Workshops

We have a lively year ahead of member workshops. Expect on average six a year – four in spring and two in fall, with maybe an additional Christmas-themed one. The first workshop of 2024, Pruning Fruit Trees with Moe Wendt, filled immediately. Save these dates and stay tuned to the Grapevine and the website for further updates on registration.

Second Fruit Tree Winter Pruning Workshop (Mar 9)

Register early as possible because this workshop may fill up again quickly. A few spots are still available.

Moe Wendt has been training and tending fruit trees for the last 20 years. He will share his experience pertaining to young trees up to the age of 20 years. (This workshop will not cover the restoration of old trees.) On Feb. 3rd of this year, Moe taught this same workshop, which filled quickly and created a waiting list. This second workshop will be open for those on the waiting list and up to 15 participants in total.

Moe says, Pruning is more of an art than a science. Of course, there are basic rules of pruning, just as painters must know their tools, colors, perspective, line, etc. In this workshop, you will learn the basics of pruning for a healthy tree. Keeping those basics in mind, we will then work on how to see the tree to find the shape and size that you want to live with. We will work with the open-centre vase style of pruning.”

Additional topics Moe will cover include tools, sharpening and maintenance of tools, and how to navigate diseased trees in relation to pruning. If you have them, please bring the following: hand pruners, sterilization solution, sharpening stone.

Warm drink & snack provided at the end. We will be working in the orchard of Moe’s son, Ben Peterson, on Rainbow Road. In the event of rain we will try again the follow-ing Saturday, the 16th.

When:Saturday, March 9, 10:00 am to noon
Where:Orchard of Moe’s son, Ben Peterson, on Rainbow Rd.
Cost:$30 (Garden Club members only)

Advance registration is required. Limited to 15 participants. Registration fee is non-refundable.

Register: Please follow our two-step registration process:

  1. Register your name first with Leigh Milne workshops@ssigardenclub.ca. Include the workshop topic in the email subject line.
  2. Once Leigh confirms there is space for you, follow up with your $30 e-transfer to treasurer@ssigardenclub.ca and you will be given the address. Include the workshop topic and your name in the comment section of the e-transfer.

Register early to guarantee your spot.

Worm Composting Workshop (Apr 6)

Nick Jones and Polly Orr will lead a three-hour educational workshop packed with information and hands on learning about how to set up home worm composting systems. The first part of the workshop will introduce people to vermicomposting theory, including information about worms and different worm composting systems. Then Nick and Polly will demonstrate how to set up a small bin worm system, with participants able to help with setting up the new bin, including harvesting worms from finished castings, identifying worm eggs and how to troubleshoot common problems. In the last part of the workshop, they will introduce participants to making compost tea with their castings including what’s needed to make a simple compost tea bubbler and how to apply compost tea successfully. This workshop will be outdoors, please dress for the weather.

When:Saturday, April 6th, 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Where:The Root Barn, 189 Beddis Rd
Cost:$30 (Garden Club members only)

Advance registration is required. Limited to 20 participants. Registration fee is non-refundable.

Register: Please follow our two-step registration process:

  1. Register your name first with Leigh Milne workshops@ssigardenclub.ca. Include the workshop topic in the email subject line.
  2. Once Leigh confirms there is space for you, follow up with your $30 e-transfer to treasurer@ssigardenclub.ca. Include the workshop topic and your name in the comment section of the e-transfer

Register early to guarantee your spot.

Soils 101 – My Relationship with My Garden Soil (May 4)

10 AM to Noon – Ted Baker

Workshop and registration details to come in early April.

How to Make Home Flower Arrangements from Your Garden (Jun 8)

10 AM to Noon – Ted Baker

Workshop and registration details to come in early May.

More to be announced soon!

Fruit Tree Winter Pruning Workshop (Feb 3)

SOLD OUT! We are sorry that this workshop has reached the maximum number of attendees. Moe is offering to hold another workshop in March (TBC). Please email workshops@ssigardenclub.ca to be added to the waitlist.

This workshop is being taught by Moe Wendt who has been training and tending fruit trees for the last 20 years. He will share his experience pertaining to young trees up to the age of 20 years. This workshop will not be covering restoration of old trees.

