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Sunday, June 22, 2014

Those Big Yellow Bags

You've seen them at your neighbour's house. Maybe you've had one delivered to your own home. In Hamilton, Ontario the Big Yellow Bag can be ordered with various types of soil and mulch and delivered right to your easy and tidy!

Last week the Shalom Teaching Garden received its delivery of 2 big yellow bags of black garden soil and 2 big yellow bags of wood chip mulch. Receiving a delivery at Churchill Park was quite a spectacle and children at the nearby playground were amazed to see the truck unload the 4 bags!

Then came the hard work!

With the help of some able bodied teenagers the soil was shovelled into wheel barrows and distributed into the various beds in the teaching garden. The rich black soil is a wonderful addition to top of our beds and we even created a new garden bed! Our central star garden got a complete overhaul by digging up all the existing, overgrown plants and weeds and a filling with fresh soil, new plantings and a generous covering of mulch! How happy everything looks!

Now the long sunny days will nurture our plants and nudge them along their growth cycle. Our team of waterers will visit daily to make sure our plants are never thirsty.

Come by and visit our Shalom Teaching Garden, behind Temple Anshe Sholom at 215 Cline Ave North, Hamilton, Ontario.

Ask how you can help in the comments below!

Monday, June 9, 2014

2014 Shalom Garden Season

Thanks to our generous supporters the Shalom Garden is getting some special additions next week.
A top up of soil and compost, a new sign, upgrades to our star garden bed, a sunflower bed and more.
Another change in the garden this season is the plantings done by students of George R. Allan school and Kehila Jewish Community Day School. In the two raised beds the students have planted parsley, tomatoes, lettuce, spinach, eggplant, peas and beans. They built a deer fence to protect their young seedlings and every day they monitor the growth of their growing plants.

Our Shalom Garden makes a beautiful setting for outdoor services over the summer. Join Temple Anshe Sholom for Kabbalat Shabbat Garden Services on Friday, July 25th and Friday, August 22nd. Bring a dairy/vegetarian dish to share and enjoy Shabbat Dinner outdoors in Churchill Park after the service.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Four Years of Learning to Love the Earth

Our teaching garden is waking up and we are hoping for another wonderful season of vegetable and herbs, learning and discovery.
We cannot embark on our fourth year of growing without the support of people like you!
This year the STG needs:

1. Four cubic yards of growing soil ($129 each)

2. Twenty-four bags of composted manure ($240 total)

3. Seedlings (basils, squash, beans, peas, carrots, tomatoes, eggplants, cucumbers, assorted herbs and more)
 (any amount)
4. Lumber to create two large raised beds ($200 total)
5. A new Shovel, Steel Rake and Hoe  ($150)
6. Contributions towards a Permanent Labyrinth (any amount)

If you can help with any of our garden wish list items this season, the Temple Office can issue you a tax receipt for your donation. We will acknowledge your gift formally in the summer issue of the Temple Bulletin. You can also honour a loved one through your donation to the Shalom Teaching Garden.

To volunteer for summer watering and weeding please email
Thank you for contributing to growth, learning and food to share. Our young people benefit tremendously from learning about where food comes from and how it grows!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Services in the Garden

 One of our favourite services of the year is Kabbalat Shabbat in the Shalom Teaching Garden. We schedule two of these services over the summer. Our first one, in July, was rained out so we gathering in a large circle in the Frank Auditorium for what proved to be a very memorable and meaningful service. On August 24, the weather cooperated and we congregated beside our garden in the lovely Churchill Park behind the Temple and enjoyed the warmth, the sunset and the Kavanah of praying outdoors with our Temple family.                                                

Many friends came out to enjoy this service and sing along with Jonny on guitar and Paula leading the prayers. Rabbi Jordan told a beautiful story and we all enjoyed a potluck dinner, picnic style as the sun set on this glorious Shabbat evening.

Here's to many more services in the Shalom Teaching Garden!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Garden Visitor

Our Shalom Garden waterers snapped this visitor to the garden. You never know what critters will show up at the garden! This is a Spicebush Swallowtail...nice find!

Friday, April 13, 2012

The SHALOM in our Garden Project

Most people know the word 'Shalom'. It is typically translated as 'hello', 'good-bye' and 'peace'. It's arabic equivalent is pronounced 'Salaam' and has the same typical translations.

When we founded the Shalom Teaching Garden in Churchill Park two summers ago we were a small group of educators and community leaders who wanted to make better use of a scrubby corner of the park that nestled up against the back perimeter fence of Temple Anshe Sholom. Yes, Sholom is the germanic spelling of that same word.

Members of Temple Anshe Sholom were keen to enter into the environmental movement with a hands on project where we could, literally, get our hands dirty alongside of our young people. The Kehila Jewish Community Day School, that rents our building and fills it with exciting learning and exuberant young people during the school year, was also keen to enjoy this project. We approached George R. Allan School right next door for more interest and volunteers. Over the summers we have been growing in the park, neighbours have come to visit and ask questions. Park recreational 'suppies' have brought children over to watch and help with planting. All of our visitors have enjoyed the lawn labyrinth we mowed in our space.

It would not have happened without the help and support of Brian McHattie who connected us with the correct city departments, helped us through signing a lease with the city and RBG who steward the park land we work on. The work continues this season. We have plans for a three sister's garden, an herb spiral, star garden of sages, and of course our signature strawbale veggie garden.

We'd love your help. Aside from the typical translations of the word 'SHALOM', the root of this semitic word is WHOLENESS. If you love gardens and gardening and want to support garden education please get in touch. Our team won't have wholeness without you and we welcome your participation!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Garden Friends

The Eyed Elater is a wonderful garden friend recently seen at the
Shalom Teaching Garden. The 'click bug' has false eyes to confuse predators and the ability to flex the elongated shield on its back in such a way that it produces a loud click and creates a force that propells the bug several inches away from the spot it was sitting.
These facts would make the Eyed Elator an entertaining friend, but the click bug is a great help in the garden because it eats large amounts of aphids and larvae that would munch away our garden plants. We were very happy to see that the click bug has made the Shalom Teaching Garden it's home!