at Seemore Green with walking shoes.

June 8 (Sunday):  Sheet mulch workshop with Jen Stotland.  1pm, Seemore.

June 10 (Tuesday):  Native plant gardening and walk
.  5pm.

June 17 (Tuesday):  Woven willow fence workshop.
Brenna and Sanda, NSCAD textile student and prof will be guiding us to weave a story in willow on the fence for the grapes and honeysuckle to grow up.  5-7pm.

June 24 (Tuesday):  bike trailer building.  With help from Dave, Wayne, and Leah we can build ourselves some simple bike trailers.  I will post the list of ingredients on the blog over the next week or so, so if you want one, start scavenging &/or let us what you are thinking and needing.  Gardeners need bike trailers!

June 28 (Saturday)  at the FREESKOOL: 12:30 Creative Containers with Jayme Melrose.  Start scavenging containers.
2-4pm:  Permaculture with Alex Denicola.   Permaculture is really important and exciting, and Alex is amazingly knowledgable
passionate, and funny- a don’t-miss kinda session.

In the works for July:
– beekeeping with Brenna Warren
– root cellar making with David Greenberg
– organic gardening weekend with Michele & France
– Biodynamics workshop & field trip

Also,  there will be ongoing worm-farming vermicompost workshops happening at Seemore Green on Wednesday nights with Jomni.  Email:  micheljv(at)hotmail.com

For updates email garden(at)nspirg.org

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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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Back to school… the city floods with folks… the tomatoes are beginning to topple…

So September. The Thursday evening garden parties continue.

  • Tonight (the 6th) from 6-7, I will do a little workshop on saving seed, by request. I am passionate on this subject, believing it is a critical part of our relationship to the food web. For a great presentation on seed saving, check out the Vanpermaculture website: at the bottom is ‘Sarah’s Seed Presentation’, a downloadable powerpoint that I highly, highly recommend.
  • Next week, Sept 13, is our harvest-fest, rad-frosh, Feast & Town Hall Meeting. ALL WELCOME! Food will be served at 5:45, catered by Terroir, all local-organic. A number of local food & garden groups will be in attendance; at 6:30 we will have introductions, followed by a group discussion and visioning opportunity. Then, we will have tea and cake! (Cake compliments of FoodNotBombs!) Once the sun goes down, we can cozy up on our blankets and watch the debut screening of the film made about Seymour-SeeMore Green’s last couple of years. There might even be some live music. Yup, exciting.  Here is the poster.  feast1.pdf
  • The next two Thursdays will see gardenplay-workparties from 5:30-7pm. Clean up, harvesting, cover cropping… a little visioning for next year. If you have any interest in gardening, please come by.
  • Saturday the 22nd, there will be a garden creation workparty at the Dal Women’s Centre. There is permission and whole back yard to turn into a garden; there will be construction, layout and sheet-mulching to do. All ages, abilities, genders, and interests welcome.

The really exciting projects we have got going on now too, is the wild-harvesting guerrilla-gardeners. We met last Sunday (9am at OneWorld), and rode around the north end checking out sites to guerilla garden. We found 4 spots that we all got super excited about. The crew is doing the research on the sites: there may even be a site that we can build some water-catchment and do some nursery work.

This Sunday, the 9th, we are going to harvest some roots, -dandelion, burdock, and hopefully some yellowdock, and then make some tincture at my place. Bring a jar with a lid, and some vodka, gin, or a few dollars. I will bring some shovels.

So, hope to see you soon. Everyone is always welcome – all ages, genders, abilities, interests…. whatever other variables you might use an excuse to not come by; you are welcome. The survival of our species depends on our ability to feed ourselves. Life skills, baby… life skills.

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solar dehydrator building workshop*
Learn how, why, and build your own in a free collective workparty.

When: saturday, aug 11, starting at 11:00 am.
Where: Ecology Action Centre (2705 Fern Lane, Halifax)
Who: YOU!
~ And Jayme Melrose, coordinator of SeeMore (Seymour) Green Collective Garden, NSPIRG,
~ And Wayne Groszko, renewable energy coordinator at the Ecology Action Centre.

What to bring:

– carpentry tools (hammer, drill, screwdriver, saw, etc.)
– scrounged materials if you want to build your own (wood, an old window, window screen, nails, screws, hinges)
– some snacks to share
……the organizers will also bring some of these tools and materials, so come anyway if you don’t have tools or materials and we’ll use what we have.

About the workshop:
A solar dehydrator uses the sun’s freely available energy to dry food, medicine,
fruits, tea herbs, and seeds for storage. By dehydrating, food retains its
nutritional value and seeds don’t go bad. At the workshop, you will have an
opportunity to help re-build an existing solar dehydrator, and build a new one
from scavenged materials.

We will bring some materials, and you can also bring your own scavenged materials to build one of your own. We may have access to a quantity of usable glass, and we have some good wood already. Check the SeeMore Green blog here for more information and dialogue on gathering the materials.

