Kavanah Garden Community Update

Hello Kavanah Community!

The past couple of weeks have been incredibly productive at the garden. We've had every weather system imaginable pass through - from snow and hail to blistering heat to torrential downpours, yet students, volunteers and staff have worked through it all!

Program Update
In the first week of June we hosted five programs at the garden, including an interfaith program with the grade 8 students from both the Islamic Foundation School and the Paul Penna School, and a native pollinator workshop that was open to all community members.  Students have been learning about our local water system, vermicompost and worm-bin maintenance, the law of ba'al tashchit which forbids us from being wasteful, biblical planting techniques, as well as native plants and critters.

Grade 7 and 8 students from Paul Penna Downtown Jewish Day School and the Islamic Foundation School.  Together the students studied Jewish environmental and Muslim environmental sources, planted our 3 Sisters garden (corn, beans, and squash), and learned about Jewish agricultural laws.

Students from the Islamic Foundation School measuring one tefach (handbreadth) of space between seeds.

Volunteers and pollinators came together to build our native pollinator garden last weekend!  We planted five kinds of native wildflowers that are rich in pollen and nectar, defined native pollinator habitat spaces, and made seed balls to help spread the native pollinator lovin' to other parts of our community!

Volunteers assemble and prepare to install our new Pollinator Palace!

Planting Update
Our garden beds have received some serious TLC in the last week, and we've planted a wide variety of delicious and deliciously beautiful plants such as...
- tomatoes - 7 varieties!
- potatoes and onions in one bed (our Chanukah bed...mmm my mouth is watering)
- beans and peas of the climbing variety
- strawberries and strawberry spinach (a new one for us)
- corn and squash in our Three Sisters bed
- wheat and barley - these are 2 of Israel's biblical 7 species that grow in Canada as well! We planted them in time for Shavuot, which is a celebration of the wheat harvest.
- bee balm in our Native Pollinator bed to attract our pollinator friends
-amaranth, sunflowers, basil...the list goes on :)

Collecting the rainwater from our makeshift roof!  Last week's rain was amazing - it looks like our garlic grew almost 6 inches overnight!

Planting spinach in our recycling bin planters!

Bnai Mitzvah students from Temple Emanuel plant soybean seedlings!

CSA Update
The first CSA pickup was last Thursday, June 3rd, and was a wonderful soggy success. It was so great having everyone at the garden and meeting our extended community.  Daniel, the fantastic farmer behind the Cutting Veg provided a gorgeous selection of asparagus, spinach, salad greens, spring onions and garlic, radishes, potatoes, rhubarb, bok choy, apples, turnips and maybe a couple things I'm forgetting too.   All of it was fresh and earthy and delicious (trust me)!

Kavanah Garden - celebrating a growthful spring season as we move into summer.  Thank you to the countless community volunteers who have helped us plant over 75 varieties of vegetables in just six short weeks!  Looking forward to the fruits of our labours (literally).  And knowing that 80% of what we harvest will be going to feed community members in need makes the work that much sweeter :)