Fruit Tree Pruning Workshop – Feb 16, 2024

We’re gearing up for spring, and pleased to announce our first workshop of the 2024 season, Fruit Tree Pruning with Master Gardener, Connie Kuramoto.

This hands-on workshop will take place at a mature urban orchard off Moilliet St in Parksville. We’re going to learn the when, why and how to prune your fruit trees to maximize health and production of this valuable local food source. Bring a sweater. Brought to you by PQB Fruit Tree Project, watch our website for upcoming workshops.

Click this link for Eventbrite tickets

Food Preserving Workshops – August 5th and 12th.

Join us for our upcoming jam-making and pickling workshops at the Bradley Centre, 975 Shearme Road. Learn this time-honoured skill from local farmer and canning expert, Connie Kuramoto. Tickets are $30. and limited to 10 per class.

Making Jam – August 5th, 1-4 pm
Let’s get jamming! Capture some of that summer fruit in a jar, so that you can enjoy it all year round. During this 3-hour workshop you will learn about making jams and jellies, including low sugar, artificial sweetener, and honey options. freezer jams, chia seed instant jam. We will talk about different types of pectin, and how to make jam without pectin. You will also learn how to safely use a boiling water bath to preserve your jam and seal the jars. Bring your apron if you wear one, this is a hands-on workshop and everyone goes home with a jar of what they have made. Have fun, save money, and learn to make your own jam. Space is limited so sign up early here at our Eventbrite page

Making Pickles – August 12th, 1-4 pm
Let’s get pickled! Pickling is a great, easy way to preserve vegetables for winter. Once you learn the basics of pickling you can create your own variations using different vegetables and different seasoning. Learn about which vinegars to use, and how to safely preserve these pickles so that they keep well into the following year. We will use a boiling water bath method to preserve our pickles, and everyone will go home with a jar of pickles that we have made. This is a fun hands-on workshop, bring your apron if you wear one, and be prepared to slice, chop, and measure. Space is limited so sign up early, here at our Eventbrite page.

Midsummer Update July 20, 2023

I had no idea it’s been so long since our last website update. If you’ve been following our progress on Facebook, then you’re already caught up, but if you’re just following our website, then you’ve missed quite a bit since March.

We broke ground on the Art Farm on March 24th, and have been working hard ever since to get us to today. We expect the greenhouse to be installed sometime in the Fall. Meanwhile, we’ve got a lots of raised beds and plantings, plus our custom picnic tables available for groups and meetings. Come down to the garden during our regular Open House hours, or by chance. There’s often someone there who can show you around or answer questions. Garden Club hours are Wednesday mornings, 8 to 11, Thursday evenings, 6 to 8, and Saturday mornings from 10-1 pm

Before and After
Before and After
Before

Art Farm at the MAC – It’s officially official!

We’ve had the funding in place for months, but today we got final approval from the co-owners of the property, and we can start digging any time. It’s the Art Farm at the Mac!

It’s going to be a ~4000 square foot food forest garden oasis in downtown Parksville. Accessible raised beds, fruit trees, berries, and a year-round greenhouse will be available for workshops and events, or just to laze away, eat your lunch and feel some dirt between your fingers. All produce will be made available to our neighbours and community partners.

We’ll be looking for volunteers all throughout the building and growing process, so if you have some time, send us an email or sign up on the form below.

Art Farm at the MAC – Today we dig!

Supporting the OHEARTS Community Garden

We were proud and happy to help support the OHEARTS community garden this past summer. You might have noticed a small garden spring up at the site of the old VIP Motel. The motel was being used as temporary supportive housing for our local vulnerable population. One of our members, who works at the motel, knows that gardening can be a great, therapeutic activity, and can bring people together across any barrier.

Thanks to their initiative, and the support of the OHEARTS board, we helped build a community garden and suppored the residents with supplies, seedlings and support throughout the spring and summer months.

The garden had a tremendous impact on the guests and their families, and also on the public perception of the facility. It was referenced many times in council chambers and social media as a shining example of a positive impact on a community. Wherever Ocean Place finds itself after March 31, a garden should always be a priority.

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Spring 2022, Here We Go!

Celebrating new growth for the 2022 season.

We’ve been busy over the winter planning for our 2022 season, fighting food insecurity in Oceanside and Parksville / Qualicum.

Our newest project has come in partnership with Second Harvest. Since February, we’ve been preparing salads and sandwiches for distribution to the local Ohearts supportive shelter, as well as a few seniors complexes up Moilliet St., and some individual families around town. We’re supporting local farmers and grocery stores, and making 80+ sandwiches and over 40 salads every week for some of our food insecure neighbours. It’s been a great project for us. If you know of someone who could benefit from this program, Let us know and we’ll see if we can accommodate them.

We’re also planting seedlings every week for distribution to our local schools, agencies and neighbours, and we’ll be starting to look to our gleaning program for the summer.

Volunteer Opportunity – Ballenas / PASS-Woodwinds School Garden

Volunteer Opportunity – School Garden summer maintenance – the Ballenas / PASS Woodwinds School Garden.

The students have put a lot of time and effort into developing and planting their school garden. Now it needs some simple maintenance through the summer months. We’ll be responsible for weeding, watering, harvesting and caring for the school garden from the end of June till the first week of September. I expect it will only take an hour or two, a couple times a week. Many hands will make light work.

It’s quite a nice, full garden, with plenty of plantings of raspberries, greens, squash, potatoes, garlic, tomatoes, beans, you name it. The staff and kids have done a great job in building it, and we’re glad to be able to help care for it and get it ready for the fall season.