Pilot Production Food Forest

Production pilot Food Forest for a Conservation Association

Project Details

Galiano Conservancy Association
Galiano Island, BC
6a, Cool Summer Mediterranean
68 m
924 mm
Richard Walker
Co-Design, Co-Installer, Co-Instruction
Conservation, Food Forest, Hugelkultur, Water Management


Having recently acquired 150 acres of conservation land, the Galiano Conservancy Association was exploring food production that worked within a conservation framework. In collaboration with Richard Walker, I developed a pilot design that could be expanded into agricultural areas. The clients’ needs were perennial and annual food production; creating a financial surplus for sustaining the forest; and balancing annuals and perennials over the maturation and succession of the food forest.

All photos by Rick Ketcheson



Balancing the conservation mandate with production goals and available labour was a primary challenge. Physically, 3 to 4 months of hot, dry drought condition summers meant water management and increasing water retention of the site were key priorities.

Key Elements

  • Food forest installed in early fall 2015 in a 5-day workshop format
  • Combination of hugelkultur for long-term water storage, and perennials to tap into available groundwater and precipitation during winter rains
  • Wide variety of perennials fruiting from years 1 through 5, including nuts, berries, vines
  • Cash crop of garlic planted in second year to generate financial profit
  • Large (15 x 10 ft) mushroom bed installed  

Further Articles on this Project 

What I learned on Galiano Island Part 1

What I learned on Galiano Island Part 2

What I learned on Galiano Island Part 3


January 2016 -  Plantings have survived ground cover has been planted.

March 2017 - Two month watering drought in Summer of 2016 was weathered due to hugelkultur's providing retained moisture to perennials.

August 2020 - The food forest is coming into it's own! Berries are full time producers and there's many herbal plants as well.

February 2024 - The food forest is centre for the Conservancy's educational efforts, as well as producing products for sale and trade.