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About Linda Gilkeson

  • Member Since: May 17, 2013

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It’s Time to Start Seeds

    Farm & Garden    February 28, 2019

This chilly weather is certainly dragging on, but if you have good growing conditions for seedlings indoors, it should cheer you up to be starting seeds. I wait until now to sow leeks, onions, celeriac and celery as I have found they grow into plants that are just as productive as ones started earlier in […]

Cold Snap Forecast

    Farm & Garden    January 31, 2019

Right now the forecast after Sunday shows a period of colder weather than we have had so far this winter. Forecasts are for overnight lows of -5 to -8oC (18-23oF) for much of the south coastal region. It could be colder than that in gardens in frost pockets and low-lying inland areas. If you have […]

Pruning, Grow Lights, #*!#*@#! Spotted Wing Drosophila and Yams

    Farm & Garden, Food & Entertainment, Health & Wellness    January 15, 2019

Well, I don’t know if there will be a winter this year or not, but other than windstorms, there hasn’t been much winter in evidence. As I started to write this, it was sunny and unusually warm outdoors and I suddenly remembered that early warm weather makes trees bloom early….I leaped up and shot out […]

First Cold Snap

    Farm & Garden, Food & Entertainment    December 3, 2018

Just a quick note that the first cold weather of the year is forecast for this week, with night time lows by Wednesday and Thursday forecast to drop well below freezing in some parts of the region. That’s the signal to finish mulching everything if you haven’t done so already. Now is the time to […]

Leaf Mulch, Clean Bees and Cutworms

    Farm & Garden    November 1, 2018

Here is my usual seasonal reminder to collect fallen leaves for garden mulching while they are all around us and to be had for free. Do collect enough to mulch the garden for the winter and also to stockpile for mulching next summer. I store leaves for summer use in bags or covered bins, keeping […]

Last sowing, confusing bugs, splitter alert

    Farm & Garden, Food & Entertainment    August 31, 2018

There is still time to sow hardy winter lettuce and arugula if you do it this week and now is also the perfect time to sow corn salad for winter salads. Pull back mulches and scatter seeds under tomatoes, squash and other plants that will be finished in October. Corn salad seeds may not germinate […]

Sow Spinach and Greens; Pests and Problems

    Farm & Garden    August 9, 2018

Yesterday should have been “Spinach Day” in my garden, but it is far too hot to attempt to sow anything right now. I have had good results sowing spinach as late as the middle of August so will wait to until it cools down in a couple of days to plant seeds. The forecast for […]

Winter Planting and Garden Editing

    Farm & Garden    July 18, 2018

Many vegetables for harvest over the winter and early next spring should be planted at this time of year. So take advantage of the somewhat cooler weather forecast for the next few days to sow seeds of beets, chard and leaf beet, rutabaga, radicchio, kohlrabi and the small, quick growing, cabbage varieties (e.g., ‘Caraflex F1’, […]

Heat Alert! Sowing Winter Brassicas

    Farm & Garden, Health & Wellness    June 18, 2018

The recent cool weather is giving way to what is forecast to be pretty hot weather starting this weekend. This is a reminder that if you haven’t done so already, do finish mulching vegetables before it gets hot; it will conserve soil moisture and keep roots cool. Some people had quite a bit of rain, […]

Sowing Sprouts, Irrigation and Pest du Jour

    Farm & Garden, Food & Entertainment    May 30, 2018

Just a quick note this time, but I couldn’t let another day go by without reminding everyone that it is time to sow seeds of Brussels sprouts and any cabbage varieties that need over 120 days to mature (e.g., January King, Danish Ballhead, Red Langedijker). Getting the timing right for these crops seems to be […]

Tomatoes, Corn, Beans, Peas and Pests du Jour

    Farm & Garden, Food & Entertainment    May 1, 2018

With the warmth last week and the forecast of another sunny week, you can keep right on planting any and all cool weather crops (peas, lettuce, onions, leeks, all of the cabbage/mustard family, leafy greens, Swiss chard, carrots, beets, turnips, potatoes, etc.). It is still too cool at night in most places to rush warmth-loving […]

Wet Soil, Cool Crops and Pollinator Plantings

    Farm & Garden, Food & Entertainment    April 5, 2018

Our cold spring continues…with the soil too soggy to work in many gardens, especially after this recent heavy rain. If you squeeze a small handful of soil and it stays together in a compact clod, then it is too wet to handle; it should be moist but still easy to crumble apart after you squeeze […]

