Time to embrace the onset of Spring!

There are so many things to think of in order to start preparing for the upcoming gardening season — it is easy to become overwhelmed, as well as incredibly excited. Allow us to provide you with some ideas of how you could be spending your spare time right now in order to have an easier start to your Spring.

Contents:

  • Start your own Seeds!
  • Garden Designing: Even Under Snow!
  • Fruiting Trees and Shrubs
  • Plan with Timing for Cover Crops
  • Know Your Soil – Urban Eatin’ Soil Testing

  • Urban Eatin’ Garden Tour 2011
  • Our New Coordinator
  • Attend or schedule and Urban Eatin’ Workshop
  • Cob Oven Construction Workshop
  • The Landless Farmers Collective

Start your own Seeds!

Starting your own seeds will enrich your gardening experience.

  • Save Money! An entire pack of dozens of seeds is usually cheaper than buying just one plant!
  • Know your source! By starting your own seeds, you will understand every component of what goes into your plants before and during their stay in your garden.
  • Improve your variety! Sourcing out seeds will give you access to countless more varieties of plants than nurseries are able to offer.
  • Be self-sufficient! Buy sourcing and saving your own seed supply, you will be able to ensure the skills and tools necessary to be able to count on yourself and your community for each gardening season.

Starting your own seedlings indoors is key with our short growing season. Long season veggies like tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, herbs, onions, leeks and squashes all benefit from an early start and controlled cultural conditions. Even some veggies that we typically direct seed can be started under lights or cold frames. Lettuce, kale and cabbage can all be started early. Lettuce in particular benefits since it is much easier to space seedlings if you are looking to harvest whole heads. Urban Eatin’ would be happy to procure and start seed for you! The advantage is that you can select special varieties that you may not be able to find locally, or that might run out quickly. Check out some of the seed catalogues below and contact us with your order!

Another important component to starting your seeds is knowing that you have the right environment to help them thrive until it is planting time! Often, this means getting an inexpensive and low-energy fluorescent grow light. Urban Eatin’ can help you obtain your light, as well as ensure a reliable and efficient set up in your home!

Garden Designing, Even Under Snow!

The depths of March and early April are fantastic times to fantasize about the layout of your yard. Remember the contours of your paths, the slopes of your garden beds, and the angles of your trellises. Urban Eatin` provides consultation and design services for a variety of growing situations. With a one hour consultation, we can work together with you to figure out what you want from your space, and provide perspectives on different ways to grow. While it may be tough to really analyze your space now, it is easy and spiritually rewarding to get the wheels of the imagination turning!

Fruiting Trees and Shrubs

To think about planting fruiting trees and shrubs in your garden and lawn this season is to open up a world of possibilities for beautiful and incredibly hardy high-yielding sources of exquisite taste! Many of Winnipeg’s local nurseries are carrying awesome varieties of fruiting shrubs this season, and to miss out will simply leave your mouth watering. T&T seeds gives you the option to preorder from their wild selection of great fruiters like blueberries, blackberries, and even the wonderful hardy Arctic Kiwi! Sage Garden Herbs is another resource to ensure your trees and shrubs are grown without any chemical additives, and the selection in their 2011 catalogue is mind-blowing!

Plan with Timing for Cover Crops

A spring cover crop is a great way to protect and build the soil in your garden. You can sow green manure crops over a whole bed or area to hold the fort against weeds, and eventually harvest a great source of compost. Also, green manures are valuable as an undersown crop amongst established seedlings, most especially amongst cucurbits (squash family) Ordering green manures early with Urban Eatin` will allow us to schedule you in for a timely seeding in the early spring, or subsequent seedings as the season progresses.

Know Your Soil – Urban Eatin’ Soil Testing

Growing depends on healthy soil. Knowing the chemical, physical and biological state of the soil can be important in amending can furnish you with a qualitative test of the microbial health of your soil, and offer biological solutions to remediate diminished microbial populations. It is the biological life in the soil that makes nutrients directly available to plant root hairs. A highly diverse and developed population is especially important for more complex crop plants such as cucumbers, tomatoes and squash.

This year, Urban Eatin’ member Paolo Riva, after an intensive workshop in Calgary on soil components and testing, is excited to offer to our clients the service of Soil Testing, as well as the knowledge and resources needed to ensure that your soil maintains its vigor and growth potential.

Contact Urban Eatin’ for a soil test today!

Urban Eatin’ Garden Tour

2011 will be host to Urban Eatin’s first garden tour. Start thinking now about the beautiful potential of your growing space, and how exciting it will be to show it off to your community!

The 2011 Garden Tour will be on Sunday, July 24th, 2011.

Registration deadline will be at the beginning of June. Contact Urban Eatin’ for more information or to register!

Our New Coordinator!

Urban Eatin’ would like to excitedly mention that the 2011 gardening season will be the first with the inclusion of dedicated administrative staff. This is definitely going to help our worker co-op grow to become a more efficient body, giving us the ability to communicate more effectively and focus more on you and Winnipeg’s communities.

Please welcome Tommy Allen, Urban Eatin’s new coordinator, to the team.

Attend or Schedule an Urban Eatin’ Workshop

Urban Eatin’ is proud to offer the services of educational workshops for public, private, or community groups. With an entire season of workshops planned, our momentum for teaching is growing at an alarming rate, and we would like to encourage you to think of including an educative component to your next garden club or community event. Our workshops can cover anything from seed starting, edible container gardening, preparing your soil, planting, raised garden beds, harvesting, garden maintenance, preserves, indoor gardening, and infinitely more!

Contact us to schedule an Urban Eatin’ workshop, or keep an eye on our workshop page to attend a workshop near you.

Cob Oven Construction Workshop: June 25th-26th, and July 2nd

Join cob oven master and Urban Eatin’ member Paolo Riva for an in-depth session on building a cob oven. Cob is a mixture of clay, sand, straw and water that is a very versatile building material, with a plethora of uses. Because cob functions as an excellent thermal mass, it’s perfect for oven construction. The radiant heat it provides is perfect for cooking, and is most especially suited to bread-baking and pizza. This workshop will cover the construction of a wood-fired oven from the ground up.

Day 1, Saturday, June 25th: Construction of the oven base will occupy this full day. The base can be contructed of a variety of materials and methods. We will be using a “brick and cob” method, where bricks can be any object from stones, glass bottles or actual bricks. Full day workshop (8am – 4pm)

Day 2, Sunday, June 26th: With the base completed the day before, this day will focus on construction of the hearth (cooking surface), the oven body, chimney and other finishing details. (8am – 4pm)

Day 3: Saturday, July 2nd: This final day, one week after construction, will focus on a lime plaster coating of the oven, to protect and finish the oven body and base. This will be a full morning’s work. (8am – 12pm)

Workshop cost is $105 regular fee, and $52.50 low-income. Rain dates are July 23rd-24th, and 30th. Registration closes May 27th. The workshop will take place in the West End of Winnipeg.

The Landless Farmers Collective

If you don’t have the space or the funds for Urban Eatin’ to help with your garden, perhaps you would then like to support The Landless Farmers Collective, a local CSA group, delivering an amazing selection of locally grown awesomeness, weekly!

Check out their brochure or their website.

Beyond all of this, enjoy the onset of Spring, as it is quite imminent and endlessly exciting for all those involved!

The folks at Urban Eatin’ Gardeners Co-Op
204.770.2204
urbaneatin@gmail.com
www.urbaneatin.com