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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 […]

Ruckle Farm & Neighbours Fine Arts & Crafts

    Farm & Garden, News & Events    October 23, 2018

Salt Spring’s Ruckle family were farmers … with a couple of artists. Or so the story goes, but it has come clear of late that Ruckle farm was long a south-Salt Spring arts hub Throughout November, the Salt Spring Library hosts “Ruckle & Neighbours Fine Arts & Crafts”, showcasing the works of nine south-end creators, […]

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 […]

The Salt Spring Island Farmland Trust receives $50k from The Farmers’ Institute for The Root

    Farm & Garden, Health & Wellness    July 27, 2018

The Salt Spring Island Farmers’ Institute has donated $50,000 towards building The Root. This is a significant contribution to the Farmland Trust’s fundraising goal, which is now down to $510,000 thanks to the generous donation by the Farmers’ Institute. “The Salt Spring Island Farmers’ Institute fully supports the leadership role the Salt Spring Island Farmland […]

Farmland Trust Breaks Ground for The Root

    Farm & Garden, Health & Wellness    July 18, 2018

Salt Spring Island, July 12, 2018 – This week the Salt Spring Island Farmland Trust begins construction of the new local food centre The Root at 189 Beddis Road, and officially kicks off The Root community fundraising campaign. “If you love eating produce and foods from Salt Spring Island and would like to see even […]

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’, […]

Ruckle Park Heritage Conservation Management Plan Receives Heritage Legacy Fund Grant

    Farm & Garden, Health & Wellness    July 9, 2018

The Friends of Ruckle Park Heritage Society is delighted to announce that it is receiving its first and most generous grant to guide future improvements to Ruckle Park heritage. The Heritage Legacy Fund has provided $10,000 to help with the creation of a “Ruckle Park Heritage Conservation Management Plan”, which will not only serve Ruckle […]

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 […]

The Salt Spring Island Freshwater Catalogue Needs You

    Farm & Garden, Health & Wellness    May 14, 2018

Selling the idea of interconnectedness and all it entails is one of the toughest pitches environmentally minded people have to make. Most people understand the connection between actions and consequences; not everyone acts upon that understanding. Living on an island fosters an acute sense of community and belonging, which can in turn lead to greater […]

Japanese Historical Charcoal Kilns on Salt Spring Island

    Farm & Garden, People & Places    May 14, 2018

May is Asian Heritage Month in Canada. One of the very few Asian heritage sites on Salt Spring are the two charcoal kilns built by Isaburo Tasaka in the early 1900s in Mouat Park. Besides the two on our island, we have identified thirteen others in the Southern Gulf Islands. A new 68-page booklet published […]

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 […]

BC Rural Dividend Grant Funds Salt Spring Shared Business Services Study

    Farm & Garden, Food & Entertainment    April 3, 2018

As part of its rural development mandate, the Government of British Columbia is providing $39,136 to support community projects in the Cowichan Valley and Gulf Islands, Doug Routley, MLA for Nanaimo-North Cowichan announced today. “The wide range of projects that received grants is a testament to the resourcefulness of the proponents and their commitment to diversifying […]

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 […]

2018 Salt Spring Island Home & Garden Show

    Farm & Garden, News & Events    March 5, 2018

Introducing the Salt Spring Island Home & Garden Show presented by Mouat’s Trading! March 17th and 18th – what a great weekend to be on Salt Spring Island as we host the Salt Spring Home & Garden Show. If you are a fan of HGTV, you will want to be at this great event showcasing […]

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 […]

FireSmart Landscaping Choices

    Farm & Garden, Fire News    February 5, 2018

Did you know that the landscaping choices you make can improve your home’s chances of with-standing a wildfire? Before then, would you like to test your FireSmart knowledge?             Ground covers – Which three are fire resistant and drought tolerant? Buttercup Dianthus English Ivy Periwinkle Phlox Sedum Perennials – Which […]

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 […]

Video: 2017 Fall Fair Zucchini Racing

    Farm & Garden, People & Places    September 18, 2017

What a wonderful weekend at the fall fair again this year. Thank you to all the organizers who did such a wonderful job creating a beautiful and fun fair for our island. Here are some highlights of the zucchini racing, just one of the great events of the weekend.

