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The Fairy Doors of Salt Spring Island - The Big To-Do List


Saltspring Island, British Columbia is one of the many jewel-like islands that sparkle in the Strait of Georgia. It was here, in 1996, that we founded Island Sea Farms Inc. and began growing Saltspring Island Mussels. Although these clean rich island waters have produced world class shellfish for almost a century, British Columbia has never had a mussel farming industry. Through our pioneering hatchery and sustainable farming techniques, we are proud to be the first successful mussel farm in BC. We believe you will find our Saltspring Island Mussels plump, consistently sweet and delicately flavoured.

Pre-Dawn Pastels at North Salt Spring Island

"In thesummer," Proctor said, when the inversion layer of cold aircovering the valley lifts, "in the southern Sierra we seeozone-injury in trees up to about 7000 feet and in the northernSierra about 5000." Others have found ozone-caused treeinjury as high as 9000 feet.Once the ozone is inside the cellular structure of the tree,it bleaches the chlorophyll from the needles -- just like Clorox,also an oxidant -- so that they lose their ability tophotosynthesize and then drop prematurely.At the headquarters of the Stanislaus National Forest,entomologist John Wenz and plant pathologist John Pronos reportedthat years of drought have brought widespread trouble to themountains.

Earlier on a July morning on Salt Spring Island

Salt spring island canada day crafts

The third most common cause of decline and death is improper nutrients and pH. Rhododendrons need acidic soil, a pH of between 4.5 and 6. Fortunately, rhododendrons are great pH detectors. If the leaf is green, don't worry. If the leaf is yellow with green veins, you may have a pH problem, however it could be a nutrient problem also. In any case it is chlorotic. [See the photo of a chlorotic leaf.] If the leaf is uniformly yellow, it is most likely a nitrogen deficiency and not chlorosis. There are many causes of chlorosis. Poor drainage, planting too deeply, heavy soil with poor aeration, insect or fungus damage in the root zone and lack of moisture all induce chlorosis. After these conditions are eliminated as possible causes, soil testing is in order. Chlorosis can be caused by malnutrition caused by alkalinity of the soil, potassium deficiency, calcium deficiency, iron deficiency, magnesium deficiency or too much phosphorus in the soil. Iron is most readily available in acidic soils between pH 4.5-6.0. When the soil pH is above 6.5, iron may be present in adequate amounts, but is in an unusable form, due to an excessive amount of calcium carbonate. This can occur when plants are placed too close to cement foundations or walkways. Soil amendments that acidify the soil, such as iron sulfate or sulfur, are the best long term solution. For a quick but only temporary improvement in the appearance of the foliage, ferrous sulfate can be dissolved in water (1 ounce in 2 gallons of water) and sprinkled on the foliage. Some garden centers sell chelated iron that provides the same results. Follow the label recommendations for mixing and applying chelated iron. A combination of acidification with sulfur and iron supplements such as chelated iron or iron sulfate will usually treat this problem. Chlorosis caused by magnesium deficiency is initially the same as iron, but progresses to form reddish purple blotches and marginal leaf necrosis (browning of leaf edges). Epsom salts is a good source of supplemental magnesium. Chlorosis can also be caused by nitrogen toxicity (usually caused by nitrate fertilizers) or other conditions that damage the roots such as root rot, severe cutting of the roots, root weevils or root death caused by extreme amounts of fertilizer. In any case, never use aluminum sulfate. Although garden centers sell it and it is great for hydrangeas, it will kill rhododendrons and azaleas if used repeatedly. Also never use fertilizers with chemical nitrogen. Always use a good rhododendron and azalea fertilizer with organic nitrogen like HollyTone. Also, always fertilize in the spring and at half the rate on the package.

This is an exciting new region for viticulture. There are now vineyards and wineries on many Gulf Islands, including Salt Spring, Pender, Saturna, Quadra and Bowen. The first plantings began in mid-nineties, with Saturna Island starting their first of four vineyards in 1995.

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