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


Great info about the project & history here: http://transitionsaltspring.com/farm-to-cafeteria-an-excellent-school-garden-project/


2014, the greenhouse was installed.

Culinary student Justin Sevald built an amazing tool shed in May 2014! 

Milo, our aquaponic expert, building the system in December 2014. 

Feb 2015 Our new and improved compost and recycling system is up and running. Nice tape job Callysta Boyd!!

March 2015 - food truck purchased. April 2015: "The GISS Culinary Program have been impressive the last few years. Now they’ve opened the Salt Spring Salads food cart. And they have the fresh goods to back it up. The school garden, the hydroponic greenhouse, and the living lettuce wall (and I’m sure some things I don’t know about) are coming together to provide employment for students through the summer with proceeds funding culinary program projects back at the school. Check them out today (Saturday) at Mahon Hall."

Sugarland Farm grew tomatoes and squash for the school? 

Hi all, the Salt Spring Salads food trailer season has come to an end. Thank you to all that supported us! We have had a wildly successful summer. The girls have learned how to operate a small business, are eligible for work experience credits, and have made a significant amount of money for the cafeteria program. I'm very proud of my students!

We buy/support local. Organic collard greens and potatoes from Salt Spring Island...Learning real cooking techniques, and cooking with real ingredients. Leeks, kale, and swiss chard from the kitchen garden.

November 2015 - insulated green spinning composters: Our new composters, they are supposed to create compost in 6 weeks. Started using them last week, put my hand in today, was really warm and food scraps are already breaking down.

January 2016: Baby kale leafs, just harvested, from our aquaponic system in the greenhouse.

June 2016: Chives, garlic scapes, oregano, basil, chives, parsley, and cherry tomatoes all just harvested from the garden. Going to be a yummy tomato sauce!

July 2016 -- free-standing lettuce-growing towers purchased. 

October 2016: This is what cooking is all about! Potatoes, fennel, carrots, beets, collard greens, all raised organically, and specifically for our cafeteria program, less than a block form the school. Thank you Dave and Chris.

November 2016 -- microgreen-growing fridge-like appliance purchased. November 2016: Bud and Andy setting up the Urban Cultivator. December: So, the urban Cultivator has been up and running for around three weeks. We have already harvested a few trays. Its pretty impressive!

January 2017: Our newest toy, paid for by Salt Spring Salads, is called the Omega Garden. It will grow 80 heads of lettuce at a time.

April 2017: Well....it feels like spring to us! Students were out planting herbs, greens, and putting bark mulch around the raised beds.

May 2017 -- rainwater catchment cisterns installed, plus expansion of garden area and fencing to reclaim lawn... SD64 maintenance helped fix up greenhouse. 

July 2017 - hydroponic tomato area constructed. Plus, a second greenhouse. 

August 2017: We have had a great growing season this summer. All this amazing produce is going to Salt Spring Salads.

December 2017: It pretty much rained all of November. First chance to work out in the garden for almost a month....Harvesting basil from the garden towers

Feb 2017: Over 1000 vegetable starts in the greenhouse. Come on spring!

April 2018: Tony and Mike hooking up two more rain water catchment containers. Another project paid for by Salt Spring Salads. We bought two off the exchange a few months back. I can't remember remember where the original two came from. 

April 2018: Last month Susan, one the Caf`s EA`s bought a small mason beehive. I ordered some bees online, they arrived yesterday. They woke up in a couple of minutes and went right into the hive. Pretty cool!

May 8, 2018: We got our peppers planted in our new hydroponic system, in our new greenhouse! The outdoor tomato hydroponic system is up and running for the season!


Includes two greenhouses with hydrponic growing, outdoor tomato hydroponic growing, raised beds, hydroponic lettuce, growing towers, microgreens urban thing, composters, rainwater catchment, and more!


Cooking is about teaching. It is the passing of knowledge, recipes and science from one generation to the next. Cooking involves not just thought, ingredients and measurements but passion, dedication and inspiring creativity.


Teaching is not just about conveying information but also how the information is received. In these times of fast foods, drive-thru’s and processed junk food it is so important to educate the next generation about “slow food”, proper cooking fundamentals and cooking techniques. Something the GISS culinary program is built upon.


The GISS culinary program prides itself on the importance of educating students on healthy choices, fresh food, including taking an active role in caring for our greenhouse and garden.


SSI Chamber of Commerce and many others.


More to come here. 


Funding the program through a salad cart that also feeds the community and engages students in job learning is awesome!


Eat salad bar at the cafeteria -- school- and local-farm grown for the most part!


Aerobic composter!!! One vision is to gather compost from all the Salt Spring Island schools, put it through the industrial composter, and return garden soil to the school gardens at each school each week. Perhaps GISS students would gather the compost and deliver soil using the electric car donated to the program, and it could be charged using a solar flower. 


Principal Lyall Ruehlen can be reached at GISS: 250-537-9944 or lruehlen@sd64.org

Chef Mark Kilner runs the GISS Culinary Program. mkilner@sd64.org

GISS Garden to Market Initiative info is here: https://www.facebook.com/gisscooks/

Salt Spring Salads Food Truck info is here: https://www.facebook.com/SaltspringSalads/

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LUNCH @ GISS Cafeteria

1pm Monday-Thursday

Visitors are welcome to dine at the GISS Cafeteria, including the salad bar on any school day, starting just before 1pm, so that all the students have gotten a chance to eat already. Salad bar costs $10. Bon appetite!

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Website contact: Robin riverjenkinson<@>gmail.com