gardening

Louise Rodgers and Georgina Valk cup a handful of freshly sifted, nutrient-rich compost. The duo met about 10 years ago while their kids were in kindergarten. They saw a need for composting in Tofino so they founded Tofino Urban Farm Co. (Nora O’Malley photo)

Tofino moms turn mounds of organic waste into “Black Gold”

Curbside residential and commercial compost pickup to begin in 2022 for West Coasters

 

Potatoes have two genetic centre of origins, one from the lowlands in Chile and the other from the highlands in Bolivia. The highlands potatoes flower and produce fruit profusely, which is where the seeds come from. They contribute to exciting and ecologically imporant genetic diversity of potatoes. (Submitted/Fiona Hamersley Chambers)

Vancouver Island farmer shares secret for inventing a new potato

Using seeds anyone can name their own variety

 

A native-to-B.C. wild queen bee (bombus melanopygus for those in the know) feeds on a periwinkle flower. (Submitted/Sarah Johnson, Native Bee Society of BC)

B.C.’s wild bees need messy gardens to survive

The year-long nesting period makes habitat a primary concern for wild bees

 

Kale is a classic in West Coast gardens.

COLUMN: Kale reigns supreme in West Coast gardens

In Tofino and Ucluelet, kale is a classic.

  • Apr 11, 2021
Kale is a classic in West Coast gardens.
B.C. beekeepers will face extra supply challenges this year thanks to COVID-19 supply chain disruptions. (Black Press Media file photo)

B.C. bee supply threatened this year by wasps, COVID

No, bees aren’t getting COVID, it’s the supply chain that’s been disrupted

B.C. beekeepers will face extra supply challenges this year thanks to COVID-19 supply chain disruptions. (Black Press Media file photo)
Jeanne Keith-Ferris smiles over a handful of ‘gardening gold.’ (Submitted photo)

COLUMN: Worm poop is gardening gold

Worm composting is the perfect solution in Tofino-Ucluelet.

  • Apr 4, 2021
Jeanne Keith-Ferris smiles over a handful of ‘gardening gold.’ (Submitted photo)
Gordon Cyr and his family run Bee Canadian have been raising mason bees for 20 years and provide homeowners across the Island with pollinators every spring. (Black Press Media file photo)

Island company rents out 135,000 mason bees despite the impacts of COVID-19

Bee Canadian delivers pollinators to renters in pandemic-friendly fashion

Gordon Cyr and his family run Bee Canadian have been raising mason bees for 20 years and provide homeowners across the Island with pollinators every spring. (Black Press Media file photo)
Gardeners are preparing for the second spring during COVID-19. Business is already picking up at some Greater Victoria nurseries, including Elk Lake Garden Centre. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)

Vancouver Island garden centres preparing for busy season

Businesses stocking up after last year’s COVID-19 pandemic gardening explosion

  • Mar 24, 2021
Gardeners are preparing for the second spring during COVID-19. Business is already picking up at some Greater Victoria nurseries, including Elk Lake Garden Centre. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Dorothee Kieser, president of the Vancouver Island Master Gardeners Association and a volunteer at Milner Gardens and Woodland in Qualicum Beach (Submitted photo)

Podcast: Getting your green thumb ready for Vancouver Island’s gardening season

Timely tips from Dorothee Kieser of the Vancouver Island Master Gardeners Association

Dorothee Kieser, president of the Vancouver Island Master Gardeners Association and a volunteer at Milner Gardens and Woodland in Qualicum Beach (Submitted photo)
A new West Coast Seeds pollinator mix of cosmos pays tribute to Dr. Bonnie Henry. (Submitted photo/ We Are The Northern)

New blend by West Coast Seeds to bloom in Dr. Bonnie Henry’s name

Cosmo blend designed to attract bees, and marketed with tagline ‘Bee Calm, Bee Kind, Bee Safe’

A new West Coast Seeds pollinator mix of cosmos pays tribute to Dr. Bonnie Henry. (Submitted photo/ We Are The Northern)
Ucluelet’s School Garden remained locked on August 3, despite pleas from community members who say the facility is in desperate need of care. (Andrew Bailey photo)

Frustration grows in Ucluelet as locked gate puts school garden in peril

“You walk by there and it’s just dead. Everything’s dry and yelling for water,” Liisa Nielsen said.

Ucluelet’s School Garden remained locked on August 3, despite pleas from community members who say the facility is in desperate need of care. (Andrew Bailey photo)
Humble potatoes are one of the most valued food sources in war-time. (Pixabay photo)

COLUMN: Yes, in my backyard! Food security at home

Spuds are nutritional power packs and an easy grower in our coastal climate

  • Apr 10, 2020
Humble potatoes are one of the most valued food sources in war-time. (Pixabay photo)
Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes proudly shows off his rented mason bee colony. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

Saanich mayor receives his foster bees through pollinator rental program

‘I feel like I’m an adoptive father,’ Fred Haynes says of his rented mason bee colony

Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes proudly shows off his rented mason bee colony. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Ucluelet Local Food Society president Jeanne Keith Ferris, right, helps beginner gardener Britny Scheuermann ready her garden plot for planting last week. (Nora O’Malley photo)

COLUMN: Gardening is balm for your soul

Some expert tips to help build your green-thumb this year

  • Apr 2, 2020
Ucluelet Local Food Society president Jeanne Keith Ferris, right, helps beginner gardener Britny Scheuermann ready her garden plot for planting last week. (Nora O’Malley photo)
Plants, pots and other pretty things at Old Farm Garden Centre

Plants, pots and other pretty things at Old Farm Garden Centre

Buying business included a steep learning curve for owner Robin Knox

  • Jun 24, 2019
Plants, pots and other pretty things at Old Farm Garden Centre