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2018 Growing Literacy Series: Garden Party Workday

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  • May 17, 2018
    9:00 am - 12:00 pm

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED Help us fix up the Demonstration Plot at the Tom Settlemire Community Garden. We’ll plant our seeds, line our beds, and paint our furniture. Bring work gloves; wear clothes that can get dirty and be prepared to have fun! We’ll provide snacks and coffee. This event is a part of the 2018 Growing (more…)

2018 Growing Literacy Series: Split it, Pot it, Plant it

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  • May 15, 2018
    2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

***LOCATION OF PROGRAM HAS BEEN CHANGED*** “Split it, Pot it, Plant it” will now be held at the Morrell Meeting Room at Curtis Memorial Library (23 Pleasant Street Brunswick, Maine)   A workshop before the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust Annual Plant Sale at the end of May. Expand your knowledge on this topic with books from (more…)

2018 Growing Literacy Series: Early Bird Gardening

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  • April 24, 2018
    2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

A workshop that goes over tricks of how to start your garden as early as possible, outdoors or in. We have a plot which we will use to demonstrate how to properly plant seeds, and use items like milk jugs to support early kale plants, and other tricks. This event is a part of the 2018 (more…)

Perennial Propagation

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  • October 19, 2017
    10:00 am - 11:00 am

CURTIS MEMORIAL LIBRARY AT THE TOM SETTLEMIRE COMMUNITY GARDEN Perennial Propagation Thursday, October 19, 10 AM – 11 AM Learn how to replicate and share your favorite plants In an exciting new partnership, Curtis Memorial Library will host a series of hands-on workshops at the Tom Settlemire Community Garden. CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL SCHEDULE Come out (more…)

Preserving the Harvest

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  • October 16, 2017
    2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

CURTIS MEMORIAL LIBRARY AT THE TOM SETTLEMIRE COMMUNITY GARDEN Preserving the Harvest Monday, October 16, 2 PM – 3 PM Explore techniques to preserve fruits and vegetables for months to come In an exciting new partnership, Curtis Memorial Library will host a series of hands-on workshops at the Tom Settlemire Community Garden. CLICK HERE FOR THE (more…)

Seed Saving

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  • September 19, 2017
    10:00 am - 11:00 am

CURTIS MEMORIAL LIBRARY AT THE TOM SETTLEMIRE COMMUNITY GARDEN Seed Saving Tuesday September 19, 10 AM – 11 AM Learn to save seeds for use next year In an exciting new partnership, Curtis Memorial Library will host a series of hands-on workshops at the Tom Settlemire Community Garden. CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL SCHEDULE Come out (more…)

Garden Season Extension

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  • September 13, 2017
    1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

CURTIS MEMORIAL LIBRARY AT THE TOM SETTLEMIRE COMMUNITY GARDEN Season Extension Wednesday, September 13, 1 PM – 2 PM Make a number of devices to extend our growing season In an exciting new partnership, Curtis Memorial Library will host a series of hands-on workshops at the Tom Settlemire Community Garden. CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL SCHEDULE (more…)

Winter Garden Design

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  • August 17, 2017
    10:00 am - 11:00 am

CURTIS MEMORIAL LIBRARY AT THE TOM SETTLEMIRE COMMUNITY GARDEN Winter Garden Design Thursday August 17, 10 AM – 11 AM Learn strategies to utilize or preserve our garden in the winter   In an exciting new partnership, Curtis Memorial Library will host a series of hands-on workshops at the Tom Settlemire Community Garden. CLICK HERE FOR (more…)

FEED THE SOIL, NOT THE PLANT!! Learning from January 15th Winter Gardening Workshop

By Emily Swan, BTLT Board Secretary and Community Engagement and Programs Committee Chair.

Emily Swan

“Feed the soil, not the plant. If there’s one thing you take away from this lecture, this is it!” Master Gardener Linton Studdiford told the capacity crowd gathered to hear his talk about organic soil management in the St. Paul’s Church parish hall on a chilly January afternoon.

This may have been the most important message of the inaugural workshop in BTLT’s 2017 Winter Gardening Workshop series, but it was far from the only thing the 80 or so assembled gardeners learned about soils.

I came away with this practical trilogy of garden principles:
1. Feed the soil, not the plant.
2. To nourish soil, add organic matter.
3. Before you do anything, get a soil test!
And this amazing fact about the biological richness of healthy soil: there are more bacteria in one tablespoon of soil than there are people in Africa, China, and India!

And this fact sure to dampen the arrogance of any soil know-it-alls that may have been lurking in the hall: We only know 10% of the animal and plant species living in soil!

Linton’s knowledge of all aspects of gardening is encyclopedic, and we all came away with a much clearer understanding of the science of soil. But his practical knowledge of gardening is equally vast, based both on study and on decades of gardening experience, and I left with a long to-do list to improve my extremely humble garden and compost pile. I’ve just scrawled on my October calendar – “Don’t forget to use the mower bag to collect chopped leaves to add to the compost pile next winter!” For November – “Dig leaves into garden,” and for May – “Apply compost but don’t overtill!!” For April/May – “The time to add nitrogen is in late spring to stimulate plant growth when the soil is still cold.” And the list goes on and on.

What better time than the depths of winter to expand your gardening knowledge? Now I’m just chomping at the bit to get into the garden and put it all into practice!

The next Winter Gardening Workshop is Sunday, January 29, and will be an opportunity to learn about Permaculture from one of the region’s leading experts, Jesse Watson. Learn more at:www.btlt.org/wgw-permaculture

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