halifaxearthtech: Photo by Daniel Keshet 2004 from Wikimedia Common (Botany)
Today I swung by the Quingate tower rooftop garden to take a look at things. I harvested most of my onions (dakota tear, from Hope Seeds), that I'd started last August and left in the ground all winter. The thought was that they would then be 'sets' and would get a jump on the season this year, which they have. They are also bolting, as I half expected they would. I'll save some seeds for more onions and as a spice but in the meantime I have enough green onions for two large vats of soup! I harvested them because I didn't want them all to bolt. After chopping them all I know why they're called Dakota Tear! Whew!



I got to talk to a tenant about the status of the tenant garden club. He is managing two of the raised beds for himself and another for a disabled friend of his. He says the other tenants are eyeing the strawberry bed with anticipation. I told him that I did not reapply to be community gardener at Killam due to a lack of real tenant recruitment. The EAC and I are still deciding what to do about the situation.

In the meantime the pollinator garden looks fabulous! Such a tapestry of textures, and great success from a variety of good-looking wildflowers that will self seed: bachelor buttons, nigella, tansy, oxeye daisies, Monarda, annual phlox, red clover, lupins, motherwort, some wild mustards and more, even some convolvulus that I snuck in, because I like it very much. Some unknown people have been bringing up many bags of soil and black containers for what they told my friend was a "gardening experiment". If it is the sort of garden experiment of dubious legality that it calls to my mind, they might want to seek out more cover! My curiosity is piqued.

Photos of Quinpool tower will be posted soon!

I heard from the lovely Jayme Melrose at the farmer's market today. Apparently they have clearance to start putting in hard infrastructure as soon as next week, starting with a shed and a washroom. Several diverse groups will have garden rows, including Laing House, the Arc, Phoenix Youth, a recent immmigrants organization, Capital Health, Dalhousie students, Dalhousie faculty, Occupy Nova Scotia, and many more. Exciting beginnings are on the way!
halifaxearthtech: workmen stand outside Alexander MacKay school in 1918 (People care)
I realise that I haven't said anything here, officially, on the eviction of Occupy Nova Scotia. Perhaps my feelings have eluded words. On November 11, members of Occupy Nova Scotia were camped at Victoria park, after discussing with city hall and veterans and deciding to relocate to Victoria park to make way for the Rememberance day ceremonies. While Occupy Nova Scotia members shook the mayor's hand and laid a wreath on the Cenotaph, police moved in and forcibly evicted the camp at Victoria park with two hours notice, after a vaguely worded notice.

A good analysis is available here, on the Green Interview, By Silver Donald Cameron:

http://ht.ly/1fGdWO

Right now in the movement a legal response is being formulated. I am looking for opportunities to take part in continuing the Occupation as a teacher and in providing food, if not shelter, to the Halifax homeless population.
halifaxearthtech: photo by Marlene Thyssen (Water)
Most of Halifax's weather in the autumn comes up the Eastern Seaboard from the Caribbean. Therefore it tends to be warm, low-pressure, and very very wet. Today is one of those, with a "heavy rainfall warning" in effect from Environment Canada.

I ran over to the first pile (well, I drove), to cover it with a tarp and found that the pile's volume has decreased by about a fifth. This could be because of settling, or compaction from the rain water, or it could be because the compost has gotten very hot and is losing volume to CO2. This would be the most desirable scenario. I've put the steel pipe back into the pile that I was using as a temperature probe, so we'll know soon.

The piles at location #2 have turned out to be very poorly situated, as the driveway is in a bit of a hollow and pools with water. I will have to find other places for them on the property and shovel the material there.

There has been a problem with people using enough sawdust. Most seem to think that the buckets are to be used as urinals and the signs are useless. This creates unfair burden of work on volunteers to mix the sawdust after the fact, and doesn't allow enough time for the sawdust to "soak". I'll try having the buckets filled with sawdust ahead of time by volunteers. If that doesn't work the project might have to fold due to a lack of adherence.

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