The Galiano Community Food Program nourishes and strengthens island food security through learning and sharing skills. Our “growing” programs include a community garlic garden, a school garden, a community greenhouse, a Permaculture Club, and workshops on a variety of topics of interest to growers and farmers.
The Galiano Island 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. We also explore various soil-building and composting techniques. Everyone is welcome, and no previous experience is required to become a member.
The Community Greenhouse is located at the Galiano Community School and represents an ongoing growing opportunity. It also hosts the Spring Starts Project for gardeners wishing to get an early start on the growing year.
Yearly, land owners on Galiano find that their fruit trees produce far more than they can use. In many cases, this bounty falls to the ground. But thanks to the Food Program’s Gleaning Project, owners can take part in a program where they get volunteer labour to collect their fruit. A share of the bounty goes to the land owner, and the rest goes to the people who pick the fruit and to the Food Bank and the Food Program itself, for community kitchens and other redistribution efforts.
Permaculture Working Group
Curious about permaculture? Want to build resilience as a community, and build relationships with your neighbours too? The Food Program has launched a Permaculture Working Group. Permaculture is a garden design system that mimics the patterns and relationships found in nature while providing for local needs. Together we plan to dive into topics that interest the group, learning theory and getting hands-on experience to develop our skills. We are using a model called Permablitz. This is a way of cooperatively tackling big projects at each other’s sites, to share our diverse skillsets and share our workloads at the same time. Some areas we might explore include: integrating animals on your site, broom management, alternative power, humanure, building a composting structure or a cob oven, and rain-water catchment. Our first permablitz is under way in February 2018, focusing on contour mapping a growing site. We expect to hold one every 3 months or so. The group is open to everyone – if you’re interested in getting involved, let Emma know.
Shared Community Gardens
The food program organized several community garden spaces on Galiano Island in 2012.
- Cable Bay Farms Growing and Gleaning Project
- Garlic-growing Cooperative
- Community School Garden
- Community Greenhouse Year-round Project and
- Spring Starts Project
- House at the school April 2010
The Seed Library of Galiano aims to increase local food security by loaning locally adapted organic seeds to Galiano growers and to maintain a stock of viable seed. Launched in February 2016 SLOG has a Seed Inventory from which members can borrow seed, grow food, harvest seed and return seed in the fall during one of the “check-in” parties (schedule to be announced). Thanks to Dan Jason for providing us with a library “starting kit”, and to the Bauta Initiative for providing a grant for library supplies. While our Seed Library lending sessions are over for the spring 2017, contact Colleen at email@example.com to book an appointment.
A $10 lifetime membership fees entitles you to borrow as many seeds as you like. With commercial seed packets now going for $3-9 each, you may want to consider borrowing seed from the Seed Library (and practice seed-saving skills along the way!)