☔ The season is coming! Check out our 2019 workshop schedule

Help! (How to garden)

Our 2019 vegetable gardening workshop calendar is out! The workshops offered by Urban Seedling are back for a 3rd edition! The first workshop is Saturday March 2nd, 2019.

Take advantage of workshops specifically dedicated to growing vegetables in the city with our 1 hour classes led by myself Tereska Gesing, founder of UrbanSeedling and a professional specialized in urban agriculture! With these workshops, I will guide you through the different steps of creating a vegetable garden, the best way to overcome the obstacles to gardening in the city and will cover the particularities of Montreal’s growing season.

Fêtes des semences at the Planétarium

This weekend! Come see us in our booth at the Montreal Seedy Saturday weekend. Catch my Vegetable gardening workshop for free at 9:30 tomorrow, or 4pm Sunday

There will be local seed producers with hundreds of varieties of seeds will be on hand: horseradish, tomatoes of all colours and shapes, asparagus, hot peppers. Food biodiversity begins in our gardens and plates.

Cultiver Montréal

Big news in Urban Agriculture! We are super excited to be a part of this growing movement.

On November 30th, 2018, a major event for urban agriculture in Quebec was held, the founding meeting of the brand new organization “Cultiver Montréal”, whose main mission is to support, encourage and contribute to the development of all forms of agriculture in the Greater Montreal area by: bringing together and coordinating local actors; sharing information and resources; promoting and raising awareness; and political advocacy.

Workshops : Vegetable Gardening in the City

Urban Seedling Workshops, a great way to learn about urban agriculture

The workshops offered by Urban Seedling are back for a 3rd edition! Starting from Saturday March 2nd, 2019, take advantage of workshops specifically dedicated to growing vegetables in the city with our 1 hour classes led by Tereska Gesing, founder of Urban Seedling and a professional specialized in urban agriculture!

During these workshops, Tereska will guide you through the different steps of creating a vegetable garden, the best way to overcome the obstacles to gardening in the city and will cover with you the particularities of Montreal’s growing season.

You will find out how to plan, plant and care for your home organic vegetable garden, whether you are gardening in your balcony in your backyard or even on your rooftop.

You will learn how to :

  • Plan and build your vegetable garden
  • Put together the perfect soil mix and learn all about soil fertility
  • Plant seeds and transplant seedlings
  • Maintain the garden throughout the season
  • Master companion planting
  • Balcony gardening solutions
  • Natural, organic control pests and disease

Dates of our workshops in english :

  • Saturday March 2nd, 2019 1 PM
  • Thursday March 14th 2019 6:30 PM
  • Sunday March 31st, 2019 1 PM
  • Saturday April 13th, 2019 11 AM
  • Thursday April 25th, 2019 5 PM
  • Saturday May 11th, 2019 11 AM
  • Thursday, May 16th, 2019 6:30 PM
  • Saturday May 25th, 2019 1 PM
  • Thursday, June 6th, 2019 6:30 PM

About Urban Seedling

Urban Seedling is a Montreal-based company that helps people grow their own fresh food in the city. For the past 6 years, we’ve helped people across the city grow fresh vegetables, herbs, and fruit in backyards, front yards, balconies, and rooftops.

About Tereska Gesing

Tereska Gesing, speaker

Professional and passionate specialized in urban agriculture, Tereska wish to facilitate access to urban agriculture for Montrealers through her company Urban Seedling as well as by her many community involvement. She offers conferences and workshops specialized in urban agriculture in companies and schools.

New Cultiver Montréal Network !

Réseau Cultiver Montréal; the new core of urban agriculture in Greater Montreal

On November 30th, 2018, a major event for urban agriculture in Quebec was held, the founding meeting of the brand new organization “Cultiver Montréal”, whose main mission is to support, encourage and contribute to the development of all forms of agriculture in the Greater Montreal area by: bringing together and coordinating local actors; sharing information and resources; promoting and raising awareness; and political advocacy.

