School Projects

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+00:00 April 26th, 2018|Categories: Food Program, School Projects|0 Comments

What’s Shakin’ and Growin’ at the School by Janice Oakley

Call me an optimistic aquarian because despite the headlines of environmental catastrophe and political doom I still see our way forward as a path well lit on the darkest night. If we travel along it in connection to each other and to the earth and all it’s variety of life we cannot go wrong. To truly love and take care of our planet it seems that taking care of ourselves is of utter importance also. Making sure we eat well and nurture our bodies in the way that is best for each of us. Now that I am on the fun side of 50 watching the upcoming generations and what challenges they may be facing I am moved more than ever to support them in healthy positive directions.

One of the ways the Food Program can do this is to commit to the school garden, community greenhouse and the healthy growing, cooking and eating projects that go on there. Staff and students are eager with any of the ideas we have shown up with over the years from Applefest and grafting to WORMFEST and composting…. One of the more involved activities we did together was a game where we uncovered the REAL cost of food taking in to account environmental costs through pesticide use, quality of life for workers and livestock as well. It was a real adventure in understanding the relationships between what we eat and how it is produced. Now that the school has beehives, the Pollination Game is a big favorite where kids get to be bees, trees or rain !

The tastings that we do on site from March through till Nov involve anything and everything they have grown. Have you ever seen school-aged kids elbowing their way to the front to get some sauteed turnip greens, or raw sprouting broccoli, broad beans and brussel sprouts that they just picked to share? Of course the maple blossom fritters and the strawberries (frozen from the previous year) were understandable favorites.

As the space and appetite for projects has grown, what really is needed is a time commitment from community members of an hour or 2 per week during the spring and fall seasons to ensure that the garden is well tended. Parents on Galiano are at their busiest time in their lives as they raise children and hold down several jobs as prices of housing and food all contribute to crunched schedules…. at afterschool softball practice there have been some willing and strong hands to get some spring projects like the PIZZA GARDEN planned and dug. The greenhouse group is passing on all kinds of starts to the kids and the children themselves have seeded many types of peas and cucumbers.

This gets me to our offer: I would like to invite people to become ‘Friends of the School Garden’ by pledging your support of just 5 hours to the school garden over the 6 months of April to October….. At the end of this there will be a most lovely surprise just for you ! Email or call in your intention of support. Work parties happen 2-3 times per week and are short. Right now Tuesdays from 3: till 5: are the best bet but also 3: on Thursdays is a good time to show up. Looking forward to working with you in our healthy, active, fun and tasty future projects.

2018-05-10T15:09:41+00:00 May 10th, 2012|Categories: Food Program, School Projects|0 Comments

Red Wriggler Day at School

On April 5th, The Food Program will be helping the children at the Galiano Community School bring together all that Red Wiggler Worms love to eat and sleep on.

Singing the song ‘We Have a Worm Farm’ will help them to remember that ‘they don’t like dairy and they won’t eat meat’….. Lovely bin donated by Heather will let kids peak in to check on the health of the critters as well as size up the castings for the garden to feed plants.

Bringing it full circle will be garlic toast made with the garlic they grew last year. Keeping it real with worm poo.

2018-05-10T13:51:41+00:00 March 10th, 2012|Categories: Food Program, School Projects|0 Comments


Applefest Returns!!

We will be celebrating Apples at the 3rd annual Applefest at the Galiano school on the afternoon of Thursday October 13th from 12:30-3:15.

During the afternoon, we will be juicing local apples with the kids, playing apple related games, hosting an apple tasting, and the teachers will be leading the kids in apple poetry, and an apple art project.

We need a few volunteers to help with the various stations, and to help the kids move smoothly between them. If you can help, call Alison.

