The KinFarm Family Drop-In Centre is jumping into spring with new and exciting upcoming workshops and events for all to enjoy. March was filled with fun and learning as we offered multiple workshops, such as starting seeds, jewellery making, and teaching crochet basics led by youth from our Youth Outreach team. Our Youth Outreach team also led children’s activities at the Duncan Seedy Sunday, which included face painting, seed mosaics, and making newspaper planter pots. Our Thursday KinFarmin’ Fun Work Parties from 1-4:30pm have also been a hit for children, youth, and families who took part in fun farming activities, such as prepping garden beds, and planting seeds.
The Family Cooking Class still continues to be a massive hit for many families to learn how to cook yummy recipes with local ingredients! March’s menu included crumble, polenta, and eggs florentine! To find out more or to register for a class, join our Facebook group “Cowichan Family Cooking!” These classes are free, for kids 5+. Bring your family and a container!
Now that April has arrived, we are planning even more farming activities, free workshops, and of course our infamous Family Cooking Classes. With Easter approaching, we are “eggcited” for our chicks to hatch on April 2nd! Families are welcome to come see our new baby chicks at KinPark just before Easter. We will also be hosting a free old fashioned Easter egg decorating workshop on April 1st, and an Real Easter egg hunt on April 2nd at KinPark.
Other free workshops will also take place in April including an animation workshop, dream catcher making, composter workshop, and a digital photography workshop all led by our fantastic Youth Outreach team. For Earth Day, we will be launching our “Grow One Thing” Campaign at the Earth Day festivities taking place at the Duncan Farmers Market. People can come by our booth to purchase veggie plants to take home and try their hand at growing. The transplants will also be available at our Garden Pantry Thrift Shop after the 25th. If there’s something new you try this Spring, try growing one thing!
Seeds are hatching out of the ground outside and in the greenhouse at KinPark. Our creative set-up for our seedlings using a space heater, an old hospital cart and row cover has been working like a charm, and we have many seedlings setting true leaves already. We’ve started some flowers (violas, snapdragons, cosmos, sunflowers, and Mexican torch) for extra colour and pollinator action in the gardens this year, as well as throwing down some pollinator seed blends in our pollinator box beds at the south side of our gardens. Lettuce, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, tomatoes, and peppers have also been started in the greenhouse and are coming along nicely.
Outside in the gardens the baby cotyledons of spinach, arugula, and mesclun mixes are showing their green coats against the dark soil. In April, we’ll be planting our onion sets, beets, carrots, and dill directly into the garden. We’ll also be planting herbs in our food forest near the north cedar fence. Rosemary, oregano, tarragon, thyme, lemon verbena, sage, summer savory, and marjoram will be tantalizing our (and your) noses and taste buds as they provide us with herbs to dry to sell in the Garden Pantry Thrift Store later in the summer.
Our awesome Vancouver Island University WEST (Workplace Employability Skills Training) program participants have been enthusiastically hauling soil, turning in our cover crops, preparing beds for seeding, and weeding our raspberry patch. We truly appreciate all their hard work! Our intern Chris Oldnall will continue working with us through until the end April on Tuesdays and Thursdays, until his internship winds up. We will miss having Chris’ smiling face, great work ethic and can-do attitude around the office and the park!
Two ambitious, but exciting, projects for us in March were building compost tumblers for the community gardens and potato towers for our garden beds. The compost tumblers will be an interesting display piece for the park, in addition to functioning to keep rodents away from our neighbouring apartments. North Cowichan has generously donated funds to help us purchase building supplies for the composters. Thank you North Cowichan!
We built the potato towers with the help of our YO team and our homeschooler group. They’re a great demonstration of how to grow vertically, taking up less garden space. Over the season, we’ll fill in more soil, growing up, and harvest new potatoes from the bottom!
With much to do at the park, we’re always looking for helping hands! Come garden with us Mondays 1:30-3pm, Tuesdays 10am-12pm or Thursdays 1-4:30pm for our KinFarmin’ Fun Work Party!