Friday, October 16, 2009

Flower Power

Most people probably think of vegetables when they think of The Commons but there are plenty of ornamentals here too.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Otters Grow Their Own

Fall greens in an Otters' allotment plot

Below is an article recently submitted to The Sounder


Sustainability seems to be one of this year’s big buzzwords and locally grown produce is likely to come up in just about every conversation centered around that topic. 2009 has seen more Gabriolans growing their own vegetables and business at island garden suppliers is brisk. One group of individuals with an eye to the future and their hands in the soil is The Otters at The Commons. They are 30 or so folks who have signed up for a 400 square foot allotment plot in a large square field at the south end of the property. The beaver pond provides irrigation via strategically placed taps and a fence keeps the deer at bay. Everything’s organic and the variety is astonishing. An intrepid few are experimenting with things like peanuts under glass, and peas in elevated enclosures, while others are growing traditional vegetables with great success. One gardener recently harvested 200 pounds of potatoes and 50 pounds of winter squash from just one half an allotment. In midsummer, the field was breathtaking in its beauty and its bounty. Some gardeners even took to bringing basket dinners complete with wine and cloth napkins for an al fresco evening meal amongst the plants. Sounds nice eh? Interested in a plot of your own? The Commons Farm Management Team is considering enlarging the allotment field, a decision that will likely be based upon community interest. So call Robbie Huston at 247-0242 to get your name on the list of would-be Otters.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Fall Fair 2009

Captions from top to bottom

This year's banner

Farmer Bob makes his entrance

The bird man's bird

A hot rod squash

The littlest Green Biker

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Garden Closeups

Captions from top to bottom:

1. Garlic

2. Poppies

3. Iris

4. Blue Ethiopian Wheat

5. Beans

Thursday, July 23, 2009

More Circus Photos

Captions from top to bottom:

1. The "hat act" watching the show from the bus

2. Baritone sax

3. Secure footing

4. The flute section

5. Dancing with the circus lady #2

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Circus at The Commons

The New Old Time Chautauqua Circus played to a full house on the lawn at The Commons last night and a great time was had by all. Big thanks to David Soy and the volunteer team for making this wonderful fundraiser happen.

Captions for the photos from top to bottom:

1. Trapeze artists Shannon and Islando

2. Entrance parade

3. The clown offstage

4. Balloon moment

5. Dancing with the circus lady

Monday, April 20, 2009

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

April 4 Workbee -- Water for Otters

The calendar says it is spring... so it must be spring, right? And that means summer is on the way... and that means it's time to get irrigation for the Commons summer gardens organized.

On Saturday, April 4, beginning at 10:00 a.m., we will be joining together in a workbee to install irrigation throughout the Otter Allotments -- the gardens in the south part of the Commons. We will be glueing PVC pipes with elbows and T-fittings, and placing them in shallow hand-dug ditches. (We'll be digging the ditches, too.) Standpipes with taps will complete the installation within the garden. We'll begin work at 10, and the bee will officially end at 2.

In between, we'll enjoy the garden-to-be and each others' company, talk about garden plans and get that irrigation happening. We'll stop for soup, too, sometime around noon. Come for all or part of the time -- you'll be welcome and there will be plenty to do.

There will be a sign in the parking lot on North Road directing you to the work area. (I'll be there to give you directions, too, if you arrive between 9:45 and 10:15 or so.) The south part of the Commons is likely to be wet -- gumboots are recommended!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

March 21 -- Celebrate and Landscape at the Commons

This coming Saturday, March 21, there will be an open house and celebration of spring at the Commons. The walkabouts, tours and other events begin at 1:00 p.m.

Before that -- you guessed it! -- we are having a work bee. We're continuing with the work of vole-fencing the gardens. We were fortunate to have the use of a mini-excavator, thanks to Gary Oak Tool Rentals, a couple of weeks back. Much trenching was done around the Plotters area and the orchard. Some recycled metal roofing was inserted around the Plotters garden. We've also got quite a bit of metal mesh -- apparently just the thing to send Voles back to their natural diet of grasses and such! So this weekend, work will continue around the fences, adding the mesh and backfilling.

The time -- 9:00 to 11:30 a.m., giving everyone time to be ready to come back to the Commons in the afternoon (clean!) if they wish.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Workbees at The Commons

Spring is right around the corner now and The Commons is becoming a beehive of activity on Saturdays with crews of volunteers getting the place in shape for the coming growing season. The photo above is a raptor perch installed by the kitchen garden to attract eagles, hawks and owls to help control the vole explosion. Check here often for updates on what we're doing and how and when you can get involved.