Sunday, 13 March 2016

Well, it is nearly that time again as the snow and ice slowly recede (which is a good thing for us gardeners), when a gardeners thoughts turn to planning this years garden plot(s). And on that note I have been asked to repost the following information compliments of Mr. Jordan Bouchard:


Here's a spring update for you. This is the CGN Newsletter, sent out to coordinators with the understanding that you will get the information to your fellow gardeners.

1. Seedy Saturday & Seed Library Workshop *March 5th*
2. CGN Evaluation
3. CGN Workshops 
4. Canadian Organic Growers urban Gardening Seminars
5. Google Groups
6. Garden Days  *June 17 -19*
7. Plant a Row Donate a Row
8. Rain Bareel Fundraiser
9. Gardener Agreement Samples
10. 2016 CGN Spring Meeting, Allocations update, Accessibility Article
11. Allocations Committee
12. Community Garden Accessibility Article
1. Seedy Saturday & Seed Library Workshop *March 5th*
Seed Libraries in OttawaJust Food is taking the lead on the establishment of seed libraries across Ottawa.  If you or others are interested in forming a seed library please attend this workshop at 1:30 PM at Seedy SaturdayIf you cannot attend be sure to send me an email expressing your interest.  We aim to pilot three seed libraries in Ottawa for 2016 with hopes of expanding to fifteen in 2017.

Workshop **At Seedy Saturday**

Much like a regular library, where books are used and shared, seed libraries are a way for local communities to share and exchange, use and learn about plants that thrive in Eastern Ontario.
Hundreds of seed libraries have opened and are running across North America, and Ottawa is ready to grow some of our own.
The workshop at Seedy Saturday will be conducted by Kate Green of Seeds of Diversity, in partnership with Just Food. Participants will learn the basics of how seed libraries work, and how seed libraries could get started in your community.  Bring your interest and your ideas!

Seedy Saturday 

Seedy Saturday is primarily a seed sale and exchange, however businesses and associations of an organic, horticultural or ecological nature are also attending.
There will be talks about seed saving, seed libraries, gardening and more.

Where:  Ron Kolbus Lakeside Centre, Brittania Beach, 102 Greenview Ave.
Saturday March 5th 10:00 – 3:00 PM

Workshop Schedule:
10:30 Ottawa 2025  – Presented by Tom Marcantonio
11:30 The Vacation Garden – Presented by James Thompson
12:30 Edible Design from home to community scale – Presented by Telsing Andrews.
13:30 Starting a Seed Library in Ottawa – Presented by Kate Green (more info below)

For more information please contact Greta Kryger at or 613-521-8648.

2. CGN Evaluation

A big thank you to the 21 gardens that have already filled out the CGN evaluation!  With this information we are painting a picture of what community gardening looks like in Ottawa at this time.  Already we have received a lot of great information that has been very useful and informative.

If you have not already filled out a 2015 CGN Evaluation, please do so.  The more responses we have the better our data will be and the more accurate we can represent the activities of all of you.  It is important to understand the collective outcomes we are achieving as a Network.

By way of reminder, it is a requirement to fill out this survey for those that received funding through the CGDF.   Please get your responses back to me as soon as you can.

Here's the link once more:
3. CGN Workshops

Workshops are starting to be set up for 2016. Community gardeners interested in volunteering to coordinate workshops in their neighbourhood should be in touch with me to get started.  The tasks needed are: finding space, setting up/taking down workshops, handling registration, returning fees, and anything else required.   This will help make gardening skill development workshops even more accessible city-wide.   Please contact me for more details.

We are also interested in finding interested volunteers to train to become facilitators for workshops.  The topics we currently offer and have offered in the past are:  Beginner Organic vegetable Gardening, Natural Pest Control & Companion Planting, Seed Saving for Gardeners, Cold Storage of Fruits and Vegetables, Preservation (hot water bath canning of jam, salsa,  and pickles), Square Foot Gardening, What is Permaculture?, Herbal Tips & Tricks, and Soil & Composting.  If you would be interested in becoming a facilitator for 2017, or know someone who would be, please be in touch.  Over the summer we are planning to train facilitators to be able to confidently deliver workshops in their respective regions.  Please suggest any topics you think would be in demand.  If you, or anyone you know would be a good candidate to develop that workshop, please let us know as well.

4. Canadian Organic Growers Urban Organic Gardening Seminars *April & May*

Here's a list of workshops The Canadian Organic Growers are putting on in Ottawa this Spring.
Where: City Hall, 110 Laurier West
When: Tuesday and Thursdays in April and May
April 12: Organic Growing: Soil and Composting in the urban context
April 14: Organic Gardening in Raised Beds and In-ground locations.
April 19: Organic Seeds: Selection, Starting indoors, Planting directly & Germination
April 21: Organic Gardening in Containers- Part 1
April 26: Organic Growing of fruit and nut trees, shrubs and vines
April 28: Organic Gardening in Containers- Part 2
May 3: Organic Gardening Management of Diseases, Bugs etc.
3 mai: La Gestion des maladies et des insectes dans le jardin biologique (en français)
Information on registration and fees can be found here:
5. Google Groups
Following from suggestions and feedback to have better opportunities for coordinators to share,  and receive knowledge we want to try Google Groups as a method of organization based on region.  I have divided Garden Coordinators into 5 groups across the City and have already sent you an email inviting you to participate in your group.

