Prior to our visit to Galiano, our team of seven city gals expected a lot of labour intensive field work in less-than-ideal weather. However, we were not expecting the incredible hospitality, local food, and educational experiences that Galiano and its community members had to offer. Between a tasting of apples from Sunshine farm, a fantastic dinner comprised of house-smoked salmon and local Cable Bay produce, as well as a tasty breakfast prepared by Alison Colwell at the community hall, we were thoroughly exposed to all of the bounty that the island has to offer. Finishing our visit off with a few hours preparing soup from locally harvested produce in the community kitchen was a perfect way to “close the loop” of the food system we had been examining. Our visit to Galiano was the best example any of us had ever seen of “building a community through food.” The use of the honor system to distribute goods, and volunteer labour being happily exchanged for fresh vegetables, are merely dreams for greater Vancouver. We were shocked to learn of the huge variety of food the island is already able to grow, and to see that Galiano residents are so willingly involved in their food system.
We would like to thank the owners of the Weaver’s Cottage, Lynn Jennings and Peter Reiner, and the Captain’s Quarters, the Schnare’s, for providing such great accommodation for the seven of us over our weekend stay. As well, we would like to thank Janice, Alison, Leo and Jane for having spent so much being our guides and ensuring we had the opportunity to see the highlights of what Galiano has to offer. Further thanks to all those we had the privilege of meeting during our stay (Roger and Lisa Pettit, Henny and Thomas Schnare, Sharon Masui, Therese Ramond) and who took the time to answer our questions. Without having visited Galiano Island, our group would not have been able to fully comprehend the scope of the island’s ability and efforts towards achieving a secure food system and promoting a sustainable lifestyle. We look forward to returning to Galiano to lend a helping hand and witness any further progress of their already admirable food system.