” Produce to Preserve “

Whether our produce is a native plant, from our own gardens, a local farmers market, a farmer’s co-operative basket program (weekly baskets that include a mix of vegetables, fruits and herbs according to the season) whose objective is to grow fresh and delicious organic vegetables or from careful “Slow food” choices ( Slow Food – Nova Scotia was founded in 1989 to counteract fast food and fast life, the disappearance of local food traditions and people’s dwindling interest in the food they eat, where it comes from, how it tastes and how our food choices affect the world around us), we have opportunities to eat and preserve local food that is fresh and picked at the peak of its season.

Jayne Campbell, our club president, a retired High School Administrator, who describes herself as a “Gentleman Farmer’s” wife and a food lover (especially home/locally grown), along with several club members treated Chester Garden Club Members to a “feast for the eyes and palate” presentation, Monday, September 18th .

The theme was ” Produce to Preserve – Enjoying the bounty of our gardens year round while growing and buying local”.

 

Traditional recipes, old cookbooks such as the “Dutch Oven”, “Out of old Nova Scotia Kitchen” and many others were on display.

We all have wonderful memories of the worn pages of the hand written recipes and the taste of family favorites that have been passed down through the generations with titles such as “Gram’s Pickles”, “Mom’s Pies”, “Aunt Millie’s Raisin Bread” .

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Thanks to Jayne, Esther, Nancy, Myra, Dave, Sheila S. & Jane W., many went home to reminisce and search out some of their old “comfort food” recipes.

 

Maybe there will be more samples to enjoy …

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Posted in Environmental issues, Fruit, Gardening, Horticulture, Seasonal chores, Vegetables | Leave a comment

150th Celebration with Flowers

Gardeners and plant lovers are by nature generous, sharing people, quick to offer bouquets, cuttings, seeds and bits of wisdom gleaned from digging in the soil and nurturing plants. Whether celebrating successes or pondering near successes, they are as optimistic as and endearing as their gardens. Continue reading

Posted in Community Service, Community tea party, Floral arrangements, Flower Show, Gardening | Leave a comment

Ready for the Flower Show

Flower shows are fun, worthwhile activities for everyone, providing opportunities to display and view examples of the many beautiful flowers and plants grown in our area and shown as specimens or in beautiful floral designs. Each year, Chester Garden Club Flower Show committee organizes the annual flower show, ensuring opportunities for all members to assist and including members and community of all ages. The Show Schedule provides all of the details needed to prepare and stage exhibits for entry, including Entry Classes, Show Rules, Show Tips, Definitions and a summary of Trophies and Awards. Judging is done by NSAGC Judges whose decisions are final.

The team has been working together for many months. The theme, schedule, tags, ribbons, venue, tables and staging plans, tea, sandwiches and sweets are some of the details that have been finalized.

On Monday, at our July 17th meeting we were treated to information and demonstrations to help with this year’s schedule. Thank you to Nancy, Sidney, Jane, Jocelyn and Myra.

 

We are looking forward to our flower show, “Celebrating Canada 150” on July 27th, 1:30 to 5 pm., a show that breaks gardening boundaries and blends tradition with unexpected innovative design.

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Delightful June Meeting

image1June 19th was a special meeting at the Chester Garden Club. We were able to honour one of our long time dedicated members, Herb Fraser with “Outstanding Member of The Year”. He was very surprised but pleased with the award. Well deserved for all of the work he has done preparing and taking care of so many important gardens in the village.

 

Following the presentation, Nancy Guest wowed us with her display of window boxes and gardening for seniors. She had three displays. One window box for the shade, another for the full sun. Her selection of plants were delightful. They varied in texture and lots of colour. Her wooden ladder garden or porch display was a combination of flowering pots, ornamental bird houses and potted greens.

 

 

 

 

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Lunches are always a delight and usually incorporate a little arranging
each month. Thank you Myra for these additions to the table.

Thanks to Jocelyn and Jayne for the pictures and content for this post.







