Gearing Up For Gardening | April 13, 2020

Volume 1 Issue 2 | | Editor: Colleen MacLeod | Published weekly on Mondays | #meadowlarkmonday

Life

Giving Back

It’s heartwarming to see people helping each other out. I don’t think anyone could have anticipated that the most appreciated act of kindness would be dropping off a package of toilet rolls! There are lots of other cool things happening. For example, Grace M. doing a little auction on I Love I—cana (ILI) to raise a bit of money since the 5 km Kids Help Phone walk on May 3rd can’t happen in the traditional way. There are lots of really cool items: a cute little red wagon, Boogle game, Paris scene puzzle, etc. Check it out and make a bid or two. I’m trying to get the recipe binder for my sister, but I’m happy to be out-bid on it!

Paris puzzle, photo Grace M.

I have been thinking of ways to raise money to help people in our community who need emergency support. I am raising money for the Airdrie Food Bank (they have temporarily stepped in to help our residents while our food bank is closed). I will be taking orders for a bespoke blend of easy-to-grow flowers that I have successfully grown myself in town. I will take orders from now until May long weekend. Pay what you can (suggestion $3). Lizzy and I will deliver them to your door. Check my post on ILI and comment if you want one!

Puzzle Exchange

I can re-read a good book, but I never do a puzzle twice. I’m not sure why but trading puzzles seems to be the answer. There’s a Facebook group now for local people to trade puzzles!
Check ILI for the post from the Puzzle Exchange (Diane S.).

Tree Pruning Time

Apple Trees

Many of our trees are still struggling from the massive hail storms of 2014/2016. In our yard, the hardest hit was an apple tree in our front yard. It’s still lopsided and I have to prune it right away. Around town, others are in the same boat. Here’s a video guide to pruning apples. It’s from the UK, but mid-winter there is mid-April here apparently!

Black Knot Fungus

Perhaps related to the hailstorms which weakened trees, black knot fungus is moving through town, killing Mayday and cherry trees. If you have this fungus in a tree, it needs to be removed and disposed of properly (contact the town office for advice). Branches left lying around will re-infect your trees as well as any susceptible trees downwind.

Purple Pansies for Pancreatic Cancer

Louise R. posted a note in our community Facebook page about the Purple Pansies fundraiser for pancreatic cancer. Check the ad and get in touch by phone to take advantage of being able to get some lovely bedding plants right here in town: 4 for $5 with proceeds to this worthy cause. Thanks Louise!

Health

Food Dyed Easter Eggs

Did anybody else make your own dye to colour eggs? We tried it out and it was remarkably easy. Try it out next year:

DIY Easter Egg Dye

1 cup blueberries, blackberries, shredded beet or cabbage
1 cup water
Boil for 10 minutes, strain and add
1 tsp vinegar
Dip dye as usual for a natural alternative to commercial dye.

Various naturally dyed eggs; photo: Tara P.

Arts

Crafting Masks

Crystal B. and the Alberta Craft Collective have been busy making items for causes all over, including the Australian wildfires. Recently, the focus has been on making cloth masks for use by volunteers at area animal rescues. Thanks Crystal!

Beautiful masks provided to Tails to Tell Animal Rescue Shelter; photo Crystal B.

Meadowlark Moment

Our Meadowlark Trail committee of volunteers is still persevering to complete the complex process of approval for surfacing the trail. Given the circumstances, this could be a lengthy process and a lot of work. Visit the page linked above and sign up for the newsletter to get updates as things progress!

Local meadowlark doing it’s thing.

Business

Blue Grass Garden Centre

I love taking weekly trips to Blue Grass Garden Centre to look at the plants and grab a few things each time. This year we all have to adapt. You can contact the garden centre online as well as by email or telephone for curbside delivery. I did this yesterday using the phone option; David Smith, Manager did a great job selecting some dahlia tubers. When my order came out, it looked like a gift box!

Opinion

A Favor for the Love of Dogs

This spring and summer are going to be unusually busy times for our outdoor community spaces. Families are walking together more and soon children will be out playing in the grass. And this brings me to the favor. I would like to make a sincere appeal to all dog owners to carry poo bags and pick up after your dog. Our community’s little ones are quite prone to falling down and the thought of that happening in dog mess is disgusting and dangerous.

Giardia is the most common intestinal parasite in our area of Alberta (a 2011 study found it in 17% of dogs and 7% of cats). We have it in our community and it hit my senior dog really hard a year ago. It can make a dog very sick and requires medication, which is expensive. This illness can spread to humans and we all need to be as healthy as possible right now. Please pick up after your pooch. If you forget to take a bag with you, swing back and get the mess later.

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