Starting Seeds and Onion Sets

    Farm & Garden    March 12, 2018

Despite the slow start to spring (as snow flurries Friday morning reminded me), this is a good week to start seeds indoors for early crops and for plants that take the whole growing season to mature. I used to start leeks in mid-February, but now wait until the first week of March and find they […]

Bitter Cold Alert for Gardeners and Growers

    Farm & Garden    February 16, 2018

I waited, hoping to see that the forecast cold would be moderated by a warmer weather system as the last one was—but it hasn’t happened. The predicted cold weather, starting Sunday or Monday is for extreme lows over the next 3-5 days that would be very damaging this late in the winter. All around the […]

Big Chill Coming – Yams Again – Fruit Sources

    Farm & Garden    February 6, 2018

Well, nuts! To prove my contention that you just can’t trust February, the current forecast is for a few days of really cold air to hit this weekend. With lows of -4 and -5oC (25 to 23oF) predicted for the south coast (even for Victoria, which is unusual), you may need to take steps to […]

Spring Is Coming – Seeds, Yams, Pruning and Tool Disinfecting

    Farm & Garden    January 22, 2018

With the gardening season arriving quickly (yay!), it is time to sort out our seed collections, decide what to buy and check seed suppliers for new varieties: Germination test: If you are wondering whether seeds in old packets are still good, you can check with a quick germination test: Count out 20 seeds if you […]

Last Notes For Your Winter Garden

    Farm & Garden    November 13, 2017

That recent cold snap was a surprise, with temperatures well below freezing and the first snowfall in some areas. If your winter veggies were not all mulched by then I doubt they came to harm as the soil was still relatively warm. In this warmer lull, however, do get the mulching done before temperatures drop […]

Linda’s List: This Month’s Gardening Tasks

    Farm & Garden    October 1, 2017

The golden days of fall are such a delight…but they do remind us that there are things to do before winter: All you Brussels sprout growers, if you haven’t done so, this is the week to pinch out the tips of the plants to hasten the growth of the sprouts along the stem. If you […]

Last Planting, Powdery Mildew and Rats

    Farm & Garden    September 4, 2017

Well, so that summer went by in a blur…and here we are at the last planting window of the season. What to plant: If you sow this week, you should still be able to grow nice-sized plants of hardy winter lettuce and arugula before winter. It is expected to be pretty hot this week, so […]

Gardening: Super Heat Wave Prep Today

    Farm & Garden    July 31, 2017

A scary weather forecast for record-setting high temperatures this week, lingering over a longer than usual period, should send you out to the garden today to take some simple steps to protect your vegetables. Basically it boils down to 3 things: Shade, water, harvest. Of course, shade cloth, which I have discussed in detail earlier […]

Planning and Planting for Winter Harvests

    Farm & Garden    July 11, 2017

If you haven’t already sown beets, chard and leaf beet, rutabaga, radicchio, kohlrabi for winter harvests, do it right now so that plants have enough time to get to a mature size by the end of October. It is also time to plant out starts of winter broccoli and cauliflower and long-season cabbage (it is […]

Winter Planting is Here, Heat Again and Late Blight

    Farm & Garden    June 21, 2017

I still feel like we are caught somewhere in endless spring, but believe it or not, some important planting windows for winter harvests are upon us. Winter broccoli and winter cauliflower: Sow seeds from now until the end of June, either directly in the garden or in seed flats or pots. Given the rampaging slugs, […]

Protect Seedlings – Beet Leafminers

    Food & Entertainment    May 26, 2017

Coastal gardeners who did a lot of planting in the first really warm weather last weekend had a taste of what it is like to garden in the rest of Canada, where gardens are traditionally planted all at once on the May long weekend. By now, even the most delicate plants can be set outdoors—I […]

Current Planting, Currant Pests and Wireworms

    Farm & Garden    May 9, 2017

Planting now? With that really good warm day yesterday, I know you are ready to plant everything—but whoa! There is no point in trying to rush warmth-loving plants, such as tomatoes, peppers, squash, cucumbers, corn, beans, into the garden as it is still too cool for them. Indeed, cool weather crops (cabbage family, peas, lettuce, […]

