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Time to Plant: A Saturday, May 13, Work Bee


The leaves of the red osier dogwood in Noojimo’iwewin Gitigaan are the size of a squirrel’s ear, and likely to be even larger by the weekend. Based on this Haudenosaunee wisdom, our food garden can be planted. If we adhere to western science, and the directive to plant when night time temperatures are consistently above 10C, we can also say it’s time.


Self-seeded red orach, wild strawberries, and perennial Medicines and herbs are already well started in our Right Relations Garden. The Three Sisters mound and adjacent beds have been prepared with layers of compost, manure, and black earth, and sit ready. We have seeds from plants originating in the Americas saved from past harvest, as well as seedlings to hand that have been nurtured under lights.


The forecast for this Saturday, May 13, is 19C, sun and clouds with a 30% chance of a shower. Please join members of the Noojimo’iwewin Gitigaan Crew anytime between noon and 3 to help. We’ll hope to picnic outside when we want a break, so bring your favourite lunch or snack items.


If you are wondering about our ongoing project to save the Yew tree from the concrete planter in front of 803 St. Clair, after 60 volunteer hours to prepare a planting site and bare the roots of the tree, we’ve turned to the BIA for help. We don’t think we have the equipment to remove the tree safely from the planter and transport it to our space. If necessary, we will hire an arborist to help us. Some help from the Horticultural Society of Parkdale and Toronto might also be possible: Vanessa Barnes gave the President of the Society, Ron Charlemagne, a tour of the garden on Tuesday, and he suggested we apply for a small grant again this year.


Hardscaping and other tasks for willing hands are also available, especially as we prepare for Doors Open at the end of the month. Thank you to Betsy Anderson for photos from the May 6th Work Bee, which included seeing whole families enjoy picnics in the garden as part of their experience of Hillcrest Community Players’ superb production of The Sound of Music in the Sanctuary.


For more information on plants native to the Americas, see:

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