Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Today its snowing. In the last 24h, the temperature dropped 17°Celsius!

Glad our seedlings are safe in the greehouse!

All our fund proposals are in, which gave us all a break to study for our finals. Last day of finals is friday the 30th. Then it's gardening time!!
On April 22nd, Myriam (watering) and I (looking up) seeded some more herbs, tomatoes, peppers (hot!), flowers and more! The thyme is already showing up! I received also our seed orders from Coop Tourne-sol, La Val'heureuse and Salt Spring Seeds! I want to thank our seed donors Steve Leckman and Caroline Begg! I also want to thank Anne-Sophie Tardif for her sweet potatoes from her plant propagation course (on the foreground of the picture with Myri)!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

MSEG : Primary Objectives

The Project has three main objectives

1. Address issues concerning sustainable food systems by:
- Improve access for the McGill and local community, to quality, sustainably grown, local foods
- Demonstrate the university’s first closed-circuit food system through cooperation with the student-run Mac Happy Belly and Gorilla Compost groups (please refer to Appendix B)
- Publicize these results and be an example to the community by providing their produce through the Ste. Anne’s Farmer’s Market and McGill Farmer’s Market
- Rehabilitate conventional agricultural land for preparation as an organic research field, which takes an average 3 years to become fully certified
This objective in particular will enhance the culture of sustainability at McGill and Macdonald.

2. Education and community outreach regarding ecological agriculture:
- Building on the foundation of education and outreach established by the former summer’s student garden such as
- Emphasize research projects already in the works such as vermicompost and pest control, and attract additional student and faculty research projects that require sustainably managed fields (i.e. UNIS)
- Connecting academic agriculture knowledge with the McGill and local community through workshops, lectures, meetings, demonstrations and publicity days

3. Engage the campus community in all aspects of ecological agriculture
- Providing a living classroom for many of the professors on campus, some of whom are already involved in the planning of this coming year’s plantation and management
- Establishing a profile as a club on campus to improve student accessibility
- Taking an active role in the Macdonald Food Systems Project to connect stakeholders such as the Horticulture Centre, the Farm, UNIS, etc.
- Employ motivated students to expand their field of knowledge in this area of extreme interest and importance to our global society


When the phrase “sustainable development” came into widespread use in the last half of the 1980’s, it signaled a new phase in our struggle with the twin catastrophes of the resource depletion and environmental degradation. The shift may go very deep indeed. It could mean a change in course for the waning industrial age; it might even be a central part of one of those rare periods of metamorphosis in civilization itself. […] Our ecological understanding developed over the last few decades makes it clear that we can only meet the needs of humans in an environment where the needs of other species-countless other species- are also met. This requires maintaining the integrity of nature’s life-support processes. In this case, maintaining does not mean simply preserving. […] Cities now cover less than 2 percent of the 61 percent, but they include over 42 percent of the world’s population. These small, intense clusters of activity are the decision centers as well as the energy-consumption centers. They are determining what happens in the rest of the landscape, namely, a pattern of degeneration. […] The global statistics on deforestation, desertification, salinization, soil erosion, habitat loss and other landscape pathologies tell that story very clearly.” John Tilleman Lyle (1994)

… current cities are parasites that, unlike successful parasites in nature, have not evolved mutual aid relationships with their life-support host landscape that prevent the parasite from killing off its host and thereby itself.” Eugene Odum (1993)

Aldo Leopold

Conservation is not merely a thing to be enshrined in outdoor museums, but a way of living on land.” –Game Cropping in Southern Wisconsin (1927)

Cease being intimidated by the argument that a right action is impossible because it does not yield maximum profits, or that a wrong action is to be condoned because it pays. That philosophy is dead in human relations, and its funeral in land-relations is overdue.” –The Ecological Conscience (1947)

The landscape of any farm is the owner’s portrait of himself. Conservation implies self-expression in that landscape, rather than blind compliance with economic dogma.” – The Farmer as a Conservationist (1939)

Seeding Day 1

Today we finally started seeding! Made all of us very happy!

We cleaned up 2 rows in the Summerby Greenhouse then seeded a few things we had handy.

Emily recording the number of seeds planted

Katryna seeding trays