May 28, 2018: Connie Kuramoto – “Plan your winter garden now! 

May 28, 2018: Connie Kuramoto – “Plan your winter garden now!  (Eat yummy vegetables all winter long).” Gardens on the Go.
 
Although we have just barely begun our summer gardens, it is good to keep our winter gardens in mind. To eat from your garden year round is easy, but it does take a bit of planning, and now’s the time to do it! We can start preparing and amending the soil and building shelter for plants now, and we must start seeds for many of our winter vegetables very soon. 
 
This talk will include methods for improving soil and starting seeds in summer, and will introduce you to some ideas about shelters for your plants. Winter gardens are great, because you don’t have to water them, so let’s get on with growing our winter garden!   
 
BIO
Connie Kuramoto worked as an instructor and technician for Vancouver Island University’s Horticulture Program for twenty years and coordinated student activities in the program’s greenhouse and nursery. She retired to start her own Horticultural Training and Service company called Gardens on the Go, and contract teaches for both North Island College and Gaia College. She offers workshops throughout Vancouver Island, and also provides consulting services for homeowners, municipalities, and non-profit groups. Connie says she loves Horticulture because she learns something new each day about it. She always recommends the more sustainable options and has been an organic gardener since she was 4 years old. Her first Horticultural Job was selling flowers on the street corners of Albequeque New Mexico in 1970, and she has never looked back.
 
 

April 16th, 2018 – David Polster: ‘Natural Processes for the Restoration of Drastically Disturbed Sites’

Join us for an evening with ecological restoration specialist David Polster. David will talk about his work using living plant material in reclamation techniques (such as wattle fencing) for unstable slopes – a highly relevant topic for those of use living in riparian and costal bluff areas. 
 
Wattle Fencing is one technique used on extremely steep, un-vegetated slopes. It is an alternative to concrete and rock retaining walls that encourages living plants to grow a bank stabilizing root mat. 
 
Presentation Title:
Natural Processes for the Restoration of Drastically Disturbed Sites.
 
Summary of the Session:
Natural processes have been restoring disturbed sites for millions of years.  By understanding how these processes operate, effective strategies for the treatment of human disturbances can be developed.  This talk will include information on how these systems can be used to treat local slumps and slides. 
 
David F. Polster, R.P. Bio. #148 is a plant ecologist with over 40 years of experience in vegetation studies, ecological restoration and invasive species management.  He graduated from the University of Victoria with an Honours Bachelor of Science degree in 1975 and a Master of Science degree in 1977.  He has developed a wide variety of restoration techniques for mines, industrial developments and steep/unstable slopes as well as techniques for the re-establishment of riparian and aquatic habitats.  He is the past-president (third term) of the Canadian Land Reclamation Association.  He is the treasurer for the Western Canada Chapter of the Society for Ecological Restoration and is the NW Regional Representative on the board of the international Society for Ecological Restoration (SER).  He was recently awarded the prestigious John Rieger Award from SER.  He served as the alternate mining representative on the board of the Invasive Species Council of B.C. for 9 years.  He recently became a Certified Ecological Restoration Practitioner (CERP #11).
 
Website:
Photo: Martin Gisborne

March 19th, 2018 – Zac Kregosky: ‘Xeriscape’

As our summers get hotter and water resources lessen, it will be even more important that we make the right decisions in our gardens. A garden should provide as much enjoyment as possible, while impacting our environment as little as possible. A great garden starts in the soil, and if done right, it should require little care.

Attendees will learn about plant physiology and how it relates to making waterwise choices. The next important consideration is site exposure; choosing the right plant for the right location is key to creating a thriving garden. We will examine types of plants and specific plants ideal for xeriscape gardening. I firmly believe in and practice being a lazy gardener.

Bio:
My passion for plants started while pursuing a degree in Biology with a focus on plant sciences. A horticulture program at Malaspina solidified my desire to work with plants. I started my career at the Art Knapp location in Vernon, becoming the nursery manager. I continued this vocation at the local Art Knapp. For the last 3.5 years I have been running my own gardening business.

February 19th, 2018 – Chanchal Cabrera: “Ethnobotany of Tribal People in Southern India”

At the southern tip of the Nilgiri Mountain range in Southern western India, where the states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka meet, where the misty mountains run down to the steamy jungle, there is a rich abundance of flora and fauna. Designated a UNESCO Biosphere Preserve, this area is home to numerous distinct tribal groups who still harvest wild herbs for medicine and who still practice some of the old ways of healing. 

 In 2011 Chanchal spent a month acting as staff botanist for a documentary film crew as they recorded these ancient ways and vanishing medicines. This illustrated talk will discuss 5 different tribal groups, their clothes, and customs, their traditional medicines and healing ways, and the challenges these people face in the modern world. Showcasing the beauty and the magic of India, temples and palaces, mountains and valleys, and highlighting unusual or useful plants, many of them unknown in western herbal medicinal practice. 

Biographical Information:

Member of the National Institute of Medical Herbalists (UK) since 1987. Awarded Fellowship 2009
MSc in herbal medicine at the University of Wales in 2003
Faculty chair in Botanical Medicine at the Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine in New Westminster  2004 – 2016
Diplomas in Botanic Garden Management and in Botanic Garden Education from Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. 
Certified Shinrin Yoku (forest bathing) practitioner
Certified Master Gardener 
Certified Horticulture Therapist
 
Chanchal lives on Vancouver Island, British Columbia where she and her husband run Innisfree Farm and Botanic Garden, a 7 acre registered botanic garden specializing in food and medicine plants, and run apprenticeschips in organic gardening and herbal medicine. They also host Gardens without Borders, a federally registered not-for-profit society established to run therapy garden programs for people with disabilities.

