Galiano Island is exactly what the doctor ordered if you need to relax. Surrounded by nature, the picturesque spot also features outstanding restaurants and a day spa by the ocean. Galiano is one of the Southern Gulf Islands between Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland of BC; its remote location is the inspiration behind Galiano Grow House, which strives to create a strong local food economy on the island.
Adam Clarke is behind the growing venture and approaches agriculture from a unique perspective. He’s had a successful career in cannabis, helping develop many of Canada’s legal growing facilities. His background in mechanical engineering with a speciality in refrigeration, humidity, and custom indoor growing environments comes in handy when running a commercial greenhouse. Although still involved in designing cannabis facilities through his company, Stratus Designs, he transitioned to food via Galiano Grow House to give back to his community and keep jobs local. It’s only a slight paradigm shift; after all, a plant’s a plant, right?
Delicious crops grow year-round in the greenhouse; sustainable heating and cooling systems decrease operational costs, while vertical growing offers optimal space management. Microgreens grow on the racks, taking seven to 21 days from planting to harvest. Outside, Adam’s team continues to add garden beds and fruit trees to the property alongside artisanal CBD hemp flowers for various cannabis partners. Nathan, Etienne, and Arianne live and work on the farm, helping with everything from planting, watering, and pruning, to harvesting and property maintenance. When they have time between crops, they brainstorm new plants to grow.
Although not certified organic, the farm uses as many organic practices as possible. A small tractor mixes the custom soil blend for the greens. All expended biomass goes into creating compost and new earth. Within a few years, there should be enough biomass generated for the Grow House to become self-sustaining, except for a few amendments unavailable on the island. Other future plans include incorporating chickens and small animals to help with composting and pest control. Eventually, an on-site freeze drier will preserve the harvests, offering new products to local customers throughout the seasons.
It’s always a work in progress, but Galiano Grow House is committed to providing nutritious food to the community. It wants locals to live and eat well, enjoying everything a quiet West Coast lifestyle offers.