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Newsletter 16 - December 21

The Solstice Edition

The Winter Solstice is an event that occurs when the Sun appears to reach its most northerly excursion relative to the celestial equator on the celestial sphere. In the Northern Hemisphere, this event occurs on December 21, the day the sun is at its lowest point.

December 25 is the day the sun begins to take a higher path in the sky.

We wish everyone many merry and bright days this holiday season!

Many Indigenous people are actively working toward reconnecting to their original teachings while also decolonizing colonial practices that have conditioned their lives. On this episode, they talk decolonizing the holidays and reconnecting to more meaningful Indigenous winter solstice teachings. Featured Guests: Dr. PennElys Droz (Anishinaabe/Wyandot) and Ella Robertson (Sisseton Wahpeton Dakota)

Vole Patrol now has a fearless Leader

And her name is Diane Morin !

Are you interested in working with Diane on Vole Patrol? Please send an email to

This is not a committee, more of a research team. Diane needs your help to investigate strategies for the 2022 growing season.

Please complete this quick VOLE survey. Send your response to Put “Voles” in the subject line.

On a scale of 1-10 (10 being “extreme”) how much damage did the voles do to your garden this year?

When did you first notice vole activity?

Were any of your plants untouched by the voles?

Did you respond to the vole activity by erecting barriers? By adding malodorous plants? Did anything work?

Have you done any research on vole management?

Have you any strategies in mind for 2022?

Please note, construction is over so access to Goldenrod Driveway west from Parkdale Avenue is open again.

Visioning Update

Update from our Board president, Sara Chen-Wing:

With the snow blanketing my garlic bulbs and soil, there is no sowing or harvesting to do this season. It's time to plan for our next season!

Since the AGM, the board has met virtually every two weeks. We are getting our virtual workspace set-up and you will notice we have a new email address now (

With the support of the Membership committee, we hosted a visioning event on November 30th and a visioning survey. Approximately 20 people attended the event. Participants got to know each other a bit, and shared ideas in small groups on what they envision Goldenrod could be. The event was attended by two representatives from Somerset West Community Health Centre, one of our partners.

Next, the board is turning it's focus to strategic planning and submitting a proposal to the Just Food Community Garden Development Fund for money to complete our Build Phase 2, which could add about 40 new plots and a pollinator garden.

Membership survey results

Thank you to everyone who completed the membership survey we conducted this fall, designed by our membership and events committee. 50 members responded. Here are the highlights:

  • 96% found the plot fee was fair

  • 42% are volunteering with GCG

  • 92% of respondents plan to renew their membership next year: and

  • 94% are interested in participating in garden events that are educational (98%) or social and garden related (77%). A few people volunteered to lead an educational event. *We hope to follow up with you soon, we just need some more volunteers on the Events Committee first!

Why did our members get involved? 50% or more said:

  • Ability to grow my own food

  • Get involved in community

  • Develop new skills/hobbies

  • Meet members of community

Top benefits of being a member/friend of GCG:

  • Mental health [74%]

  • Knowledge [55%]

  • Exercise [47%]

Everyone had had least parts of their garden that grew well. Features appreciated include:

  • Helpful tips, learning from others, friendly people

  • Water access, raised beds, soil quality, access to mulch;

  • Garden location and setting (incredible and heavenly), organic nature of the garden;

  • Garden layout and access to the garden and plots;

  • Weekly opportunity to donate to the food bank;

  • Community feel; and

  • Respectful gardeners.

What are the challenges you have found gardening at this location?

  • Pests eating things: voles, rodents, “Snails tried to infiltrate my plot”;

  • Sampling of produce by wildlife and critters: rabbits, squirrels, rats, field mice;

  • Geese, groundhogs, and other critters;

  • Mildew, fungus/blight;

  • Access (past all the construction, e-waste day, parking);

  • Inconsistent water supply / keeping the garden watered;

  • Weak water pressure: takes a LONG time to fill watering cans;

  • Several had plot neighbour's plants interfere with their own;

  • Too many rules that don't make sense;

  • Spacing and selecting the right things to grow within the space;

  • Lack of weed trimming between beds.

Call for Volunteers

Pollinator Garden

Call for volunteers: We are looking to build a team to plan for and build a pollinator garden within the Goldenrod Community Garden space this coming spring. No experience is required. If this is of interest to you, please send an email to Put “Pollinator Garden” in the subject line.


The Events Committee is looking for volunteers to help plan and put on events for next year. If you would like to assist in planning and organizing learning, social and community events please email to let us know! No experience in event management necessary. Put “Events” in the subject line.

Committee name change:

Please note that the Build Committee is now called Properties and will include both Build and Maintenance volunteers going forward.

Garden sharing initiative in Kitchissippi

Westboro Beach Community Association has launched a "garden sharing" initiative in Westboro Beach Community. It's a different concept than a community garden but the spirit is still there. Essentially, two private individuals come to an agreement on sharing a yard / garden for the purposes of vegetable gardening or other kinds of gardening. For more information, please click the link is below.

Helpful Links

Our website is

Follow Goldenrod Community Garden on Twitter! And Instagram !

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