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.

Springing into Action: Nova Scotia's All-New Ecological Land Care Team

Spring has sprung and Earthshine Gardens is giving our local land some love. Our team is already working on land and garden care projects across Nova Scotia's South Shore. Our Gardeners are busy tending asparagus, edging new beds, completing spring clean-ups and starting veggie gardens. Our forest technicians are pruning apples, planning trails and creating rustic brush walls. Our designer is drawing up ideas for local business fronts, new home constructions and edible landscapes. Every day, we are working joyfully to reconnect Nova Scotia's people with the beautiful nature around us, one landscape at a time.

We've also been working hard behind the scene this month. We've created a stellar workshop space complete with a new tool collection. We've been out there throughout the region and online talking to people to share our story. Our team is off to a great start with a unique staff orientation focused on skill-sharing, team-building and hands-on outdoor projects.

Building Earthshine Gardens has been a positive, heart-affirming process for myself (Caitlin) and Guy. We are passionate about weaving experiences of gardens, nature and home-grown food into our community. Earthshine Gardens is a platform from which we can launch our creative contributions to growing sustainable and resilient communities. We are falling in love with our business every day that it blossoms and we are overjoyed to have this opportunity to nurture positive change.

A duck friend enjoys  Earthshine Gardens '  living shoreline  on the  LaHave River .

A duck friend enjoys Earthshine Gardens' living shoreline on the LaHave River.

Personally, creating balance in life is a key value that I (Caitlin) am trying to uphold. I believe that balance between personal, professional, political, social and emotional aspects of our lives is necessary for our wellness. I also believe in the power of popular education praxis that combines lived experiences with theoretical knowledge and critical reflection. Praxis allows us to create a sustainable feedback cycle that helps us find solutions to live better with nature and one another. This may sound complicated, but it is the same thing that nature does in an ecosystem. Elements (animals, water, soil, trees etc.) exist in relation to one another, and nature creates resilient systems by allowing feedback between the elements and their functions. For example, if there is a dry, hot climate over time, evolution by natural selection favours plants with thick leaves and deep root systems while selecting for animals with slim bodies and long limbs that cool more easily. The system receives the ecological feedback and makes the change. Nature is my inspiration to find balance as the owner of Earthshine Gardens. My hope is that holding time for reflection, knowledge-sharing, dialogue and experimentation will allow our business to respond and thrive in the face of change.

Me enjoying a morning sunbeam with my seedlings.

Me enjoying a morning sunbeam with my seedlings.

For me and Guy, balance includes creating time for personal projects. We've been having fun these past few months growing our own organic vegetable seedlings for our balcony, for our community garden plot at Hodge Podge Garden and for the new garden we are creating at Blueberry Hill, space graciously shared with us by Laura, who is a member of our staff team. I started my tomatoes early and the plants are already big and strong. I have a feeling I will be neck-deep in canning and dehydrating projects by August! We've also been nurturing our living shoreline garden on the LaHave river, building the soil, combating the Japanese knotweed and adding new plants including luscious Medway Moss. It warms our hearts to hang out with our shoreline friends - Spirit the red squirrel, a little sparrow called Mustachio and his mate, River the rat (who shares a home with Spirit), Goofy Foot our silly loon, our beloved Autumn duck (RIP), and a revolving cast of sea birds. Sometimes we are even treated with a visit from a sleek seal or majestic bald eagle! When we need a break from the gardens, we've been working on art projects and rocking out with The Shadow Band, which provides the perfect balance for our hands-on work in the field with Earthshine Gardens.

Let Earthshine Gardens give your land some love. We're now booking for the 2017 growing season. Contact us to set up your complementary site visit for stewardship, design and creation projects, or explore our website to learn more about our services. Stay connected with our holistic ecological land care team on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter as we spring into action!

Happy spring,

Caitlin Doucette, designer / project facilitator