Tag Archives: workshop

Learn How to Build a Hotbed at our Farm this Weekend!


Image credit.

This Saturday, March 25th, is the newest workshop in the Growing Food course series that Gail Szostek is teaching in Maple Ridge. The Growing Food course is a 12 month workshop series that teaches hands-on gardening skills every step of the way through all four seasons.

This month’s workshop will focus on growing and transplanting seedlings with the hands-on part of the session taking place on our farm! FUN!

The indoor part of the workshop will be held at the CEED Centre (11739, 223rd Street in Maple Ridge), beginning at 12pm. After that, the group will head over to our property to learn how to build a hotbed – a great garden structure that helps seedlings get established even when spring weather isn’t. The class will officially wrap up at 4pm (but we’re happy to give farm tours to anyone who wants to linger for a little while).

The workshop costs $40. RSVP’s aren’t neccessary, but are helpful. If you’d like to RSVP, please email Gail at greenspaceconsulting@live.com.

We hope to see you at the workshop and at our farm! For more info on the Growing Food course, see the workshop event link on the GETI website. 

UPDATE: Here’s some more info from Gail… 

Hi all!

The next Growing Food Session is this Saturday, March 24.  This time we will be talking about starting your garden plants early.  We will be starting at 12:00 noon at the CEED Centre, in the outside shelter area; we will be looking at different types of containers and soils to grow seeds in; we will be learning how to avoid “damping off” and learning how to “prick out”; we will be learning about what to watch for in seedling growth; and you will each get to take a seedling home with you.   We will learn which seeds you can plant out in your garden now, and which ones need to wait.  About 2:00 we will be travelling over to the Moerman farm to build an old fashioned “hotbed” which is the perfect place to start plants early without added electricity but still ensuring unseasonal warmth for the little seedlings.  We will be digging, shovelling, hammering and constructing, so wear your work clothes and bring your gloves and shovels.  The weather is supposed to cooperate and give us a nice sunny spring day, so it should be AWESOME!!

The Richmond Sharing Farm & Bokashi


The Richmond Sharing Farm (also known as the Richmond Fruit Tree Sharing Project) is a very cool food sharing project that occupies over three acres in the Terra Nova Rural Park in Richmond, B.C. The main purpose of the farm is to grow food to share with loca food banks and other outlets that help get the food to people who need it. In addition to this, the farm hosts community garden plots, university level research areas and permaculture educational experiments.

On the second Sunday of each month, the farm hosts a free permaculture meetup. My friend Chris and I have attended the last two and plan to attend more. The photos above are from the October meetup. It was a gorgeous, fall day and Chris and I had a chance to participate in a bokashi-making workshop as well as tag along on a guided permaculture tour of the property. 

Bokashi is a form of composting that is ideal for small, indoor spaces because it produces compost without creating bad o
dours. At the workshop, we were taught how to make our own bokashi mixture that is added to composted food to help break it down. The concept was totally new to me and since I didn’t take notes or video footage, I’m having to rely on wikipedia now for reminders about the details, but in short, bokashi is created by combining a mother bacteria with a starter mix (we used bran), then left to sit in a warm space for at least 3-4 weeks to allow the bacteria to start spreading through the mix. When it ready to use, you add a layer of mix over your compost scraps as you accumulate them. You keep it all in an airtight container so that the bacteria can do what it does best – ferment and break the food down. You can stack one container inside another and add a spout to the bottom one to catch and use the compost tea (liquid) that is created as the food breaks down. Compost tea is great for spraying on gardens and into soil. If you’re interested in learning more, this website looks really helpful and has some good visuals. We each got to take a bag of the bokashi mix home (fun!). Mine is currently sitting on a shelf above my fridge (the warmest spot in the trailer), awaiting it’s time to be used for my compostable food scraps.

As you’ll see from the photos above, our tour of the property included the community garden plots, examples of owl houses, swales in a wet areas, hugelkulture beds in process, the greenhouse, bee houses and a beautiful outdoor cob oven (which just got a new roof). 

The farm property is GORGEOUS and truly an inspiring place to spend an afternoon. It’s open to the public for visits so if you live in the area, I highly recommend it. And if you’re interested in attending some of the permaculture meetups, sign up to the Vancouver Permaculture Meetup Group for ongoing info.