Moe says, “Pruning is more of an art than a science. Of course, there are basic rules of pruning, just as painters must know their tools, colors, perspective, line, etc. In this workshop, you will learn the basics of pruning for a healthy tree. Keeping those basics in mind, we will then work on how to see the tree to find the shape and size that you want to live with. We will work with the open-centre vase style of pruning.”

Additional topics Moe will be covering include tools, sharpening and maintenance of tools, and how to navigate diseased trees in relation to pruning.

Things to bring if you have them: hand pruners, sterilization solution, sharpening stone.

When:Saturday, February 3rd, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm (Note 1)
Where:Orchard of Willow Lampard (Mid-Island)
Cost:$30 (Garden Club members only)

Advance registration is required. Limited to 13 participants. Registration fee is non-refundable.

Register: Please follow our two-step registration process:

  1. Register your name first with Leigh Milne workshops@ssigardenclub.ca.
  2. Once Leigh confirms there is space for you, follow up with your $30 e-transfer to treasurer@ssigardenclub.ca.

Register early to guarantee your spot.

Note 1: In the event of rain on Feb 3rd, we will try on Feb 4th, or Feb 10th and if that doesn’t work, then Mar 9th. 

Making beautiful Christmas wreaths – Hands-on Workshop

Long-time gardener and Garden Club executive member Heather Martin has been making beautiful, lush wreaths for many years for her family and friends, and is offering to share just how she assembles them.

Starting with making the wreath frame from grape canes, right through to ornamenting with such treasures as bows or gold painted pine cones, everyone will take home a gorgeous treasure to adorn their door.

Heather will provide the basic materials, and will send each registrant a detailed list of what to contribute before the workshop.

When:Saturday, December 9th, 2:00 – 5:00 pm
Where:The Barn, Stowel Lake Farm, Reynolds Road
Cost:GC Members $45.00. Advance registration is required. Limited to 15 participants. Registration will open to non-members after the November 22nd AGM. Registration fee is non-refundable.

Register: Please follow our two-step registration process:

  1. Register your name first with Leigh Milne workshops@ssigardenclub.ca.
  2. Once Leigh confirms there is space for you, follow up with your $45 e-transfer to treasurer@ssigardenclub.ca.

Register early to guarantee your spot.

Emony Nicholls’ Ecological Garden Consulting and Design

Pollinator Gardens~Mason and Leafcutter Bee House Management
When: Sunday, October 29th, 2 PM to 4 PM
Where: Registrants will be informed
Cost: Garden Club Members $20. Advance registration required.
Limited to 15 participants. Open to non-members after October 25th.
Register: contact Leigh Milne workshops@ssigardenclub.ca
Register early to guarantee your spot

Bring your bee houses that have been out for the growing season and we will learn how to harvest the cocoons of our native mason bees. We will identify any pests and parasites that we encounter, and learn how to clean the cocoons properly leaving the houses ready for the spring. We will also learn how to store the cocoons safely over the winter, any trouble shooting, and how to release the bees again in spring. If you don’t have a bee house and wish to learn, please join in. Bring your questions, bee house if you have one, a note pad and pen, and a personal beverage.

Preserving Your Garden Harvest: Fresh Storage, Easy Freezing, Dehydrating & Canning

Presented by Linda Gilkeson

When you work so hard to start your seeds, collect up the many seedlings that you’ve bought or traded with friends, and plant all of those veggies and fruits it becomes invaluable to be able to save all of that wonderful food. Join the SSI Garden Club and Linda Gilkeson for an online Zoom workshop to learn about the best methods to make your food go as far as it can. 

This workshop will cover four basic ways to keep surplus produce, starting with how to store fresh onions, potatoes, squash and apples without processing. Preserving methods to be covered will include how to freeze fruit and vegetable and how to
dehydrate fruit, vegetables and herbs. The final section will demonstrate equipment and methods for simple cold and hot pack canning. Bring your questions!

Linda is a retired Entomologist, author, wonderful gardening instructor and a real Salt Spring Island Gem! Join Linda and gain insights into traditional and new ideas for your home grown and purchased fresh produce. When: Saturday June 26th, 3 PM – 5 PM Where: Zoom online. How much: Free! Why: It is a great idea!   REGISTER using the following form:

    Thank you for your interest in "Preserving Your Garden Harvest". Please complete the following form for registration purposes.

