Saturday, 1 October 2016

Kazimierz Senkowski (April 8, 1936 - September 27, 2016)

Long time NAGA gardener, 'Kaz' passed away 27 Sept 2016. His obituary is posted at the Ottawa Citizen.

NAGA member and friend to Kaz, Ian Reid provided the following tribute to Kaz:

Kazimierz Senkowski passed away on September 27, 2016. I’ve known Kaz for about 25 years at the NAGardens. We shared neighboring plots for both the Annual and Perennial gardens during the past 25 years. Stakes mark the boundary corners. We only marked the plot boundaries, not by a string as most gardeners do, but by a foot path made by a shovel between the stakes. Kaz knew where my boundary was and I knew where his was. We never augured about the boundary .Kaz never stole from me nor I from him. To sum up you couldn’t ask for a better neighbor.

Volunteer work

Kaz volunteered for many jobs over the years: Here is a picture of Kaz and I cleaning out a compost bin to make room for the next year’s supply of plant material.

Here is that same Bin after being cleaned.

I’m showing this to point out that there is not a speck of compost in the bin even though it was being filled with plant material the next day. Kaz was a perfectionist. Most people wouldn’t bother cleaning out a bin like Kaz did. Everything Kaz did was done right, no short cuts. His gardens were laid out in straight lines and were weed free.

Cutting Grass

Kaz took over from me and cut the grass for several years. I used to ask him if he serviced the Mower (changed the oil, oil filter etc.) If he didn’t say it outright, he basically said that I have a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering (I think I’m right, correct me if I’m wrong) and in addition he said that I worked in a garage back in Poland. Kaz as it turned out he knew more than me about servicing the Mower than I did. He did a fine job.

Kas will be missed at the gardens and elsewhere..

Thanks for being my friend. Ian Reid.

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

The Great Canadian Bumble Bee Count

Friends of the Earth are taking part in The Great Canadian Bumble Bee Count.

As you know Bumble Bees are declining in numbers world wide according to the literature.
Volunteers are asked to upload sightings to: where your sightings will go into a data base.

Mike, our Chair thinks is a good idea to send an e-mail to all the gardeners on the e-mail list in case some gardeners want to participate in the count. I’ve already uploaded a sighting.

One of the required items is the Latitude and Longitude of the sighting. These readings can be obtained before filling out the form from Google Maps.

There is lots more information in the web site.

Take Care
Ian R.

Monday, 25 July 2016

Mowing the Grass at NAGA by Ken Medd

I retired in 2015 and quickly found that I wasn’t really ready to retire. I had too much time on my hands and I started taking contracts and odd jobs. Earlier this spring, I jumped at the chance to mow the grass at NAGA. Shortly after that, I landed a short-term job that kept me very busy for May and June. In fact, my garden plot was badly neglected during that period. That job is over, however, and I’m paying more attention to my plot again.

When I started cutting our grass, I wasn’t familiar with the brand of lawn tractor we use (a Columbia) but it seems powerful and well suited to the size of our garden. We’re into the second half of the 2016 gardening season now and I’ve cut our grass quite a few times. I’m getting comfortable with the garden’s layout and I’ve learned some useful things like where the tractor can’t turn around and where it just doesn’t fit. I think I’ve found a good height for the mower deck. It doesn’t leave the grass too long and the blades are high enough that they don’t dig into the ground or hit many rocks.

Sometimes, things are left beside the plots that can present challenges for mowing. I’ve come across rocks, piles of rocks, sticks, stakes, netting, fence wire, plastic bottles, pails, bags, papers, ropes, hoses and other things that we all use in our gardens. Earlier in July, I broke both of the mower’s blades in one evening when I hit rocks that had been thrown into the grass on the headlands. I’m learning where to expect those obstacles though and I’m sure I’ll get better at avoiding them.

I’ve met many of you already and I look forward to meeting the rest of you as opportunities arise. If you have suggestions or constructive criticisms about the mowing please flag me down and let me know. That’s all for now, except to say thanks for letting me mow the grass. I’m really enjoying it.


Saturday, 26 March 2016

Renewals for 2016 and Annual General Meeting

The following is current as of 26 March 2016:

The renewal applications are now being sent out electronically and by regular mail (for those who don't use email).

2016 NAGA Annual General Meeting (AGM):
The AGM will be held on Saturday 23 April at 1PM at the Tanglewood Community Centre, 30 Woodfield Dr, Nepean. Free onsite and street parking. Wheelchair accessible.

Status of waiting list for non-members:
The current waiting is over 120 people, and the average waiting time is 2-3 years. To get on the waiting list send an email to the registrar with your full name, mailing/street address, phone number. The waiting list is addressed in the order that names were added. As your name is reached on the list you will be offered a garden plot. Once two offers are refused your name is removed from the waiting list. Attempts to subvert this process will result in your name being removed from the waiting list.

Actions taken with respect to gardeners not respecting the Terms and Conditions as agreed to by their signature, in 2015:
  • The gardeners of 28 plots will receive extra scrutiny during 2016.
  • The gardeners of 6 plots are on Final Notice for 2016 ("last chance").
  • The gardeners of 10 plots have lost plots (and possibly membership) due to serious and/or persistent violations.

Monday, 1 February 2016

Indoor Seed Starting Workshop - 20 Feb 2016

Lee Valley is holding an indoor seed stating workshop on Feb 20, 2016.

For those interested, here is the link for more information:

Monday, 18 May 2015

Garden Update - 18 May 2015

Dear NAGA members,

The annual plots have been tilled, and data was taken with respect the tilling depth on the east and west side of the garden. Last autumn the east side annuals were not tilled as part of an experiment.

The water cannot be turned on until the gardens were tilled. The small delay we have had since tilling is that our NAGA plumber has been out of country until today. I expect the water will be on in a few days, if there are not major repairs required. If there are repairs required of the plumbing it is likely the result of the extensive Hydro construction that used a lot of the NAGA space for their efforts over the winter time, and/or the tilling.

Mike Chebbo, the Chairperson, has met several times with Hydro with regards to correcting many issues left behind by Hydro over the winter. Little by little things are getting fixed and put back.

New signs were made (from NAGA funds) and erected a few weeks ago. These are signs that remind gardeners to take home any and all garbage they generate at the garden, for disposal in their home garbage pickup. Too many people abused the old system and forced the hand of the Board.  Also, NO DUMPING signs were erected, this is a reminder to members and the public. Note that the City of Ottawa By-Law is quite harsh, with a fine of up to $25,000 for illegal dumping. If you dump at NAGA, you are dumping illegally on a City Park, and if caught we will prosecute. Don't make yourself 'the example.'

Incredibly, already, some members have left garbage by the former garbage location. They left it right under the signs, even leaning up a piece of wood against one of the new signs. This is the height of ignorance and a lack of respect for NAGA and it's gardeners. If you see a member leaving garbage at NAGA, report it to the Board, and be sure of which plot the gardener tends to so that we can take corrective action.

Dir. at Large

Monday, 24 November 2014

Invasive Plants - Japanese Knotweed

The need to keep vigilant about invasive plants is highlighted in this BBC News video about Japanese Knotweed.