Newsletter – January 24th, 2017
Posted February 7, 2017 by Hamilton Victory Gardens

January 24th, 2017

Welcome to our second newsletter of 2017 – hope the new year has started off well for you and yours! Are you counting down to spring? We certainly are!

WINTER SHOWERS BRING…..

The weather has not been very wintery lately, with cloudy, dull and rainy conditions instead of snow and ice. However, we can find TWO silver linings in these persistent rain clouds:
(a) We don’t have to shovel and scrape the resulting precipitation, and (b) The rain will add moisture to the water table and produce better growing conditions in the spring for farmers and gardeners alike!!

Come and get your seed swap on!!

Green Venture presents Hamilton’s annual Seedy Saturday!
Saturday, February 4, 2017 from 10am-3pm
St. Helen Centre at McQuesten
Address: 785 Britannia Ave. Hamilton, L8H 2B6
Entrance by Donation

We are so looking forward to this fantastic event that brings together a wonderful community of likeminded vendors, environmental groups, and local organizations. Seedy Saturday 2017 is the ‘go to’ place for anyone and everyone interested in backyard gardening, edible gardening, pollinator gardens, sustainability, heirloom and organic seed supplies and more!

Inspired by Seeds of Diversity Canada this event will celebrate gardening in Hamilton with a public event focused on sustainable, local practices and products including:

  • Seed exchange – please bring your seeds in packed and labelled envelops to make the swap easier for our participants
  • Gardening book exchange – mastered everything in your own gardening book and want to try another? Visit our book exchange table!
  • Seed and garden supply vendors
  • Garden workshops and educational demonstrations
  • Opportunities for meeting and networking with other gardeners and experts

P.S. Hamilton Victory Gardens will take part in Seedy Saturday, so be sure to come by our display booth and support the volunteers there!!

Remember to like & follow us on Facebook! 
Keep up with the current garden events and check out our pictures.

Fantastic Partnership with Moksha Yoga Hamilton

Each month, Moksha Yoga Hamilton studios in Dundas and Stoney Creek work with a different local charity to help raise awareness and funds for their good work. Proceeds from the February Friday night Karma classes at Moksha Yoga will be donated to HVG!  Please help us promote these classes – the more people who attend, the more money we can raise!
The by-donation classes take place every Friday night at 7:30pm and are beginner-friendly and open to everyone for a minimum $7 donation
moksha

Do you volunteer with HVG?  Do you like Yoga or just want to give it a try?

Moksha Yoga Hamilton: We believe in the work that Hamilton Victory Gardens is doing and we would like to work with you during the month of February.  We want you to get to know us and feel appreciated for the work that you are doing in our community.

Volunteers are invited to attend as many classes as you like during February.  To be eligible to attend the classes, volunteers must register before January 29th.  Please email Kathleen Fox, with your name and the site/event where you volunteered.  Email: KathleenFox4@gmail.com

Do you have a friend that loves yoga, but hasn’t volunteered?  Stay tuned to our Facebook page for a chance to win a One Month Unlimited pass for MYH for the winner and a friend!

NEW STAFF FOR HVG

We are in the process of recruiting two new staff members:

  1. A full-time Operations Manager, to be hired by Feb. 10th, who will coordinate crop planning and assume the overall management of the garden sites. (A portion of this year’s salary for our O.M. will be supplied by a grant from Ontario Trillium Foundation.)
  2. A part-time Volunteer Coordinator, as of March 1st, who will manage volunteer recruitment and retention, and organize and expand our Education Program and outreach to diverse community groups. (A special thanks to ArcelorMittal Dofasco for their grant that will provide the funds for this employee’s salary!)
 good food logo

HVG Becomes a
GOOD FOOD ORGANIZATION!

Exciting news! Hamilton Victory Gardens has been accepted as a member of the 100+ Good Food Organizations which work in alliance with Community Food Centres Canada (CFC Canada) to build a healthier and fairer food system. We’re proud to join this growing network of like-minded organizations across Canada who share a commitment to offer healthy and dignified food programs in their communities.
Mission Services and Welcome Inn Community Centre are also Good Food Organizations in Hamilton, and the Hamilton Community Food Centre involves a partnership between CFC Canada and Neighbour-to-Neighbour.

