Meet the Vendors – Wild Rose Farm with Gilberte Doelle

 

When you drive out past Digby along highway #1 you eventually arrive at Gilbert’s Cove where Gilberte Doelle lives and works on her Wild Rose Farm. She is quite unique in the way she cultivates her land and grows fresh and delicious greens, vegetables & fruits all year round, that she brings to the winter market at the Historic Gardens and to the Annapolis Royal Market from May to September.

Her two green-houses of 1,200 square feet and the outside land is divided into bio-intensive 5 foot beds in 8 row blocks.  She grows many crops in the same area, broccoli, sweet potato, tomatoes, peppers and many varieties of greens besides lettuce. She moves the produce around, never leaving a bed empty.  Gilberte does not till the soil but works it by hand.  She solarizes the soil to keep out the perennial weeds.  The bottom layer of each bed consists of weeds, then over this fresh manure from their cows, then seaweed and finally a two inch depth of soil.  Worms work the soil. Hay is used to suppress the weeds in order to minimize the work.  She also uses wood chip mulch to keep the weeds down and create a pathway if needed.  50% of the work is preparation of the soil and replanting.

Outside on her 0.68 acres she uses floating row covers (blankets) directly over the plants to keep them warm during the winter.  By law in order to have certification to grow vegetables for sale she has to have a twenty-five foot buffer zone round the outer edge of her land, preventing any contamination such as spraying from other properties.  She tried planting different kinds of trees along the edges of her property. The most successful was the local willow.

Another building on the site is her transplanting shed.  She also has a washing room for the produce (700 pounds per week) which she sells at the market and her outlet shop on site where she has seasonal greens, vegetables, honey and other products for sale.  Gilberte also grows seeds for Hope Seeds, another local business.  The coastal climate around Gilbert’s Cove allows seeds to dry better for packaging.

A few years ago one of her greenhouses (a commercial purchase) blew down in a big wind but the 12 year old one she designed with extra bracing added, is still standing firm and is 10 degrees warmer.

To attract bees and butterflies she provides insectary rows of flowers like milkweed, blue, yellow and white daisies and borage.  To water her plants she uses low volume drip irrigation.  As ladybugs are beneficial to the farmer she releases 4,500 of the insects at the end of June and encourages kids to visit.  In 2013 she won the NS Farm Environmental Stewardship Award.  She is certainly certified Organic and her farm is definitely bio-intensive.

 

 

 

Advertisements
Meet the Vendors – Michael & Sally Knight of Strattons Farm

Meet the Vendors – Michael & Sally Knight of Strattons Farm

Part of a series about the Annapolis Royal Winter Farmers Market, written by Valerie Davies.

DSC_0045

In April 2017 Michael and Sally Knight moved their farm equipment in a 40ft sea container and trailered their goats from Ontario to Granville Centre.  They had spent the last eight years running a thriving Market Garden and pasture raised meat farm in Ontario. However, after the drought in 2016, they downsized their livestock production allowing them to follow their dream of farming and living in Nova Scotia.

Their market garden in Granville Centre is 2 acres of cultivated land, including a greenhouse, and hoop houses, producing a wide variety of vegetables.  They sell directly to the consumers at the Annapolis Royal Winter Farmers Market and the Annapolis Royal Farmers and Traders Market through the summer.

They will be building a greenhouse in 2018 that will be used for extending the growing season and will also be where they will start their seeds next year as currently they are using their sun porch to start all their seedings.  They do not produce their own seeds, as there are already great local seed producers.  All the seeds they use are certified organic, sustainably grown or sourced from companies that are part of the ‘NON-GMO project verified seeds.

Their farm in Ontario was certified Organic and in late 2017 they submitted the paper work for their present market garden with EcoCert, so their farm is currently going through the transition process to become certified organic.  Therefore anything that is used on their farm has to be approved for certified organic use. They do not spray any chemicals on their crops and choose to hand pick or squidge bugs or use insect netting and floating row covers to protect them. None of their neighbours spray as their farm is surrounded by the North Mountain, marshland and horse paddocks.

