May 27th, 2019 – Royann Petrell: Gardening for Birds

Rufous Hummingbird

Dr. Royann Petrell and her husband, Sylvain Alie, have organically gardened to produce most of the food they have eaten over the last 24 years. Gardening was a wonderful place to unwind from stressful jobs
and for these two birders to enjoy their hobby. To date, in and around their garden, they have recorded 81 species of birds. Several bird species nest there while dining on the garden pests. Today Royann, now professor emerita from Chemical and Biological Engineering, UBC, is making plans to attract four new birds (the purple martin, tree swallow, bullock’s oriole and the marsh wren) to her garden. She employs her knowledge gained in biological science and through a long career as a research bioengineer in
habitat protection. Flower gardens can be wonderful habitat for birds. Small gardens are a challenge for nesting birds as their needs are many. Royann will describe what it takes for a bird to rear a successful brood in general, and then, show what a flower garden would look like for this to happen for three different type of bird species: a larvae eating warbler, a pesky-bug eating sparrow, and pollinating Rufous hummingbird.


The numbers of birds are declining rapidly around the world. Royann feels that making small changes to how one gardens would not only help restore bird populations and reduce pest numbers but would bring added joy to the gardening experience.

April 15th, 2019 – Dr. Staffan Lindgren: “Pollinators in your Garden – Not just bees”

Dr. Lindgren received his undergraduate training in Sweden and came to Canada for graduate studies at Simon Fraser University. Dr Lindgren’s area of interest is forest insect ecology and management.

Dr. Lindgren will be talking about “Pollinators in Your Garden – Not just Bees”. As a professional entomologist, and inventor of the “Lindgren Funnel Trap” a widely used tool in forest entomology throughout North America, Staffan will share his keen interest in and extensive knowledge of plant-insect interactions, and how these
can work to our benefit in our gardens.

Dr. Lindgren received his undergraduate training in Sweden and came to Canada for graduate studies at Simon Fraser University, and a post-doctoral fellowship at UBC. After working as Research Director for a pest management company in Vancouver, he became a professor at the University of Northern British Columbia in Prince George where he studied plant-insect interactions, forest entomology and biodiversity. Staffan is now Professor Emeritus at UNBC and lives with his wife in Nanaimo, BC where he enjoys bird watching, nature photography, kayaking and flyfishing. You can find more information about Dr. Lindgren on ResearchGate or on
Twitter ( @bslindgren ). His blogs on entomology can also be found at the
Entomological Society of Canada blog site.


March 18th, 2019 – Donna Balzar: Growing Under Cover

HGTV host Donna Balzer brings garden inspiration and practical insider information to get you growing food faster under cover and in your greenhouse this season. Eating fresh food from your garden is great for you and on Vancouver Island it is a real possibility! Donna grows watermelons in summer, cauliflower in fall and lemons year-round by growing under cover. Join in the fun and learn to stretch you garden growing season. PS A greenhouse is optional but fantastic for stretching the season.

https://donnabalzer.com/

February 25th, 2019 – Aaron Wurts: Tree Stewardship, maintenance strategies, spiral pruning and topping.

As owner of Grow Tree Care, Aaron Wurts brings his passion for trees and problem solving to the task of business ownership. Starting in Vancouver’s arboriculture industry in 2001, Aaron had the opportunity to work with several municipalities, large development sites, commercial properties and many strata councils. After moving his family to the Comox Valley in 2008, over the years developed Grow Tree Care and feels very fortunate to have such a cohesive team with such diverse skills and shared values. Aaron enjoys working with people as much as with trees and is always more than willing to educate and give his perspective ,when it comes to trees, to anyone whether they are interested or not… so look out!

January 21st, 2019: Laurene Ebbett ‘Gardens of the Lakes District, Wales and Ireland’

Laurene Ebbett will present a slide show on public and private gardens of England, Wales, and Ireland. Laurene participated in a tour in May 2017 led by Steve Whysall, retired Garden Editor of the Vancouver Sun. There will also be slides from the iconic Chelsea Garden Show.

She is presently a member of three garden clubs in the Oceanside area, and has become quite passionate about garden design and floral art. Three large (dying) cedars were removed from the front yard before Christmas, so the Ebbetts redesigned their front yard this Summer so it which will hopefully be easier to maintain.

October 15, 2018: Fall Soil Social Event – Come soil yourself with the CVHS!

Speedibin Composter

For our October 15 meeting, in addition to it being our annual general meeting, we are going to be hosting our Fall Soil Social where you can learn about our most requested topics – composting and soil amendments. We have gathered a variety of experts to present their ideas and products to you at a one-on-one level. Presented in a “mini trade show” format, members will be free to roam table-to-table asking questions and taking notes. There will also be products available for purchase.

Doors will open at 6:30 pm for members and guests. There is no formal speaker for the evening, but each expert will be talking about their product and how to improve your soil. We will start the AGM around 7:30 pm – this portion of the meeting will be relatively quick so we can all get back to talking to the experts.

Confirmed expert participants are:

  • Welcome Harvest Farm, Texada Island (organic fertilizers)
  • SpeediBin Composter, Comox Valley
  • The Organic Gardener’s Pantry, Victoria (Effective Microorganisms and organic fertilizers)
  • Campbell River Compost Education Centre
  • Society for Organic Urban Land Care, Canadian non-profit organization (SOUL – information on organic horticultural practices)

In addition, our very own Master Gardener, Joan Wynden will be running a “compost potluck”. Please bring about 2 cups of finished compost in a container with your name on it. All the compost will be mixed together, which will maximize the biodiversity of the critters that create compost. Containers will be refilled, ready to take home and added back into your compost, thereby enriching the microbiota in your compost.

September 17th, 2018: Conway Lum – ‘Growing Fruit Trees Organically’

 Join us for an evening with BC Home and Garden Show speaker (and all-round dynamo) Conway Lum.

Conway has been a recipient of the “Garden Communicator of the Year Award” by the BC Landscape and Nursery Association (BCLNA). He is a contributor to the “Ask-the-Pro” column in BC Living (Garden Wise) Magazine. 
Conway will also be running two workshops for members on the day of his talk. For more information please visit the Workshops page.

August 20th: Peter B. Janes – “Unusual Edibles”, TreeEater Farm and Nursery

Peter is the co-owner of Tree Eater Nursery on Denman Island, a small mixed permaculturally-oriented homestead farm. 

Peter is a man with many hats. Since 2003 he has been (learning in the process of) developing the farm, property and infrastructure.  His main area of focus now is the management of the edibles nursery, ongoing development of the orchard and animal systems, general maintenance and building.  

June 18th, 2018: Joan Wynden – ‘Practical Permaculture’

Permaculture means many different things to different folks. We’ll look at why such diversity thrives in this system of looking at the world, and glean a few nuggets that we can fit into our own gardening world. 
 
Biographical information:
Joan Wynden, a Master Gardener and Permaculture Designer, can’t seem stop helping new plants come into the world, and has earned the nickname of plant midwife. Her home-based nursery, Garden Lore, features deer resistant and drought tolerant perennials.
 
 

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.