Look who’s talking at Richters!
All seminars are FREE!
For directions and map, click here
For recently held events, check the video recordings here. For last year’s seminars check the video recordings here
CORRECTION! National Herb Day will be celebrated on MAY 4. The date in the printed catalogue is incorrect.
MAR 30 COLD FRAME GARDENING
With Kyla Dixon Muir, Riverdale Meadow Community Garden
Kyla Dixon-Muir can be found in the garden almost every week of the year, even in winter. She uses a system of ‘season extension techniques’ to add as many as two months in spring and another 2-3 months in fall and winter to her growing season. Her system of coldframes and raised beds does not cost a lot of money, and Kyla will show you how her system can work with low-cost or no-cost coldframes, many of which do not require construction skills. She developed her system while at the Riverdale Meadow Community Garden in Toronto where she has grown her own organic food for years. 2-3pm
APR 6 ORGANIC PEST & DISEASE MANAGEMENT
With Travis Philp, Greenshire Eco Farms, Lindsay
From fungal blight to raccoons in the night; there’s an organic solution to every gardening problem. Growing food without synthetic chemicals can be difficult but it is not impossible as some conventional farmers may have you believe. For thousands of years farmers and gardeners have managed to keep it natural, and given the health and environmental risks associated with chemical farming it’s high time we returned to a safer way of growing our food. Travis, a trained environmental and eco management technician, is a resident of Greenshire Eco Farms where he manages the permaculture garden beds and looks after crop planting, maintenance, harvest and the weekly filling of food boxes. 2-3pm
APR 13 HERBAL CARE FOR MENOPAUSE
With Marcia Dixon, Medical Herbalist, Granby Centre for Natural Healing, Toronto
Menopause is a natural transition to the next stage of a woman’s life, not a disease. With simple dietary and lifestyle changes, and the appropriate use of herbs, the transition can be a more gentle, life affirming experience without need for medical intervention or the risks associated with hormone replacement therapy. Marcia Dixon, a medical herbalist with a special interest in women’s health, explains how herbs can help even out the body’s natural change of life. Marcia has been practicing family herbal medicine in Toronto since 2003. 2-3pm
NOTE: Our scheduled speaker, Klaus Ferlow of Ferlow Botanicals, is unable to present on "Neem - Nature’s Powerful Skin Remedy" due to unforeseen circumstances.
APR 27 GROWING AND BREWING HOPS
With Nicholas Schaut, Hop Farmer and President of the Ontario Hop Growers Association
Nicholas is owner and operator of Bighead Hops, a certified organic farm that grows hops commercially for Ontario craft breweries such as Muskoka Brewery, Great Lakes Brewery, Trois Brassuers, MacLean Ales, and Northwinds Brewing. As a founding member and President of the Ontario Hop Growers’ Association, he works with the community of hops growers to develop, support, and research, technical innovations for small scale growing, and helps to market locally grown hops. Nicholas also brews and enjoys the odd beer. 2-3pm
|This year we celebrate National Herb Day with an afternoon of seminars in praise of Artemisia, the Herb of the Year for 2014. Please note: the date in the printed catalogue is incorrect. May 4 is the correct date. |
MAY 4 USEFUL ARTEMISIAS TO GROW
With Koidu Sulev, Richters Herbs
The artemisias are a diverse group of herbs. They include the ever popular tarragon, the French favourite for sauces, vinaigrette, and fines herbes, and the lesser known mugwort used to flavour rich meats and poultry. Other artemisias are used to flavour venerable liqueurs such as Absinthe, Vermouth, Genepi, Chartreuse and others. Indeed, the classic Martini cannot be made without the flavour of wormwood in Vermouth. And in the landscape, the artemisias reign supreme wherever a silver or grey is needed to create a beautiful, serene effect. Artemisias are also known to be very hardy and drought tolerant, and they adapt well to challenging garden situations. Koidu Sulev, a long time representative of Richters, will show you how the artemisias can be a part of your garden, for food, medicine and good looks. 2-3pm
MAY 4 WHY ARTEMISIAS ARE IMPORTANT FOR HEALTH
With Carmen Lynde, CHT, RH, Vervain Inc.