The intent is positive interactions and collaboration for coordinators of food related, community based growing projects in Ottawa such as community gardens, seed libraries, and school gardening projects. Using the groups I hope that you will be able to coordinate with each other if you have extra seedlings to give away, are having an event or open house event, coordinate on Plant a Row Donate a Row deliveries, mentor each other if some of you are seeking advice or are a new coordinator, organizing bike tours in your region, or anything else that may come up. If you have concerns related to the broader network, funding, garden design, or anything else then coming directly to Just Food is still your first avenue to address your concerns - not the Google Group.

Please also be advised that the groups will be moderated only when necessary.

If you did not receive an invitation, are placed in the wrong group, or want other coordinators (a maximum of 3 per garden) to be included in the group send an email to

 The 5 groups, split up as evenly as made sense, are:

Downtown Core Gardens
Eastern Ottawa Gardens
Ottawa's North East Community Gardens
South South-West Ottawa Community Gardens
Western Ottawa Community Gardens


An example of a collaborative potential project could be related to the Canada Summer Jobs program.  Combining forces with other nearby gardens may be useful for gardens that wish to share some activities and programming with others in the summer.  Some of you could partner and apply for funding for a student to benefit the neighbourhood or region and animate it together - in this way you make your application even stronger!  It also helps share resources more equitably across the neighbourhood as some gardens may be better situated to recieve this funding than others.
You can follow the link provided for more information on the Canada Summer Job program, for which funding has been doubled in recent weeks. for this program are due March 11.
6. Garden Days - June 17 - 19
The Canadian Garden Council, a national organization that promotes gardening of all kinds, food related or otherwise, organizes a National Garden Days celebration from June 17-19.  Garden Days is a three-day program of activities and events for gardening enthusiasts, families, schools and tourists alike. Garden Days is an opportunity for Canadians to enjoy their own garden, visit or take part in their favourite garden experience, get inspired at their local garden centre or travel to a nearby destination to enjoy their favourite garden.

Anyone interested in hosting an event on Garden Days' weekend should register their activity at and click on "register your activity" at the top of the page. We want to really demonstrate that Ottawa has many garden enthusiasts and many diverse gardening projects worth showing off.  Start planning your activities today!

As a reminder, gardens on City 3rd Party Liability Insurance will not have to provide notification of the event to the City's insurance provider.

7. Plant a Row, Donate Row
Just Food is once again promoting Plant a Row, Donate a Row!  We are calling on all community gardens, and home gardeners to plant one row in their garden (or a plot in your community garden), to be grown for donation to your local food cupboard, or food program.

Here is a useful tool  that will point you in the direction of the nearest local food cupboard:  Put in your postal code and the food cupboard for your area will be listed.   Be sure to call ahead before you donate!  Calling at the beginning of the season is important to determine what vegetables and fruits are desired and able to be received.    You also may want to consider bringing it directly to the Ottawa Food Bank found on 1317 Michael Road, or finding another food program that is in need of food donations.

A BIG congratulations to the Orléans Community Garden who donated 3327 pounds of food in 2015. Keep up the great work folks!

Of the 21 gardens that filled out the CGN evaluation to date, 82% specified that they do some form of food donation. In total these 21 gardens donated more than seven thousand pounds of food to food programs in the City.  We want to emphasize and recognize that all gardens in the network do contribute to combating food insecurity in their own way and that in some cases measuring the donation is not easy.  We applaud all the work that all of you do each year to help others.

8. Rain Barrel Fundraiser
Just Food is once again doing a Rain Barrel fundraiser.

This year rain barrels will be available for pick up at the Just Food Farm on Friday May 19.  Keep you eye on will be making our online store live as soon as possible.

9. Gardener Agreement Samples
I am hoping to refresh the CGN's Gardener Agreement samples!  Please send on your blank gardener agreement so it can be used an example for other future gardeners.

If you have any neat or useful resources or templates you would like to share please send them in as well.

10. 2016 CGN Spring Meeting

The date for the 2016 CGN AGM is set for Tuesday May 3 2016.  We will be distributing 2016 CGDF allocations at this meeting - documents needed to be signed will also be available at this meeting.

11. 2016 Allocations Committee
The allocations committee for 2016 is:
Jordan Bouchard
Elizabeth Kristjansson - Kanata South Community Garden
Mark Howard - Leslie Park Community Garden
Annette Hegel - CHEO Healing Garden

We will be finalizing the fund by the end of March and alerting successful applicants in April.  There are a lot of great projects in the works this year.  I am looking forward to working with you to get them up and running!

12. Community Garden Accessibility Article
There was a recent article regarding the City's accessibility policy this week. The article touches on what is required right now for accessibility for community gardens on City of Ottawa owned land. Just Food is continuing to work with the City to ensure that accessibility requirements both meet the increasing need for accessibility and need for implementation in community garden.

That's all for now!

Thank you,

Jordan Bouchard
(613) 699-6850 x.12