Holland College Blog

News and views from around the college

How does our garden grow? With bronze fennel and leafy lovage and grapevines all in a row!

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I dropped in at The Culinary Institute of Canada this morning to see how things were progressing  in the garden. The sun was shining, and a fairly strong wind was blowing in from the mouth of the harbour when I met up with Instructor Jack Wheeler and student Jared Ritz.

We’ve had a lot of rain recently, but also a lot of sunny days. The garden looks fantastic! Things that were mere seedlings three weeks ago are now lush and richly coloured, and Jack and the students have been busy planting new donations as word of their project spreads.

Recently, John Rossignol of the award-winning Rossignol Winery donated grape vines to the garden. Rossignol Winery is located in Little Sands in the eastern end of the Island, and John’s vines surely must be accustomed to the wind. His vineyard stretches from the front of the property all the way back to the cliffs overlooking the Northumberland Strait. If you’ve never been there, it’s well worth taking a trip to this beautiful region.

Jared visited the Inn at Bay Fortune at the suggestion of Chef Michael Smith last weekend. The inn’s chef, Warren Barr, generously donated bronze fennel and lovage, a leafy plant that tastes a lot like celery.

Several employees of the college have also dropped off ornamental plants and flowers, and it seems that interest in the garden is growing almost as quickly as the plants themselves. Culinary students have started gathering there in the morning for coffee and a chat as they discuss their plans for the day and pull a few weeds. And increasingly, neighbours have been stopping by to sit in the shade and enjoy the atmosphere. The culinary institute is located in the Tourism and Culinary Centre, which is separated from the sea by a narrow stretch of grass and a few rocks. Sometimes the only sounds are of distant traffic and the clopping of horse’s hooves as a carriage carrying tourists passes, and the viewer’s eye is drawn from the neat rows of plants in the garden down to the boardwalk and out into the harbour.

The transformation of what was once merely a strip of grass into an attractive and functional extension of the culinary programs at the Tourism and Culinary Centre is impressive, and I have a feeling things are only going to get better. I’ll drop down again in a couple of weeks to see what’s new … and what grew!


Written by Sara Underwood

July 9, 2010 at 1:00 pm

Posted in Staff, Students

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