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Keeping the Garden Gates Open

By Holly Mackay. Posted on May 19, 2020 in Stories + Recipes

Hollyhock may be closed for at least another month or more during the COVID-19 pandemic, but our garden is staying open!

“Fallow” is a term which is used when a farmer leaves a field or portions of a field unplanted for a season. In this case we are referring to fields for annual food crops, crops which are planted and harvested in the same year, or close to it. This is a healthy practice and part of a rotation for field crops.

You would never use this term in relation to perennial flower and shrub areas (which our garden hosts a lot of!) To leave these areas fallow would basically mean abandoning them. Perennial areas need to be maintained during the growing season, as there are really no effective ways of covering these areas so they don’t need to be tended. In the Hollyhock garden we have a large number of diverse plants all planted in slightly different beds in many different combinations. We don’t think anyone would suggest that Kew Gardens in London or Van Deusen in Vancouver should walk away from their gardens during the growing season, and so, we will not be abandoning our garden either.

While we could cover the vegetable growing areas of the garden, we are planning to keep the food production in our garden growing strong so we can feed our staff affected with unemployment and our community members who do not have the means. Our garden and new greenhouse will produce a plethora of food including lettuce, chard, kale, tomatoes, squash, pumpkin, peppers, peas, eggplants, beans, and herbs. (A special thank you to our donors for making the construction of our new greenhouse possible!)

As people are hunkering down in isolation at home, many are turning their attention to the possibilities of their own garden spaces. In times of crisis, it is especially important to stay connected to the land which provides us the nutrients for us to survive. We’ll be sharing regular gardens tips over the coming months to get out of your home and into the dirt! Sign-up for our e-mail list to learn more and stay connected.

– Holly (Garden Manager) & Loretta (Communications Manager)

Comments
  • abooneman
    Reply

    I am trying to grow Hollyhocks this year. Thinking of you guys. I hope to make it up there. Take care. Anouk

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