Espace pour la vie’s Great Gardening Weekend & more

Yes, I realize I am posting a lot of garden-related info. I have another garden news that I’ll relate in a post next week. But I write about other stuff too,

I used to have a community garden plot and I love gardening. Or at least I find the beginning of the season exciting. The maintenance and weeding part of gardening, not so much.

Espace pour la vie’s Great Gardening Weekend

This event started yesterday and happens all weekend. It’s pretty amazing since it includes the sale of 12,000 plants grown by horticulturalists from the Montreal Botanical Garden. But it’s also a garden show of sorts with 100 exhibitors, how-to talks in French on gardening, horticultural awards and PlantCatching is hosting a plant exchange. The only drawback is admission is not free. You have to pay the entrance fee for the Botanical Garden and Insectarium.

Where: Montreal Botanical Garden,

When: Continues today  through Sunday May 25, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Cost: Admission fee to the Botanical Garden, $18.75 for an adult who is a Quebec resident (there’s a discount for Access Montreal cardholders)

On the cheaper side of the things…

Perennial Plant Sale in NDG (Happening Now)

The posters don’t say who is putting on this sale but 25 per cent of proceeds go to urban agriculture group Action Communiterre while another 25 per cent go to the Montreal West Horticultural Society.

Where: 6951 Terrebonne (at Mayfair)

When: Today, May 24,  9 a.m. to noon

In case of rain: sale happens tomorrow instead

Santropol Roulant Seedling Sale

I’ve mentioned it before but Santropol Roulant’s seedling sale happens today

Where: 111 Roy (at Coloniale)

When: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.


More Montreal gardening news and an important free conference today

I realize this is last-minute.

I’ve been busy refinishing kitchen cabinets and yesterday I helped clean up the land around an eyesore building in the Devil’s Hill area of Ville St. Pierre/Lachine.

But there are a few events happening in Montreal today that are worth knowing about.

Santropol Roulant Seedling Sale

What: They’re selling all sorts of heirloom, organic and open-pollinated plants as part of an urban agriculture fair. The sale includes an impressive 40 varieties of tomatoes and funds help support gardening projects that provide food for Santropol Roulant’s Meals-on-Wheels program, fresh food baskets and frozen meals.

When: Today, May 17, 2014, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Where: Maison de l’amitié,  120 ave. Duluth E.

If you can’t make tomorrow’s sale, Santropol Roulant is also holding two other seedling sales in front of their office at 111 Roy E. (near Coloniale):

Saturday May 24, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Saturday May 31, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Girls of the Hood Conference

This conference is not to be missed.

It’s an initiative of the Atwater Library and Computer Centre’s Digital Literacy Program and the whole thing is organized “by girls for girls,” i.e.  by young women under the age of 25 who are CEGEP students from Dawson, Marianopolis and Vanier.

The conference’s funding comes from a grant the Atwater Library and Computer Centre received from Status of Women Canada’s “Strengthening Girls’ and Young Women’s Economic Prosperity” Project. The Digital Literacy Project is a year and a half into this two-year project and the conference celebrates the project’s many accomplishments.

There are two aspects to the conference. Part of it showcases the achievements of different community groups whose participants include girls and young women from marginalized economic backgrounds. The groups include Head and Hands’ Young Parents’ Program, which has put together a photo-voice project called Through Our Eyes and even held a vernissage fundraiser for the project at Café 92 degrees in NDG.

The keynote speaker is Mélanie Joly and to give the girls and young women ideas for promising careers, there will be four panels on topics that  include Entrepreneurial Women, Women in Technology and Women in Alternative or Non-Traditional Careers

When: Today, May 17, 2014, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Where: Atwater Library and Computer Centre, 1200 Atwater (metro Atwater)

Cost: Free, everyone is welcome

P.S. I wrote about it for the Westmount Independent. The story is on page 16

I quoted Liesl Barrell, Executive Director of Montreal Girl Geeks, but her quote was cut during editing. Here’s what she said:

The “Girls of  the Hood” event is an amazing way to showcase female leaders and inspire young women to succeed with awesome panels and activities featuring some of Montreal’s finest women in their fields. Digital literacy and visible role models and mentors make all the difference in getting girls to take on STEM careers (Science, Tech, Engineering, Math), where there are plenty of opportunities now and in the years to come. Add to that childcare on site and a keynote by Melanie Joly: well, that’s just not-to-be-missed icing on an already kick-ass cake! 