 Carolyn
 Carolyn, the Cancord Site Coordinator from 2014-2016, and the students from the Filipino McMaster Student Association.

Site Coordinators ROCK!

We want to express CUDOS to the HVG Site Coordinators for 2016—Carolyn, Greta, Sam, Michelle, Mike, Geoff, Harold, Olivia, Trish, Christina, Pam, Nancy, John, Michael and Anne Marie.
You were all instrumental in the success of HVG last year, and we look forward to working with you in the new growing season ahead.
SPECIAL THANKS—Carolyn Jones, who has been the Site Coordinator for the past 3 years at Cancord, our largest garden site, has given so much of her time, effort and energy towards making Cancord a well-organized, beautiful, and VERY productive site!!! As well as directing regular volunteers at the three weekly work bees at Cancord, Carolyn has also supervised visits by school groups, members of the ECHO program, summer camp participants, refugees, and more—sometimes with several of these in the garden at the same time!! Everyone who has volunteered at the Cancord garden has benefitted from Carolyn’s amazing gardening expertise and incredible organizational skills.
However, Carolyn has decided to step down as Cancord coordinator this year. We want to express sincere appreciation for all her assistance, and hope that she will come out to take part as a volunteer at some work bees (where and when she can!!) in order to dig, plant, water, weed and harvest alongside the many friends and companions she has made in HVG!

URGENT NEED! So…the position of site coordinator at Cancord is now vacant. One possible idea is to have two folks working together to share the management of this large site. If you are interested or would like more information, please contact Bill at hamiltonvictorygardens@gmail.com or at 289-237-7714.

 

Newsletter – October 23rd, 2016
Posted October 28, 2016 by Hamilton Victory Gardens

Total Harvest and Volunteering Opportunities 

As of this date, our total of fresh produce harvested has now exceeded 37,000 POUNDS!! In the past two weeks, we have harvested and donated the following: the end of our tomato crops, peppers, carrots, turnip, squash, potatoes, and cold crops like lettuce, radishes, spinach and swiss chard.The following THREE sites still have lots of tasks to be done to complete the final harvest and prepare the beds for winter, so please consider helping out:

Cancord site at Mary & Barton St. (behind Food Basics)—work bees on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday mornings from 9:00 to noon
St. Helen site on Britannia Avenue (Woodward & Melvin): work bees on Saturday mornings from 9:00 to noon and Wednesday evenings from 4:00 to dusk

Stoney Creek site at 200 Jones Road (near Hwy 8): work bees on Saturday mornings from 9:00 to noon and Wednesday late afternoons from 3:00 to 6:00

AN IMPORTANT NOTICE

to our VOLUNTEERS & SUPPORTERS

If you have not already done so, PLEASE REGISTER NOW for the Hamilton Victory Garden Harvest CELEBRATION DINNER
Saturday, November 5th from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.
At Philpott Memorial Church (84 York Blvd., across from Central Library)

To honour and show appreciation to our donors, sponsors, supporters, and especially to ALL our volunteers!
To celebrate the bountiful harvest at all the Victory Garden Sites
To have a delicious dinner and a time of sharing memories

Games, prizes, photos of the 2016 gardening season—and LOTS more!
Our special Master of Ceremonies will be Jane Allison from the Hamilton Spectator!!
 *******Please note that there is NO COST for you and a guest!!*******
  WE SINCERELY HOPE THAT YOU CAN ATTEND!!
Please R.S.V.P. by email (hamiltonvictorygardens@gmail.com)
or by phone (905-575-9439) by October 30th
Students from Sir Allan MacNab Secondary School helping to harvest potatoes at the Cancord site.