      If you do not get a response within the 3 days, please try again,                                           or Send a request to ssigardenclub@gmail.com with the Subject line “Preserving Your Garden Harvest”      

    All About Mushrooms!

    How to Grow Your Own

    with

    Danielle Stevenson

    Thursday April 29th 7-9 PM

    Sold Out!

    In this workshop, we will begin by introducing fungal ecology – the different kinds of fungi and mushrooms and how they live and thrive- and ground the presentation in ancient practices for growing and eating mushrooms for food and medicine. We will highlight edible and medicinal mushrooms which can be grown in spaces you can’t otherwise grow in, or can be companion planted in your gardens and orchards to boost plant growth and build healthy soil ecosystems. We’ll talk through how to make a mushroom bed, mushroom pathways, logs, and companion plant within your veggie beds, and discuss the important role of mycorrhizal fungi in the garden, farm and orchard.

    Growing Healthy Seedlings

    Saturday, February 27th, 2021

    10 AM to 11:30 AM.  VIA ZOOM

    By Linda Gilkeson

    SOLD OUT

    A workshop on how to produce your own good quality vegetable starts from seed: We will cover requirements for growing seedlings (light, temperatures, moisture, soil mixes), when to start different kinds of vegetables and how to harden them off for their move to the garden.

    Post meeting information

    A special thanks to Linda, who granted us permission to record the presentation for viewing by club members.  It can be viewed at the following page: Growing Healthy Seedlings

    PRUNING WORKSHOP

    Sold Out!

    February 15, 11am – 2pm

    By Gordon MacKay, Alba Plants

    This is an outdoor workshop and so is weather dependent. IF February 15 has heavy rain, snow or strong wind we will reconvene on a later date to be determined.

    In this workshop we will be outside at two locations on Sunset Drive. We will cover and demonstrate the concepts of both winter and summer pruning and which particular fruit trees are pruned at their respective times of year.

    We will try and add more meaning to such terms as: slender spindle, espalier, UFO pruning, super spindle and cordon. We will also have time to talk about: young tree selection, planting, staking and subsequent after-care…after all we all hope that the trees we plant will be around long after we are gone!

    Please note: this workshop will focus primarily on fruit trees. 

    Hot drinks will be provided

    Workshop fee: 

    • $30 for Garden Club members if register by February 8th
    • $40 for later registration and for members of the public

    (Remember Club members may register one non-member friend at the special members’ price).  Register using the links above, or phone Charley Miller 250-931-7335

    Maximum of 15 participants

    Gordon MacKay studied horticulture at Threave School of Gardening in southwest Scotland and Pershore College of Horticulture in England. He is the owner of Alba Plants in Cowichan Bay.  He specializes in teaching fruit tree pruning, and he teaches horticulture and apiculture at the Pacific College of Horticulture. He is also involved with the horticulture therapy programs at Providence Farm in Duncan.


    Great Garden Photography Workshop

    with Simon Henson

    Sunday, May 26th from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM (meet at Lion’s Hall)

    This workshop will teach you how to maximize your garden photography by developing skills that make your photos as beautiful, colourful, sharp and dynamic as possible. Learn tips and tricks from experienced semi-professional Simon Henson who brings decades of garden and photography experience. No special camera needed, simply bring your own, borrow a friend’s or bring your phone if that is your tool of choice.

    Meet in the morning at the Lion’s Hall for learning & discussion and then after a break for lunch you can join Simon at a beautiful local garden to get practical advice and try out your new knowledge.

    Bring a camera (and other related equipment if you like), notepad & pen, and make plans for your lunch break. Dress appropriately for weather and please carpool if you can.

    Simon Henson graduated from Leicester College of Art in England, majoring in Ceramic Sculpture and Design. He pursued a career as a professional artist and arts educator, first in England, then in Canada after emigrating in 1970. Living on the West Coast has provided both subject matter and inspiration for much of Simon’s photography. His work reflects his involvement and love of nature, capturing the essence and personality of coastal wildlife and landscapes.