Wet Soil, Harvesting Roots, Fruit Pollination

    Farm & Garden    April 12, 2017

Our cold, wet spring continues…with the soil too wet to work in most gardens. For much of the region, March set records for rainfall, so it has been really, really wet. This spring certainly shows how valuable it is to fill your garden with mature, hardy vegetable plants before winter. Despite the bitter cold, a […]

Linda’s List: Spring Planting Timing

    Farm & Garden    March 22, 2017

As our cool spring weather continues, everyone is asking about when to plant: Soil Temperature: On the theme of testing, right now I am checking a soil thermometer out in a garden bed. It shows that the soil is far too cold to plant anything (and of course our soils are far too wet to […]

Linda’s List: To Seed or Not to Seed, That is the Question

    Farm & Garden    February 21, 2017

This certainly is a different spring than we have had for the last couple of years. I was walking around Victoria on the weekend noting all of the street trees that should have been blooming for weeks by now, without a blossom to be seen. Chirpy little notes in my own garden journals show that […]

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Community News

  • Forum: Human Rights, Evidence for Hope?

    by on March 18, 2019

    We live in a world where horrific human rights violations occur, like the recent mass shootings of 50 Muslim worshippers in two Christchurch mosques. This is a world where several countries sentence LGBTQ individuals to death, China has detained over a million Uyghur Muslims, and Canada arrests First Nations people for peacefully trying to protect […]

  • Salt Spring Island Centennial Park Playg...

    by on March 18, 2019

    Salt Spring Island Parks and Recreation Commission (PARC) has adopted a 20 year Master Plan to prioritize infrastructure investments for Centennial Park. With site assessments and central drainage complete, and the washroom facility anticipated to be finished in a few weeks, planning can begin to replace the playground. This much needed replacement project was made […]

  • Pipeline Activism: Thoughts On My Trial,...

    by on March 18, 2019

    I’m back from the rabbit hole of court – the B.C. Supreme Court, in downtown Vancouver. Last fall, I spent five days there, self-representing my not guilty plea, after arrest for protesting on March 23rd in front of Texas oil-giant Kinder Morgan’s tank farm in Burnaby, now Trans Mountain Canada, owned by all Canadians. Three […]

  • Building a Tiny Home Community for the U...

    by on March 15, 2019

    “A community safely housed.  A path to stability.  A better quality of life”  Housing forms the building blocks of a community. The recent housing crisis has illustrated exactly how important stable housing is to the solidity of our island. When people don’t have secure housing, their work, school, family life, and even the community suffer. […]

  • 100+ Women Who Care Raise $17,000 in Und...

    by on March 13, 2019

    On the evening of Tuesday, March 5, 100+ Women Who Care Salt Spring held its second meeting. Prior to this meeting, members had nominated 18 local charities. Members randomly drew three of the nominees during this meeting: Greenwoods Eldercare Society, Salt Spring Therapeutic Riding Association, and Island Pathways. Members heard a compelling presentation for each […]

  • Island Health Assumes Responsibility for...

    by on March 13, 2019

    Island Health will be assuming responsibility for publicly funded home support service delivery on Southern Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands this fall to ensure a consistent approach to implement government’s team-based primary and community care model across the health authority. Home support helps people live independently in their home and be safe. For clients […]

  • NASA Astronaut Lands on Salt Spring: Fri...

    by on March 11, 2019

    From space tourism to settlements on Mars, what is humanity’s future in space? How dangerous is space travel to human health? What benefits do we obtain from space research? Dr. Serena Auñón-Chancellor returned to Earth from the International Space Station in December—after 197 days in space. On Friday, March 15th at 7:30 PM at ArtSpring, […]

  • The Making of Heroes: Gulf Islands Fire/...

    by on March 11, 2019

    Pender Island Fire/Rescue, in association with Salt Spring Island Fire/Rescue and other partners in emergency response including the RCMP and BC Ambulance Service, will be guiding 25 courageous youths through an intense boot camp of hands-on fire/rescue training from March 18 to 23, 2019. Following a record number of applications, this year’s successful cadets (ages […]

  • Citizen Science Project on Salt Spring: ...

    by on March 7, 2019

    This month, participants are flocking to a free training in butterfly citizen science led by entomologist Linda Gilkeson, PhD, and hosted by the Salt Spring Island Conservancy. Trainees will learn how to identify and count butterflies from Linda and how to take photos of butterflies from Simon Henson, as a way to aid in identification. […]

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