Adventures in Powell River: Peppers, Peaches, Pigs, and Chickens on the Edible Garden Tour
Bob and I are rookie gardeners. We’re only in our third year of having a veggie garden so we have lots to learn.
Powell River’s gardening community is very supportive and eager to offer tips and answer questions. One of the best ways to connect with Powell River gardeners is the Powell River Food Security Project’s annual Edible Garden Tour.
It’s self-guided and it’s FREE! Typically, there are five gardens in the morning, and five in the afternoon.
One of my favourite tips from previous tours is to plant squash surrounded by rocks. The idea is that the rocks will keep the squash off the soil (to prevent rot from uneven soil moisture) and retain solar heat which the squash absolutely go crazy for. Bob and I implemented this tip last year and along with some super-duper goat manure, we now have a frightening amount of squash. Happily, they keep.
What I gathered from this year’s Edible Garden Tour was really about optimizing space and resources. One of my favourite gardens from this year’s tour was actually a first-year garden in a mobile home park. With such limited space, a little creativity goes a long way and voilà! Where once there was not much of anything, now there are vegetables and fruit. Even the small plot at the front of the home has been converted into an attractive West Coast-style herb garden.
A front yard put to practical use was seen at a Townsite entry to the tour:
and again in a more mature garden in Westview where the entire front yard was bursting with shrubs and pollinators. It gave us some great inspiration as our front yard could use a makeover.
This is Nina’s garden and the back yard is also park-like, as the Edible Garden Tour guide states, “Among the cornucopia of food growing here are very large blueberry bushes, haskaps, and a multi-graft fruit tree with several varieties of plums and peach.”
And then there’s her veggies! For example, within the greenhouse resides several varieties of tomato, and some are a mystery as Nina likes to get her plants from different sources and it isn’t always certain what she’s getting. Isn’t that part of the fun?!
Among many other crops, the Powell River Brain Injury Society’s urban garden boasted an impressive array of peppers in raised beds. The garden is part of the society’s “Innovative Outreach Through Nutrition, Cooking, and Gardening” project for people with acquired brain injuries. It’s newly established and offers practical therapy for society members with a little whimsey thrown in for fun.
At a garden south of town, we learned more about espalier techniques. We started applying this practice to our peach tree a couple years ago with excellent results.
At the same garden, we learned how copper is kryptonite for slugs.
Larger, working farms in Powell River Regional District were featured later in the tour and we witnessed how everything has a purpose in the larger scheme of things. Pigs, chickens, and especially bees, all have jobs.
Chickens are so cute! And considering Powell River city bylaws allow residents to keep a limited number of chickens and other livestock within city limits, anything’s possible! Whaddya say, Bob?
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