Food Program

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.

Categories
• 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

Forest Foraging Walk

10:00am, Saturday April 6, Alistair Ross trailhead parking lot
with Holistic Nutritionist Cedana Bourne from the Galiano Conservancy Association

Bring your cameras and notebooks and learn about foraging in our local forests. We’ll walk through Galiano’s wild places and talk about nettles and other edible wild greens, how and when to pick them for a sustainable harvest, where they grow, and their roles in our local ecosystems. We’ll also learn about their nutritional and health-giving properties, and how best to preserve them.

Suggested donation $15-$20. Please register at galianofoodprograms@gmail.com

2019-03-23T15:48:57-07:00March 23rd, 2019|Categories: Food Program, Nettlefest|0 Comments

Wild Kitchen—Nettle Cooking Workshop with Alison Colwell

This Year we are holding 2 classes – Thursday April 4th and Friday April 5th at 5:30pm

Learn how to make a variety of delicious nettle dishes and how to remove the sting so that you can take advantage of all of nettle’s incredible health benefits. This hands-on class includes cooking demonstrations and is suitable for all levels of cooking skills. It’s a prime opportunity for those looking to develop their skills and incorporate wild foods into their diet. We will create a delicious meal to share around a communal table at the end of the evening. This is a chance to bring questions, and get ideas for your entry into the Galiano’s Next Top Nettle Cooking Competition at the Potluck.
Registration includes all ingredients for a meal we prepare in class, plus a copy of Alison’s Nettle Cookbook.
Please register at galianofoodprograms@gmail.com. Sliding scale $15-$25
2019-04-01T22:02:05-07:00March 23rd, 2019|Categories: Food Program, Nettlefest|1 Comment

Gingerbread House Competition 2018

It’s official!

This year will mark our first Solstice Gingerbread house competition….

There are only two rules:

Firstly, the whole construction has to be edible. (Go ahead and use carrots if you want!) Second rule, the wooden base can be no larger than 8″x 16″ (I can provide bases if needed.)

Winner will be determined by everyone at the dinner.

2018-12-09T15:42:20-07:00December 9th, 2018|Categories: Food Program, Winter Solstice Potluck|0 Comments

Upcoming Gleaning Season by Emma Luna Davis

Are you a landowner whose fruit trees are dripping with fruit, but you have no time to pick them? Would you benefit from having access to healthy fruit but have no fruit trees of your own? Is your garden overflowing? Would you like to share the bounty with other members of the community? Do you enjoy the simple joy of harvesting fruit or vegetables in a group?

If so, the Gleaning Project is for you! 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’re very excited to be adding the Mt. Sutil berry crop to our picking sites this year. 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 55 people participated in about 20 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. 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.

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 – that helps us figure out the right number of pickers.

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.

Seaweed Harvesting

Summer is seaweed season in the Pacific Northwest. On Galiano, we are literally surrounded by seaweed. It’s a wild, sustainable, delicious local food source that is both nutritious and delicious. These days it’s enjoying a reputation as a ‘superfood’, but coastal cultures included seaweeds in their traditional diets long before it was trendy.

If you’re interested in harvesting our local seaweeds, you might be wondering how to learn what kind of seaweeds you’re likely to find on our coast, where and when to collect to make sure that your harvesting impact is sustainable, how to preserve it and how to prepare it to eat. While a license is required to harvest seaweed for commercial use, individuals can hand harvest at low tide without a license (though not at Montague as it is against the terms of the park’s foreshore lease).

The Food Program is excited to host a workshop this month that will get you started. Amanda Swinimer operates Dakini Tidal Wilds in Sooke, BC, which sells hand-harvested seaweeds for food and medicinal uses. She holds a BSc in Marine Biology from Dalhousie. Amanda teaches people about seaweeds in schools, colleges and universities, and leads workshops in communities. Amanda is passionate about sustainable harvesting. Her seaweeds are ‘pruned’, leaving the rest of the seaweed to continue growing, and only when seasonally appropriate.

Join us on Sunday, June 10, at 9:00am for a hands-on session at a local beach at low tide, followed by further instruction at the South Hall. Amanda will cover species identification, sustainable harvesting, and incorporating seaweed into your diet.

