Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A New Year

Happy new year! (A little belated) This entry may be a little dry, but we want to get everyone up to date with what's going on so far with MSEG2011. You can see a map of our land and pictures of the garden coordinators if you scroll a bit : )

We're getting into full swing; our seed orders are in and some have already arrived! Our crop planning for both fields is done, though we're already a few days late in seeding some of our onions and eggplants, pending setting up our greenhouse space. Some exciting news is that we're going to be building a website over the next few months and also working on creating a new logo.

For this season Les Jardins Carya and Ferme Zephyr in Senneville worked with the Macdonald Farm to provide 1 acre of McGill field right next to these farms. This acre is available for McGill students to cultivate as long as there are students willing to do so. We owe a huge thank you to these two partners for this land donation, and will be spending time this summer working with and learning from them.

We will also be cultivating the same 1/4 acre of land at the Horticulture Centre as last year, provided for us by the Macdonald Horticulture Centre and Plant Science Department. The meditation garden which we built last year is going to be planted with permaculture principles in mind, and is located right next to the community gardens on Macdonald Campus.

Here's a map of approximately where our land is, courtesy of Google Maps:

Building on last year, our target market for this season is McGill students. We're still working on how to best market our produce to reach the widest audience, on and off campus. In addition we're looking into providing weekly produce for Herb's Cafe in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, and hope to have a table at the Sainte-Anne Farmer's Market.

Our crops have been planned so that we will have a large quantity of vegetables that will be available throughout the fall, and many storage veggies to keep into the winter. This was intentional, since a certain percentage of our crop will be donated to the Mac student group Happy Belly, which provides a once weekly free lunch at Mac during the school year using items from grocery stores which have been taken off the shelves, some bought ingredients, and MSEG produce.

The students who are working this summer came forward in the fall expressing interest in either continuing or starting to work with MSEG. The garden crew for 2011 is:

Anna Elbon - 3rd year Ecological Agriculture student
Kourosh Mohtashami - 3rd year Bioresource Engineering student
Sophie Price - 4th year Zoology student
Pauline Richard - 2nd year Agricultural Economics student

Alice Pradel - 3rd year Ecological Agriculture student
David Crook - 3rd year Plant Science student
Emily McGill - 4th year Bioresource Engineering student

Website developer:
Jerome Boisvert-Chouinard - 1st year Bioresource Engineering student

Our funding applications are in for the Sustainability Project's Fund and Macdonald Campus Students' Society. Before further reviewing by either of these parties we're planning to submit our business plan, which will give us and them a better idea of how our operations are being planned for this season, and especially what changes are being made from last year.

What we're up to this week:
- Prepping our business plan; do you have any tips? Email us!
- Meeting on Wednesday evening
- Thinking up website content
- Confirming greenhouse space and timeline
- Purchasing soil for seeding in the greenhouse
- Alot of other research to prepare for the season!

Happy gardening! :)