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Rhododendron Tour

We who garden all have a mountain of memories of Captain Richard (Dick) Steele. One of his most outstanding attributes was the impact he had on everyone he met.

Captain Steele believed that beautiful plants and gardens made people more virtuous and the world a more peaceful place. To many, he was “Captain Rhododendron”, a tounge-in-cheek homage to a visionary who opened up new possibilities for ornamental horticulture in Atlantic Canada and beyond.

He spent research time in Newfoundland and Labrador with huge patience, looking for our Alpine jewels, taking cuttings and gathering seed. In later years, he continued his work and researching leaning first on one cane, then two.

Captain Richard Steele was a founding member of the Atlantic Chapter of the Rhododendron Society of Canada and supported the creation of the Atlantic Rhododendron & Horticultural Society.

Dick set up Bayport Plant Farm in 1973 where he focused on crossbreeding rhododendron species and hybrids to produce tough plants for the Atlantic climate. Dick was awarded the gold medal of the American Rhododendron Society and in 2004, he became a member of the Order of Canada.

Captain RIchard (Dick) Steele  passed away quietly on March 14, 2010.

Many of Captain Steele’s rhododendrons are admired in both public and private gardens throughout the Atlantic provinces and beyond. They are enjoyed by thousands of visitors throughout the year through and there is an extra surge of visitors when the rhododendrons are in bloom.

On June 7th, a group of Chester Garden Club members and friends gathered and Sandy’s for coffee and then met guides, Debbie and Kathleen Hall for the pre-arranged tour of the private Halifax, Hall’s Road Dick Steele Rhododendron Gardens.

Both from the comments of those who attended this was a truly delightful tour.

Posted in Flowering shrubs, Gardening, Horticulture, Rhododendron, Seasons | 2 Comments

“Cool” Gardener’s Sale

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The cool damp day and the need for down jackets, hats, and mittens for the May 27th gardeners sale didn’t dampen the energy of this Chester Garden Club annual event.

click on picture for slide show…

No matter what kind of gardening; armchair, indoor, herb, vegetable, annual or perennial, quality plant and accessory choices temped all those who attended.

Coffee and muffins were served, new entrepreneurs were welcomed, tools were sharpened, instructions were given, questions answered and ideas were planted for new adventures (bees anyone).

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Although this wasn’t an ideal day for the sale, there were many smiles, conversations shared and satisfied customers, thanks to all who participated and supported the event.

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Gardening Like Our Great Grandfathers

downloadFor generations, coastal dwellers have gathered seaweed off local beaches for use on their crops. Gardeners still gather “sea manure” or “goémon” – the seaweed mixed with shell and sand that has been torn loose by wave and storm action.

Bear Cove Resources, in East Berlin, Queens County has been collecting and marketing wrack seaweed products since 1994 and operates with 3 permits from the province of Nova Scotia to operate equipment along a designated stretch of shoreline along Liverpool Bay, to seasonally remove controlled amounts of wrack seaweeds and to operate a compost facility.

IMGP4902On the third Monday in May at our regular monthly meeting Betsy & Bob from “Bear Cove Resources” explained the Storm -cast process with the assistance of a visual presentation. IMGP4901 (2)Storm lookout, carefully gathering the wrack seaweed with respect for the principals of sustainability during the winter months, to turning piles, finishing the 100% fully composted sea wrack for outdoor garden uses and the sterilization for indoor plants were all explained. Storm-cast, which is a complex mix of brown & red algae and the small organisms which live on them supplies trace nutrients and contributes organic matter, and is teaming with beneficial micro organisms. It enhances the germination of seeds, increases the uptake of plant nutrients, imparts a degree of frost resistance and enables the plants to better withstand insect pests and some fungi.

It’s labour intensive, it’s smelly work. The results are an excellent, odour free fertilizer/conditioner to use when splitting perennials, planting bulbs, refreshing soils around berry plants, re-planting trees, and any general garden use.

Thankfully for us, Betsy & Bob from “Bear Cove Resources” handle all the work and the smell.

Posted in Environmental issues, Gardening, Seaweed | Leave a comment