And finally, in keeping with the theme of gut bacteria, did you know that researchers have found that many Japanese people have a gut microbe that “has acquired a gene from a marine bacterium that allows the Japanese to digest seaweed, something the rest of us can’t do as well” (Michael Pollan, New York Times, 2013)

2018-05-20T11:59:53-07:00May 20th, 2018|Categories: Food Program, Workshops|2 Comments

11th Annual Nettlefest

Photos are being posted on Facebook as fast as the plants themselves are coming out of the ground. It’s the middle of February and the nettles are coming up, and I’m as excited as everyone else seems to be. Nothing says spring on Galiano quite like the prickly, tasty, little nettles that grow everywhere. Tasty, green, with Vitamin C that is especially welcome after the long wet winter we’ve had. (Anyone who’s tried Dora’s “green bull” will appreciate what a boost nettles can give.)

When you are picking nettles for cooking, choose the young and tender leaves, usually the top four or six on a plant. Use scissors to cut the tip so you don’t damage the plant. Nettles are delicious – but most first-time nettle eaters are nervous about being stung. Use kitchen or garden gloves when you are picking and in the kitchen until the nettles are processed in some way. Once the fresh nettles are steamed, frozen, dried or cooked the sting is neutralized. There are lots of different ways to use nettles. After watching the entries for the cooking competition over the last few years I’ve learned that there’s nothing you can’t do with nettles, from scrambled eggs to ice cream! My personal favourites are nettle pizza and a nettle pakora.

This year, the Galiano Community Food Program’s 11th Annual Nettlefest runs April 6th to 8th. There will be a cooking class on Friday night, a foraging walk on Saturday morning, the community nettle pick on Saturday afternoon, and of course the community potluck on the Sunday evening, with the increasingly popular nettle cooking competition. Check the website for all the details. There’s lots to do, lots of ways to volunteer and get involved. Come celebrate spring on Galiano.

2018-04-27T00:01:54-07:00April 26th, 2018|Categories: Food Program, Nettlefest|0 Comments

School Garden Update by Brahmi Benner

As the new coordinator of the School Garden, I am excited to inherit such an inspired project. It is a privilege to learn about the garden’s creation and the tasty activities begun by Janice Oakley. It has been beautifully stewarded by Colleen Doty and Janna Feldman since. Alison Colwell has created delicious memories for our elementary kids. School enthusiasm for gardening has been well cultivated.

I am an Early Childhood Educator and I also look at the garden with this lens. Young children can learn through instruction but they need open-ended exploration. We’ll take a playful approach to soil, compost, and weeding. Robust edibles like mint and lemon balm can be tasted often without damage. These easy-to-interact-with elements help build motivation for the growing that requires more method and patience.

Greenhouse Coordinator Barry New helps us make the most of our soil and composting systems. Our spring seed starts are warm in the greenhouse and the Community Greenhouse group members have donated starts to the school garden. I hope to engage members of the Seniors’ Garden to share their knowledge and lifelong passion for growing with the children.

Another passion of mine is democratic and “emergent” education, which starts where the children’s interests already lie. Giving them a voice in the selection of the food creates an empowering and engaging environment. I’ve made planting lists with the K-2 class and will meet with the older grades. There are teachable moments in this conversation. When a six-year-old asks to grow bananas, we can discuss how climate affects our plants. The kids have also requested that we bring back the Pizza Garden, a round bed used to grow pizza toppings.

A garden is a safe place for children to practice working with real tools, such as hand tools that offer challenge and build skills. We are envisioning some fun structures for the kids to play in. Kids are drawn in by change and novelty, so we’re looking for volunteers to help us create bean houses; lightweight wooden structures that will grow walls of beans and other creeping vines. Giving our iconic scarecrow a makeover will be a fun textile activity. Festivals like Mini-Nettlefest and Applefest celebrate seasonal harvest and create meaningful connection.

The School Garden of 2018 will be a mix of great Galiano traditions and creative new ideas. We hope to see volunteers of all ages join us. Our next all-ages work party will be held on Saturday, May 12 at 1pm. Join us for snacks and coffee as we focus on soil, weeds and pruning.

2018-04-26T21:14:58-07:00April 26th, 2018|Categories: Food Program, School Projects|0 Comments
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