Monday, November 27, 2017

Nature Man Dan's Asperger's Syndrome Discussion Presentation for College Biology SBI3C


Danyon gave this excellent presentation on her perspective and experiences
https://docs.google.com/a/ocdsb.ca/presentation/d/14Vtmrn4rSaowgJS2unWoID83M6qCyLed6rD--vYidMU/edit?usp=sharing

Grassy Narrows and the Effect of Mercury Poisoning on First Nations People by Ally R NVB3E


An excellent presentation on the effects of environmental mercury poisoning impact on local Indigenius Peoples in Grassy Narrows area, Ontario
https://docs.google.com/a/ocdsb.ca/presentation/d/1Py__HianPjD7LalqHwEKpunDEZz86dQT--bCTl_fgss/edit?usp=sharing

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Companion planting and the benefits of growing your own vegetables

Companion planting and the benefits of growing your own vegetables
PPZ3C Summative by Thomas

Certain herbs, vegetables and flowers benefit other crops when planted in close proximity to them. This is the main idea behind companion planting. Some of the benefits some plants can bring include:
- Physical protection: Hardier plants can provide shade and protection from harsh weather for more delicate plants.
- Nitrogen fixation: Some plants, such as legumes, peas and beans, take nitrogen out of the atmosphere and add it to the soil. Nitrogen is an essential nutrient for the growth all plants.
- Pest control: Some herbs repel insects that are pests for other plants. Planting these herbs next to vegetables will reduce damage from pests. For example, thyme repels many pests such as cabbage moths.
- Positive Hosting: Growing the right plants can attract pollinators and predatory insects that benefit the whole garden.
- Improved taste: Some plants improve the taste of others when planted side by side. For example, basil improves the taste of tomatoes

I helped plan and plant herbs and vegetables in Banting’s garden as part of my project. As of June 21, 2017, this is our garden plan:

items with a have been planted

Bed 1 (closest to school entrance)
  

Heirloom tomato ✔

Heirloom tomato ✔

Sweet one million tomato ✔

Heirloom tomato ✔

Heirloom Tomato ✔

To be planted tomatosphere group H
To be planted tomatosphere group G
To be planted tomatosphere group G
To be planted tomatosphere group H
Basil ✔
Oregano ✔
Nasturtium ✔
Chives✔  & Garlic Chive;
Parsley✔
Egyptian Onion ✔
Onion Winter✔
Onion Winter✔
Cucumber ✔ - good with kale, onion, radish, peas
Beets ✔
Lettuce ✔
Cucumber ✔
Beets ✔
Lettuce ✔
Spinach ✔
Spinach ✔
Spinach ✔

Bed 2

Peas - planted ✔
Beans - planted ✔
Beans - planted ✔
Kale ✔
Kale ✔
Kale ✔
Kale ✔
Kale ✔
Kale ✔
Nasturtium ✔
Winter squash ✔
Radish ✔
Reseeded lettuce + beets planted ✔
Winter squash ✔
Carrots - nantes ✔
Lettuce ✔
Radish ✔
Radish ✔
Swiss Chard ✔
Swiss chard ✔
Kale?
Peas ✔
+ space for more - ran out of seeds
Peas +  radish - reseeded
Peas +  radish - reseeded

Bed 3

corn
corn
corn+???
potatoes
Cilantro ✔
???
potatoes
Cilantro ✔
potatoes
potatoes
Cilantro ✔
potatoes
potatoes
Beans ✔
potatoes
potatoes
Beans ✔
potatoes

potatoes
Beans ✔
potatoes
4 garlic pants ✔
- cut scapes end of  June
-harvest bulbs in August
2 garlic plants ✔
- cut scapes end of June
-harvest bulbs  in August
potatoes

Bed 4 (near daycare)

kale✔+thyme✔
kale+✔thyme✔
kale✔+thyme✔
kale✔+thyme✔
kale✔+thyme✔
kale✔+thyme✔
carrots✔
carrots✔
carrots✔
carrots✔
carrots✔
carrots✔
peas✔+lettuce✔
peas✔+lettuce✔
peas✔+lettuce✔
peas✔+lettuce✔
peas✔+lettuce✔
peas✔+lettuce✔
Mixed greens+radish
Mixed greens+radish
Mixed greens+radish
Mixed greens+radish
Mixed greens+radish
Mixed greens+radish

Bed 5 (parallel to daycare walkway) Squash bed


nasturtium
squash
nasturtium
zucchini
zucchini
pumpkin
zucchini
zucchini
pumpkin
zucchini
zucchini
pumpkin
zucchini
zucchini
pumpkin
zucchini
zucchini
pumpkin
squash
squash
pumpkin
spinach
spinach
spinach


Nutrition value of vegetables

The vegetables and herbs we are growing in our garden are good sources of essential vitamins and minerals. Below are some examples:

Kale is an excellent source of vitamin K - Just 20 g of kale contains the daily recommended amount of vitamin K. It is also a good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6, folate, and manganese.
Spinach is a good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, magnesium, manganese, iron and folate
Tomatoes are a good source of vitamin C
Carrots are an excellent source of vitamin A and a good source of vitamin K and vitamin B6
Cilantro is a good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium, manganese and iron
Thyme is a good source of vitamin C, vitamin A, calcium, iron and magnesium
Pumpkin flesh is a good source of vitamin A
Roasted pumpkin seeds are a good source of protein, magnesium, iron, and potassium, but beware, they are very high in fat


Benefits of Growing Vegetables

There are many benefits of growing your own vegetables. First of all, you get the freshest vegetables possible. Many of the fruits and vegetables in a grocery store are picked days or even weeks before they are ripe so that they do not spoil, giving them less flavor and nutrients. If you pick your vegetables from your own garden, you can pick them only when they are perfectly ripe. Growing your own vegetables also means you can avoid pesticides and other potentially harmful chemicals sometimes used on farms. Growing your own vegetables can also save a lot of money! Seed packets are very cheap and usually contain dozens or hundreds of seeds. I found growing herbs to be especially good for saving money. When you buy herbs at the grocery store, they are not cheap, and you often have to buy an entire bundle, when you really only needed half or a quarter of the bundle. The rest goes bad in just a few days. I found that a few large pots in a south facing window can supply enough herbs to fix this problem!

