What to Do This Weekend: Co-op Hosts ‘Plant-a-Perogie Workshop’

Photo op at the last workshop with Mustard Seed Co-op

Photo op at the last workshop: “Pickled-Pink: Make Your Beets Last Forever”

When the Mustard Seed Co-op unveiled their plan for an affordable, socially conscious grocery store in the heart of downtown, it created quite a buzz.  This weekend, co-founder Graham Cubbit plans on giving back to the community with a helpful Perogie-growing workshop this Saturday at the Hamilton Farmers’ Market.

“Part of what makes our co-op great,” says Cubitt,  “is that you’re a part owner.  Food is an intimate part of us, and you can make decisions to impact that. That’s why we hold events like the “Plant-a-Perogie” initiative.  It’s also important for us to reclaim the Farmers’ Market’s image following the violent brawl earlier this winter.”

Staff insist that garden-fresh perogies are far superior to processed perogies.  “When I eat a perogie, I want to know the conditions it

was raised in,” says Emma Cubitt, Graham’s wife and co-op partner.  “Was it in a tiny container?  Was it doused in pesticides?”  That’s the advantage of growing them yourself.”

The workshop will run from 8am – noon at the Hamilton Farmers’ Market, on Saturday, March 23rd.  To become part of the Mustard Seed Co-op, visit http://mustardseed.coop/ Below is a helpful guide to growing your own perogies.

The Mustard Seed’s Quick Step-by-Step Guide:

  1. Choosing Perogies – make sure they’re organic perogies.  You can find them in specialty
    Digging Homegrown Potatoes - August 2011

    Digging Homegrown Perogies – August 2011 (Photo credit: Peter Mooney)

    grocery stores.  It’s best to use a local farmer’s perogies, because they’ll be more adapted to your climate and soil conditions.

  2. Preparing the Perogies – Cut them into two inch chunks.  It doesn’t have to be pretty.  Make sure you cut them a day in advance so they build a protective skin.  This will shield them from mold.
  3. Preparing the soil –  Fortunately, perogies grow in most soils, although they thrive in the 5.0-5.8 pH range.  Make sure the soil is loosely packed, allowing for those tendrils to suck up all the nutrients from the soil.
  4. Planting the Perogies – Planting perogies is an art.  Dig down 4 to 5 feet, dropping the cuttings with the rounded end towards to East.   Keep them 18.5 inches apart.  Using a sifter, gently fill in the hole with soil.  This should take about 4-5 hours if done properly.
  5. Growing the Perogies – water once every few days.
  6. Harvesting – They are ready to harvest with the flowers turn blood-red.  Take care of the thorns, and start salivating!

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