Alternatives has been leading this initiative since 2010 as a project within their organisation. We owe them thanks and recognition for the great work in developing our industry and mobilizing the actors to raise the profile of Urban Agriculture in our fair city. Thanks in large part to this work, Montreal is now considered a global leader in Urban Agriculture.

Composed of organizations representing various sectors of urban agriculture from commercial producers, to well as social organizations involved in urban agriculture in Montreal, the Réseau Cultiver Montréal is an inclusive and promising project that will definitely inspire while highlighting local initiatives.

Considering that the urban agriculture community is mature enough to be able to take part in the major decisions being made at the City of Montreal, and in other important bodies, and considering that the various organizations and companies want the voice of all urban agriculture actors to be heard, and not just that of a few major players, it was decided to incorporate Cultiver Montréal as a non-profit organization.

“This is an important and significant moment for the community today! Nearly 70 people representing some 45 organizations active in urban agriculture gathered for truly interesting and passionate discussions on the future of agriculture in Montreal. I am sincerely excited for the future and very happy to have been involved from the beginning in the creation process of this organization, which will bring together the various initiatives already present on the territory in addition to pooling our respective knowledge and expertise and thus benefit the entire community! »

mentions Tereska Gesing, co-founder and owner of Urban Seedling.

The main objectives of Réseau Cultiver Montréal are :

  • Support the coordination of areas for cooperation, consultation and regional and local networking;
  • Identify themes or issues to be addressed, particularly based on current strategic planning, by identifying development opportunities that meet the needs and challenges of Cultiver Montréal’s members;
  • Bring regional priorities to various public and private bodies in order to:
    • Share ongoing initiatives, needs and best practices;
    • Promote and support policies that promote the sustainable and equitable development of Montreal agriculture in accordance with a healthy and favourable environment and the proper development of living ecosystems;
    • Invite government representatives, companies, researchers or others as appropriate and appropriate to the topic being discussed to the committees.
  • Advocacy for the inclusion of urban agriculture to all government and non-governmental bodies;
  • Act as an incubator for structuring regional initiatives and as a regional financial lever;
  • Serve as a unifying tool and actively collaborate in the deployment of structuring regional actions and projects;
  • Support collaboration between diverse communities in urban and peri-urban agriculture; and gender and ethnic diversity. To promote the inclusion of all and support the recognition of indigenous territories;
  • Organize events as tools for common visibility in order to promote actions and actors at the network level (ex: Cultiver Montréal fairs);
  • Raise awareness of agricultural issues among Montrealers;
  • Organize or offer technical training to friends and members.

The next steps will be to take charge of the organization of the Montreal Seed Saturday weekend, the Rendez-vous des agricultures montréalaises, and the Cultiver Montréal Fairs. The Réseau Cultiver Montréal is also deepening its collaboration with regional bodies such as the Conseil-SAM, MAPAQ, UPA and Ville de Montréal to ensure that it can properly represent its members.

A special thanks to: Michel Lambert et Gaëlle Janvier d’Alternatives, Claudia Atomei d’AU/LAB, Marie-Anne Viau de Santropol Roulant, Sara Maranda-Gauvin de On Sème, Guillaume Vallée-Rémillard de GRAME, Tereska Gesing de Semis urbains et Lauren Pochereva de Ça Pousse! formed a sub-committee to synthesize the last two and a half years of consultations during the Rendez-vous to extract the mission and objectives desired by the community for this type of initiative, and to draft general regulations and values statements.

