As with the 2020 season, the Gleaning Program will go ahead this year but in an altered fashion to accommodate physical distancing.
All gleaners who have attended an orientation within the past 4 years and wish to join the 2021 season are asked to sign up without attending the full orientation again. There are two ways you can sign up.
- Attend a sign-up session in person (dates below). You will need to fill out a membership form and submit payment. Please bring exact change for your fee as we will not be making change (the fee is a sliding scale between $15-$25) or have a cheque made out to Nanaimo Community Gardens Society. This will be done in the gazebo at the Pine St Community Garden and everyone will be asked to follow physical distancing guidelines and wear masks
- Print and mail in a membership form (attached) and payment. This will take longer and you may miss out on some early picks. Be sure to include your cheque for payment. Mail in information is contained on the membership form
A hard or digital copy of our latest orientation will be provided to you so that you can see what protocols are in place for gleaning in 2021. As always, contact Lee at 250-816-4769 if you have any questions about if you need to attend an orientation this year.
Sign-up sessions for returning gleaners will be:
- Saturday May 29, 10am-11am (before or after the orientation, please)
- Monday May 31, 1pm-2pm (before or after the orientation)
- Wednesday June 2, 11am-2pm (drop in anytime)
- Friday June 4, 6pm-7pm (before or after the orientation)
- Sunday June 6, 10am-11am (before or after the orientation)
- Wednesday June 9, 11am-3pm (drop in anytime)
- Sunday June 13 noon – 1pm (before or after the orientation)
If you haven’t been a gleaner for this program before you will need to attend a mandatory safety orientation. The orientations will be held in the Pine St Community Garden behind the Foodshare Centre at 271 Pine St. While the open-air gazebo in the garden can accommodate a few people, larger numbers cannot be sufficiently distanced so rain may limit the number of gleaners who can attend. Please attend one of the orientation dates below to join the program. You do not have to pre-register for a session – just show up! Remember to invite any friends or family that want to glean with you. Non-registered gleaners are not permitted on picks. Latecomers are disruptive and may miss important information about the program so please be on time. There will be time to answer all your questions about the program. Please remember to wear a mask.
You will need to fill out a membership form and submit payment. Please bring exact change for your fee as we will not be making change (the fee is a sliding scale between $15-$25) or have a cheque made out to Nanaimo Community Gardens Society.
The dates for 2021 orientations are:
- Saturday May 29, 10am-11am
- Monday May 31, 1pm-2pm
- Friday June 4, 6pm-7pm
- Sunday June 6, 10am-11am
- Sunday June 13, noon-1pm
Protocols for 2021 will be explained and a hard or digital copy of our latest orientation will be provided to you for review at any time. Call Lee at 250-816-4769 if you have questions about the program or the orientations.
Thanks to all our loyal customers and new fans, we have sold well over half our stock of vegetable, herb, and flower seedlings.
However, we will still be selling every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning from 10am to noon until mid-June at Beban Learning Gardens, beside the golf course at Beban Park.
As well as some lettuces, kales, leeks, broccoli, etc. we still have a decent selection of tomatoes, peppers, squash, and cukes. Add to this some very robust-looking eggplants, and the promise of melons and cucamelons still to come!
Do you have a few spaces left in your garden? We have just the plants to fill them!
Looking ahead to winter gardening, we will start seeding winter veg soon, such as Brussels Sprouts, to be sold in July. Watch this space!
Beban Learning Gardens thanks Nanaimo Community Gardens, the Province of British Columbia, Home Depot, and the City of Nanaimo Parks and Trades Departments for their help in making our Covered Work Space a reality.
Almost exactly four years after officially opening, one of the last items from the original design plan has been built. Volunteers on the Covered Workspace Committee had almost given up on ever getting this feature built as estimates came in so high. Then they saw an ad picturing a sturdy, good-looking but inexpensive gazebo, got creative, and decided that four such gazebos (10’ x 10’) placed in a square might just do the trick.
A year and one pandemic later, our covered workspace has been erected and is already being put to good use, enabling volunteers to work in the open-air and yet have some shelter. The need for this facility has become more important during the pandemic to allow normal activities to take place at the Beban Learning Gardens.
Thanks to Home Depot and the province of British Columbia for their contribution towards the cost of the gazebos and their ongoing support of our community garden projects. And, last but not least, to City workers who put it all together.