NEW VOLUNTEER GROUPS IN THE GARDENS

These groups have volunteered over the past few weeks at various garden sites:
  • City of Hamilton IT Team;
  • a youth group from Blessings Church;
  • participants of a Community Living program;
  • a team from ArcelorMittal Dofasco;
  • a group of almost SIXTY Grade 8 students from St. Joachim Catholic School in Ancaster;
  • and students in an Alternate Education program with Hamilton Wentworth District School Board.
Upcoming groups that are scheduled to come to “Give Back to their Community” include:
  • staff members of Hamilton General Hospital;
  • members of the Filipino McMaster Student Association;
  • 3 classes of Grade 10 Civics students from Ancaster High School;
  • and a team of employees from Ontario Works & Community and Emergency Services.
A BIG THANKS to everyone who has assisted—and to those who are continuing to help out—at our garden sites!!
Members of the ECHO Adult Day Program preparing harvested produce for donation to local food banks

WORK BEE SESSIONS

Note: To request information about volunteering over the next few weeks as we do the final harvest and prepare the beds for winter, or to receive a Volunteer Application form and Welcome Package, contact us at
hamiltonvictorygardens@gmail.com

Participants in a Community Living Program with over 20 pounds of fresh spinach that they harvested at the St. Helen site.
A volunteer, Dea, ready to distribute HVG veggies to the participants of the Friday “Coffee’s On” Drop-In Program at Hughson St. Baptist Church
Newsletter – October 6th, 2016
Posted October 6, 2016 by Hamilton Victory Gardens
ANOTHER THRESHOLD REACHED!!

Our total of fresh produce harvested has now exceeded 30,000 POUNDS!! Fantastic, especially considering the drought and heat all summer, and now the rainy, cool conditions of the past few weeks!!
With 4 to 6 weeks of growing/harvesting time left at some of our sites, we will be able to supply many more pounds of nutritious and much needed vegetables to various food banks and programs throughout our city!!! Please join us for a work bee session if you can, especially at our:

  1. Cancord site at Mary & Barton St. (behind Food Basics)—work bees on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday mornings from 9:00 to noon hour
  2. St. Helen site on Britannia Avenue (Woodward & Melvin)—work bees on Saturday mornings from 9:00 to noon hour and Wednesday evenings from 4:00 to dusk
  3. Stoney Creek site at 200 Jones Road (near Hwy 8)– work bees on Saturday mornings from 9:00 to noon hour and Wednesday late afternoons from 3:00 to 6:00
VOLUNTEER GROUPS IN THE GARDENS

Our HVG Educational Program is well underway with students from both elementary and secondary schools participating.

Students from Orchard Park Secondary School weighing produce their class harvested

Giving Back to the Community” teams from various organizations and corporations have been a big help over the past weeks with the FALL HARVEST. We can still use assistance from other groups between now and the middle of November. Email us at hamiltonvictorygardens@gmail.com for details.

Volunteering team of employees from Stantec Inc. at Jones Road site

Of course, we can never forget our very faithful, loyal and hard-working regular volunteers who come out to assist our site coordinators with the day-to-day, week-to-week, tasks at hand.

Faithful volunteers at Holy Trinity Anglican Church site

THANKS TO ALL FOR EVERYTHING!! 

FINANCIAL & IN-KIND SUPPORT

We just want to say a quick and very sincere THANK YOU to all the individuals, organizations, and corporations that have supported HVG this year to date. We would not be able to continue providing fresh produce for folks in need without your assistance.
For a complete listing of donations ($250 & over), grants/foundations, and in-kind gifts, please check out our website under OUR SUPPORTERS.

Megan from “100 Women Who Care” presenting 100 donation cheques to Bill

To help with the fall harvest and preparations of the sites for winter, HVG has hired a part-time horticultural assistant. His name is Andrew Sweetnam,and he has had gardening experience in several venues, including the local ManoRun Organic Farm.

Welcome, Andrew. Glad to have you with us!

WORK BEE SESSIONS

Note: To request information about volunteering, or to receive a Volunteer Application form and Welcome Package, contact us at
hamiltonvictorygardens@gmail.com.

Remember: there is no need to call or register to take part in a work bee session. Just show up where and when you can and the site coordinator will help you get started.  Please wear closed-toe shoes and clothes that suit the weather and can get dirty! There will be water and snacks at each site for break times, but please bring a reusable water container if you can.