Most of the artemisias are medicinal. They have been used for thousands of years by herbalists from East Asia and Siberia to Europe and North America. The Greek physicians more than 2,500 years ago noted their useful bitter qualities and how the artemisias can be important for good health. Bitter herbs like artemisia kick-start the digestive system, stimulate the liver, and boost the immune system. Carmen Lynde, a practicing medical herbalist with a full-time herbal clinic in Toronto, will explain why we may need to be taking bitter artemisias like wormwood, santonica and mugwort, as our lives become more sedentary and our body’s systems become sluggish. Besides running a busy practice, Carmen is creator of Vervain, an organic plant-based skincare line made by hand in small batches. She also serves as Richters online medical herbs expert. 3-4pm
|For more information on this year’s Herb of the Year, check out our feature article Praising the Artemisias. |
Check the links to the video recordings
FEB 2 HOW TO GROW BRUGMANSIA
With Steven Biggs, Food & Garden Writer
If Steven Biggs could grow only one flower, he would choose Brugmansia, a wondrously fragrant, exotic-looking tropical plant with trumpet-shaped flowers often as long as a wine bottle. It’s extravagant, it’s voluptuous, it’s flamboyant—and this tropical beauty never fails to elicit cooing from visitors. Also known as Angel’s Trumpet, it’s equally at home as a garden centrepiece, container-bound patio sentry, or in the flower border. In this talk, learn how to grow and overwinter tropical Brugmansia (and its cousin the Datura) in our temperate climate. Steven Biggs is an award-winning food & garden writer who spoke at Richters last year on his passion for growing figs. View the Recorded Presentation
FEB 9 WONDERFUL WHEATGRASS
With Tom Stem, DynamicGreens, Stouffville
Many people, including cancer survivors, are relying on wheatgrass juice to jolt the body back to health. Fresh wheatgrass juice is packed with vitamins, minerals, enzymes, amino acids and antioxidants. Tom Stem grows and produces wheatgrass juice on his family farm, located close to Richters, and ships his DynamicGreens frozen juice products to customers throughout North America. As an avid advocate for wheatgrass, and an everyday user himself, Tom will discuss why wheatgrass is such an amazing natural product and why you and your family should consider taking it for better health. View the Recorded Presentation
FEB 16 XERISCAPING, WATER EFFICIENT GARDENING
With Jeff Mason, Mason House Gardens, Uxbridge
Tired of being a watering slave to your garden? Had enough of fighting the garden hose? Jeff Mason, an advocate of low water gardening or ‘xeriscaping’, shows how to make your garden a water saving paradise. You will learn which plants to grow, how to prepare your soil, and how to protect your plants successfully over winter. Many popular herbs are actually pretty good drought tolerant plants and will fit right in to this style of garden! Jeff, along with his mother Majorie Mason, is owner of Mason House Gardens, an independent garden centre specializing in perennials and xeriscaping plants. View the Recorded Presentation
FEB 23 HOME CROPS THAT WOW
With Steven Biggs, Food & Garden Writer
If your veggie gardening space is limited, why grow the green beans you can easily buy. Instead, paint the supper table with a surprising array of coloured veg including red okra, purple beans, yellow carrots, rainbow chard, and golden beets. Then add an exotic touch with intercultural crops such as bitter melon or Malabar spinach, treats that are hard to find at the supermarket. If you grow veg or want to grow veg, but want to be a bit different, this talk is for you. Steven Biggs is an award-winning food & garden writer who spoke at Richters last year on his passion for growing figs. View the Recorded Presentation
MAR 2 ROOFTOP AND BALCONY GARDENS
With Johanne Daoust, Design Educator and Urban Gardener
Johanne Daoust micro farms a roof-top vegetable garden in downtown Toronto, a garden which has been described as a “first-class example of both urban food productivity and creative applied research.” An advocate for growing food safely in an urban setting she uses a ‘square foot, raised bed method’ of growing, along with sub-irrigated planter technology to grow her food plants. Sub-irrigated planter technology is like providing “a scuba tank for plants” because it creates an optimal growing environment by delivering water, oxygen and organic fertilizer directly to the roots of a growing plant in a water-tight planter. The system saves water, nutrients and time, and it produces spectacularly beautiful food as can be seen on Johanne’s Flickr page. View the Recorded Presentation (available soon).