    Simon’s Photography:

    • Set Design, Production photography Salt Spring theatre and dance groups 1985-2007
    • Resident photographer with the Salt Spring Island Conservancy 2009-2018
    • Co-Founded the SS Photography Club 2009
    • Participated in Photography Club Annual shows, Artspring Lobby shows 2010-2018
    • Photosynthesis 2015
    • Member of ‘The Group of Six’ Photographers

    Simon’s Gardening:

    • Trained on English Estate gardens Leicestershire UK
    • Salt Spring island 1980-2008: Landscape Gardener, Workshop/Class Instructor
    • Gardener Hastings House: 1988-91
    • He has lived on Salt Spring Island for over thirty-five years

    Biochar Workshop

    with Brian Smallshaw

    Sunday, May 19th from 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM (Stark’s Road farm location)

    Dear Garden Club members, come out to a blazing hot workshop with Brian Smallshaw. Let’s get everyone fired up and make a batch of biochar together! We’ll be learning the ins and outs of biochar in the garden and making a delicious supper at the same time. This is a full participation workshop so we’ll need gloves and tools to make it happen. Let’s get stoked! Maximum 15 participants. Cost of $30.00


    Tender Succulent Centrepiece Workshop

    with Andrian Scanlan

    Join succulent enthusiast, and garden club member Andria as she leads us through the creation of “Spring Succulent Centrepieces” This workshop will focus on creating a beautiful Easter centrepiece with the tender succulents that provide so many rich colours in reds, gold, silver, blues and greens.

    Andria will supply a selection of containers, as well as tender and hardy succulents. Participants will be encouraged to create a beautiful planter that will thrive for months. You are welcome to bring your own container and the fee is based on 3 sizes listed below.


    Succulent Wreath Making Workshop

    with Andrian Scanlan

    The Succulents are all hardy in our zone so can be hung outside.
    The SS Garden Club will be subsidizing workshop costs in order to keep the fees low for members which makes this one super great value. These wreaths sell for much more
    than the fees reflect.

    This is a special workshop that is going to be challenging,
    highly rewarding, and super fun!


    TALK/TOUR OF SALTSPRING SEEDS

    Hosted by Dan Jason

    Dan will talk to you about SS seeds, how it all started, and tour us around his operation.  You will have an opportunity to ask questions, look around and check out his farm shop.


    THE “HOW TO” OF HERBS Cancelled!
    with Rupert Adams at Salt Spring Seeds Farm.

    Sorry, but the workshop had to be cancelled.

    We’ll walk through the herb and flower gardens at the Salt Spring Seeds Farm, identifying various medicinal herbs, discussing their growth cycles and healing properties. We’ll discuss the timing of harvesting various herbs and their seeds, and harvest ones that are ready.


    DIY MUSHROOMS

    with Danielle Stevenson at Bullock lake Farm
    This course will introduce the art and science of mushroom cultivation by offering low-tech, home-scale methods for growing mushrooms for food, medicine and earth renewal. We will focus on less-sterile approaches to creating your own mushroom cultures (“spawn”), fruiting mushrooms for food and medicine, and working with fungi to build soil, boost your garden, and address soil and water contamination.

    Pruning Workshop – SOLD OUT!

    Presented by Jeff De Jong & David Whiting

    February is the perfect time to start the process of pruning fruit trees.  Jeff de Jong and David Whiting will be hosting a three-hour class to take away the mystery of how to prune. This class will cover various pruning cuts, how to prune dwarf, semi-dwarf, standard and neglected apple trees, along with other general pruning topics.

    Bring your pruning questions!


    Sustainable Gardening as we Mature

    Presented by Jillian Reid

    Adapt your garden, change your habits, and improve your techniques.  Learn how to watch out for your joints and soft tissues. Learn ways to save your back and be kind to your joints as you work in the garden. Jillian gives all kind of helpful tips and tricks to make our gardens more efficient and keep our bodies pain free!


    Sustainable Placemaking: Landscape Design Essentials for a Changing World – SOLD OUT!

    Presented by Erin Renwick

    In this two-hour, hands on workshop participants will learn the basic principles of great design with a focus on sustainability.  Erin will cover topics such as rain gardens and drainage swales, native and deer resistant plantings, and drought tolerant gardens, all through the lens of simple design principles that really work.  Participants should come prepared with the dimensions of a space, real or imagined, and we will take it from there.

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