January 15, 2018: Carolyn Herriot “Natural Pest & Disease Control in the garden”

Carolyn Herriot – Natural Pest & Disease Control in the garden.

  • Getting your garden into balance with nature means you spend more time enjoying the garden and less time fighting problems. In this talk Carolyn looks at the role of soil, insects and wildlife in maintaining a healthy garden.

Carolyn Herriot ran The Garden Path Centre in Victoria for 25 years. She is a passionate gardener and cook, who encourages others to grow food and save seeds. She is a well known lecturer, and the author of ‘A Year on the Garden Path- A 52 week Organic Gardening Guide’ and ‘The Zero-Mile Diet’(Harbour Publishing) 

New Volunteers at CVHS!

Thank you to the members who have stepped forward to volunteer in the following positions! Volunteers are what makes our organization function and flourish! 

  • Gordon Stewart is our new President
  • Christi York is our new Program Chair and Director at Large
  • Nancy Milliken is a new Director at Large
  • Norma Chambers is our new Secretary
  • Sylvia Stone is our new Treasurer, and Past-President. 

Zac Kregosky – Xeriscaping

On Monday, September 18 we welcome Zac Kregosky of Plants I Dig Landscaping and Consulting. Zac will talk about xeriscaping, the art of creating gardens and landscaping to minimize water use and maximize water efficiency. Xeri is the Greek word for dry.  It’s many benefits include reduced water use-by over 50%, depending on the design and plants used; saving time- less watering, trimming, weeding and mowing; saving money- less chemicals, fertilizer and replacement of dead plants. Plants whose natural requirements are appropriate to the local climate are emphasized, and care is taken to avoid losing water to evaporation and run-off.

If you want your garden to give you maximum enjoyment and value for your expenditure of time and money, xeriscaping is the answer! Garden with the natural environmental conditions we live in rather than fighting against them. What a timely topic for the Comox Valley!

June 19th, 2017: Lynda Smith ‘Preserving the Harvest’

On Monday June 19, CV Horticultural Society presents “Preserving the Harvest”.  In this colourful presentation, Lynda Smith from Lawn to Food, will share new ideas on how to use our garden bounty daily and food saving methods for future consumption. She thinks about the word preserving in a waste-not context. “We all spend time and money growing food, lets make sure that most of it ends up in our bellies not the compost pile”. Eating, freezing, canning, dehydrating, pickling and fermentation are some of the topics that will be covered. Including tips on how to NOT get overwhelmed with garden produce abundance during the busy summer months.

Come join us at the Courtenay Filberg. Doors open at 6:45 pm.  Annual memberships are still available for $20 ($30 family couple), but guests are welcomed for only $5.  Membership brings many, many benefits and more details can be found at:www.comoxvalleyhortsociety.ca

 Meet ‘n’ Greet begins at 6:45 p.m., unless otherwise noted due to a special event planned for a meeting. Announcements and Club business starts promptly at 7:30 p.m. The Guest Speaker presentation follows. The meeting wraps up at about 9:00 p.m. after the Guest Speaker question period.
 

May15th, 2017: Peggy Carswell & Kel Kelly “Back from the Brink”

At our May meeting we welcome Peggy Carswell and Kel Kelly with their presentation “Back from the Brink.” A trip to explore the northeast corner of India almost 20 years ago led these two Comox Valley residents on an amazing and challenging journey into the world of tea.

They will present images and stories about their work with farmers and small-scale tea growers in villages in rural Assam, and share some interesting and not well-known facts about tea. They will also have a selection of teas for purchase, as well as some textiles from the region. 

Meet ‘n’ Greet begins at 6:45 p.m., unless otherwise noted due to a special event planned for a meeting. Announcements and Club business starts promptly at 7:30 p.m. The Guest Speaker presentation follows. The meeting wraps up at about 9:00 p.m. after the Guest Speaker question period.

 

April 24, 2017: Lynda Smith “Lawn to Food”

The Comox Valley Horticultural Society welcomes Lynda Smith who has transformed her quarter acre suburban lot at 1483 Hillside Avenue in Comox into year round food production. She helps people take responsibility for their own health and food security by planting vegetable gardens, fruit shrubs and trees.

Lynda competed on Chopped Canada last year, spreading her passionate “transform lawn to food production” message. She owns Urban Farm Stand which is stocked daily with seasonal produce from their organic gardens, baked goods, local free range eggs, bedding plants and artwork. She also builds new gardens and provides seasonal maintenance for vegetable plots in Comox and Courtenay. If you aspire to have a few veggie pots on the patio, or grow a self-sufficient food supply, she can help you reach your goals through inspiration and/or perspiration. You too can live in a vibrant environment with nutritious food a few steps from your door. Her website at www.lawntofood.com is filled with food adventures, recipes and enthusiasm.

This April 24 meeting is also our very popular Members Plant Sale, so don’t miss this opportunity to find some new plant treasures at very reasonable prices. Membership offers many benefits for only $20 (family couple $30). Further details can be found under the Membership tab above.  Doors at the Courtenay Filberg open early at 6:30 pm for this meeting only. The meeting starts promptly at 7:30 pm.