Growing (Garlic Co-op, Greenhouse, Gleaning Project)

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.

Greenhouse Group

Greenhouse Group: Tuesdays at 12 noon.

Greenhouse Growing Group by Barry New

The Greenhouse Growing Group grows vegetables together in the greenhouse located behind the Library. This year’s season begins Tuesday April 4th at 12 noon. Anyone is welcome to join. This group can suit all levels of experience and commitment.

The charge is still only $20 for the whole year. This fee includes all soil amendments, seeds, pots, and tools (though people are also encouraged to bring their own). Participants also share the produce. We can provide handouts related to specific gardening questions.

We specialise in the early Spring Starts and then roll out a program for the year-round crops. You can learn and share your knowledge about potting mixes and seeds. The group meets informally once or twice a week throughout the spring and summer. By summer, we have a watering schedule so there are regular weekly turns by the participants to keep the plants well-watered. It is a teaching and learning environment so we have some resources and good links to help further the skills of participants. Last year we grew tomatoes, eggplants, basil, peppers, melons, and many other seasonal vegetables. The planters outside the greenhouse had strawberries, runner beans, and cucumbers. There are also Seniors Beds specially adapted for easy maintenance (no bending!). Starting this year, we are experimenting with winter crops, and we bought two olive trees and two lemon trees.

For more information, contact Barry New at 539-2364  or

SLOG Report by Colleen Doty

How did your garden grow this year? Maybe it’s still growing. Or, maybe life got in the way of those good intentions in the spring, the promising dance of dried seeds in the paper packet that got forgotten in the cupboard, and things never really germinated the way you’d hoped. With the dark damp days upon us it’s the time of year we tend to burrow down and take stock of where we’re at: what worked, what didn’t, and what might we do differently next time.

The Seed Library of Galiano (SLOG) would like to know how your edible garden grew and what seeds did well this year. One of SLOG’s goals is to increase island food security by collecting viable seed that flourishes in Galiano’s climate. That’s why SLOG only takes seed grown on Galiano, and why, we ask our donors to fill out some paperwork (we can help with that piece). SLOG is very interested in details like germination rates and growing conditions.

To help demystify the process of saving seeds SLOG and the Food Program are offering a free Seed Saving Workshop by Barry New. It will be held November 12th, from 11-1pm at the Community Greenhouse at the school garden. Barry will be sharing techniques and providing demonstrations on saving seeds for edibles such as tomatoes, peppers, grains, and other more difficult seeds. Please bring your questions, any seeds that need processing, and storage containers for your saved seeds. Paper bags and envelopes are best.

Whether you are a borrower of library seed, an avid gardener who has saved favourite Galiano-grown seed varieties, or a curious community member, we invite you to drop in to one of our four upcoming “check-in sessions” scheduled through November: November 4th, 12th, 17th, and 25th. All sessions are from 1-3pm at the Galiano Community Library in the Holahan Room. We’re hoping that residents who grew seed this year and are able to donate some to SLOG’s inventory will visit us and “check-in” their seed during these intake sessions. For the month of November SLOG will have a drop-off box in the lobby of the Community Library, where, during library hours, you may drop off saved seed along with descriptive information.

In closing, the SLOG Steering Committee is welcoming new members. As this is SLOG’s first autumn seed harvest we are turning our minds to receiving seeds from the community, integrating these new seeds into our existing inventory, and duplicating our seed collection for safe storage, creating a “back-up” collection. If this might be of interest to you, please consider joining our fun-loving group. All levels of knowledge are welcome. Any questions? Please contact Colleen at

Garlic co-op

Do you like garlic? The Garlic Co-op is a group of garlic enthusiasts who collectively grow a few varieties of organic premium garlic, with scapes, in a large, shared, sunny plot at the south end of the island. Together we learn about this easy-to-grow, hardy crop, share the load of bed-preparation, seeding, weeding, mulching and harvesting, and enjoy some delicious garlic. Everyone is welcome, and no previous experience is required to join. Now that it’s fall we’re getting ready to plant our bulbs at our brand-new site! If you’re interested in checking it out, contact Emma for details.

Seed Library of Galiano – Seed Check-in Sessions at the Library

Friday, Nov. 4th, Saturday, Nov. 12th, Thursday, Nov. 17th, and Friday Nov. 25th. All days are 1-3pm. We are open for seed drop-offs for SLOG members and others who have grown edible, medicinal or native seed on Galiano. Thanks to the GCA we will also have some native seed available for loan. Any questions? Please contact Colleen.

★ Stock Up! Market ★

4th annual on Sat Oct 15, 10:00am-1:00pm at the South Hall

Shop for winter storage crops directly from LOCAL farmers IN BULK to fill your pantry for the winter. Load up on local root veggies, greens, cabbage, squash, apples, tomatoes, peppers, meats, fish, preserves and pickles. Last market of the season! Volunteers needed to help with set up and clean up.

CABLE BAY FARM, Retreat Cove

Galiano organically grown produce: Green‎ and Red Peppers; bunches of Hakurei White Salad Turnips, Merlin & Cylindra Beets and Beet Greens


Garlic, winter squash, tomatillos, kale, bulk tomatoes, pole beans, black beans, and apples.


Olde country sheep with pasture perfect lamb, including sausages. Eggs, squash, cascade berry vinaigrette.

DAISY HILL FARM, Galiano Island

Preserves, salsa, tomatoes.


Preserves, dried fruit, and fresh fruit and vegetables.


Organic applesauce.

LAURIE MACCALLUM, Therah valley, Galiano Island

IOPA certified garlic.