Here’s a list of sessions at each garden site:

1. Cancord
Hours: Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, 9 AM – noon
Location: behind the Food Basics at Barton St and Mary St.
Site Coordinator: Carolyn

2. Macassa Lodge
Hours: Wednesday and Saturday mornings 9 AM – noon, Monday evenings 6pmto dusk.
Location: At Macassa Lodge Seniors Facility at 701 Upper Sherman Ave.
Site Coordinator: Greta

3. St. Helen
Hours: Wednesday 4 PM – dusk, Saturday 9 AM – noon
Please note the change in time on Wednesdays
Location: 785 Britannia Ave, behind the St. Helen’s Community Centre
Site Coordinators: Michelle, Scott, Melanie and Sylvia

4. Jones Road (Ron Miller Community Garden)
Hours: Wednesday 6 PM – dusk, Saturday 9 AM – noon
Site Coordinator: Anne Marie
Location: 220 Jones Rd, behind the former Municipal building and the Kiwanis Club of Stoney Creek building (accessible from Jones Road between Hwy 8 and Barton St)

5. Grace Lutheran
Hours: Saturdays, 9 AM to 11 AM  Location: Beside Grace Lutheran Church (1107 Main St W) at Dow Ave.
Site Coordinator: Harry

6. Philpott
Hours: Tuesdays 5 to 7 PM, Saturdays 10 AM to noon.
Location: In the parking lot behind Philpott Memorial Church across from the central library (accessible through the parking lot gates on Park and Vine St)
Site Coordinators: Geoff & Tom

7. Mount Hamilton CRC
Hours: Monday, Wednesday, Friday 9 AM to 10 AM
Location: Church parking lot at 1411 Upper Wellington St.
Site Coordinator: Trish or Christina

8. Good Shepherd Square:
Hours: For info, email Bill at (bwilcox@hamiltonvictorygardrens.org)
Location: Beside the Good Shepherd building at King and Ray Streets at 25 Ray St. (accessible from the parking lot at Market and Ray Streets)
Site Coordinator: Mike

Please refer to the HVG website for extra details.

HVG is always in need of additional drivers for our refrigerated cube van to help out on a part-time rotational basis. The candidates must be over 25 years of age, have a minimum of 3 years’ experience driving a Heavy commercial Vehicle ( will require a signed Letter of Experience on the company’s letterhead), and have a clean driving record. (as shown by a MVR from the ministry).

For more information, or to apply, please contact Bill atbwilcox@hamiltonvictorygardens.org or at289-237-7714.

We’re always interested in seeing what you are doing in the garden.  Send us your photos to be in our newsletter or tag us on Instagram and Twitter!

323 pounds of produce harvested by the Stantec team


An awesome harvest of peppers at Cancord


Register now for our 4th Annual Harvest Celebration Dinner

Saturday, November 5th
6:00 to 9:00 p.m.
Philpott Memorial Church (84 York Blvd., across from Central Library)
There is NO COST for you and a guest!!

  • To honour and show appreciation to our donors, sponsors, supporters, and especially to ALL our volunteers!
  • To celebrate the bountiful HARVEST at all the Victory Garden Sites
  • To have a delicious dinner and a time of sharing memories
NOTE: Our special Master of Ceremonies will be Jane Allison from the Hamilton Spectator!!Games, prizes, photos of the 2016 gardening season and LOTS more!

We sincerely hope that you can attend!
RSVP by email (hamiltonvictorygardens@gmail.com) or by phone (905-575-9439) by October 30th. 
Hope to see you in a garden soon—AND AT OUR HARVEST CELEBRATION DINNER!!!
Newsletter – September 19th, 2016
Posted September 21, 2016 by Hamilton Victory Gardens

A BUSY START TO SEPTEMBER!

We are excited to announce that a total of over 26,000 lbs of fresh produce to date has been harvested and donated to local food banks and food programs. Thanks to our dedicated site coordinators who have worked hard to organize the watering, maintaining and harvesting at their site!

Part of a 300-pound harvest at St. Helen site on Saturday, Sept. 10th

The fall transplants, courtesy of William Dam Seed and K&K Greenhouse, have all been planted at various sites, and are growing well. As well, many beds have been planted with seeds for the fall cold crops (e.g. lettuce, radishes, spinach). Additional seeding is planned over the next weeks.

There will be 1000s and 1000s of pounds of veggies to be harvested in the next few months so many volunteers will be needed to help out (See “Special Note to our Volunteers” below).

