Guerilla Garlic Gardeners
Three of us have come together around a crazy idea: creating raised bed gardens planted to garlic, where they are needed most, in and around St. John's, Newfoundland. Backyard gardener and garden mentor Sandy Cossar, garlic farmer Brian Yager and Perfectly Perennial's Dan Rubin are the Guerilla Garlic Gardeners. We will be working with St. John's residents to create 20 new garlic gardens in the coming year. A fundraiser sponsored by SeedMoney has already raised almost $2000! If you would like to support this project, click here: I Want to Donate to Support Guerilla Garlic Gardeners.
Food Producers Forum
To support and expand community based food production, we now have a provincial non-profit dedicated to information sharing and incubation of new ideas, the Food Producers Forum, Inc. FPF will be launching an online information site to inform home gardeners, local market gardeners and community gardeners, to help them grow more food at the community level. By doing this we hope to help rebuild food security across our province and our region. If you are interested in being part of this initiative, go to: www.foodproducersforum.com.
Earth Sheltered Greenhouse
Over the past five years we have been developing a wonderful project, an earth sheltered greenhouse, banked in the earth for better insulation in cold weather. Working with two rounds of engineering students at Memorial University, we completed a design for a 240 square foot structure for year round food production. In our second phase, funded by Memorial's Public Partnerships, we convened a group of 21 local food producers and activists to fine tune the design and figure out how to make it fit into local communities. Now we have begun building the demonstration version at the O'Brien Farm in St. John's. To become a volunteer or supporter, please email us through our contact page.
Creating the Year Round Garden
We had a wonderful time in our 2019 Spring workshops. Over the past 8 years, more than 800 people have attended our talks and workshop sessions. We offered the workshops this year in Pouch Cove, Salmonier and also at the Farmer's Market in St. John's. Pouch Cove sessions included a home cooked lunch and garden tours, along with seed starting and raised bed construction. Because of the pandemic, future workshops are on hold, for now.
Uncle Dirt radio show and podcast
During 2018 we hosted a weekly show on CHMR (Memorial University campus radio) about gardens, gardening and food security. The title of that series was Uncle Dirt. Each show included an interview with a local gardener, food producer or researcher along with discussion of issues that range from food security to how to make the most of your garden to grow local food, flowers and herbs. For podcasts of our first ten shows, go to: https://fittoeatnl.ca/uncle-dirt-with-dan-rubin
Interview with Dale Jarvis
We spoke with the Intangible Cultural Heritage Development Officer for our province, Dale Jarvis, who recorded a podcast about the development of our site and recent discoveries with northern-adapted plants and season extension.
To hear that interview, click here:
Northern Orchard Planted
Thanks to funding received from Tree Canada's Edible Tree Program in 2017 we added more than 25 fruit and nut trees and bushes to the garden beds, fields and greenhouses at our garden site.
Our plantings now include 11 apple trees, 4 plums, peach trees, a sour cherry tree, pear tree, elderberries, bush cherries, kiwi vines, grape vines, thornless blackberries, red currants, black currants, white currants and gooseberries.
With these fruit and nut trees planted we have become a local site for trying out fruit and nut varieties adapted to northern climates, to advise local growers on the best varieties for our area, to help rebuild food security in our coastal communities.
We wish to acknowledge and thank our sponsors (TREE CANADA, TELUS, LOBLAW’S and SILK) for their vision and support. We also thank Murray’s Gardens for assisting and supporting us in this project.
Three Years of support from Seeds of Diversity
In 2014, 2015 and 2016 Perfectly Perennial Herbs and Seeds was funded by the Bauta Family Seed Initiative to expand and develop our seed production site.
With our partners in Deborah's Garden (a former local neighbourhood garden cooperative) and help from dozens of visiting wwoofers and volunteers, we found and propagated new seed varieties for distribution to local growers and gardeners.
We appreciate the support of ACORN, Food First, Common Ground Community Development, Hickey's Timber Mart, Chris Squires, Murray's Gardens, The ReStore (Habitat for Humanity), Gaze Seeds, and our funders USC Canada, Seeds of Diversity and Tree Canada. Our seed site is made possible by their support.
We were looking forward to hosting more Creating the Year Round Garden annual workshops but the Covid pandemic means that these must be postponed for now.
If you emailed to express interest, we will be sending you a general email about our garden design services and asking you to join Food Producers Forum, a new information packed website about local food production.