Organization involved : Alternatives, AU/LAB, Santropol Roulant, On Sème, GRAME, Semis urbains, Ça Pousse!, PAUSE, Sentier Urbain, Le Dépôt, MicroHabitat, Écopap, Conseil-SAM, Les Fleurons du Québec, Y’a Quelqu’un l’aut’bord du mur, Insecto, Cégep de Victoriaville demain, Coopérative Agricole Urbaine Responsable, Miel Montréal, Potager africain du Québec, Projet Harmonie, Union des Producteurs Agricoles Outaouais-Laurentides, Paysage gourmand, Jardin botanique de Montréal, Arrondissement Sud-Ouest, Arrondissement Verdun, City Farm School, Société écocitoyenne de Montréal, Rucher Reine Noire, FIHOQ, Grand Potager, Alvéole, Carrefour alimentaire Centre-Sud, Ordre des Agronomes du Québec, Société environnemental de Côte-des-Neiges, Projet Montréal Verdun, Projet Montréal MHM, Espace pour la vie, Botaphyte, Ville en Vert, Re-set Tech, La ferme Pousse-menu, Fédération des sociétés d’horticulture et d’écologie du Québec, Urban Worms Montréal, Les jardins Carya, Regroupement des éco-quartiers, VertCité, Seedtheglobe, Lufa farms, Coopérative Abondance Urbaine Solidaire.

❄? Happy Holidays from the Urban Seedling team ??

Happy Holidays and best wishes for the
New Year

We would like to take this holiday season as an opportunity to thank you so much for your support of Urban Seedling and our mission to get people growing fruits and vegetables in the city! We had a great season, with lots of exciting new projects on the horizon for 2019.

If you are looking for a great last-minute giftUrban Seedling gift certificatesare the way to go! Get in touch by email today – there is still time to send it by mail. You can also make an appointment to pick one up at our offices in Verdun.

Redeemable for any of our workshopsservices or in our Garden Centre.

Offer gardening as a gift!

Give the gift of vegetable gardening 

Gardening is not only a relaxing and enriching activity, it is also a great time to spend with your family, and an excellent gift to give to yourself or a loved one; the gift of knowing how to grow your own food, and the understanding of how the fruits and vegetables grow that we eat every day! This year for the holidays, Semis Urbains proposes offering a gift certificate as a gift to introduce young and old to urban agriculture through a series of workshops to be held in 2019 at our the Verdun Greenhouses.

An Urban Seedling gift certificate as a gift

Offer an Urban Seed Gift certificate (in the amount of your choice) redeemable at our Garden Centre located in Verdun, where you can purchase a wide range of tools and essential items to maintain your garden in addition to our organic seeds. This gift certificate is also be valid to participate in our various workshops held throughout the year at the Verdun Greenhouses.

The certificate offered can be used for the following services :

    • Series of workshops offered by Urban Seedling in the spring;
    • Products for sale at our Garden Centre located at the Verdun Greenhouses;
    • Various vegetable garden creation services, horticulture or edible landscaping services.

Offering agriculture as a gift means offering autonomy!

Contact us to get a gift certificate!

Tel: 514-578-8900

E-mail: info[at]urbanseedling.com


Creation or improvement of educational gardens, the organisation 100 Degrés invites you to submit your projects!

Are you a school, an early childhood education centre, a community organization, a municipality, a cooperative and you are concerned about strengthening the ties that people in your community have with agriculture and their food? Do you think it is important that they be better equipped to be aware of the value of food and make responsible consumption choices?

With this call for projects, 100 Degrés, in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAPAQ), wishes to support projects to create or improve educational gardens. The objective is to promote the learning and experimentation, in the field, of agricultural concepts in order to raise awareness of the value of food among young and old and to help them develop the necessary skills to become consumers capable of making responsible and informed food choices.

The selected projects will be eligible for financial support of up to $15,000. The funding aims to raise awareness among the youth and the not-so-young about food providence, healthy eating, and bring Quebecers closer to agriculture. To learn about the journey from the farm to the plate.

Eligible projects must allow the creation of new educational vegetable gardens, or enhance or offer added value to an existing project.

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Interesting facts about educational gardens:

  • There are currently 82 educational gardens in Quebec.
  • A recent study shows that more than 35% of pedagogical gardens are started by teachers or other education professionals, and that the young people who attend them spend about 8% of their time there, or 2 hours per week.
  • Gardening naturally leads individuals to develop a different relationship with food and to change their eating habits (Burt et al. 2017)
  • This activity arouses curiosity about the origin of food, how it is produced and how it travels from the land to the plate.
  • It is an excellent way to reconnect young people and adults to their surroundings, as well as to agriculture, local food, nature and the environment

Who can submit a project?