SPECIAL NOTES TO OUR VOLUNTEERS

First of all, we want to thank you for your assistance to date during this year’s growing season. Whether you have attended a work bee session once or one hundred times, your help has been appreciated and has contributed to the current total harvest of over 24,000 pounds of fresh produce.
Since Amy and our summer student interns are no longer working with HVG, we are in need of volunteer assistance with the FALL HARVEST. SO—we are appealing to YOU forHELP! Please come out and volunteer whenever you can over the next 3 months (even if it is just for a few work sessions or even for part of one), so that we can succeed in harvesting all the fresh produce and getting it into the hands—and on the tables–of people in need in our community. Encourage others to join you in the gardens as well. Bring a group if you would like! ***Reminder: No need to register ahead. Just show up at a site for a work session! Check list of Upcoming Work Bee Sessions below for details.

The locations of the garden sites that will be in most need of help are:

  • Cancord site at Mary & Barton St. (behind Food Basics)—work bees on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday mornings from 9:00 to noon hour
  • St. Helen site on Britannia Avenue (Woodward & Melvin)—work bees on Saturday mornings from 9:00 to noon hour and Wednesday evenings from 4:00 to dusk
  • Stoney Creek site at 200 Jones Road(near Hwy 8)– work bees on Saturday mornings from 9:00 to noon hour and Wednesday evenings from 6:00 to dusk
NOTES: 

1. The Mohawk College garden beds were destroyed by a flood in the garden area. So, no more work bees will be held there. Thanks to Elisha for her work on behalf of HVG at this site during the spring/summer.2. The Pioneer Memorial garden site is almost done for the year. Special thanks to Sam and Jackie for all their work there over the past months!

3. The Redeemer College site will be managed over the next months by the students, under the leadership of Olivia. We extend sincere appreciation to Olivia, who has done an incredible job this summer in implementing and managing the garden beds at this new site.

VOLUNTEER GROUPS IN THE GARDENS

1. We want to extend a BIG THANKS to all thesummer camp groups that assisted us over the past two months. Their help was much appreciated!

2. Thanks also to the secondary students that volunteered with us in a mutually beneficial arrangement. They received community service hours and we gained their help!!

3. Upcoming Groups: The following corporations and organizations have already sent or are scheduled to send special “Give Back to the Community” teams to volunteer at various sites over the next weeks:

ArcelorMittal Dofasco
Hamilton General Hospital
Union Gas
Stantec
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
MacServe
First Canadian Title Group
Columbia International College
REfficent/Evereone
City of Hamilton IT Group

NOTE: A reminder that YOUR group would be welcome to join us!! To discuss arrangements for a group visit, please email us at hamiltonvictorygardens@gmail.com

HVG EDUCATIONS PROGRAM

Elementary–Plans are underway to have classes of students from local elementary schools back in the gardens again by later this month. Schools that have participated in the past include: Bennetto, Hillcrest and Strathcona Public, and St. Lawrence, Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, and St. Joachim Catholic.

Secondary—Special needs students from Orchard Park will be volunteering once again at our Jones Road site in Stoney Creek on a weekly basis as of Sept. 14th, and the Sir Allan MacNab class is gearing up to help out at a mountain site for its third straight school year!

GOODBYES AND BEST WISHES

There have been several major changes at Hamilton Victory Gardens over the past few weeks:

Amy Angelo, who has done an incredible job as our full-time Operations Manager for the past 1½ years, has left HVG to begin employment at another local non-profit organization. Her expertise and hands-on guidance, as well as her friendly, gentle nature and dedication to our cause, will be greatly missed. We wish Amy all the best in her future endeavours.

The 7 summer student interns, hired through a federal grant for part or all of the past 16 weeks, have been a tremendous help over the summer. However, they have now finished their contracts with HVG and have headed back to school. We extend a BIG thanks to Alex, Hasan, Luke, Yidan, Chris, Shanika and Allson, and wish them all a very successful school year!

Kiara Clark, a student at Mohawk College, did a summer placement with HVG in which she was our “official” photographer, developed several facets of our social media and prepared the Mailchimp presentation of the Newsletter updates. We want to thank Kiara for her assistance, and wish her all the best at Mohawk this year.

WORK BEE SESSIONS

Note: To request information about volunteering, or to receive a Volunteer Application form and Welcome Package, contact us at hamiltonvictorygardens@gmail.com.

Remember: there is no need to call or register to take part in a work bee session. Just show up where and when you can and the site coordinator will help you get started.  Pleasewear closed-toe shoes and clothes that suit the weather and can get dirty! There will be water and snacks at each site for break times, but please bring a reusable water container if you can.

