Again this year the club is selling germination mix as a fundraiser. This is a great opportunity to get a high-quality specialty seed-starting mix in a smaller quantity. Why buy a big bag of low-quality product when you can get the good stuff from us, in an amount you’ll actually use.
As well, you’ll be supporting the work of the Crown Point Garden Club. In the past, our major fundraiser “Garden Day” included plant sales and compost/mulch giveaways. Municipal rules around citizens’ access to these materials have changed which, along with the risk of invasive jumping worm contamination, have limited our fundraising options. Sales of germination mix help us pay for speakers, a meeting room, web site, and the expense of maintaining our six local gardens.
Cost per bag: $5 for 1.5 lbs (minimum). Includes seed-starting how-to information sheet.
This year we are offering Pro-Mix FPO. While the texture is similar to last year’s mix, the FPO includes the added benefits of coconut coir and organic certification. Ingredients: – sphagnum peat moss finely screened (60-70%) – coir, horticultural grade – perlite – limestone (for appropriate pH) – wetting agent
If you’ve had trouble with seed starting in the past, especially with very small seeds, the problem might be your mix. Many retail mixes contain lumps of organic matter, dust, and chunky perlite. This mix has a light, uniform texture. For some home gardeners, organic certification is important. To learn more about this product’s organic certification, visit “certifications” at https://www.pthorticulture.com/en/products/pro-mix-fpo/#tab:product-description
How to buy
Visit the Crown Point Garden Club table at the Hamilton Seedy Saturday (opens new tab). We appreciate payment in cash ($5/bag).
If you can’t get to Seedy Saturday, contact us about sales / pickup in Crown Point.
In the fall of 2021 the Crown Point Garden Club responded to a call for applications from the Society for Organic Urban Landcare (SOUL) for its innaugural “Greener Greenspaces” recognition program.
On December 21, SOUL announced the recipients. The club’s garden on the Pipeline Trail in East Hamilton was among 26 sites that made the grade, and one of six in the Pollinator and Habitat Garden category.
Greener Greenspaces recognizes Canadian sites that are great examples of ecologically focused land care. SOUL will be showcasing these green spaces to inspire gardeners and “further the movement.”
Completing a detailed questionnaire and submitting photos, club member Bev Wagar celebrated the beauty, history, and ecological function of the club’s first public garden project on Hamilton’s Pipeline Trail (between Edgemont and Park Row). The Pipeline Pollinator Paradise (the garden’s formal name) is about 90% native species. “It’s mature now,” says Bev “but we are still adding and editing as the soil improves, shrubs spread, and shade increases.”
She adds, “We are always looking for volunteers to help with weeding and, when absolutely necessary, watering. It’s a great way to learn about native plants up close.”
The club also maintains a large public garden on Kenilworth between Cannon and Britannia which also gratefully welcomes volunteers.
To learn more and get connected with the work of the Crown Point Garden Club, email cpgc_admin(at)crownpointgardenclub.org
Fortunately the weather cooperated (although a breeze would have been nice!) and we were able to present the 2021 Heart Awards at Gage Park on Monday, August 30. Lyanda Pugliese and Lisa Bucci each received a certificate and a Lee Valley gift card. In addition to family members, two representatives from Mohawk College and Hamilton Center’s Member of Parliament joined us.
These awards are presented to one student in each cohort of the Foundations of Horticulture program through Mohawk College’s City School.
What happens when you combine a healthy bank account, a social conscience, and a bunch of people who love gardening? You get the Crown Point Garden Club Heart Award—a bursary for students of horticulture in Hamilton. A service organization in the east Hamilton neighbourhood of Crown Point, the garden club came together in 2014 with a community-focused mandate. “We’re activists with a gardening problem” quips founding member Bev Wagar. In that spirit, surplus from the club’s successful annual “Garden Day” event was dedicated to the cause.
The club set up a Bursary Committee and Chair Jordan Sullivan researched local horticulture and landscaping programs. He discovered “City School” by Mohawk College and its unique approach to education. City School actively recruited students through employment agencies, finding people who would not qualify for a conventional college program but who still were looking for skills. The school offers a range of courses, free of charge, at mobile classrooms located throughout the city. Subjects include Manufacturing, Ship Building, Early Childhood Education, Personal Support Worker—and Start: Horticulture. It was just what the club was looking for. Gardening could help a person find a vocation.
City School’s “Start: Horticulture” program is ultra-condensed. Instructor Sean James presents a full curriculum of theory and practice that gets students employment-ready in less than a year. Sean, a Milton-based designer, landscaper, educator, and advocate for ecologically-informed gardening, expected to work with three classes per year.
As Jordan worked out the details with instructor Sean and staff from the Mohawk College Foundation, it became clear that, for an aspiring landscaper, academic excellence would not be the most meaningful criteria. So the Crown Point Garden Club’s bursary became the “Heart Award.” The eligible horticulture students were all unemployed and keen on learning a trade. Awarding tools instead of money was a way to get one of them started on their career…and the recipient would be chosen by the instructor, based on class contribution and involvement.
But COVID-19 had other plans, abruptly shutting down not only the mobile classroom but all outdoor classes and trips. Despite the challenges of social distancing and the sudden dependence on Internet technology, the first class graduated in August 2020.
Sean credits student Natalie Page with pulling the class together during the crisis. Said Sean: “Natalie Page, from our first cohort, has been amazing throughout… Natalie went above and beyond the call, scholastically, but more importantly, with supporting and networking the entire group.” Natalie had set up a Facebook page for the class where ideas, observation and support could be shared. Her online involvement “took the whole class to the next level” according to Sean. Natalie became the first recipient of the Crown Point Garden Club’s Heart Award.
Natalie recalls being devastated when the pandemic put an end to their field work outdoors. She found a way to “practice” at home by expanding and building new garden beds—which had the added benefit of hooking her husband on the joys of growing food. For her final project Natalie designed a garden for a cottage that her husband and father-in-law are building.
Natalie’s bursary was a pair of must-have tools for every aspiring landscaper: Felco secateurs and a quality pruning saw. They will come in handy next year when she and her husband buy property “up north”. Their goal is to start a business teaching about permaculture gardening to help people with food security, to sell their excess produce and preserves, and to both use and promote sustainable energy options.
The Crown Point Garden Club would like to continue presenting Heart Awards, one for each graduating class of City School’s Start: Horticulture program. Arranging an annual donation with the Mohawk College Foundation should simplify the process going forward. The club also hopes to provide learning and mentorship opportunities. “We always welcome volunteers at the public gardens we maintain” says Bev Wagar. “It’s a great way for horticulture students to learn about uncommon plants and challenging sites.”
Looking back, Jordan Sullivan thinks the bursary project turned out “better than we envisioned. We ventured out of the neighbourhood with the Heart Award. The journey’s been bumpy, but very worthwhile.”