As the rain pounds against the window at the ottawan offices, we’re thinking of all things gardening today. As we’re still very much the gardening noobs, we have questions. Which seeds should we plant first? When is it best to plant them in seed trays? Are we being too ambitious with our plans for vegetable plots and little flower zones dotted around the garden? Only time will tell if we're up to the task. In the meantime, we’re turning to some experts for inspiration.
▪️ Ottawa Farm Fresh is taking orders right now for seedlings that you’ll be able to pick up May 20-23. If your heartbeat quickens at the thought of garden fresh organic cherry tomatoes, leaf lettuce, cucumbers, and floral specialties like edible and pollinator friendly flowers, hit their website before it’s too late.
▪️ Just a reminder about the online course we mentioned in yesterday’s newsletter: Ottawa Tool Library’s gardening expert, Natalie, will be walking viewers through planning a garden, choosing the right seeds, and gathering the correct materials for the job. Full disclosure: the ottawan has purchased a ticket, because (again) what we don’t know about gardening could fill a 100 acre plot.
▪️ There are so many seed retailers but it’s a good idea to purchase from a nearby business that understands the local climate, the weather, and the soil. Kitchen Table Seed House is based on Wolfe Island near Kingston, Ontario. Proud members of the Ecological Farmers Association as well as the National Farmers Union of Ontario, Kitchen Table Seed House sells certified organic vegetable and flower seeds and use traditional, non-genetic engineering breeding techniques.
▪️ Bird & Bee, located in Blackburn Hamlet, started in a small community garden box in 2014 and declares “You don’t have to be experienced to be a great gardener, you just have to plant the seeds.” They are part time farmers who grow their certified organic food for winter use, selling on the seeds from their harvests. They sell seeds for every vegetable from beans to winter squash, and the tomato selection is small but impressive.
▪️ Bird & Bee also donates to the Seeds of Diversity Canadian Seed Library, a collection of over 2900 regionally-adapted and rare seed varieties. The Seeds of Diversity charity promotes biodiversity in seeds and food.
▪️ Based in Waterloo, Ontario Seed Company Limited supplies seeds of 30 herbs, 250 vegetables, and over 100 flowers that will suit Canada’s climates. Their website is a trove of useful gardening information, with articles on about determining your gardening zone and growing guides. There’s also a handy guide to planting native grasses and wildflowers.
▪️ Urban Harvest’s certified organic seeds catalogue includes heirloom varieties and focuses on saving and protecting plant diversity. They also carry a wide range of soil amendments such as compost activator, a non-toxic insecticide, mineral fertilizers, and seaweed meal.
We'll see you tomorrow – Martha and Darren
Weather: 🌦️ Periods of rain. High of 8°, low of 2°
Number: 1,383. The number pool permits issued by the City in 2020, an 80 per cent increase over the previous year. [CBC]
Ottawan of the Day: Carissa Klopoushak. The violinist with the National Arts Centre Orchestra and the Ironwood Quartet has been appointed the new artistic director of Ottawa Chamberfest. [Ottawa Festivals]
Quote: “Are you going to hide in your office while you wait for the next election in November?” – Le Droit columnist Patrick Duquette to the mayor of Gatineau, Maxime Pedneaud-Jobin, accusing him of running out the clock until his term ends. Pedneaud-Jobin will not be running for reëlection. [Le Droit]
Sports: Toronto Maple Leafs 3 – Ottawa Senators 2, last night. The Sens visit Montréal Sunday.
1,755,596 doses have been administered in Ontario
🆕 Pfizer, Moderna, and AstraZeneca vaccines delivery tracker
📋 Public Health Reports
There have been 16,483 confirmed cases of COVID-19, an increase of 151 since yesterday, and 459 deaths, two new reports.
💉 99,886 doses of vaccine have been administered in Ottawa.
There have been 7,086 confirmed cases of COVID-19, an increase of 55 since yesterday, and 171 deaths, no new reports.
💉 30,636 doses of vaccine have been administered in the Outaouais
There have been 3230 confirmed cases of COVID-19, an increase of 29 since yesterday, and 69 deaths, no new reports.
💉 21,240 doses of vaccine have been administered in the Eastern Ontario Health Unit.
Sometimes the number of cases or deaths are lower from one day to the next. This is usually because the powers-that-be have reassigned a case to a different health authority.
⭕ The Ontario advisory group says that UK variant of COVID-19, now dominant in the province, has a 60 per cent increased risk of hospitalization,
⭕ Mayor Jim Watson says the City is receiving fewer vaccines per capita than other Ontario cities. [Ottawa Citizen]
🍁 The Canada COVID Alert App
Be alerted if you have come in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
#WHAT OTTAWA IS TALKING ABOUT
▪️ Cochrane's Dairy has been sold after 80ish years. The family-owned business is fondly remembered for delivering milk in glass bottles across Ottawa. The farm has been sold and will be now be known as Ter Kadamba Farm. The new owners will now deliver weekly boxes of not just dairy but produce, bread, and juices. [National Valley News] [Ter Kadamba shares]
▪️ The Transportation Committee has decided that the future is in e-scooters rather than shared bicycles. Ottawa has seen various bike sharing programmes over the years, the last one leaving in 2018. The Committee figures it would cost $4 million to set up and $3 million per year to operate, which would mean operating at a loss. The e-scooter programme, however, has been widely popular and is run by private companies. Twice as many e-scooters will be allowed to operate this summer over last year. [Ottawa Citizen]
+ Related Bike shops can't keep bicyles in stock
▪️ The City actually ended the year with a $17 million surplus. COVID-19 grants from the Provincial and Federal governments to cover losses of transit and permit revenue, plus the City saving money in most areas, puts the finances in decent shape. [Ottawa Citizen]
▪️ House prices in Ottawa could crash says Canada Housing and Mortgage Corporation. The argument is that Ottawa house market is overheating, people will have trouble paying their mortages, and boom – correction. [Ottawa Business Journal]
▪️ WestJet will offer Ottawa - Victoria flights this summer. Beginning June 26, the airline will offer weekly flights on Saturdays to and from BC's capital city. [CTV]
▪️ The Citizen loves the tacos at Sí Señor Mexican Street Food. Why the Citizen can't keep their weekly food review on a regular schedule so we can put it in our Wednesday Resto Roundup, we'll never know. [Ottawa Citizen]
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