2018-05-04T16:15:22+00:00 October 4th, 2011|Categories: Food Program, School Projects|0 Comments

Seniors Soup Garden & Fruit Tree Project

Part of this project was completed with the expanded garden at the school and the raised beds built this past summer by Leo Engelmann and Richard Nathans. New fencing and a new gate was put up by Patrick Sherry and Leo. The vegetables being grown in the raised beds will be used for the Soup for Seniors’ initiative. Another part of this project involves elders working with the school children to identify and inventory the fruit trees and orchards on the island. The kids will be involved in mapping the locations of orchards, helping to identify trees, investigating the history and culture of fruit trees on Galiano. In the Spring we will use this information to do some grafting workshops and ensure that the magnificent fruit trees on the island are “re-born”.

This project is being funded by the United Way of Greater Victoria.

2018-05-04T15:45:11+00:00 September 4th, 2011|Categories: Food Program, School Projects|0 Comments

Where do the Cookbook Quotes come from? for Food Forever

They are all from The Interviews!

The students at Galiano Community School were responsible for all but three of the interviews. Wreford Miller, who designed and set up this blog, came to Cathy Buttery’s class and taught an interview workshop in which students learned the techniques of writing and conducting interviews. The students then collaborated on a standard interview format, and recorded practise interviews with each other and with Elder, Margaret Edgar, who had volunteered to help out in the workshop.

Appointments were set up and each Elder came to the school to record their interview. Wherever possible, students interviewed their own grandparent. The arduous process of transcribing the interviews came next, and finally, the fun part – selecting quotes and matching them to recipes. Scroll down the blog postings and read the interview transcripts.

Here is a list of the Elders and the Students who interviewed them: Lloyd Baines interviewed by Bailey Baines Elizabeth Bosher interviewed by Brennan Taylor Betty Brannon interviewed by Rowan Oakley-Uyenaka Lennis Campbell interviewed by Taylor Pattison Margaret Edgar interviewed by Noal Balint Jane Edwards interviewed by Lily Kingscote Dora Fitzgerald interviewed by Carol Guin Margaret Griffiths interviewed by Carol Guin Margaret Head interviewed by Carol Guin Ena Hooley interviewed by Mana Lief Paul LeBlond interviewed by Cody Clayton Dave Morgan interviewed by Tina Basarab Gloria Olson interviewed by Rhiannon Silver Kate Parfitt interviewed by Jacob Parfitt Ivan Peterson interviewed by Cody Clayton Jean Ripley and Sheila Tully interviewed by Mana Lief and Juna Onofrio Carol Robson interviewed by Tia Clayton Lorna Shields interviewed by Brogan Renwick-Shields Mary Wilson interviewed by Arthur Georgeson

2018-05-04T15:09:29+00:00 July 4th, 2010|Categories: Food Program, School Projects|0 Comments

Interview with Margaret Head by Carol Guin for Food Forever

Mother’s recipes were partly in Pitman’s shorthand and I couldn’t read them

Family loved canned Venison: Put pieces of meat firmly in jars,add salt (1/2-1tsp/pint), seal and pressure cook at 10lbs for 90 minutes or for 4 hours in a boiling water bath.

Out diet was fish or venison or venison or fish.

Island deer tastes more like veal. It is best medium rare or brazed,never cook venison passed medium! (bear has to be well cooked-no pink showing).

We used to have wild game dinners at the Rod and Gun Club-elk, moose, bear, cougar or whatever was available.

Some old recipes used to have you boil vegetables for 1/2hour, until they were mush. I remember my father getting spring peas, cooking them a short time in a little water and then giving me the water to drink. Was it ever good!

We also talked about the importance of 4-H Clubs, the planting,growing,harvesting, raising animals for food, etc.

2018-05-04T15:06:51+00:00 July 4th, 2010|Categories: Food Program, School Projects|0 Comments

Interview with Margaret Griffiths by Carol Guin for Food Forever

During the war I was in uniform and so didn’t cook and when I came out not much to cook with.

When I came to Canada there was all this food and I didn’t know how to cook it!

To grow locally is an excellent idea as is to cook more simply.

