Archive for March 20, 2018

Why Grow a Garden?

 

In our fast-paced world sometimes it is hard to think about adding one more thing to our to-do list, but there are many reasons why you should plant a garden.

  • Save money on groceries. There is nothing tastier than fruits and vegetables from the garden, store-bought produce cannot even begin to match the taste. Stuck on what to cook for supper? Wander out to the garden and pick a meal, it is proven that people who eat more fruits and vegetables are healthier.
  • Physical Exercise and Stress Relief. Ask any gardener and they will tell you, putting your hands in the soil and digging around is therapeutic.  Gardening is a great way to get some physical exercise into your schedule right in your own backyard.  It is also a stress reliever, a place to go just to enjoy nature and see what is growing.
  • The nutrients in your homegrown fruits and vegetables are higher than store bought commercially produced foods. You get to decide if your garden will use chemicals or stick strictly to nature and go organic.
  • Gardens and plants, in general, are a great way to help the atmosphere. Plants make oxygen and take carbon monoxide out of the air.
  • Teach your children where their food comes from. A lot of children today only associate “food” with stores, they have no concept of how food grows. Children are fascinated with the growing cycle of plants.
  • Help save the bees. Today bees are suffering worldwide, we need bees to pollinate our foods and bees need the flowers to collect the pollen from.  Without bees in the world, we would not be able to grow enough food to survive.

These are just some of the many reasons why you should seriously consider planting a garden. Gardens can be in containers, in the ground or even hanging on the walls – we can help.  Come visit us at Dunvegan Gardens and let’s talk gardening.

 

Haskap, Blue Berried Honeysuckle, Honeyberries

An old berry is making a come back!  Haskap is the “marketing” name going across North America for the blue berried Honeysuckle or Honeyberry – Lonicera caerulea.

Found growing wild in every province in Canada they can also be found across North America, Japan and Europe.  A Hardy bush that can withstand temperatures of minus 45 and the flowers have withstood temperatures of minus 11 and gone on to bear fruit.

The taste is described as a cross between a raspberry/blueberry and saskatoon. In the 1950’s the first planting in Beaverlodge was attempted, but the berries were bitter. The plant was ignored after that.  The trick with Haskap is to get the right kind – the right kind being a wonderful berry or the wrong kind, a bitter berry. Here at Dunvegan, we have several tasty varieties available.

Haskap’s grow to be 1.5 to 2 meters in height. They are pest and disease resistant, an easy shrub to grow.  There are reports that deer and birds like the berries.  There are no thorns or suckers.  The berries are the early addition to the garden, ripening a couple of weeks before strawberries.  The berries are oblong/oval and large 3-8 cm long and can be used for canning, pies, jams, jellies, candies, ice cream, and yogurt to name a few. There is even a local Haskap winery near Beaverlodge.

Haskap’s have to have a cross pollinator in order to bear fruit.  Not all plants cross pollinate with each other, come check out our Cross Pollinator chart in the store.

Varieties:  Tundra, Borealis, Indigo Treat, Indigo Gem, Indigo Yum, Honeybee, Aurora, Wojtek, Atlaj, Nimfa, Berry Blue, Polar Jewel

Here at Dunvegan we carry a selection of hardy Haskap’s and pollinators – it is never too early to start planning this year’s garden!