Starting in 2003, Green Venture partnered with the Hamilton Naturalists' Club, and the Hamilton Community Foundation to build a Community Garden. The garden is over 4,500 square feet and is maintained without the use of pesticides or chemical fertilizers by members of the community.The garden formed the template for a regional network of community gardens. in 2011, the Hamilton Community Garden Network was established.
In 2008, irrigation pipes were added linked directly to our rainbarrels.With a series of quick connects, and the installation of a solar-powered pump, we now pull water from our rainbarrels all around the EcoHouse down to the garden and water the Community Garden using non-chlorinated rainwater.
Community Gardening Volunteers
Green Venture is always looking for community members to take part in the planting, maintenance, and harvesting of the community garden. There are no fees for a plot of garden space like other similar community garden programs. This is a communal garden so everyone shares all of the space.
Volunteers will be able to learn about organic gardening techniques and take home fresh vegetables, fruits, fresh flowers and herbs.
Please email email@example.com or call 905-540-8787 ext. 158 for more information or to sign up for this season!
Tips and Trials:
A number of methods were used since 2005 to prevent problems.
- Companion planting was used in the design and plant placement.
- Marigolds were planted throughout the garden to deter pests
- Squirrels are always an issue. We start most of the plants in our solarium so, once planted, they they were bigger and less susceptible to damage. We also moved the pea plot from an area within the garden to individual plants next to our garden fence. This seemed to lessen the damage caused by the squirrels when they did their digging. The squirrels seem to like to dig in the black compost dirt or in the wood chip mulch, rather than the compact clayey soil - probably due to easier digging.
- Flea Beetles are also a recurring nuisance. First we tried a garlic spray mixture and sprayed this directly onto the leaves. This was very limited in success and we were losing broccoli and cauliflower fast. Then we used homemade sticky traps on small wooden stakes to trap the flea beetles. The sticky traps were made from cut up, flexible, yellow plastic, three-ringed binders. This material was used because it wouldn't become ruined with repeated watering (like paper) and could be washed in warm water and used again. Yellow was used because it attracts bugs. The yellow squares were stapled to small stakes. We then used popsicle sticks to spread "Tanglefoot" onto the yellow plastic squares. This is an all natural product and is very sticky. Flea beetles were jumping on to theses traps as we began hammering them into the ground - they were very effective and we harvested some excellent broccoli and cauliflower (and trapped thousands of flea beetles!).
- Cucumber Beatles have been seen occasionally. These little pests hang out on the leaves and in the flowers. Sometimes they were difficult to squish because they can move quickly and fly away. However, their favorite spot to hang out was inside the flowers of the squash, cucumber, and zucchini. It is difficult to squish the ones inside the flowers without damaging the flowers, so we purchased a few sets of tweezers to help get deep into the flowers and safely squish the little guys. Manual removal worked very well and as a result the cucumber beetle didn't seem to affect our harvest at all.
Special Thanks to
and Hamilton Naturalists' Club for their support for the EcoHouse Community Garden.