  • Non-profit organizations (e. g. day camps, Low income housing, CPE, etc.)
  • Cooperatives (e. g. food cooperatives, etc.)
  • Public organizations (e.g., school boards and institutions, CEGEPs and universities, municipalities, youth centres, etc.)

The submitted project must:

  • Have more than one partner. For example: a partnership with the day camp, community group, CPE, community club or other to have users in the summer when the school is closed
  • To call upon an expertise, therefore a specialized horticulturist, or an urban agriculture company like ours
  • A high frequency and intensity of use and a clear educational vocation
  • The submitted project must be completed by March 31, 2020

The evaluation is based on the following criteria:

  • Relevance – in relation to a need in the community, i.e. to clearly demonstrate who benefits
  • Impact – potential for sustainability over several years and with a large number of users
  • Feasibility – reasonable budget and time frame, with clear expertise included, achieved in 2019

The deadline for submitting your projects is December 7.

To submit your project, visit centdegres.ca.

As an ambassador for the 100° organization, the co-founder of Semis Urbains, Tereska Gesing, can give you advice on how to submit your projects. Feel free to contact us for more information.

Frost in the garden!

Shocking but true! Here in Montreal there is a risk of frost tonight. Your leafy greens should be fine, but if you want to keep your tomatoes, peppers, eggplants and zucchinis going you should cover them with a floating row cover or old sheet. It’s worth int! The temperature should be going back above 20 degrees by the end of next week, so the season is far from over!

Garlic is here

This year we have Music and Chesnok Red varieties in our greenhouse. If you are done with your garden for the year, you can plant garlic cloves in the garden as you close up the garden. Open up the head of garlic and plant each clove about 6 inches apart, about 1.5 inches deep. If you are keeping your garden going, you can plant your garlic right up until the ground freezes! We are closing up our gardens the last week of October and the first week of November.

Harvesting leafy-greens

If you planted fresh leafy greens at the end of August and the beginning of September, you can start harvesting the larger outer leaves and let the inner leaves grow. Just make sure not to remove more than 30% of the leaves at once. You will be able to harvest fresh greens right up until the end of October.

Harvest party at the Greenhouses

Our harvest party is right around the corner. The Grand Potager, Urban Agriculture Centre invites you to un 5@7 in the Verdun municipal greenhouses! For those who joined us last year you know what this is an event not to be missed. Delicious snacks made from the greens from our urban gardens, will be served along with some drinks. Join us to celebrate our second year and discover the greenhouses. There is a guided tour before hand if you would like details on the Grand Potager Garden Centre.

Fall planting time!

As the weather cools off, you can plant leafy-green seedlings in the empty spots of your garden to take advantage of the end of the season. We’ve been planting for a couple of weeks now, but you can still get some lovely lettuce, kale, bok choy, chard and arugula seedlings at our Garden Centre

Eco solution for white grubs

Did you know that white grubs are often Japanese beetle larvae? Two of the most difficult urban gardening problems in one insect! There is an ecological solution available – Nematodes. These microscopic worms when applied in the fall and again in the early spring do wonders to drastically reduce the white grub problem.

The end of an era

It is with great sadness, but also great pride that we wish our wonderful Lia Chiasson luck in her new position as Director of Grand Potager. Her contribution to the development and operations of Urban Seedling can not be overstated. You can come and congratulate her in person at the Grand Potager Harvest Party on October 12th 5 – 8 pm at the Greenhouses. See you then!

Enjoy those veggies!

Continue to harvest as your crops are ready. Beets, carrots, garlic and onions all should start to be ready. Consult our article on harvesting root vegetables to get some tips. Don’t worry about having some empty spots in your garden, it will be short lived. Towards the end of August we ill be coming to add fall crops to your garden and fill in all the empty spots. If we are not coming to plants leafy greens in your garden, we will have leafy green seedlings for sale in our garden centre at the end of August.

