Many efforts over time.
Infrastructure & layout.
Student Experiences & Activities
Volunteers & Community.
Funders & Supporters.
Lessons Learned.
What's Next?
Annual & Upcoming.
Garden Champions.
Show More

Galiano Community School Gardens 

Saturday, May 12 from 1-3pm

Hey Everyone! We will be working on weeding and cleanup of our school garden and would so appreciate your help! Treats and coffee will be provided. Come and be a part of looking after this beautiful and fruitful space for the kids. Sonia Baker will be giving useful tips on pruning fruit trees.

Please reload




Garden was started in 1992 – as a combination of one woman in particular, Janice Oakley, first school garden coordinator and started the food program. She’s an avid gardener and created a beautiful space, beds are shaped in curves and circles rather than rows. She would take kids that needed a break from the classroom and take them to the garden. As the food program developed, the garden became a part of the food program as well.

The next coordinator was Colleen Doghty, who took a more curriculum-based approach to the garden, more science education approach. They have Tasty Tuesdays, so every other week, (it’s hard to coordinate with teachers’ schedule, can feel like you’re in their way. “It’s a fine balance of doing a good thing and not getting in the way of busy people.” They would do science and then harvest and take food into the kitchen.


The greenhouse was built a while back, and it’s part of the food program. It’s part of the school garden and it’s also a public community space. There’s a greenhouse group. It’s an amazing resource but very very under-used.

Garden is about a quarter-acre including the greenhouse, and they also have fruit trees (5 apple and 1 pear) and the garden, with a good deer fence.

Composting set-up at the school, paid for through a grant. They have two black bins – and they have a three-part built structure – one part has manure – one has compost resting – and the last fresh compost. And just adding a Green Cone digester. The thing with the digester though – teaching kids to separate their compost. The actual labour of building the compost structure was our former-coordinator’s husband – built by volunteer.


Galiano School Garden – Former Coordinator Janna Feldman hired in the middle of last summer. Janna was a parent volunteer, older daughter went to SIMS. Younger daughter at Galiano. She volunteered in class and helped in garden weekly work-party on Tuesdays. A lot of time as a coordinator with the kids in the classroom.

Jana held tasty Tuesdays in 2017-18, she’s a gardener and a cook, and she takes kids into garden and look at everything, they talk about colours and yumminess and how things grow, an dthey observe yummy things. They made bruschetta from basil, garlic, and greens, etc.

There are three classes at Galiano School, and she takes two kids from each class for each Tasty Tuesday. So every kid gets a chance at least once or twice per year. She also tries to make a snack for the entire school with these kids and serve it at the end of the time together. That gets them excited for the next time, because they want to be the ones who cook for everyone.

It’s adjacent to the playground, so there are some kids who spend time in the garden over recess. There’s kale overwintering – the greenhouse has carrots overwintering to snack on. Sprouting broccoli that’s over-wintering.

"I often use the garden for other lessons with my mutiaged students. For example, a math mapping and measurement unit and also planting garlic in the fall and using jewlers loops to enhance the students scientific sketches.   Just the other day, we picked a couple of herbs to chop up then add to some egg tarts we baked in class," says Kim Kucille. Teachers also use the garden to send kids out who need a break from the classroom.


The Food Program maintains the Community School Garden: Food program coordinators and community volunteers work with the school kids, teaching them about gardening, ecology and how to grow food. We also involve the kids in tastings, sometimes cooking on the picnic table what they have just picked. The Food Program also works with the school on a number of projects, such as Applefest and the Fruit tree project.


The community library is there, too nearby. Volunteers come help with the garden. We’ve tried work parties with Colleen – and Jana was the only one who’s there.

One of her mandates is to get more people involved. The other groups aren’t directly involved, but there’s Yellow-House Art Centre, and she’s been talking about collaboration on a project in the school garden – to tie art and gardening together – maybe redo an old scarecrow. To host workshops or seed-starting party in the greenhouse are other plans. There’s a separate coordinator for the greenhouse –

Plan for future is to get more community involved. Number one goal.

They have these students from UBC food science who come and volunteer with the food program, and this year, they helped in the garden. Six women who had never held a shovel, and I was almost in tears because they were discovering themselves.

The teachers are already overwhelmed, the last thing that they need is one more thing. I don’t know if you should depend on the teachers for the garden. You need some dedicated volunteers to get it started.

They have a permaculture specialist on Galiano, so she hopes to do winter workshops.

She thinks it would be neat to connect with other people involved in school gardens – a Facebook group.

Here's a link to an update from the new School Garden Coordinator, Brahmi Benner: http://www.galianoclub.org/2018/04/school-garden-update-by-brahmi-benner/ 


Brahmi's School Garden coordinator wages are paid through a grant right now.


It’s a mixed thing, we’ve been experiencing quite a bit of theft. We have an amazing grapevine with pink grapes. But somebody came and snipped down. They definitely need signage.

They have a summer camp program run out of the activity centre at the school.  This year, there’s a Tasty Tuesday event during the summer as well, and so can grow things for summer camp. Canning – tomato sauce in august, for example. Food program is about teaching sustainability and food security and to pass that onto the kids.


Applefest, Nettlfest, and other harvest meals. Also occasional community work-parties. More to come...


It’s slightly frustrating because the school year doesn’t coincide with the garden year. She’s been thinking about how to create more of a winter garden. What I can grow that’s accessible to the kids when they’re to school.

There are so many possibilities – what are your reasons for having the garden, to involve kids in growing food. For me, for kids to keep it fun.


Galiano School Website (k-8); Principal D'arcy Deacon can be reached at (250) 539-2261 and ddeacon@sd64.org

Galiano PAC - Megan McKay at rockmeg@telus.net or 250-539-5131

Galiano Community Food Program (website;and facebook); School Garden Coordinator is Brahmi Benner - brahmsim@gmail.com 

Food Program Coordinators, Janice and Alison, at 250-539-2175, galianofoodprograms@gmail.com 

Janice Oakley- Started the school garden

Colleen Doghty - Previous garden coordinator to Janna

Janna Feldman was the previous school garden coordinator, janna.f393@gmail.com

The Galiano Greenhouse project contact is Barry New at 539-2364  or galianofoodprograms@gmail.com

Please reload


Website contact: Robin riverjenkinson<@>gmail.com