Education 2019: Island Soil Building Classes

In 2018-19, the Gulf Islands Food Co-op offered these free classes about island Soil Building, to 115 Southern Gulf Islands food growers of all levels (see references below).  This was thanks to funding gratefully received from the CRD (Southern Gulf Islands Director David Howe), and more recently Vancity Credit Union!

GALIANO ISLAND CLASS Tuesday, March 12, 2019
1:00 pm to 3:00 pm (with discussion), Galiano Island Library, 1290 Sturdies Bay Road
Soil Building & Composting Class, with scheduled expert Sean Smuckler of UBC
* see this pdf of Sean’s presentation (shared by Zorah Staar after Sean had ferry troubles)
* Zorah also went through Linda Beer’s 5 Handouts (under Pender class below), and Galiano food producers shared their considerable expertise

MAYNE ISLAND CLASS Saturday, February 2, 2019

1:00 pm to 3:00 pm (with discussion), Mayne Island Agricultural Hall, 430 Fernhill Road
Soil Building & Composting Class, with expert Sean Smuckler of UBC

* see Sean’s Handout re: UBC Soil Nutrient Management Program and Compost Materials Data
* see also this pdf of Sean’s presentation, and more info about his current research project re: usefulness of compost only OR compost plus fertilizer:

PENDER ISLAND CLASS: Saturday, November 10, 2018

1:00 pm to 3:00 (with discussion), St. Peters Anglican Parish Hall, 4703 Canal Road
* Soils & Composting Class, with expert Linda Beer of Mayne Island

* LISTEN HERE for class recordings, 
and see Linda’s 5 key HANDOUTS:

– doing your own Soil Sedimentation Testing
– Linda’s recipe for a Complete Organic Fertilizer (note: Galiano recipe also being developed)
– making an Effective Microorganisms Solution (to potentially boost plant growth)
Composting Greens and Browns for soil building
– building a 3-Bin Wooden Composter

CAUTION: The Gulf Islands Food Co-op is not responsible for how food producers choose to use the introductory information from these free classes.  Please do your own additional research, and test ideas on a small scale, taking detailed notes and even doing some calculations – to figure out what works best for you and various parts of your land :-)

FOLLOW-UP SOIL BUILDING EDUCATION: Olds College of Alberta (formerly Olds Agricultural College) offers a Continuing Education 2-month online course called Introductory Soils & Crop Nutrition (AGN 6005 – $799) which is highly recommended by one of our islands’ biggest growers.  See more info in the Course Calendar pdf at