Food Program

Galiano Food Bank: Our Most Needed Items

  1. Canned Protein (Salmon, Tuna, Fish and Meat)
  2. Canned Fruit/Applesauce
  3. Canned Soup, Beans, Stew and Chili
  4. Cooking Oils (Olive and Canola)
  5. Pasta & Pasta Sauces
  6. Peanut Butter (or other nut butters)
  7. Rice (Brown and White)
  8. Breakfast Cereals & Oats
  9. Healthy Snacks – Granola Bars/Crackers/Nuts
  10. Tea and coffee & Skim Milk Powder
  11. Feminine hygiene products, Toothpaste, Soap

(Please no dented cans or expired food.)


2020-02-20T09:55:20-08:00February 20th, 2020|Categories: Food Program|0 Comments

Galiano Food Bank by Emma Luna Davis

Did you know that 1 in 3 food bank users in B.C. is a child, and 1 in 8 is a senior? That food banks help reduce hunger with dignity, and help reduce food waste too?

Last year after 20 years of service to the community, Ralph and Hans retired from their work running Galiano’s Food Bank. We met with St. Margaret of Scotland Church to see if there might be a way that the Galiano Community Food Program could support getting the Food Bank up and running again.

We are excited to announce that, as of February, the Galiano Food Bank is open again as a partnership between these two organizations. We are learning a lot as we go, and are keen to figure out what model will work best for the community, but for now, the Food Bank is open every 1st and 3rd Friday of each month from 11am to 1pm in the meeting room of the Church, on Burrill Road. We aim to reduce hunger in an atmosphere of respect and discretion. If you need help meeting your food needs, please come check it out— anyone in need is welcome. There is no fee to use the Food Bank. There will be coffee, tea and treats, and a welcoming face. If there’s something you would like to see on the shelves that isn’t there, please let us know. Come on by!

We are asking the community for donations of food items (no out-of-date food items please)— see the sidebar for a list of what we need most. You can drop off your contributions at Daystar, the Garage, the Corner Store, Soup and Bread at the South Hall, and at the Church on Sundays. Thanks very much to our community partners, including the Galiano Coffee Roasting Company and Galiano Trading, for their support of this project.

You can also help us reduce hunger on our island by donating one of a few ways:

  • By cheque to the Galiano Club (please specify ‘food bank’)
  • Online via Canada Helps at galiano-club/ (please select the Food Bank in the list of funds)
  • By e-transfer to with a note that says ‘food bank’
  • By cheque to St. Margaret of Scotland Church, (please specify ‘food bank’)
  • Cash donations can be left in our donation collection cans at businesses around the island

    We are also looking for volunteers to help with collecting, sorting, and repackaging food. If you’d like to get involved, please email us and we’ll let you know more about what kinds of help we need.

2020-02-20T09:50:38-08:00February 20th, 2020|Categories: Food Program|0 Comments

The 10th Annual Community Potluck Picnic

The Galiano Community School & Activity Centre, Sunday Sep 8, 12-4pm, rain or shine

Come join your neighbours, bring a friend, meet someone new. Share a favourite dish, stories, games and live music. Last year was a blast! Celebrate the end of a great summer. Everyone, young and old, is welcome.

Pie-baking contest! Zucchini Races! Soccer game! Tug-o-war!

Zucchini races!

Two categories: kids and adults. Each category is divided into two vehicle types: Integral (i.e. the vehicle would collapse if the zucchini was removed) and modified. There is also an award for the most creative vehicle design. Vehicles can be no more than 13” wide, and to win a prize, all the power must be supplied by the incline ramp. However, in the words of the judges:

“No zucchini, no matter how outrageous, will be refused!”

2019-08-25T13:55:33-07:00August 25th, 2019|Categories: Community Picnic, Food Program|0 Comments

Upcoming Gleaning Season by Emma Luna Davis

Recently at a Food Literacy conference in Victoria, I was asked to share a story of a moment I saw food literacy in action. I had so many to choose from! But what came to mind was the many times I’ve witnessed volunteer fruit pickers participating in the Gleaning Project who share recipes and techniques for handling the produce we are picking. “Can you dry this variety of apple?” “Have you ever made plum sauce for using in Asian recipes?” “I never get around to processing these, my kids just eat them all fresh.” And, every year: “What do you DO with quince?”

The Gleaning Project organizes groups of volunteer pickers to pick excess fruit (and sometimes vegetables). The harvest is divided 3 ways: One third for the landowner, one third for the Food Program, and one third divided amongst the picking volunteers. The Food Program share is used in our events, as well as distributed via the clinic, school and food bank. We gather all of the harvest together first and weigh everything so we can do things as fairly as possible, and so we can keep an accurate record for our notes and our funders. It’s an exercise in working communally, and everyone takes home some fruit picked by each of the volunteers.

We are very grateful to the landowners who generously host us, and work hard to be respectful of their space and property. That means we schedule picking times that are convenient to them.

