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Wild Green Garden Consulting
Dear <<First Name>>,
Harvest is in full swing and some frost warnings had me pull out old curtains and bed sheets to cover the tomatoes, zucchini and flowers. Here are some reflections on summer, tips and workshop info.
 
Composting and Lasagna Gardening Workshop
This workshop is a “hands in the dirt” opportunity to learn how to set up a compost this fall and get you on the road to successful composting and lasagna gardening. We will sift and look at compost that should be finished, estimate yard waste materials and make a new compost pile. We will also rejuvenate a bed with the lasagna garden (sheet mulch) method. Join us for this chance to learn by doing and ask your composting questions.  
 
Date: Saturday, October 8, 2016
Time: 1-3 pm
Cost: $22
Space is limited and pre-registration is required.
Location: Claudia’s yard, address will be provided after registration; rain or shine
 
How do you ripen green tomatoes?
Most gardeners in colder areas of the country have to pick their tomatoes when they are not fully ripe. When we pick tomatoes here in September, the colours usually range from orange to light green.
Very keen folks have a greenhouse that allows them to get going a bit earlier (though cold nights in spring are still tricky), and the extra heat in summer allows for faster ripening. If you are ready to go out and purchase a greenhouse, just remember that you will need to monitor the temperature in the greenhouse carefully and make sure there is adequate ventilation to avoid overheating.
Tomatoes do ripen in the house after you pick them, although green tomatoes that do not have a shiny skin may not ripen. Room temperature is fine, and you don’t need to have them in direct sunlight. Many people lay them out in single layers in boxes or wrap them individually in newspaper. I simply do not have the space, so I place them in shallow boxes or tubs about 2-3 layers deep, and check them frequently in case a few start to rot. If you have the space, you can also pull up the entire plant and hang it upside down (by the root) in your garage.
Here is an interesting tip I might try next summer, from the reader comments on this website: “A botany professor I spoke with said to jam a shovel into the ground right beside the tomato plant a few weeks before the first frost. The plant responds by ripening up the tomatoes more quickly in an effort to complete the fruit before it dies.”
 
Home Made Ice Cream with Surplus Berries
Do you have a sour cherry tree? Then you likely have lots and lots of cherries and wondering what to do with them. I received a Donvier hand crank ice cream  maker, and LOVE the fact that I can use Evan’s cherries, raspberries, black currants and lots of other fruit to make delicious ice cream. I have also tried Beetroot ice cream and Basil ice cream – both unusual and interesting flavours.
 
Giant in the Garden
If you like Kohlrabi, you might really enjoy Giant Kohlrabi that also goes by the name of Kossak or Superschmeltz. Mine is almost the size of a soccer ball. I harvested it at the end of August (started indoors April 3, transplanted out May 17) and it is NOT woody. We have just finally cut into this giant, and it’s still juicy!
 
Reviving Damaged Flowers
While gone to BC in early July, my neighbor watered my garden and containers (so kind of her!). Some of the flowers were hard to keep moist and did not look great when I returned. I decided to give them a fairly severe haircut. I cut the petunias and pansies back to about 5 cm above the roots and placed them in part shade. It took about 4 weeks, regular watering and a bit of fertilizer, but the plants came back lovely and still look great, way less overgrown than the rest.
 
Craft with Kids
The leaves are coming down and some have such interesting shapes and colours. Here is a quick craft you can do with your children. Ask them to collect leaves they like, then line them up in any order (by size or colour) you like. Cut a 25 cm piece of wire (i.e., floral or copper wire, about 20 gauge) and twist the end to make a “knot”. Poke the leaves onto the wire, then create a hook at the far end and using a string, and hang it in a window. It’s a lovely decoration (or cat toy, in my case).
 
Other Events
Sustainable Food Edmonton – Harvest Reception
Little Green Thumbs is an wonderful indoor gardening program for schools that I have facilitated for about 8 years. The Harvest Reception is a fundraiser to support this and other SFE programs. Check out the event with locally prepared nibbles and music here: http://www.sustainablefoodedmonton.org/events/2016/10/1/second-annual-harvest-reception
 
Dig-In Festival
I will be teaching a workshop on Microgreens and Sprouts at the Dig-In Festival in St. Albert on Saturday, October 15 from 10-11 am. You can find more info on this and other workshops and events on their website.
If you can’t make it to my workshop, I will be teaching another Microgreens workshop some time this winter.

Have a wonderful fall!

Claudia Bolli, Wild Green Garden Consulting, www.wildgreen.ca
If you would like help with your plans, please contact me for a consultation or design, claudia@wildgreen.ca.
Copyright © *2016* *Wild Green*, All rights reserved.
 
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