My favourite Montreal seedling sale starts today

If you’re on a budget but want to grow your own food, this seedling sale is for you. Not only will you find affordable veggie and herb plants at $2-$3 each (!) but you’ll take home varieties that are open-pollinated and organic. This means you’re supporting varieties of plants that in these days of commercial supermarkets have become rare, you don’t have to worry about pesticides on the plants and you can save your seeds to plant future crops or trade them. As well, you’re supporting non-profit, urban gardening projects.

Before gardening shopping think about your gardening space, how many plants do you have room for – do you have a garden in your yard or are you using containers? What kinds of plants do you want to grow? Make a list of what you want. Then bring that list, along with some cash and a bag or a box to carry the plants and enjoy the adventure.

Concordia Greenhouse Epic Seedling Sale

This sale starts today and is incredibly popular. So much so that if you wait for the second day of the sale you may not find much left. They sell many plants that suit container gardening – they have all sorts of melons, peppers, squash and tomatoes but there are many varieties, over 100 in fact, of veggies and herbs. You’ll find a list here.

When: May 15 & 16, 2014, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Where Concordia’s Hall Building, 1455 de Maisonneuve Blvd. W., 13th floor


Santropol Roulant is having sales over the next three weekends. I’ll post details on their sales later. But run to Concordia’s Hall building if you want a truly great deal on heirloom and organic plants.

Montreal weekend eco events round-up

If you care about the environment, love gardening or want to help fight poverty, there’s a lot going on in Montreal this weekend.

Here are just a few happenings:

Today, Saturday May 3

Empty Bowls Fundraiser, an annual fundraiser to fight hunger

A bowl of soup with bread may seem meagre but it’s more than what a lot of low-income people eat every day. Proceeds go to:

Dorshei Emet Hanukah Food basket
NDG Food Depot
Patricia Mackenzie Pavillion
Nazareth House 

Where: May 3 at the Unitarian Church of Montreal, 5035 de Maisonneuve W. (Vendôme metro)

May 4 at the Congregation Dorshei Emet, 18 Cleve Rd. in Hampstead

When: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. – please note there’s a different location each day

Tickets: $25 at the door includes a beautiful, handmade ceramic bowl you get to keep and a meal of soup and bread; $5 (soup and bread only) for children


Jane’s Walk in NDG

A number of Jane’s Walks are happening this weekend in honour of writer and activist Jane Jacobs, who defended urban neighbourhoods and wanted people to live in places where people could easily connect with their neighbours. It depends on the guide, but many expect you to register ahead and if a walk is  listed as full, don’t bother. Other guides are more flexible about extra people showing up.

Fielding-Walkley, A Walk Around the World, is perhaps off the beaten track compared to some of the other walks on offer this year. The gardening-related aspect is there are plans to set up gardens up and down Walkley Avenue this summer.

Where: Starting point, Walkley Community Centre, 6650 Côte St. Luc Rd.  (from Snowdon, Villa Maria or Vendôme metro stations buses: 66,103,104,138, 51)

When: 12 noon (English); 4 p.m. (French); walk is about two hours

Cost: Free. Register here for English version of walk and here for the French edition.

Action Communiterre’s Urban Gardening Crash Course

Broaden your eco-gardening knowledge and skills. Part of a series of workshops to help people become “real gardeners” but gardeners of all skill levels welcome.

Where: NDG Food Depot, 2146 Marlowe Avenue (Vendome metro – walk there from de Maisonneuve)

When: 1-4 p.m.

Cost: Volunteer contribution appreciated


Sunday May 4

Corvée du Mont-Royal

This annual event started with a few volunteers cleaning up Mount Royal and planting trees. Now it’s a lot bigger. You can volunteer to do tasks that include cleaning up trash, cutting down invasive species, planting trees, checking areas where trees were planted, the list goes on. It’s a popular event so get there early, especially if you’re going with friends because you can find your group split up if you don’t sign up at the same time and there are no places left in an activity. It’s a good idea too to bring along a water bottle and comfortable closed-toe shoes for hiking.

In return for your efforts you get a free light lunch and a t-shirt. From noon to 3 p.m. you can enjoy the Kalmunity jazz band or visit an educational kiosk.

Where: Chalet du Mont-Royal (metro Mont-Royal, bus 11; or metro Côte-des-Neiges, bus 165 and 11).

When: Register between 8:45 and 9:30 a.m.