When we have a site that is ready to pick, we email the volunteer pickers to inform everyone of the opportunity. We try to give you as much notice as possible, but often the window is pretty tight – ripe fruit waits for no picker!

We work hard to gauge the right number of pickers, taking into consideration how much fruit there is and what we can safely manage at each site. Sometimes there are more people interested than we can accommodate—please know that we do our best to make sure everyone gets a chance to pick and if we say no to you for one pick, you’ll probably be first in line for the next opportunity. This does mean that each person should not expect to pick more than a handful of times each season. How often you can expect to pick depends on your availability and how bountiful a harvest we have from year to year—last year about 80 people participated in about 60 picking sessions.

If you are offered a chance to pick, please take that commitment seriously. We know that things come up and sometimes it is necessary to cancel—in that case please give us as much notice as possible so we can replace you with someone who is keen. That lets us visit a site with the right number of pickers and get all the ripe fruit, rather than have to return multiple times to the same site. And some people want to pick but they don’t have a use for all of their share. If this is the case for you, please let us know when you ask to pick.

So, if you are you a landowner whose fruit trees are dripping with fruit, but you have no time to pick them; or if you would you benefit from having access to healthy fruit but have no fruit trees of your own; if your garden is overflowing, and you would you like to share the bounty with other members of the community; or if you enjoy the simple joy of harvesting fruit or vegetables in a group, the Gleaning Project is for you!

If you would like to be notified about upcoming picking sessions, or if you have trees that need picking, or if you have any questions at all, please email Emma.


Food Program Summer Roundup

Afternoon Tea with Games

In May we tried a new event: An Afternoon Tea with Games. This idea sprang from requests we’d received from seniors. Some felt that our popular Thursday Games Night can be a little loud. (Admittedly Games Night can be a raucous affair with kids playing Twister and Hungry Hippo, and adults playing Ping Pong and Scrabble – who knew scrabble was so competitive?) So we decided to try a quieter games afternoon.

A dozen seniors showed up for our inaugural event. The majority played cards, though once again scrabble made an appearance, and all enjoyed a classic afternoon tea of scones, sandwiches and cake. Plus while they were playing the volunteers and I made dinner for anyone who wanted to eat at the end of the afternoon, or take something home with them for later.

So if a quieter games afternoon might be something you’d enjoy – then mark your calendar. We’ll try another one on September 26th at 1:30pm till 3:30pm – Come join us. (I promise there won’t be any Twister!)

CRFair Roundtable

On June 3, Emma attended the Capital Region Food and Agriculture Initiatives Roundtable on Food Literacy. There were interesting discussions about Food Justice, mostly around indigenous issues of land use and also barriers for refugees, and programs that are tackling these. There is a new food atlas at which includes the Southern Gulf Islands – check it out.

Gleaning Project

The Gleaning Project is in full swing for another season. We are once again organizing groups of people to pick surplus fruit, to be shared between the pickers, the landowners, the Food Bank and the Food Program. If you would like to be notified about picking sessions, please let Emma know and we’ll add you to our list. If you have trees that need picking, please email Emma.

Grandparents & Elders Lunch

On Tuesday June 1th Cathy’s class walked to the hall to cook lunch for 25 seniors. The kids did really well and the elders really enjoyed their lunch, with lots of lively intergenerational conversation happening around the room.

2019-07-18T17:18:17-07:00July 18th, 2019|Categories: Food Program, School Projects|0 Comments

Sheep on Galiano by Emma Luna Davis

This month, we asked some of Galiano’s sheep farmers to share a few words about their experience keeping sheep. Thanks very much to Mary Jean Elliott and Marcia DeVicque for their delightful and thoughtful submissions at the busiest (lambing) time of year!

The owners of the Page Farm raised sheep from 1905 to 1977, and Gerald and Mary Jean continued the tradition on the same acreage (Elliott Farm) from 1977 to now. There have been sheep raised on the property for 108 years. Sustainability is determined by the quality and size of the acreage and the number of sheep using the property.

Sheep can become great pets. One year we decided to castrate a ram because we heard that a two-year-old wether (castrated ram) is the best meat (what the Queen eats). After castrating, he became so tame that our children would not let us butcher him, so he ended up as a pet and died of old age on the farm.

Sheep love apples. Sheep will eat cedar and fir tree branches and leaves. They keep the grass cut and the trees trimmed. They also provide the best source of fertilizer for garlic, and wool and organic, delicious food, especially when their diet is supplemented with apples. We have lived with and enjoyed our sheep for many years. The only sad times occurred when out-of- control domestic dogs (usually belonging to visitors to the island) have trespassed on our property and chased or killed our sheep. ~ Mary Jean Elliott

Sheep are gentle and inquisitive and have distinct personalities and temperaments. They are generally good moms, usually birthing easily. (Or not!) They make me laugh and cry on a regular basis. My life is richer and way more unpredictable being a shepherd. But you don’t raise sheep thinking to make money.

We raise sheep for many reasons. We raise ethical meat for folks wishing to source their food. We raise a variety of breeds for fleece. They keep the pastures (and most everything else!) groomed.

