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Collingwood Garden Club sprouts fresh ideas with microgreens workshops

The Collingwood Garden Club is sowing the seeds of inspiration in the community with hands-on microgreens and sprouting workshops.

The Collingwood Garden Club is sowing the seeds of inspiration in the community with hands-on microgreens and sprouting workshops. 

"We believe in making gardening accessible to everyone, regardless of the season or space limitations," said Barb Collinson, a past club president and Arboretum director. 

“Microgreens and sprouting offer a great opportunity for individuals and families to grow nutritious greens right at home,” she added. 

Microgreens and sprouting have gained popularity because of their health benefits and how easy they are to grow. According to Collinson, microgreens typically take around 14 days to grow, while sprouts can be ready in just 3-4 days.

They also provide an opportunity to have a continuous supply of fresh greens throughout the year.

"Microgreens can be grown right on your kitchen counter, and sprouting is equally simple. It only requires seeds, paper towels, a growing container, and water. Plus, they're easy to store in the fridge, just like lettuce,” she said.

The Collingwood Garden Club sees these workshops as a way to promote healthy eating and gardening education, especially for those with limited gardening space or resources.

The club hosted its first microgreens and sprouting workshop approximately 18 months ago in collaboration with Julia Dimakos, a well-known local blogger and gardener. The event was a huge success and since then, requests for the workshops have poured in from various community partners.

Recently, the club worked with Collingwood Collegiate Institute's GAIA Club to host a workshop introducing students to microgreens and sprouting. They also collaborated with Breaking Down Barriers, organizing an online workshop that furnished kits to 77 participants.

These kits included everything needed to grow microgreens and sprouts like speckled peas, sunflowers, mung beans, and chickpeas.

“That one was really fun because it was all done through Zoom,” said Collinson. 

With winter fast approaching, the Collingwood Garden Club is open to hosting microgreen workshops for other organizations, operating on a cost-recovery basis for the necessary kits. "It's not just educational but also lot’s of fun," said Collinson.

Collinson said it’s a great project for children, too. 

“Because they grow so quickly, it’s good for children because they can see how fast these seeds germinate and then start to grow," Collinson said. “This kind of education is important not only to nurture the next generation of gardeners, but also to help them understand the connection between our food and what we can grow."

At the end of the day, Collinson said the club’s main goal is to inspire a love for gardening in the community all year long, and she sees these workshops as a great way to do so. 

“Our goal is to get people interested in gardening and this is just an offshoot of gardening that anybody can do even in the winter time,” said Collinson. 

The Collingwood Garden Club has been in existence in some capacity since the 1880s. Its current iteration started in the early 1970s and now consists of about 120 members. 

The club is in charge of maintaining the Collingwood Arboretum as well as tending to gardens at Breaking Down Barriers, Barbara Weider House, and My Friend’s House in Collingwood. They are deeply involved in community gardening projects and have been making strides in promoting sustainable and accessible gardening practices through various events and workshops. 

The Collingwood Garden Club also has a number of upcoming events for gardening enthusiasts of all ages. This Sunday, on Oct. 22, they are hosting a "Make Your Own Mushroom Log" event, where participants will take home logs infused with mushroom spawn, with the potential to harvest delicious shiitake mushrooms in the future. The mushroom log event is $60 per person and pre-registration is required via email to

Looking ahead, the club will host their seasonal "Make and Take" event, offering a chance to create festive and botanical-themed crafts just in time for the holiday season. 

For more, visit Collingwood Garden Club online here. 

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Maddie Johnson

About the Author: Maddie Johnson

Maddie Johnson is an early career journalist working in financial, small business, adventure and lifestyle reporting. She studied Journalism at the University of King's College, and worked in Halifax, Malta and Costa Rica before settling in Collingwood
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