The Knights produce honey, with the bees doing all the hard work! The hives are located on the farm as they also help to pollinate the market garden.  The Knights also grow a variety of forage for bees and other wild pollinators. Honey is for sale for as long as supplies last and they are hoping to expand the apiary in 2018. They also raise and breed registered Nigerian Dwarf Goats, which are a small, friendly, adaptable dairy goat and because of their size uniquely suited to small farms.

They cultivate the land with a walk behind tractor and lots of hand tools, as it is just the two of them working and caring for their farm.  They store their root vegetables and in the coming years will be expanding the range of root crops available over the winter months.

Strattons Farm is located in Granville Centre, at 5777 Highway #1. They do not have a farm stand but if customers are unable to make it to the farmers market in the main season they can pre-order (by phone or e-mail) a basket of mixed seasonal vegetables with pre-arranged pick up from the farm on either a Tuesday or Friday evening. (Phone: 902-526-4440 or e-mail: strattonscsa@gmail.com).

2018 Call for Sculptures

A great opportunity to have your work displayed in the Annapolis Royal Historic Gardens for the 2018 season!

20150712-IMG_0544-21

Ten years ago, in partnership with the Annapolis Region Community Arts Council, the Historic Gardens started incorporating sculpture into the Gardens on a seasonal basis. As with everything in the Historic Gardens, the Sculpture Project is growing and blossoming each season. Past seasonal installations have included creations by Nova Scotian artists: Alexis Doiron, Brad Hall, Alexa Jaffurs, Michelle Heron and Jan Hull to name a few. In addition to these installations, the Gardens has several semi-permanent pieces including a “living sculpture” created by Dawn MacNutt using live willow and the magnificent “Dance of the Blue Heron” sculpture by Gerald Jank that now graces our front lawn!

20150813-IMG_1415-62

Each piece has been sited perfectly within the 10 acres of gardens, allowing the artwork to both enhance its surroundings and to be enhanced by the gardens around it. The resulting marriage of gardens and sculpture has been met with great enthusiasm from Historic Gardens visitors.

We are now pleased to call for Expressions of Interest from artists for garden sculpture for the 2018 season. Deadline for submissions: Mar 2 2018. Download a PDF below! 

Download: Invitation for Expressions of Interest

IMG_7612

We’re Hiring at the Historic Gardens!

We’re Hiring at the Historic Gardens!

Join our team at the Annapolis Royal Historic Gardens.

A wonderful opportunity to work in a beautiful environment and interact with thousands of people from all over the world.

(Note: Some positions are subject to availability of funding)

Horticultural Assistant: We are looking for an experienced, energetic and knowledgeable individual to assist in all aspects of garden care as well as horticultural management. Must have experience and qualifications in ornamental horticulture.

Gardeners: We are accepting applications for gardeners. Experience and a green thumb are required!

Elm Tree Cafe: We are seeking a creative and talented foodie to help us provide a great visitor experience to Gardens visitors at the Elm Tree Café. Food Safety certification required.

Painting & Maintenance: We are accepting applications for student or adult workers who would be interested in part time buildings maintenance and exterior painting projects and other odd jobs from time to time.

Student Employment:

  • Gardener/Mower: The Gardens crew need an enthusiastic student to assist with grounds work, with an emphasis on mowing.
  • Visitor Services: We are accepting applications from enthusiastic students with great people skills who would like to join our team for the summer months, working in the many aspects of visitor services.

 

Download This Information: Employment Opportunities 2017

Apply to:

Annapolis Royal Historic Gardens
441 St George Street, P.O. Box 278, Annapolis Royal, NS   B0S 1A0
Or by email admin@historicgardens.com

Learn more about us at:  www.historicgardens.com

Call for Sculptures 2015 – One Week Left!

Call for Sculptures 2015 – One Week Left!

Art in the Gardens – Inspiring!

Basalt II by Brad Hall

It’s hard to imagine how one could improve upon the award-winning Historic Gardens in Annapolis Royal… until you take a tour of the Garden Sculptures on display throughout the gardens each summer.