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 […]

Kitchen Scraps and Then What?

    Farm & Garden    September 4, 2017

Of the many qualities that attracted me to the Salt Spring Island community, ingenuity was a huge draw. It still is. Whether it’s critical mass or the propensity to organize to solve problems, islanders know how to get stuff done! For example, while you and I, and the restaurants we patronize, are tackling the daily […]

Are Your Fall Fair Entries Nearly Ready?

    Farm & Garden, News & Events    August 23, 2017

As August’s temperatures drop, the Fall Fair comes to mind. I can almost smell the corn-on-the-cob and the pies. I can nearly hear Country Grocer’s Spin to Win wheel and the local talent on stage. And in my mind, I’m walking through the barn and looking at the exhibits. This year’s Fall Fair theme is […]

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 […]

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Community News

  • 2018 Salt Spring Chamber Salty Award Win...

    by on November 9, 2018

    The Salt Spring community came out last night for a beautiful evening to celebrate local businesses, people, places and the many charms of Salt Spring Island. After numerous years of experimenting with the format for honouring local businesses and people, the Salt Spring Chamber really seems to have struck a nice rhythm of creating a […]

  • Thoughts on My Trial

    by on November 7, 2018

    This last March 23rd, I was arrested protesting in front of Kinder Morgan’s gate in Burnaby — now Trans Mountain Corporation, bought by all Canadians in August for $4.5-billion. I wrote an Exchange piece, published on March 29th, called  “Thoughts on My Arrest”. Time for an update. In Vancouver’s B.C. Supreme Court last week, I […]

  • Forum: From Ferries to Floatplanes

    by on November 7, 2018

    With many new pipeline projects stalled & existing ones running at capacity, oil patch producers are turning increasingly to rail to transport their product. How safe is this? Should we be concerned? What about ferries and floatplanes? Ferry accidents claim thousands of lives in other countries, but not in Canada. Floatplanes are one of the […]

  • Salt Spring’s Firefighters – Lieut...

    by on November 6, 2018

    Raised on Salt Spring by a family that supported the community through a variety of volunteer roles, it was only natural for me to follow that same path of volunteerism. In high school, I was a member of the Youth Coast Guard in Mill Bay. I was a member of the local Land Search and […]

  • Poll: Pro Rep Referendum Vote Mail In Pa...

    by on November 4, 2018

    Local proportional representation advocates gathered this past Saturday to share their support for changing our provincial voting system to a proportional system from our current first past the post system (FPTP). British Columbia is having a referendum on what voting system we should use for provincial elections. The referendum is being held by mail from […]

  • Forum: 2017 Massey Lecturer

    by on November 2, 2018

    The “us versus them” rhetoric increasingly employed by politicians is endangering human rights around the world. What are some of the major human rights struggles of our times, and what we can do about them? Payam Akhavan – renowned human rights scholar, former UN prosecutor at The Hague, and 2017 CBC Massey Lecturer – has […]

  • Leaf Mulch, Clean Bees and Cutworms

    by on 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 […]

  • How Safe is Your Lovely Roaring Fire?

    by on October 29, 2018

    Did you know that chimney fires are the most common fire emergencies  this time of the year?  – As our weather cools, and you begin enjoying your roaring fire, there are important safety tips you should know. Each year, Salt Spring Island Fire Rescue (SSIFR) is called to between 7 and 15 chimney fires. As these fires […]

  • VIDEO: Understanding PR & Electoral ...

    by on October 29, 2018

    In the lead up to the provincial referendum in British Columbia on proportional representation (happening now), the Salt Spring Forum hosted University of British Columbia Professor Max Cameron, a world-leading expert on democratic theory and electoral design. Professor Cameron teaches comparative politics, constitutionalism, and democratization at UBC, where he also directs the Centre for the […]

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