Tomatoes will slowly start to ripen. Tomatoes are ready when they change colour. They also come easily off the vine and become a but more soft. If you pick them before they are ready, not to worry if they do not have any nicks or bruises you can let them ripen on the window sill or counter as long as they do not have any nick and bruises. Learn more about harvesting veggies here.

This is a fun time of year to experiment in the kitchen! Lots of fresh veggies to make all kinds of delicious fresh dishes.

With all this heat, it is a great time to get creative with your salads. Since peach season is here, I love to make a heirloom tomato and grilled peach salad. Slightly grill those peaches on the grill, chop us some of your tomatoes add some fresh basil and make a simple mustard dressing and enjoy. If you don’t have a grill, this salad is delicious anyway and pairs nicely with a fresh mozzarella or goat cheese.

If you have lots of kale in the garden, kale salad are a delicious way to get through some kale. Kale is best paired with a creamy dressing. I like to add some kefir or yogourt and even a bit of parmesan cheese to my salad dressing for extra creaminess.

Beans make a delicious fresh salad. Boil them for a few minutes, run cold water over them and cut them to a size of your liking. Toss with some chives and fresh dill and any other veggies you have in the fridge. Make a simple olive oil and balsamic dressing. Delicious!

Enjoy those fresh veggies! Happy eating!

Winter gardening

There are a few ways that you can extend the gardening season. The Montreal gardening season is so short so why not explore some of these methods.

First off, you can use the floating row in the spring and in the fall to gain a couple degrees. This will enable you to plant your cool loving crops earlier in the spring and keep them in the garden later in the season. When planting more crops in the fall for winter garden, you want to consider the short amount of time you have left and choose varieties that will mature in 8 weeks such as leafy greens or radish.  A winter garden is a way of extending the harvest season and not the growing season. When setting up the winter garden you want to start beginning of September or earlier so that they daylight hours are not too short. Once the daylight hours shorten enough (November), the plant stop growing – no matter how warm it is out.

Once you have selected your varieties and planted you must choose the structure that you will build. When you step up any kind of structure you want to think about mobility. If your cold frame or tunnel is always in the same spot eventually it will build up pest and disease. Moving your installation gives you access to nature’s sanitation. Consider where you are going to build or install your cold frame or tunnel. You want it to be easy access, so that once the snow comes you don’t have to shovel to get to your veggies.

Building a cold frame is a great option. It is beautiful and can double as a nursery to start seedlings in the spring, summer or fall but be careful to vent on sunny days. You can also build a tunnel. You want to use two layers so that you can take advantage of the greenhouse effect. You can use the floating row and a plastic sheet that you place on wickets so that the tunnel is not touching the plants. If you are gardening in a raised bed, you can easily fasten your new tunnel. You want to sides to be able to roll up so that you can easily harvest. Harvest when plants are thawed between 10-2pm on sunny days. Enjoy your harvest! Starches are transformed into sugar (beets, carrots), leaves develop nice deep colours red and purple and have a nice crisp texture.  

Why choose a raised bed?

There many reasons to choose a raised-bed. In our urban setting, spaces are small and building a raised bed that will be planted intensively is great way to dedicate a space to our garden all while keeping it simple.

You can build on almost any surface turf, gravel or your driveway, opening up space possibilities for your vegetable garden. By building up, you don’t have to dig down and amend the soil which is very labour intensive and can take years before getting a good soil quality. For your raised bed, you can invest in a high quality soil mix for your vegetable garden. Adding fresh soil to your raised bed will limit weeds as your are not digging up an existing space. A raised bed means that you are not walking in your garden bed and keeping your soil from getting compacted and allowing for great drainage. You can also get started earlier in the season because the soil in your bed will heat up early in the season. If you have lots of trees in your yard, gardening in the ground can be extremely challenging because of the roots, your raised bed can protect your garden  from the piercing tree roots. The nice wooden structure allows you to easily install a trellis or fasten a fence to protect your garden from animals. It even enables you to build a hoop house, if you want to extend your season into the cooler months.