Here’s a list of sessions at each garden site:

1. Cancord
Hours: Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, 9 AM – noon
Location: behind the Food Basics at Barton St and Mary St.
Site Coordinator: Carolyn

2. Macassa Lodge
Hours: Wednesday and Saturday mornings 9 AM – noon, Monday evenings 6pm to dusk.
Location: At Macassa Lodge Seniors Facility at 701 Upper Sherman Ave. 
Site Coordinator: Greta
    
3. St. Helen
Hours: Wednesday 4 PM – dusk, Saturday 9 AM – noon
Please note the change in time on Wednesdays
Location: 785 Britannia Ave, behind the St. Helen’s Community Centre
Site Coordinators: Michelle, Scott, Melanie and Sylvia

4. Jones Road (Ron Miller Community Garden)
Hours: Wednesday 6 PM – dusk, Saturday 9 AM – noon
Site Coordinator: Anne Marie
Location: 220 Jones Rd, behind the former Municipal building and the Kiwanis Club of Stoney Creek building (accessible from Jones Road between Hwy 8 and Barton St)

5. Grace Lutheran
Hours: Saturdays, 9 AM to 11 AM  Location:Beside Grace Lutheran Church (1107 Main St W) at Dow Ave.
Site Coordinator: Harry

6. Philpott
Hours: Tuesdays 5 to 7 PM, Saturdays 10 AM to noon.
Location: In the parking lot behind Philpott Memorial Church across from the central library (accessible through the parking lot gates on Park and Vine St)
Site Coordinators: Geoff & Tom

7. Mount Hamilton CRC
Hours: Monday, Wednesday, Friday 9 AM to 10 AM
Location: Church parking lot at 1411 Upper Wellington St.
Site Coordinator: Trish or Christina

8. Good Shepherd Square:
Hours: For info, email Bill at (bwilcox@hamiltonvictorygardrens.org)
Location: Beside the Good Shepherd building at King and Ray Streets at 25 Ray St. (accessible from the parking lot at Market and Ray Streets)
Site Coordinator: Mike

Please refer to the HVG website for extra details.

Grant from ArcelorMittal DOFASCO

We are happy to announce the receipt of a $20,000 grant from ArcelorMittal DOFASCO. The funds from this grant will be used to assist us in expanding our Volunteer Base and our Educational Program in the future. More details about this will follow!

A BIG THANKS TO ARCELORMITTAL DOFASCO!!

Save the Date for our Annual Volunteer Harvest Dinner!

Our Volunteer Harvest Dinner for 2016 will be held on Saturday, November 5th. We are hoping that all our volunteers, supporters and interested folks can attend!  More details will be available at a later date.

P.S. If you would like to help with the preparations for this event, please contact Judy at jewilcox80@gmail.com.

Van Drivers Urgently Needed

HVG is still in need of additional drivers for our refrigerated cube van to help out on a part-time rotational basis. The candidates must be over 25 years of age, have a minimum of 3 years’ experience driving a Heavy commercial Vehicle ( will require a signed Letter of Experience on the company’s letterhead), and have a clean driving record. (as shown by a MVR from the ministry).

For more information, or to apply, please contact Bill at bwilcox@hamiltonvictorygardens.org or at 289-237-7714.

Volunteers from Union Gas with veggies they harvested and donation cheque they presented to HVG!
Volunteers from Stoney Creek Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints harvesting tomatoes during intermittent rain showers!
Replanting—these beds, from which carrots were just harvested, are now being seeded with argula and radishes that will be ripe in mid-October
Note the size of the radishes (compared to the green pen) and the twisted carrots!
If you have any comments or questions about helping out with the Hamilton Victory Gardens, please don’t hesitate to contact:Bill Wilcox, founder of Hamilton Victory Gardens, at (905) 575-9439, at (289) 237-7714, or at bwilcox@hamiltonvictorygardens.org To sign up as a volunteer in the gardens, please contact Judy Wilcox at jewilcox80@gmail.com

Hope to see you in the gardens soon,Your Hamilton Victory Gardens Team
Facebook
@HVictoryGardens
Instagram
Hamilton Victory Gardens