Island Savings, a division of First West Credit Union recognizes employees for their leadership in the community through the Lead Well program. Employees receive a $500 donation to a charity of their choice. The donation we received represented the award given to Lindsay Grill for her outstanding contributions to the community. Lindsay attended one of our work parties to present the donation of $500 to Nanaimo Community Gardens Society. Here, Lindsay presents her award to Lee Sanmiya and some young volunteers at the Wednesday work party at the Pine St Community Garden.
The donation will be used to continue our educational programming. This includes offering work parties, workshops, hands-on learning, tours and field trips at our two garden sites. Thanks Lindsay and the Island Savings Lead Well program.
Our latest project is complete!
We love it.
We get lots of compliments on the design.
And most importantly, the bees love it.
Do you wanted to volunteer at one of the Nanaimo Community Gardens Society sites? There are no rental plots, instead we garden together doing whatever is needed depending on the site and the time of year.
At the Beban Learning Garden work parties are held Wednesdays between 10am and 12pm. This garden is located beside the golf course at Beban Park. This site includes a greenhouse, fruit trees and bushes and outdoor gardening beds. During the late winter and early spring, the focus is on maintaining the site and growing seedlings for sale and donating to the community. Later in the season, the greenhouse becomes too hot to work in and the focus is growing outdoors.
The Pine St Garden has work parties on Wednesdays from 11am to 3pm. To participate in these work parties, visit the Pine St Garden behind the Foodshare Centre at 271 Pine St. These work parties continue year round but tasks are very weather dependent. Volunteers have lunch together at 1pm so drop by , bring your lunch and join us for a wonderful meal in the garden.
For May and June there will also be Thursday work parties at the Pine St Garden from noon to 3pm. If these are successful, they may continue through the summer. If you have a group that wishes to attend the garden, this time may be ideal as it is less crowded and we will have a teacher leading the work parties. Please call if this is something that interests you at 250-816-4769.
Do you want to grow your own food? Improve your food security? Or make your garden more productive? Then the Growing Organic Food course is for you!
Canadian Organic Growers is offering the Growing Organic Food course. In this 11 week in-class and hands-on course students will learn about soil health, water management, propagating plants, food preservation and more!
Dates: May 30 to July 4
Location: Beban Learning Garden, Beban Park 2300 Bowen Rd. Nanaimo
Registration fee: $845 +tax – COG Members save $50!
To learn more visit https://www.cog.ca/growing-organic-food/ or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Representatives Jenna Sutherland and Tammie Muir from Island Savings were on hand at a recent tree planting work party at the Beban Learning Gardens to present a cheque to Nanaimo Community Gardens Society. The cheque for $1,500 will to go towards the purchase of fruit trees for the site. The planting of young fruit trees, berry bushes and grape vines has been planned since the site was first occupied. In the years to come, the fruits will supplement the production of vegetables, herbs and edible flowers on the site to be used in programs and event. Island Savings has been focusing on reducing paper use in their branches and wanted to reinvest those savings in the community with the planting of food producing trees. Thank you Island Savings!
We took some time recently to take out the old tubes of mason bee cocoons and replace them with fresh, new paper tubes. These tubes are where the new female mason bees will lay their eggs, fully provisioned with pollen. These eggs will hatch and the larvae will eat and grow until they are large enough to spin a cocoon and wait out the cold winter all snug and cozy. In the spring the males hatch first and wait for the females. It is at this time that the mason bees provide their renowned pollinating services to flowering fruit trees. As you see in this picture, one of our youngest volunteers is helping to remove the old mason bee tubes and putting them in a special box where the bees can safely hatch out.
Beban Learning Gardens will begin selling starterplants on Wed., March 20, directly from ourgreenhouse in Beban Park, beside the golf course. Every Wednesday from 10 to noon, from now until June, you can come and buy vegie, herb, and beneficial and edible flower starter plants, grown as organically as we know how, right on our site. In an effort to help our friends the bees, we are also growing and selling plants that are the favourites of our hard-working pollinators. Lots of gardening advice is available, as well.
You are also welcome to browse around our garden and see what we are growing.
Plants we will be selling for the rest of March and into early April include:
Snap peas, broad beans, sweet peas, thyme, rosemary, mustard, mizuna, strawberries, and lots more!