Several years ago, in partnership with the Annapolis Region Community Arts Council, the Historic Gardens started incorporating sculpture into the Gardens on a seasonal basis. As with everything in the Historic Gardens, the Sculpture Project is growing and blossoming each season.  Each piece is sited thoughtfully within the 17 acres of gardens; allowing the artwork to both enhance its surroundings and to be enhanced by the gardens around it. The resulting marriage of gardens and sculpture has been met with great enthusiasm from Historic Gardens visitors.

We are fast approaching the deadline for our annual call for Expressions of Interest, and therefore want to publicize once again as a reminder about this great opportunity for artists to showcase their work. If you are an artist, please have a look at the information in the link below. (Or if you know of an artist who might be interested, please share this with them.)

Expressions of interest 2015

We look forward to another exciting display of garden sculpture in the Historic Gardens in 2015.

Meet you in Annapolis Royal!

Town Announces “Meet you in Annapolis Royal” Video Series

When they decided to create a series of five new promotional videos, the Town of Annapolis Royal had a great challenge. How do you capture more than 400 years of community and natural beauty in an attractive and engaging video production? With its particular mix of history, arts and gardens, Annapolis Royal is a community unlike any other. From the energy of the Saturday morning farmer’s market to the mystery of the candlelight tour at the Garrison Burial Grounds to the serenity of a walk through the roses at the Historic Gardens, Annapolis Royal offers a wide variety of experiences for visitors and residents. Capturing the spirit of the town was the task given to Edifice Media when the Town of Annapolis Royal partnered with various community groups to create the “Meet you in Annapolis Royal” promotional videos.

“My family and I have been spending summers in the Annapolis Royal area since 2006 and have always been drawn to this perfect little town” said Edifice Media CEO, Dr Christopher Cooper. “This past summer we filmed a series of promotional videos based on the Branded Entertainment model of short episodic snap shots of the best Annapolis Royal has to offer – as always just a pleasure to work with the core people taking on this initiative and what better canvas to paint with than Annapolis Royal!

This video project was funded by the Town of Annapolis Royal with support from the Historic Gardens, Parks Canada, The Historical Association of Annapolis Royal, Explorer Visitors Guide, Annapolis Heritage Society and Annapolis Region Community Arts Council. “It was such a pleasure to work with Christopher Cooper and all the community partners who collaborated on this project” said Trish Fry, Manager of the Historic Gardens. “With social media marketing at the forefront, it is vitally important to have visual and engaging media as part of our internet marketing, and Edifice Media delivered just that.”

The first of the videos in the “Meet you in Annapolis Royal” series was released in the autumn. This video featured Laura Lowe riding a bicycle along St George Street while greeting merchants and residents along the way. The remainder of the videos will be released March 3 through April 14 to build momentum leading into the 2014 visitor season. “Thanks to the Town of Annapolis Royal for leading this effort to get us this far” Fry adds. “Now it is up to all of us to ensure that this tool is used to its maximum potential.”

Meet You Placard

Check it out!   MeetYou in Annapolis Royal

Historic Gardens – Call for Sculptures 2014

Art in the Gardens – Inspiring!

Basalt II by Brad Hall

It’s hard to imagine how one could improve upon the award-winning Historic Gardens in Annapolis Royal… until you take a tour of the Garden Sculptures on display throughout the gardens each summer.

Several years ago, in partnership with the Annapolis Region Community Arts Council, the Historic Gardens started incorporating sculpture into the Gardens on a seasonal basis. As with everything in the Historic Gardens, the Sculpture Project is growing and blossoming each season.  Each piece is sited thoughtfully within the 17 acres of gardens; allowing the artwork to both enhance its surroundings and to be enhanced by the gardens around it. The resulting marriage of gardens and sculpture has been met with great enthusiasm from Historic Gardens visitors.

We are fast approaching the deadline for our annual call for Expressions of Interest, and therefore want to publicize once again as a reminder about this great opportunity for artists to showcase their work. If you are an artist, please have a look at the information in the link below. (Or if you know of an artist who might be interested, please share this with them.)

Expressions of interest 2014

We look forward to another exciting display of garden sculpture in the Historic Gardens in 2014.