RSVP: Please Let us know if you are coming and if you want to build your own
dehydrator at the workshop, and/or whether you have surplus materials we can
use. (digits below)


phone: 902 494 6662 (Jayme Melrose at NSPIRG)
email: garden<at>nspirg.org

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On Saturday we created a water collection system that will hold a half -tonne of rainwater. (All we need now is the rain.)


So I knew that a garden needs water, and a good rain collection system would be a much loved resource in future. I got a hold of some perfect barrels by putting as WANTED: rain barrels posting up on hrm_freecycle. They were delivered by Steven Spinney of Acadia Seaplants, with a lovely note. They are big, blue, 200L, and had held Certified Organic seaweed fertilizer. There is downspout that comes down into the garden, making temporary puddles in the garden after a heavy rain.

One of the first folks to a garden workparty was Derek, and upon further inquiry, he is a plumbing apprentice. Naturally, I asked him about interconnecting rainbarrels. I know how important they are, and roughly how I saw them going together, but I do not really know the technicalities . In the emails and on the blog we invited input and suggestions, but none came. Derek asked some of the boys at work, we chatted about strategies, and he went out to the plumbing supply shop his company frequents and bought the gear we needed.

When we talked on Friday night, he sounded a bit nervous about having spent a bit more than we were aiming for, but he wanted to get it bought that day, and went with the system that he would do if it was his. He went with the system that he felt would not get clogged, was easy to switch barrels out (to clean them or whatever), and using the least amount of expensive fittings.

On Saturday morning, shortly after I had arrived with two bails of hay that I towed in one of the collective bike trailers (hella heavy, but really rewarding to tow through traffic), Derek showed up with all the gear. The one key part that I had overlooked was the necessary reciprocating saw needed to get into the barrel. I know no one in town, and apparently there are no tool rental places nearby (like there are in Vancouver)… and then Lance and Veronica showed up! Lance rolled in with a couple of brilliant ideas right off the get go, such as cutting the top in a semi-circle and attaching it with little hinges to form a lid. And then he went home to get the rest of the tools we needed.

At this point, my heart flickered with satisfaction. With generosity, resourcefulness, and collaboration as the fabric of our projects, surely there is grace.

In the meantime, Dalhousie biology prof whose articles I have read in Canadian Organic Growers, Dave Patriquin, came by the garden to share a conversation I greatly enjoyed.

Lance brought in the tools we needed, Derek went a grabbed a length of pipe, and the interconnection began. Two others came by to check it out, and both commented that they were disappointed to see that it looked was made from expensive materials as they were looking for more low-cost solutions.

For the interconnection of the next three barrels we extend the invitation for input as how to best do this. One guy who showed up, Geoff, is reported to be the genius of great low-cost solutions, so I am inviting him to guide the next three.

David Baldwin, the apple guy!, checked the scene out as we were starting, then left to do his other errands, and returned. He had suggested to check out boating shops for fittings, and went by a boat shop to see if his suggestion was valid. The Binnacle (card at the garden) is where he went, and came back with an appropriate garden-hose diameter fitting for $3.95. Prices range, but apparently there are some really interesting fittings there. And interestingly, when David looked at Derek’s receipt, he was surprised at the how comparable the prices were.

Another suggestion was Lee Valley, I had totally forgotten about them, but I bet they do have some moderately priced appropriate gear. Freecycle is of course another great place to look. And where else folks? Where would you or did you get your gear?

I am thrilled with the system that we set up this weekend. I believe it was and will be worth every penny. I think it represents the more ‘ideal’ system, especially for brewing herbal fertilizers in. And I think it will be really easy to maintain, last a while, and could be added to in future. I am stoked by the interactions that went on, (although I am working on being a better hostess).

A copy of the receipt is available if you want it. And, if you have input about putting together a tight system on the super cheap, then tell us your secrets, and hopefully Geoff will help lead us there.

For the next three we need to build some sort of stand for the next three barrels to get them a few feet off the ground so that we can fill watering cans and even run a short hose. We have some wood. Any building or design volunteers? Come on with your suggestions now, rather than laughing at the not-as-good-as-it-could-be design that may result otherwise!

Ah yes, and sweet thanks to the sweet one who brought gifts of nettle, yarrow, and plantain to the garden. What lovely allies to bring in. Thank you .

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Ah, rain.

The EAT YER WEEDS! session with Savayda Jarone was postponed due to the delicious deluge.  We have re-scheduled for next Thursday, July 12,  same time –6:30pm, same place.  And I repeat, do come out;  this knowledge set is some of the most paradigm-shifting, re-connecting, and empowering wisdom attainable in two free hours.

