Wednesday, February 18, 2015

3 new workshops on the Little City Farm schedule - and more coming

3 new exciting workshops coming to Little City Farm this summer, registration and details now posted!  Check out the details below and register online through our website here.!

Date: Sat, Aug 22
Time: from 10 am-12 noon
Facilitator: Heather Cain, local herbalist

Description: Plants have been evolving with and supporting humans ever since we took our first steps on earth. Scientists are now discovering what indigenous people have known for thousands of years - plants are sentient, intelligent beings that communicate and make decisions; and humans are hard-wired to bond with nature. We have the capacity to relate directly with the trees and plants around us; in this workshop we will learn how. Communicating with plants is a step to living in better harmony with ourselves, each other, and nature. It is a path of healing that helps us attune to our true essential nature and inner wisdom, and to what our hearts deeply desire.
In this workshop we will:
  • explore opening our hearts to receive from the plants
  • touch on scientific and indigenous perspectives of plant intelligence
  • learn simple techniques to boost intuitive awareness and plant/nature connection
  • create sacred space to anchor our learning journey
Take home a plant elixir. Bring a notebook if you like. Please dress for the weather - this is an outdoor workshop (rain or shine) so bring sunhat, sunscreen, water bottle as needed.
Cost: $35 (includes all materials, instruction, handout notes, and take home samples)
 Register on our website here.

Date: Sat, Aug 29
Time: from 1-5 pm (note this will be a 3.5-4 hour class)
Facilitator: Jon Spee, local brewer and educator

Description: This all-afternoon workshop will prepare you for making your own home-brewed beer, from beginning to end.  Jon will walk participants through all the stages of making beer, with hands-on components at every step.  From a short history of homebrewing, to steeping grains, mashing, straining grains, boiling wort, adding malt and hops, cooling wort, and transferring to primary fermentor, to preparing and bottling another batch of homebrew to take home.  Learn the use of hops for bittering, flavour and aroma, and the role of yeast in creating unique flavours.  Finally using a hydrometer and monitoring your beer at home.  Each participant will take home aprox. 1.5 litres of homebrewed beer that we have bottled during the workshop.
Please note - this is a limited space workshop so register early to reserve your spot!

Cost: $65 per person (includes all materials, instruction, handout notes, and take home samples)

Register on our website here.


Date: Sat, Sept 12
Time: from 1-3 pm
Facilitator: Taarini Chopra, from Seeds of Diversity (

Description: During this workshop we will learn all the steps of seed saving: from planning your planting and isolating varieties, to collecting seeds from plants in your garden, to cleaning and rogueing seeds, and storing your seeds to plant the next year. The workshop will be hands-on, and we will collect and clean seeds from a variety of garden vegetables, as well as tour the Little City Farm property to observe the diversity of vegetable, flower and herb seeds ready for harvest in the gardens.

Optional: Bring an extra $15 to the workshop day, to take home a copy of Seeds of Diversity's book, "How to Save Your Own Seeds" home with you!

Cost: $25 (includes all materials, instruction, hand-out notes) 

Register on our website here.

Thursday, February 05, 2015

Seed Planting Guide

Seed Planting Guide

Each year around this time we pull out our big box of seeds and the garden binder that holds our planting guide and notes from last year.  We map out the new garden plan, get soil and trays ready, and start our first seeds!   Here is the planting guide we use, based on our zone 5-6 in southern Ontario.
PLANTING GUIDE (based on frost-free date of May 24):
FEBRUARY (the greens listed here can continue to be planted throughout the growing season of course)

Start lettuce, chard, other greens in greenhouse or in flats indoors (to be planted out to greenhouse). Start selected medicinal and culinary herbs by middle of February. Some take 6-8 weeks to germinate!

10 WEEKS TO LAST FROST (aprox. March 15)
Start seeds of celery, eggplant, leeks, onion, pepper and flowers like impatiens, lobelia, verbena and perennials indoors.

8 WEEKS TO LAST FROST (aprox. March 29)
Start seeds of early head lettuce and flowers like begonia, coleus, nicotiana, petunia and salvia indoors.

7 WEEKS TO LAST FROST (aprox. April 5)
Start seeds of tomatoes, hot peppers, and early basil indoors.

6 WEEKS TO LAST FROST(aprox. April 12)
Start seeds of early left lettuce, early cabbages including cauliflower, broccoli, brussels sprouts, kohlrabi and kale, and small seeded annuals indoors. DIRECT SEED broad beans, carrots, peas, spinach, leaf lettuce, turnips, dill, parsley, and hardy flowers such as alyssum, candytuft, pansies, poppies, snapdragons, stocks, sunflowers and sweet peas. Plant onion sets or transplant onion seedlings outdoors.

4 WEEKS TO LAST FROST (aprox. April 26)
Start melon seeds indoors. If desired, start seeds of late basil, cucumber, squash, pumpkin, large-seeded annuals, and flowering vines indoors in peat pots. DIRECT SEED radishes, beets, cabbages, chard, head lettuce, and flowers such as hollyhock, and mallow. Plant potato eyes and transplant seedlings of early cabbages, except cauliflower.

2 WEEKS TO LAST FROST (aprox. May 10)
DIRECT SEED corn, tender bulbs such as glads, and annual vines such as morning glory. Transplant early lettuce seedlings.

WEEK OF LAST FROST (aprox. May 17-24)
Around the last frost date you can finally direct seed beans, cauliflower, cucumber, squashes, heat-loving flowers such as zinnias, marigold, and lavatera. Transplant your tomatoes. If you've got them, transplant cauliflower, squash and cucumber seedlings.

1-2 WEEKS AFTER FROST (aprox. May 31-June 7)
Wait for a couple of weeks after the last frost before direct seedling lima beans, soybeans, melons and herbs such as basil, summer savory and sweet marjoram. Transplant celery, melon, peppers, eggplant seedlings when the night temperatures stay well above 10 degrees C. Plant sweet potato slips. Start second crop of kale seedlings, and reseed spinach and peas for second crop.