Free SIP Workshop at DesBrisay Museum

Join Earthshine Gardens’ designer, Caitlin Doucette for a free sub-irrigation planter workshop at 2:00 pm April 20th at the DesBrisay Museum in Bridgewater. Create your own sub-irrigation planter (also known as a self-watering planter or wicking bed ). It will make more efficient use of water by watering your plants from underneath. This activity is eco-friendly and is made primarily with used recyclables. Plant your own pole beans to enjoy this summer.

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We're Hiring!

Earthshine Gardens is hiring a Gardener to join our 2019 land care team. Are you an experienced gardener looking for work in the Bridgewater area? If so, this job may be right for you!

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We’re looking for a personable and physically-fit nature-lover who possesses 2+ years of experience in gardening, horticulture, permaculture or a related field.  Bonus points if you are an insurable class G driver or have first aid certification.

Details of the job are as follows:

-          Seasonal contract: May- November 2019 (exact start date flexible)

-          Hours: Tuesday – Thursday, 7-10 hours per day.

-          Rate of pay: $14.50 - $16.50/ hour depending on skill and experience.

-          Location: All days start and end in Bridgewater. Job sites throughout South West NS.

Qualified candidates kindly contact Caitlin Doucette, designer/ project facilitator at earthshinegardens@gmail.com or (902) 298-1205 to arrange an interview.

 

Where do you get your...??

Clients often ask us this question; "where do you get your...??

Whether it's plants, soil, mulch, rock material or tools; people want to know where Earthshine Gardens is shopping. As a small business with ecological values, we support local whenever possible. We are proud to have a stellar network of local suppliers here in South Shore, Nova Scotia. Here is a list of some of our favourite suppliers along with why we love them. We hope this helps you shop local too!

Name: Land Care Nursery (1436 HWY 10, Cookville), Why we love them: Great selection of high quality plants at truly affordable prices.

Name: The Village Nursery (430 New Cumberland Rd, Pleasantville), Why we love them: Their plant collection includes extensive veggies, herbs and hanging baskets. They've got a long-standing good reputation and it's pleasure to walk through.

Name: Cosby's Garden Centre and Concrete Creations (4122 HWY3, Liverpool), Why we love them: This is a truly inspiring place that merges unique sculptures with nature in an outdoor gallery walk. Ivan's flowing creations make great garden art, and they have lots of other garden supplies too.

Name: One Sky Now (7657 HWY3, Mahone Bay), Why we love them: A small operation that is one of the only nurseries with a selection of organic plants.

Name: Oceanview Nursery (4392 HWY3, Chester), Why we love them: This is where we go when we are looking for a specific plant that we can't find elsewhere. They also have a growing selection of native plants. The garden art and ornamentation is beautiful and extensive. This one is a bit pricey so we usually visit it last.

Name: Medway Moss (Port Medway), Why we love them: This small company fits our ecological values perfectly. Tim rescues native mosses from the Medway Community Forest before the sites are clear cut. Mosses can be a nice option for shady or wet corners of the garden. They also often come with other native forest plants seeded within them that mature over time- bonus!

Name: Wile's Lake Farm Market (3254 HWY325, Wileville), Why we love them: We love any nursery where you can shop for plants while eating a danish! This is a sweet spot with a seasonal plant selection, a bakery and a local grocery section. Also it is one of the only places we can get Fertilo (our favourite granulated chicken manure product) in our town.

Name: Maughan's Construction  (RR#1, Bridgewater), Why we love them: Maughans has high quality garden soil, mulch, pea gravel and river rock. Their service is always friendly and the prices are great. Turnaround time is quick, and we can often get a same day delivery if needed.

Name: Bear Cove Resources  (142 East Berlin Rd, East Berlin), Why we love them: Storm-cast compost is the best quality compost around and it makes our gardens grow! This family operation has been sustainably harvesting and composting local kelp to create their black gold for decades. Plus they're a joy to work with.

Name: Yonder Hill Farm (Laconia, NS), Why we love them: Chris and family produce high-quality, heritage vegetable, flower and herb seeds. They are local, sustainable, organic and locally-adapted. Plus they have an almost 100% germination rate in my experience!

Name: Halifax Seed (Halifax, order online), Why we love them: They have a great seed selection and the ordering process is quick and convenient.

Name: Gow's Home Hardware (450 LaHave St, Bridgewater), Why we love them: The manager had me when she offered me 'aggressive discounts' for Earthshine Gardens. The service is always great and returns are never a problem. Plus they won best Home Hardware in Canada (2017) and they're expanding soon [larger garden section?!].

Name:  Details Event and Design Studios (mobile business based in the South Shore), Why we love them: Shanna has been a key part of developing Earthshine Gardens' brand. She did an excellent job with our logo and promotion material. It's eye catching and unique. Plus we hear she does weddings too!

Name: Fundy Textile and Design (Dartmouth), Why we love them: These folks literally gave us the shirts on our backs! They've done a great job with our team shirts two years in a row, and oh how we love that royal blue.