As children we ate a lot of candy and boiled sweets.

Got sugar in cubes – for putting into tea. Asked people if they wanted one cube or two and used sugar tongs to put the cubes into the tea. Coffee sugar in a bowl, didn’t much like it. Tea was served in a silver tea pot,didn’t make as good a tea made in a brown betty.

Mother made cafe au lait by putting a silver coffee pot in one hand and a silver tea pot in the other and then pouring into a tea cup so there was equal amounts of coffee and milk. When I was in France they drank cafe au lait out of a soup bowl.

I remember once, in France, drinking cafe au lait with red wine. My stomach didn’t like it and I had a hard time sitting through a movie.

There was no refrigeration in houses but there were the larders -cold dark places with shelves to storage things, probably got it’s name from setting lard and keeping it cold.

Mother used to make tongue,cook it and put inside a tin with weights to weigh it down,when flat would slice it to eat.

I liked every kind of vegtables,I wasn’t into meats. Loved mashed potatoes with gravy. We bought locally grown vegtables and cleaned them of dirt when we got home. We bought food as needed.

When I was little I remember having bread and milk for supper;bread broken up and sugar added.

Loved Yorkshire pudding,we put it in a long tin and put in under the roase to get the drippings-it was crisp around the edges and moist in the middle and served with onion gravey after being cut into squares. We used a Yorkshire Range;it was an oven high to the left of the fireplace and it got its heat from the fireplace.

My uncle had a bakery and got the oven going during the week to bake bread. On Sunday people used his oven to cook their roasts while they were in church.

2018-05-03T11:58:44+00:00 July 3rd, 2010|Categories: Food Program, School Projects|0 Comments

Brogan’s interview with Lorna Shields for Food Forever

When you were a child, how did you get your food?

We grew a small garden, we had a cherry tree, an apple tree, a pear tree and a plum tree, that’s where we got a lot of food, and where we bought our groceries in those years was at a corner store. We had to walk to the corner store and carry all our groceries home, we didn’t have a car. My mother had a garden, and I helped in the garden.

When you were young, how did you keep your food?

We had a pantry, it was a small room off the kitchen where we kept all the food stored, and my mother made applesauce out of the apples,canned the fruit and the vegetables. We had an outdoor cooler with a screen door on it. We didn’t have fridges.

How was getting food different when you were a kid?

Well, in those days we didn’t have cars, so we went to little corner stores, we had to pack our groceries home, so we might go there a couple of times a day, and we could run an account there. You didn’t have to pay right away, you could pay at the end of the month, which made it easier for families.

What is your favorite local food?

I would say it was the fresh fruit and vegetables that we would get. My favorite would be the peas or beans out of the garden, fresh.

Tell me about a favorite food memories from when you were a child.

There were six of us. We had a coal and wood stove, and when we had corn on the cob my mother would put a big boiler on the stove and put in a dozen cobs of corn. That was our favorite. On Sunday my mother always made a pie, different kinds of pie.

What seasonal foods do you eat?

Pretty well anything that comes out of the garden at the time of season. Lettuce, tomatoes, any of the green foods.

How do you overwinter your food?

I do some canning and some freezing.

Where do you shop?

In a Safeway at Coquitlam.

Why did you choose the macaroni recipe?

Well, it just seemed to be a food that was…a comfort food, they call it? It was a family favourite.

What foods make you think of spring?

New potatoes, and carrots, and peas off the vine, because they’re fresh, and we don’t have them all winter.

What foods make you think of summer?

Vegetables that you’ve grown, and are ready to pick.

What foods make you think of fall?

The fruits that are getting ripe on the trees, because I just love them!

What foods make you think of winter?

Well, we have the vegetables like cabbage, and carrots, the winter vegetables, because they keep you warm, they keep your body warm.

2018-05-03T11:57:03+00:00 July 3rd, 2010|Categories: Food Program, School Projects|0 Comments
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