Planting and caring for a vegetable garden does more than just produce cheap, tasty, pesticide-free vegetables. It encourages you to go outside and get some mild exercise and sunlight - two things most people could use more of these days. Most people also find it relaxing, so it can be used to manage stress and improve mental health. It can also be a great activity to do with family and friends!

I also found one unexpected benefit when I grew my own vegetables and herbs at home. I can be very lazy, so if I have to go grocery shopping to get vegetables, I’ll often choose not to. I often find myself just snacking on whatever was most convenient, rather than considering which foods are healthier. With a supply of fresh vegetables and herbs right in my own backyard, I found myself adding them to my meals or making salads more often. When all I had to do was walk out my back door to get herbs and vegetables, I would add them to anything I could! By making kale, tomatoes, onions, cilantro, peppers, mint, chives, and radishes more convenient, I improved my diet without even making a conscious effort!



Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Ontario Physical Geography

Ontario Physical Geography
Jeff Walters, March 29th 2017

Ontario is divided into three main geological areas. The Canadian shield covers the northwestern part and is thinly populated because of its cold climate and infertile soil. The northeastern part includes the barely populated Hudson’s Bay Lowland which is swampy and sparsely forested. The third is the temperate St. Lawrence-Great Lakes Lowlands, the most populated region in Canada. Ontario contains no mountainous areas but has many uplands and lowlands.

  1. Canadian Shield
The Canadian Shield is a Precambrian shield that is covered with the Boreal Forest. It is a vastly exposed area of igneous rock and highly metamorphic rock that is tectonically active while only barely and is dominated by granite. The Canadian Shield formed 2.5 billion years ago due to the shifting Archean plates and volcanic activity spewing lava which solidified igneous rock. Once stretching to Texas, the Canadian shield may have been the largest mountain range in the world. It has since eroded from mountains to rolling hills due to glacial impact, the seasonal freezing and melting of ice and wind erosion. The shield is full of deposits of gold, silver, copper and iron. Thousands of small lakes are dotted across the Canadian shield due to the retreat of the last ice age. These low lying wetlands occur closer to water table. These swamps and bogs are low in nutrients are are highly acidic. The Canadian Shield is dominated by the boreal forest ecosystem. Common coniferous trees include white and black spruce, jack, red, white and eastern white pine balsam fir, tamarack,  eastern hemlock and eastern red cedar. Deciduous trees include red and mountain maple, white and paper birch, trembling aspen black ash and balsam poplar. A wide range of wildlife calls the Canadian Shield home. Lakes and rivers in the south house a variety of fish species including trout burbot and northern pike In addition to fish, lakes are often spotted with a mix of waterfowl including wood ducks Canada geese and American black ducks. Other birds include boreal owls, great horned owls, blue jays and white-throated sparrows while mammals include caribou, deer, wolves, lynx, beaver and moose.

    2. Niagara Escarpment
The Niagara Escarpment is the longest escarpment in the world ranging 725 km covering upstate New York, southern Ontario and the states of Michigan and Wisconsin compromising fossil rich sedimentary rock. An escarpment is a steep slope or long cliff that forms as an effect of faulting or erosion and separates two relatively level areas of differing elevations. The Niagara Falls is the gem of the scarp attracting many tourists every year. The scarp came into existence around 450 million years ago as a tropical sea. The world was covered in a warm shallow sea where the depression layered the groundwork for the escarpment. At different periods the escarpment would dry and then refill because of drastic changes in climate over millions of years. However adaptable life forms became more complex to adapt to these changes making it an excellent spot for early more complex life forms. The escarpment consists mainly of magnesium and limestone. The progressive action of glaciers, water flows and the elements caused the more resilient dolostone to weather at different rates than the shale, resulting in the very dramatic land forms including sea stacks, karst formation caves, deep valleys, waterfalls and rugged hills. The Niagara Escarpment is perfect for vineyards because of its rainfall and climate.

    3. Great Lakes
The five largest freshwater lakes in the world make up the Great Lakes: the largest Superior, the one with the most shoreline Huron, Ontario where the city of Toronto and Kingston are located, the Michigan located entirely within the state of Michigan, and the smallest, shallowest and smallest by volume Erie named after the Aboriginal tribe that once inhabited its shore.The Manitoulin is the largest freshwater island in the world. The Great Lakes occupy low bedrock depressions after glaciers melted around 14 000 years ago. Many waterways eroded connected all great lakes and were used since the first fur traders. The lakes are freshwater because they are fed by rivers which are fed by rainfall. The lakes freezes at different rates: Ontario freezes by 25 percent as where Erie will freeze by 90%. Lake Superior has the highest elevation and greatest of all features where lake Ontario is the lowest and smallest of the Great lakes.

References
All Ontario
Northern Ontario Travel
Canadian Encyclopedia
Bruce Trail Conservancy  
Ontario Woodlot Association
Giants Rib

Environment Canada