With gardening season upon us, the Clover Valley Farmers’ Market will be offering many products this Saturday to make the job just a little easier.
Jarrod Gunn-McQuillan, dietitian for the Northwestern Health Unit, and Eric Busch, a local agriculture intern, will have certified organic compost and manure available from Pine River Ranch in Pinewood.
“[Amos Brielmann] has a large compost turner,” Gunn-McQuillan explained. “One of the benefits of the compost is it has so many nutrients and because it has to heat up, it breaks up more readily and quickly.”
He noted Brielmann uses probes to check the temperature.
“It also kills weed seeds, which you don’t want to be putting in your garden,” he added.
Gunn-McQuillan thinks the product has the potential to sell fast.
“Adding [top soil] together with compost enriches and complements each other,” he indicated. “And since it’s gardening season, I don’t see why they wouldn’t be interested.
“Compost is usually hard to come by.”
Busch and Gunn-McQuillan will be selling the product in a couple of different sizes. “There will be a wide variety for people who need different amounts,” the latter remarked.
“I hope lots of people come out,” he stressed.
Meanwhile, Devlin resident Jenny Cain will be selling bags of black dirt again this Saturday—and most likely until June—at the farmers’ market.
“It was really good last week,” she noted. “I sold all my product. I was surprised.”
Cain said she got the idea to sell the soil because her father had done it in years past.
“It’s a good time to sell it—to catch the gardeners,” she added, noting the soil costs $10 for 70 pounds. And if you buy three, you get one for free.
Another gardening product available at the farmers’ market this year will be tree seedlings from Timber Ridge, owned by Colin and Trish Neilson of Barwick.
This is the first time they will offer this service at the farmers’ market. And they plan to be there for the next two Saturdays.
“It used to be easy to order seedlings through the Ministry [of the Environment] but now it’s difficult to find them,” Colin Neilson explained.
“You can buy potted trees pretty readily, but not bush trees.”
The couple has been planting seedlings on their own land and after dealing with half-a-dozen suppliers this year, they ordered extra to sell to local residents.
“Some people might want to add trees to an area to increase wildlife or for aesthetic purposes,” Neilson noted. “We thought we’d make it easier for people to get seedlings.”
They primarily have evergreens to purchase, but they do have others as well. And they aren’t opposed to doing some custom planting for larger purchases.
Neilson said prices for the seedlings vary.
“They start around $1 per seedling up to $1.50 for conifer,” he noted, adding the smallest bundles of seedlings come in a group of 15.
They come frozen and when they thaw, dry out fairly quickly.
“We’ll have four or five different varieties,” he added.
Neilson said the seedling trees also are specific to this seed zone. “While some species are quite adaptable, we want to provide local seed stock,” he reasoned.
Farmers’ market co-ordinator Deb Cornell also noted Lowey’s Greenhouse and Market Garden’s will have some hanging plants and other products perfect for Mother’s Day and gardening this week.
“It’s a really great time to check out what’s available,” she enthused.