43 Queen St, Manitowaning, Ontario, Canada - (705) 859-1820
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The Story Telling Seeds

For the sixth year, following the Seed Exchange, we started our heritage seeds on racks in our south facing windows. The daily ritual of watering and spraying begins. Everyone at Debaj pays close attention as the racks go up in from of the windows to give the seeds all the best conditions to sprout. There are a few basic principals we reaffirm when we start our seeds. The first is to use what is around us to give our seeds their best opportunity to thrive. This means utilizing the compost, finding maple soil and bartering for manure. It also means that our students and interns must apply their natural creative process, to solving simple practical problems, with the materials and supplies on hand, or they must negotiate through the relationship base in the community, to get the resource they need.

The kitchen Animators start making their requests…..can we have more small tomatoes, larger onions, more garlic…is there a big patch for greens? What happened to the basil last year? Did anyone have grapes last year? When can we start to harvest from the greenhouse?

We have planted our seeds for a new season of food. We have over hundred tomato plants that germinated and are ready for mother earth and over fifty pepper plants ready for mother earth. We are peas crazy this year and also trying celery as it’s good in soups. New to the garden will be a constructed Arbour called “The Grape of Copper Gates”. It will hold up the grape vines and be a place where the artist can sit surrounded by the plants in the heart of the garden. All of our raised beds are ready for whatever we give them, creating more spaces for artists and community members to come and find out about what we are growing.

Something new this year is mulch, mulch, mulch donated by a local arborist. We have been extremely fortunate that a permaculture expert came through the World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (Wwoof) and is teaching us all how to benefit from mulching….as she says…”mulch is life”. Also new this year, a “Hugokulture” raise bed, making good use of our tree that happily fell down for the hugo hole. We are advancing our “No Till” raised bed with cardboard to stop the weeds, but let the soil breath underneath. We have created a lot of swales for water. We’ve been so grateful for our local farmers to offer us land to plant our garlic and possibly our potatoes as well. All of this leads us to the full animation of our community kitchen. Especially cooking! Yes I said it! Cooking will be a new program activity. The cob oven is patiently waiting for its first firing which will add to our traditional over the fire cooking. Our garden season is well on its way, hope to see you there. So as we continue to progress and advance our outdoor retreats and traditional activities, we increase awareness and understanding for the great well-being; B’maadzewin.