Monthly Archives: September 2010

September 2010 Update

Happening in September



On Sunday, September 19th, at 2pm, at 908 Morgan Road, Elizabeth Latta will be teaching how to prune a tree, fight back common tree diseases and generally increase orchard productivitiy. Bring pruning shears if you have them All welcome. By donation.


This promises to be a wonderfully interesting event. Learn about water catchment systems, grey water use, humanure, xericulture, how to minimize water use in landscaping and gardening, etc… Several speakers will be in attendance, including Bob Burgess from Thetis’ Island’s Rainwater Connection, who will be introducing us to how to build our own inexpensive water catchment systems, including an onsite demonstration. Bob will stay an extra day to provide consultations to folks who wish to build such a system at home!! Sunday, September 26th, from 1pm until 4pm, at the Galiano Community Hall.


>This event will take place October 23rd at the galiano Community Hall, from 6pm until we are too tired to continue!! Come celebrate with your friends and neighbors! BRING A DISH MADE FROM LOCALLY-GROWN ITEMS and/or HELP WITH SET-UP AND CLEAN-UP 🙂



The summer crops are still being harvested. greens have been added for the fall. Lemon, avocado and pomegranate trees will be overwintering.There will be a lock on the door from now on, so if you wish to get a tour, please contact us at the Food program at This fall, the school kids will be using it in combination with some instruction time about growing food in greenhouse, and we are hoping that PAC and the school will use the facility in the spring to produce starts that will then be used a s way to raise funds for their activities and projects.


This year’s crop has been harvested and we are currently seeking a new location for next year’s crop. Contact us if you wish to lend your land to this initiative.


Nine varieties of potatoes were planted this year in Suzanne Stephens’ land, all organic, and most of them heirloom varieties, and extra watering days were added in order to compensate for the dry weather. This group includes about 10 participants and the first harvesting will take place this week.


The Food Program had given support to this group in the form of advertizing. A mannequin was purchased, posters were created and posted throughout the island, and e-mail reminders were sent weekly. The Saturday Market group reported unprecedented growth in attendance and sales this year, and up to seven different food growers and several artisans were present each week, as well as live entertainment.


This project was hugely popular last year. This year, because of the cold and wet spring, several fruit trees suffered poor pollination rates, and crop level are consequently very low. So far, one gleaning party has been organized and we are hoping fruit owners will come forth in the weeks to come.The food will be distributed among the pickers, the owners, the Food Bank and the Food Program. Should there be surpluses, the extra food will go towards the Community Kitchens and the Seniors’ luncheons.


Two tasting luncheons were organized in order to gather more information about the type of service that would work on Galiano, who might benefit from the service, and the kind of food to be served. It was assessed that the elders wished that the current service provided be supplemented by ‘socials’ that would include entertainment and simple, nutritious food. leftover food would be delivered to those unable to attend.

-COOPERATION WITH SCHOOL- The Galiano school will focus this academic year on food and food production. Jennifer Lucke and Cathy Buttery are currently developing a curriculum around these topics and we will be collaborating on devising such a curriculum with them and the new principal in September and Octiber. The school garden is in full swing and the new greenhouse will be instrumental in our planning.


This project has been very popular. The core group (which included about 2 5 community members at its inception, with individual event limited to 10 participants) meets every three weeks and cooks a meal of their choice. The meal is eaten communally and leftovers are brought home. The focus is healthy, fresh, local food, cooked communally, sharing of information and cooking skills and inclusiveness. So far, the costs of the meals (not including the coordination time and efforts) is almost self-sustaining and covered by a nominal fee that each participant pays at each event, typically around $5-$10 per person.

This month, the focus in on canning the harvest. The next session, led by Alison Colwell, will be held September 27th, BEET PICKLES. Contact us to reserve a spot- spaces are limited to 6 participants.



On September 12, the community of Galiano gathered at the Community school to celebrate the end of summer. Over 130 folks came for the potluck, which was held indoors due to the rain, which did nothing to dampen the spirit of the day. Greg Gammon, Paul gregory and Andrew Ages provided the live musical entertainment. The day also featured a zucchini bake-off, a spoon and egg race, bubble-blowing, ice cream-making, an old-fashioned lemonade stand, story-telling by Andrew loverage, a puppet show by the Galiano Conservancy, a corn-husking competition. Much enthusiasm was generated, and we hope this will become an annual tradition.


On August 29th, Harry Burton, from SSI’s AppleLuscious Farm, came and delivered a warmly entertaining and informative workshop about apples. About 50 participants were in attendance.


2018-05-04T15:18:11-07:00September 4th, 2010|Categories: Food Program|0 Comments

Where’s all the fruit?

As gleaning co-ordinator I have been eagerly awaiting fruit season all year. Memories of canning, juicing, saucing, freezing and drying floating through my mind as I gear up for all the hard work. But something is different this year. Very different.

Last year, word in the garden was “What a bumper year!”. This year its more like, “I’ll be lucky if I get one baskets’ worth”. The contrast is dramatic and will be felt island-wide. Already we are at least a few weeks behind last year’s ripening schedule and many folks have let the gleaning team know they will not have any fruit to share at all.

A possible reason our fruit bounty will be less this year is weather. Galiano was blessed with a mild, early spring and thus many early fruit blossoms. Unfortunately, soon after these blossoms emerged the rains arrived and in May we had twice the average rainfall for that month. Rain may have hindered proper pollination in three ways.

Bees are our primary pollinators and bees don’t like the rain. Research shows that bumblebees will sometimes venture out into poor weather but our other pollinators such as honeybees and mason bees prefer to stay dry. Rain causes our pollinating population to plummet.

When it rains on the west coast it often carries with it that lovely greyness that people from the prairies can’t stand. Our darkened skies of May may also have decreased our pollination rate. Bees use the sun as a reference point in their search for food. When they have found a good source they return to the hive, perform a communicative “dance” full of directions and the rest of the bees inevitably find the food source immediately. When the sun is hidden the bees are less inclined to leave the hive and search for food aimlessly.

Lastly, with dampness and dew does the dandelion decide to droop. Well the same holds for fruit blossoms. Blossoms are not nearly as open and inviting on a wet day as they are when the sun is shining. In the case of heavy rain, the blossom may even be damaged. Without out a proper blossom there can be no fruit.

Of course some trees are doing beautifully this year and I am happy to see it! Let this be a reminder to all of us of the importance of diversity. With different varieties blooming at different times there should always be enough for each of us to eat a fresh apple this season.

The fruit situation seems to be on many people’s minds and I would love to hear other people’s hypotheses on why this year pales in comparison to last. Visit to share your input or contact us at or 250-539-2175 option 2.