The first thing to remember about sheep is that historically, shepherds have lived with their flocks. For good reason, as sheep have no means of defense apart from running from their predators. Therefore, one of the first considerations when pondering getting sheep is adequate fencing. Roaming dogs are a serious problem for sheep on Galiano. Also, start small, as there is a lot to learn. You need to be able to afford to feed and take care of them.

Sheep need to be sheared at least once a year. They need regular hoof attention, some breeds a lot more than others. Interestingly white hooves grow faster than black. They also require a shelter to get out of the elements. ~ Marcia DeVicque

2019-07-18T17:56:19-07:00June 18th, 2019|Categories: Food Program|0 Comments

School Garden News by Emma Luna Davis

The School Garden is one of the many Food Program projects on Galiano. Coordinators and community volunteers work with the kids, teaching them about gardening, ecology and how to grow food. Kids are involved in planning, tastings, and cooking their harvest. The Food Program also organizes a mini Nettlefest and Applefest for the kids.

The School Garden has a long and impressive lineage of Coordinators cultivating enthusiasm for gardening. Galiano students have had the opportunity to learn alongside Janice Oakley, Colleen Doty, Janna Feldman, and, most recently, Brahmi Benner.

Brahmi brought an educator’s perspective to the role, emphasizing open-ended, playful exploration of the children’s interests, as well as giving the children a safe place to practice with real tools to build skills. Brahmi is moving on and she will be much missed by the Food Program team and the kids and staff at the school for the amazing enthusiasm she brought to every event.

organic garden in my backyard. After working as a native plant nursery manager, my experience expanded to include a deep knowledge of food uses, plant propagation and seed saving of local plants.”

Patti holds a science degree and became a teacher, hoping that she would be able to work with the Galiano community. She is thrilled to have this opportunity to help with the school garden and to share what she knows with the Galiano students.

In the coming weeks, Patti will spend time getting students excited about the garden, planting seeds and doing some science. Students have begun a science experiment to study the effects of temperature on germination and will plant their results.

A school garden thrives when the coordinator is able to spend their time focusing on education and exploration, and the maintenance of the garden is shared between students and community volunteers. We invite you to join Patti at the garden and have some fun in the sun. This is also an opportunity to learn in a hands-on way. If you’re interested, please email Patti.

In the summer, the Food Program will be posting this position for a permanent Coordinator – see Facebook or email the Food Program for more information.

2019-07-18T17:50:17-07:00May 18th, 2019|Categories: Food Program, School Projects|0 Comments

Sustainable Seaweed Harvesting by Emma Luna Davis

Last June’s Seaweed Harvesting Workshop was one of the most popular we’ve run, and so we are thrilled to be able to bring Amanda Swinimer back. Participants appreciated being given the opportunity to learn both at the beach and in the classroom, as well as getting to taste many varieties of seaweed. Here’s some of what they had to say about the workshop:

“Prior to this workshop I knew little about seaweed harvesting. Now I feel confident about my abilities to forage sustainably. Thank you for this great learning opportunity.”

“Delighted that we can contribute by harvesting as much of the invasive species as possible.”

“I have been around the ocean my whole life and learned so much in the hours spent with Amanda. Thank-you!”

“Amanda was fabulous! She was so smart and knowledgeable, but made the information accessible. You could tell how passionate she is about edible seaweed.”

“All aspects were fabulous. The instructor was very knowledgeable; I learned a lot; the outdoor harvesting was meaningful, and the tastings at the end in the classroom were delicious. The day was an excellent balance of practical and technical. Well organized.”

“Learning outside with my neighbours, learning more about our shorelines and ecosystems, learning what is closely available to us to harvest sustainably and how that promotes our health.”

“I loved learning about how to ethically harvest and where, and learning about the nutritional and medicinal benefits of the tea.”


2019-07-18T17:49:10-07:00April 18th, 2019|Categories: Food Program, Workshops|0 Comments

Galiano’s Next Top Nettle Cooking Competition

Chefs, cooks and foragers: It’s time to put your “pedal to the nettle” in this year’s competition at the 12th Annual Nettlefest Community Potluck Celebration at the South Galiano Community Hall. Come “test your nettle” by entering your best nettle dish against fierce island competition. And the sting: all dishes must be in by 5:30pm.

• Dan the Man Island Style (featuring 100% ingredients grown or foraged on Galiano)
• Avant-Garde Cuisine
• Homestyle Cooking

2019-04-02T21:17:31-07:00April 2nd, 2019|Categories: Food Program, Nettlefest|0 Comments

12th Annual Nettlefest Community Potluck Celebration

Sunday, April 7th Doors open at 5:00pm
Come together to celebrate the return of Spring as we gather as a community for the 11th annual Nettlefest Potluck.   It’s all about gathering with friends and neighbours, sharing some wonderful food, and enjoying the entertainment of some amazingly-talented locals. Join us, and bring something to share with others.

2019-03-23T15:53:28-07:00March 23rd, 2019|Categories: Food Program, Nettlefest|0 Comments
Load More Posts