Spring Clean-Up for your Gardens

            South Shore gardeners know well the challenges of this wet, grey season. Our gardens can be rather uninspiring at this time of year – often brown and mucky rather than green and lush. But don’t let the drab exterior fool you! Soil life is at work and your plants are waiting for spring to shoot up and greet the warm sun.

            Early spring is the perfect time to get out into your garden and reconnect with the land. This work is important for our gardens and for us! We need fresh air, sunshine and the smell of soil to energize us for the growing season ahead. Read more about the benefits of nature for health and happiness here.

Caitlin works with volunteers to prepare a  mandala garden  for spring planting   (Sage Rising, 2014).

Caitlin works with volunteers to prepare a mandala garden for spring planting (Sage Rising, 2014).

Not sure where to start? I’ve got you covered. Here are my top five early spring garden clean-up tasks:

1.      Prune trees and shrubs. It’s best to prune large trees and shrubs during winter, before they break dormancy. In winter, sap descends to plant roots, reducing injury when we prune. Spring is also a good time to support any plants that were damaged in winter storms. The exception is any tree or shrub that flowers in early spring. For these wait until fall or until after they flower.

2.   Work the soil and warm the soil. When gardening, I aim to disturb the soil as little as possible. This allows soil life to develop and maintains the soil structure and horizon. Sometimes, though, we need to turn our gardens for planting, aeration and weeding. Early spring is the best time to do these jobs, because soil life is primarily dormant until the growing season begins. This is also a good time to pull back mulch from your spring plants and annual beds to warm the soil, encouraging growth and establishment.

3.   Clean up last year’s herbaceous plant growth.  I choose to leave most dead plant matter in my garden over winter. I do this because it insulates the soil and soil life, protecting it from erosion and winter weather. Some plants, like grasses, still look nice throughout the winter, and should be cut to the ground in early spring to promote new growth (read more about caring for ornamental grasses here). Now is the time to clean-up that dead matter, composting what you can to add fertility to your garden later (learn composting basics here).

4.   Plant cold-hardy annuals and cover crops. What can you plant at this time of year you ask? Cold-hardy greens and herbs of course! Try parsley, cilantro, kale, spinach, mustards and lettuces. This is also a great time to sow a cover crop to precede a summer crop, adding fertility to the garden and attracting insect pollinators (learn more about pollinator-friendly gardening here). Pea-oat mix and buckwheat are good options. Simply broadcast them and dig them in a few weeks before you plant your next crop.

5.   Clean and fill bird-feeders to attract birds, and their pollination services.  No garden is complete without bird friends! Remember to clean and dry your feeders to prevent spread of disease. Birds offer pollination and fertilization services while adding beauty and complexity to our gardens. Food is in short supply in early spring, when birds are nesting and need energy. Try adding more bird feeders. The birds will repay you with lushness for your garden and food for your soul.

If you need help with spring clean-up or any other garden and land care tasks, Earthshine Gardens is here to help. Jump start your 2018 landscape today with the South Shore’s holistic ecological land care company. Contact us today.

That said, nature awaits. Let’s get outside and garden!

Launching Earthshine Gardens!

Late-winter reflection at one of my favourite places on Earth ( Gaff Point , Nove Scotia).

Late-winter reflection at one of my favourite places on Earth (Gaff Point, Nove Scotia).

It brings me (Caitlin) great joy to launch and share our new holistic ecological land care business, Earthshine Gardens! Starting in 2017, we will be offering a suite of organic garden and land care services in our community here in South Shore, Nova Scotia. In our work, our team will seek to re-connect our clients with their land and provide our community with meaningful experiences in nature.

I am thrilled to be working with a skilled team including Gardeners, Forest Technicians and even an Artist-in-Residence. Our small-team structure will allow us to personalize our projects to give our clients the best service possible. Together, our team has strong and diverse experience working with nature in ecological garden and land care initiatives. I am excited to provide an alternative to conventional landscaping that enhances beauty and bounty, while strengthening the ecological value, biodiversity and natural resilience  of our land.

My spring  living shoreline  garden on the  LaHave River . We're looking forward to even more blooms this year ( Bridgewater , Nova Scotia).

My spring living shoreline garden on the LaHave River. We're looking forward to even more blooms this year (Bridgewater, Nova Scotia).

This new venture brings together so many things that I am passionate about - people, gardens, nature, food and creativity. I have experienced the immense power and positive energy of really being in nature, of eating fresh garden harvests and of sinking hands into the soil. Earthshine Gardens will offer a new way for my team and me to share this experience by bringing it to others in our community.

Spring bulbs are coming soon, I promise!

Spring bulbs are coming soon, I promise!

Stay tuned for upcoming blogs, including more on our team and services.

I love to connect so please feel encouraged to contact me. I believe that nurturing strong and resilient communities is the root of living more local, more sustainable and ultimately more fulfilling lives.

Warmly, Caitlin Doucette