Saturday July 7.  Our plumber friend has come through, mined the mines of his plumbing co-workers, and is going to purchase the goods to interconnect our rainbarrels.  Young plumbers gaining skills in low-tech, rain-harvesting strategies: it warms my heart.  And we are next.  Assuming it is not a total deluge, Saturday morning around 11am let’s interconnect our donated rainbarrels to gather these sweet rains.

And, on Saturday, lets build a big, phat, sheet-compost for our squash plants.  Second to knowing our medicinal weeds, this is one of the most useful, energy efficient, light-living skills we can know.

The following Saturday, July 14, perhaps we should do Intro to Permaculture.  I will have to bust my bootie to get this together, but it is the last of my free Saturdays, so let’s do it.

What is Permaculture?  Check out the good ol’ Wikipedia definition;  the collection of Permaculture videos on YouTube, put together by  Permaculture Activist; and this month’s New Internationalist is titled ‘Edible Earth:  In search of Permaculture’.

While I am not a certified teacher of Permaculture, I do have my design certificate through Linnaea Ecological Garden Program, which is an 8 month intensive taught by some of the first Permaculture teachers in north america.

The next free Saturday for me is August 11, and on that day, together with the EAC, we have organized a solar dehydrator building workshop.   A solar dehydrator is a box the size of a small fridge, on stilts, with drying racks, that collects solar warmth, creating a convection current to dehydrate fruits, seeds, greens, and herbs.  Dehydrating is the most energy effecient, and ancient, way of preserving food.  It is also the best of way of preserving food while retaining the nutritional integrity of the food.  Solar dehydrators are great for sun-dried tomatoes, dried fuits, tea herbs, and for safely saving seed.  The more dehydrators in the city, the better.

To build the dehydrators, here is a list of materials to scavenge:

  • Wood : 2X4 or 2X2 lumber (scrap is fine, but pieces at least six feet long), boards or plywood to cover the box
  • Glass: old windows or panes of glass
  • Steel: metal duct (to make a chimney), sheet metal for the sun absorber plate
    nails and screws

At the workshop we will have a dehydrator to reburbish, giving us an idea of what we are aiming to build and lessons learned from experience.  I am going to collect the gear to make myself one, and you can gather the gear for yourself to make your own there using the tools, or just come by and watch.

In the meantime:

  • June 28, Herbalist Association of Nova Scotia, annual Herb fair on McNabbs Island.
  • August 4.  Evolve!  Weeds and wild walks out there, and dancing energy into mama.
  • August 10.  Intro to Permaculture at Red Fox Farm, for Heliotrust.

Still in the works:

  • Start a Nursery:  its your duty to biodiversity.  workshop
  • Micmac medicinal plants with Laurie Lacey
  • The sweet sacred, with Little Grandmother
  • fence beautification
  • gathering native plants to create a woodland garden

Oh yes, and do check the HUGG wiki (Halifax Urban Gardeners Group) for some other great opportunities to get involved with urban agriculture.  Of note, there is a brainstorming session on July 18 at the EAC, 7 pm, for the creation of a garden freecycle site and new community garden.

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this week (Jun 18-23)

In the garden this week:

– sometime Tues or Wed evening:  Shane the carpenter is going to help us raise and strengthen the fence so that we can trellis grapes on it.

-Thursday evening:  5:30 – 6:30  planting and doing.
6:30 – 8:30  *Gardening 101*
Get a grounding in gardening basics.  Planting, transplanting, soil care, mulching, watering!  Perfect for you sweet folks who think that it is you that kills houseplants and worry that you have a ‘black thumb’;  or anyone who wants a refresher in organic gardening.  Come learn how easy it is to make plants to love you and for you to love them.  Free.

– Saturday June 23.  10:30 – 1:30  workparty.
There is lots of planting to do.   Riverview Herbs is giving us a bunch of herbs that we can plant, and we have some grapes, bulbs, and onions to get in the ground.   If there are any plants/vegetables you want to grow in the garden, bring ’em,  (if you keep looking at those rainbow chard transplants for sale at the market and think, ‘but I have no where to grow them’;  buy them, and bring them;  their home awaits). We can also start some sheet composts and extend some beds.     We also need to make a sweet sign, so bring your paints and brushes;  we have the wood.


– next week Thursday is a garden workparty from 5:30 – 7:30,  then…. there is this fantastic even event put on by *Musicians for Farmers*

Musicians for Farmers: A celebration of local food!

Come for your fill of local food and music in support of Heliotrust, an Ecology Action Centre affiliate – whose projects include: farmland conservation, sustainable farming practices, biodiversity, and conserving and imparting rural wisdom. Music performances by: The Orchid, Sudden Fancy, TFC, Michael Schimp’s Neighbors, Free Hugs, Food Trio and more…

$10 includes cover, donation to Heliotrust, and a plate of delicious local organic food! Drinks and desserts are available.
Thursday June 28th @ The Bus Stop Theatre 2203 Gottigen Street, doors open at 7pm

If you want to help out…email jeff_torbert@hotmail.com.

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