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10 steps to a great schoolyard vegetable garden

Vegetable gardening is a great way to get kids outside and learning in nature! Not only do students learn how a plant grows, and where their food comes from, but all curriculum can be taught in the school vegetable garden. Area, volume, ecosystem, visual art, poetry, the possibilities are endless! Starting a vegetable garden at school can be a challenge. So here are some pointers to help you along your way.

  1. Involve the school community: Whether you are an engaged teacher, parent, after school educator or administrator it is crucial to get as many teachers on board as possible. Your vegetable garden can only be successful if lots of kids are using it as often as possible! Identify your allies and bring them on board as early as possible.
  2. Find a site: Your school vegetable garden needs to be in a sunny spot (at least 6 hours of sun per day), that is not used for other purposes. It should also be easy to access and near a water source. Often the front or sides of the school near the a door are good places to start looking!
  3. Financing: While school vegetable gardens are not very expensive, they do require materials. The initial setup will be more of an investment, then you will need seeds, plants, fertilizers and soil to top up every year. The school often has line items in the budget that can go towards a vegetable gardening project as long as you get good buy in from the director. Other good options are fundraising through parents committees. 1500$ for the first year will get you comfortably set up with a raised bed garden, some gardening materials (hose, shovels) and even a couple of planting workshops from your local urban agriculture experts!
  4. Garden build: We suggest planting with excellent soil, in a raised-bed vegetable garden. Trying to amend existing soil is hard work and results can be poor depending on the existing soil quality. Planting in a way that is easy to maintain and gets great results is the best way to keep your team motivated.
  5. Planting with kids: Kids love getting their hands dirty! One 12’ x 2’ vegetable garden per classroom gives each child a chance to plant. Having a mix of seeds and seedlings makes for lots of great learning. Starting a planting session talking about where food comes from and why vegetable gardening is important is a great way to introduce the garden project to each class. Start with one bed, and once you’ve proven to the school community what a great idea you had, you can add more beds in year 2!
  6. Maintaining the garden: The main tasks are weeding and watering. Check out our help section, and newsletter for lots of information and resources on specifics! Setting up a watering calendar for the classes can give a chance for all the students to be involved.
  7. What to do in the summer?: Keep it simple! In the first year of a school vegetable garden project it is often best to start small, and close the garden during the summer months. Once the vegetable garden has become a part of the culture of the school, you can start reaching out to summer camps, groups of engaged parents, or other community groups in your neighbourhood to partner with and keep the garden watered and weeded during the summer. At Urban Seedling, we have develop a great model to maximize your garden. We do a spring planting (late-April) of leafy greens and radish. You can then have a harvest party in June and Urban Seedling will come and close down the garden during the summer. In September, when the students return we have another planting workshop of leafy greens and radish. You then can have another even in the garden October and we come an close the garden for the winter. This model enable students to get the full experience of vegetable gardening without the extra work of maintaining and weeding over the summer.
  8. Levels of engagement: To get as many kids using the garden as possible, get teachers to sign on at their comfort level. You need at least one class to adopt each garden bed, and be responsible for weeding and watering. Other teachers can then be invited to teach parts of their curriculum in the the school vegetable garden as often as possible.
  9. Publicity: Having a vegetable garden looks good on the school. Let your community know with lots of pictures for the school website, school newsletters or other communications. The more parents, teachers and staff you can get involved and excited the better!
  10. Indoor option: Now that you’ve planted your school vegetable garden outside, you can add a seedling growing component in the classroom. We usually pitch this portion as an entrepreneurship project. With a shelving unit, fluorescent lighting and pots and trays you can set up a seedling growing station that can grow plants for your garden as well as seedlings and herbs to sell At 5$ per pot, you can make 1440$ every 8 weeks! This can finance the outdoor vegetable garden project, as well as other activities at the school. Students design packaging, sales, marketing and distribution!
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