Do you have fruit that will go to waste?

Since 2003 the Gleaning Program has worked in our community to reduce food waste by picking more than 235,000 lbs of fruit, nuts and vegetables. 2022 is the program’s 20th year of operation. The Gleaning Program has volunteers that can pick cherries, plums, apples, figs, grapes, kiwis, and other fruit and nuts. We also have gardeners who can harvest extra produce from your garden.

 

All our gleaners have had a safety orientation and are covered under our liability insurance. We can send teams with ladders or individual pickers depending on the site. Tree owners may take up to a third of what is harvested and the rest goes to the gleaners and the program. For more information about the program or to have gleaners pick your trees, please call Lee at 250-816-4769.

 

Donation from Coastal Community Credit Union

Nanaimo Community Gardens has received support from the Coastal Community Credit Union Relief and Resiliency Fund. This money is for our organization to re-engage the community in our programs. The pandemic was difficult for many organizations and it forced us to reduce our operations and keep our work parties closed to visitors. Now that safe, outdoor spaces have been created, it’s time to invite new community members to join us. We intend to liaise with other local organizations and groups to identify people who would benefit from engagement in our programs. If you are an individual or part of a group that wants to participate in work parties or otherwise join us in the garden, reach out to us at 250-816-4769.

 

Thank you Coastal Community Credit Union!

The BLG Covered Workspace is now a reality!

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.

 

Work Parties

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.

Growing Food Course

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 education@cog.ca

Fruit Trees Donated by Island Savings

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!

Bee Time!

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.  

Happy First Day of Spring 2019!

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!