Tomato seedlings are coming up in home greenhouses. (Submitted file)

Tomato seedlings are coming up in home greenhouses. (Submitted file)

News from the Kimberley Garden Club

Seedlings are sprouting as we wait for spring

Submitted by Marilee Quist

Our first meeting of this year was on February 19th. We had a very enjoyable program with Shannon Duncan of Purcell Organics speaking about how she gathers and grows organic plants, which she turns into marvellous organic herbal teas. She came prepared with a very large thermos of hot water, cups and an excellent supply of dried teas that we could sample. The two I tried were really good – tasty and refreshing! Shannon patiently answered our questions before packing up her product and leaving us to our meeting.

What I considered to be an excellent meeting, we managed to get various members involved with the various tasks that are involved in successfully running a club. We now have a host for our annual barbecue in August; a new Program Coordinator who finds interesting, knowledgeable people in the Kimberley-Cranbrook area who can come and talk to us on various gardening practices; someone to look after collecting membership fees (a very reasonable $10/family/year) and giving out membership cards; someone to interact with the Kootenay Country Fair and specify which four categories we sponsor with prize money; someone to coordinate the minutia involved with holding our annual barbecue, and someone to liaise with the Kimberley Public Library and help them choose gardening-related publications for people to check out. As we get further into spring, I am sure there are other related tasks that someone will volunteer for.

Since it isn’t warm enough to garden, and since I don’t have a greenhouse, I planted a lot of tomato seeds on March 1st and put them under my metal halide grow light. I noticed this week that of lot of the seeds have sprouted and are now about an inch tall. They are varieties I have planted before, and I can now dream of eating the smaller tomatoes, warm from the sun and freshly picked off the vines. Yum!

We have a guest speaker coming to our March 19th meeting to speak about drip irrigation. Years ago, we had an in-ground irrigation system with a mixture of soaker hoses, sprinkler heads and drips installed. What a difference that has made – it used to take two days to water our perennials and lawn. Now, with the timer, we can start watering before the sun is up and be finished in less than 3 hours. I know of several people who have installed their own drip systems, and are very pleased with the results.

The Kimberley Garden Club meets the third Tuesday of the month from 7-9 pm in the Social Room at Garden View Village. Our annual dues are $10 and cover a family membership. Newcomers are welcome. For more information, contact Marilee at marileeq@shaw.ca or at 250-427-0527 and leave a message with your name and number if there is no answer.