Fresh frozen Sockeye fillets; cold-smoked Albacore Tuna loins; Smoked Sockeye half-fillets; pre-sliced goldboard cold-smoked sockeye; thick-sliced ‘pounder’ smoked salmon bellies.


Squash, potatoes, storage onions, hot peppers, broccoli, kale, apples, garlic and chard.

HOPE HILL FARM, Salt Spring Island

Whole frozen chicken, beef, winter squash, garlic, and sweet onions.

BECKY’S HOT FOOD available while you shop.

Spicy Jamaican patties (beef and veg.) samosas (beef, chicken, veg., and spinach), chicken wraps (with coconut milk base and spices), homemade Jamaican ginger beer, and ginger cookies. These products are available at wholesale, on order.

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Gleaning Report by Emma Luna Davis

Another fruitful season of the Gleaning Project is drawing to a close. Every year I’m amazed at the generosity of this island, and the incredible bounty that we share. I feel so lucky to have this job since picking fruit outside with friends and neighbours is one of my all-time favourite activities. There really is nothing more beautiful than the sunlight coming through the leaves of an apple tree, and there is a special kind of zen to picking ripe fruit. And always the promise that the next one will be the biggest or the most perfect or the sweetest.

This year so far, the Gleaning Project has brought 65 volunteers together to pick over 8,500 lbs of produce, including assorted varieties of plums, figs, hazelnuts, crabapples, apples, pears, quinces, corn and kale. The volunteers who come out find all kinds of creative ways to use the harvest for their families: drying, pickling, canning, and of course just fresh eating. This year, one picker is using an upcycled washing machine to make cider! The Food Program’s share was distributed to families in need, as well as used for workshops and community kitchens and events.

This year it seems the word about this project really got around, as we had double the number of landowners and farmers who reached out and invited us to come pick. We are very grateful for their generosity – without it there would be no Gleaning Project. Thank you everyone, and see you next year!

Gleaning Project and Berry Co-op

Are you a landowner with trees that are dripping with fruit, but you don’t have time to pick them? Is climbing a ladder getting to be too much? Did that one tree have a bumper crop this year? Do you have more than your family can use? Is your garden overflowing? Would you like to share the bounty with other members of the community? Would you benefit from access to healthy produce, but have no trees or garden of your own? Do you enjoy the simple pleasure of harvesting in a group?

If you answered yes, then Gleaning Project may be for you. The Food Program organizes volunteers to gather to pick surplus crops that are shared between the pickers, the landowners, families in need and the Food Program’s kitchen events. We bring orchard ladders and picking bags and try to gather as much as possible so there’s no waste. A staff member from the Food Program is always present to supervise the pickers and liaise with the landowners, and the Food Program carries insurance that covers our activities on your land.

If you’re interested in harvesting or having us come pick, contact us for more information. Any produce or fruit is appropriate–we love unusual offers!

Similar to gleaning, but with a twist, is the Berry Co-op, which is returning this year at the same south-end site. Thanks to a special arrangement with the landowner, the Food Program organizes community members who will pick either organically-grown tayberries (a cross between a blackberry and a raspberry) or thornless blackberries throughout the summer, with two-thirds of the harvests going to the Galiano Club and the other third going to the pickers. (Last year, Club share berries were sold as a fundraiser, were used in jam-making classes, or were baked in pies for the annual Blackberry Tea.)

Depending on weather and the pace of ripening, co-op members will likely be picking every Tuesday evening (6:30-8pm) and Friday (9-10:30am). We are looking for a commitment of at least three sessions over the course of the summer. At our trial pick we found that a person averaged 6lbs of tayberries in two hours (blackberries may yield more). Based on that rate, a co-op member could expect to take home 2lbs of berries per session.

If you are interested in participating in the berry co-op, please email Colleen as soon as possible at or phone #2737 and she will send interested parties a sign-up sheet for dates, with more details to follow.

Greenhouse Group

We have begun the Spring Program in the community greenhouse. We meet weekly, Tuesdays at 11 am, and Thursdays at 5 pm. We will start each session with a brief Seed Swap and then start our potting mixes. The group will still need to decide what they would like to grow for their own gardens and for the beds in the Greenhouse. Contact Barry anytime at

Everyone welcome!

Greenhouse Growing Group Article

We have begun the Spring Program in the community greenhouse. We meet weekly, Tuesdays at 11 am, and Thursdays at 5 pm. We will start each session with a brief Seed Swap and then start our potting mixes. The group will still need to decide what they would like to grow for their own gardens and for the beds in the Greenhouse. Contact Barry anytime at

Everyone welcome!

We had 10 people last year for Spring Starts and for the year-round crops and we hope to continue with the same plan. You can learn and share your knowledge about potting mixes and seeds. The group meets informally once or twice a week through the spring and summer. There is a watering schedule so there are daily visits by the participants to keep the plants well-watered. It is a teaching and learning environment so we have some teaching aids and good links to help further the skills of the Gardeners.

Inside, we grew tomatoes, eggplant, basil, peppers, melons and other seasonal vegetables. The planters outside the greenhouse are for runner beans and cucumbers. There are also ‘Seniors’ Beds’ which are used by a seniors group.

We charge $20 for participants in the greenhouse group. This includes all soil amendments, seeds pots, and tools, but people are still encouraged to bring their own. We will provide some handouts related to our activities.

For more information, contact Barry at 539-2364 or

Join us at the Seed Swap at our first meeting on Tuesday March 15th at 1:00pm.

We will plan our growing space with seed catalogues and your own seeds to swap and share.

Jump-start your 2016 gardening year!

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