What’s Growing on Gabriola

Late Summer and Early Fall on the Farm

August has brought abundant harvest on Gabriola that continues into the fall! Between backyard growers, hobby farmers, and small-scale agriculture, you can find fresh, diverse, and sustainable goods on Gabriola. 

There’s an abundance of local farmers and producers on the island and our Gabriola Agricultural Co-op is a great resource to learn more.

Here’s a list of some of our favourites that highlights a range of locally-grown and hand-made goods, including flowers, cheese, goat milk soaps, baked goods, veggies, fruit, cider, specialty prepared foods, and even compost! Browse our Business Directory for a broader listing. 

Sarah Chiasson Flowers

Sarah’s flower farm is bursting with blooms this time of year. She offers colourful bunches and mixed bouquets at markets and collaborates with clients on custom orders, weddings, and other events, big or small.

“Most of the bouquets I sell contain strawflowers and statice or sea lavender that can be dried for longer-lasting enjoyment. They retain their bright colours making for lovely dried arrangements and wreaths!” – Sarah Chiasson

Find Sarah and her flower power:

Sarah is last year’s winner of the Gabriola Chamber’s U40 Entrepreneur award. Young people like Sarah blossom on Gabriola with support from the community and visitors who choose to shop local.

Follow @sarahchiasson.flowers on Instagram.

Point 6 Acre Farm

There’s a lot ‘growing’ on on this 0.6 acre farm! Gardens, grape vines, chickens, ducks, goats, and a kitchen that hosts the magic of harvest preservation and small-batch soap-making.

Brin’s ethos of ‘pure and simple’ is evident in her bastille-style soaps that use 5 ethically and sustainably-sourced organic ingredients, including goat milk from Iris, one of her goats! The soaps are made with traceable palm oil and feature organic essential oils for 4 scented blends and a fragrance-free option. Find ingredient lists and learn more about the maker, sustainable farm, and products here

Find Point 6 Acre soaps in compostable packaging via the Agi Co-op Online Market and at Nature Spirit Earth Market, Free Spirit Studio Gallery & Shop, Page’s Li’l Market, and La Belle Vie Wellness and B&B. 

Learn more about Point 6 Acre on their website here.

Cresta Roca Farm

Cresta Roca Farm is a new member of the Gabriola Chamber of Commerce and we’re delighted to showcase them!

On this 5-acre permaculture farm near Gabriola’s south end, you can find:

  • Registered Nigerian Dwarf goats. See online profiles of their small herd here!
  • Garlic, sold at Nature Spirit Earth Market (tip: locals sometimes call this “Nature Spirit” or “NSEM”!)
  • Heritage chickens who lay medium brown eggs
  • Vermicomposting supplies, including red wiggler worms and screened or unscreened vermicompost with worm castings.

Cresta Roca is also looking forward to offering goats milk soap and farm tours with owner, Diana, in the near future!

Learn more about Cresta Roca on their website here.

Make Cheese with Paula

Paula Maddison is a long-time Gabriolan and our island’s very own cheese-maker! She offers fun, informative, and interactive classes on her farm, Madd Acres, and sometimes collaborates with Ravenskill Orchards for a local cider pairing.

In workshops on her hobby farm on Gabe, you can learn how to make Mozzarella, Burrata & Bocconcini, Greek-style Feta, Soft Cheeses, Gouda, Havarti, and others. Register for upcoming class or book a private session with Paula.

You’ll leave with everything you need to make cheese at home using your favourite local dairy. Find Paula’s recipe for seedy crackers that pair well with homemade cheese on her website here.

Paula’s cheese-making kits (they make great gifts!) can be purchased at Ground Up Cafe in the Village. Kits can also be purchased from Paula directly or ordered online along with cultures and supplies!

Gabriola Food Hub

The Gabriola Food Hub connects an array of local growers to our community through Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) boxes. The collective includes Graham’s Good Earth Farm, Yarrow’s Little Green MicroGreens, Lynn’s Treeswift Gardens & Consulting for fruit offerings, Michelle’s Gabriola Mushrooms, and Sarah Chiasson’s Flowers.

These subscriptions are available seasonally, weekly or bi-weekly, with options to pick up (and perhaps top up!) at the Good Earth Farm Stand on Saturdays or have your box delivered sustainably by ebike for a fee. 

The Gabriola Food Hub supplies Ground Up Cafe & Catering and is keen to connect with other local food service providers who want to incorporate more fresh, local produce on their menu.

The Garden Bed

It’s tomato time at the Garden Bed on Gabriola…and that’s not all! Colourful hand-painted signs will give you an idea of what else to expect in their farmstand on South Rd, open Monday to Saturday, 10am to 5pm.

Zucchinis are also growing strong this time of year and farmer, Aaron, has shared a favourite preparation with us:

“One of our favourite recipes is to slice them in 1 cm thick steaks and throw them on the barbeque with lightly brushed olive oil, salt, and pepper, and a little bit of cheese on top.”

Can we suggest you top your Garden Bed zucchinis with the homemade cheese you’ve learned to make on Gabe?

This hard-working family’s bean crop went to the deer this year. If you’ve grown food before, you’ll know how disappointing it is to not be able to enjoy the fruits of your labour. All the more reason to love local and stock up on what’s in abundance, like the eight varieties of winter squash they’ll be offering later this summer!

The Garden Bed also has a private 2-bedroom guesthouse near the Village that supplies you with farm-fresh ingredients for breakfast.

Ferne Hollow

Ferne Hollow supplies Gabriola growers and gardeners with starter plants! In the spring, they offered multiple varieties of tomatoes, peppers, kale, cabbage, broccoli, tomatillo, lettuce, basil and cilantro, and flowers including, chamomile, cardoon, lamb’s ears, nasturtium, white laceflower, painted tongue, marigold, lavatera, calendula, statice, and Chinese lantern.

You can find their plants, produce, and baked goods at their farm stand (open daily, noon to dusk, at 1470 Ferne Rd) and on the weekend at the Saturday Agi Co-op and Sunday Silva Bay markets.

Follow them on Facebook @ferne.hollow.gabriola

Ravenskill Orchards & Gabbie’s Cidery

Gabriola’s own apple orchard has over 1,000 trees of 25 varieties across two acres. Ravenskill Orchards is a popular stop for visitors and locals of all ages.

Pick apples, try ciders in their tasting room, grab a flight or a pint on their outdoor patio, or pick up locally-made goods and gifts including apple butters, apple cider vinegar, sweet apple caramels, fresh-pressed cider, apple juice, local honey, beeswax candles, and the suite of Gabbie’s premium ciders.  

Ravenskill is open Thursday to Sunday during the summer with live music on Fridays at their Working Folk Cider Hour series!

Gabbie’s Ciders are also served at Ground Up Cafe & Catering and stocked at The Village Liquor Store.

Good Earth Farm

This regenerative vegetable farm has been feeding Gabriola since 1993! Graham Bradley, who started Gabriola Food Hub, purchased the farm in 2020 with support from community investors.

Good Earth grows exceptional vegetables and involves the community with volunteer Thursdays and other food security initiatives. 

Find veggies grown at Good Earth on Saturdays at the farm, at the Agi Co-op market on Saturdays, or in your CSA box! 

Thank you for nourishing yourself and our gulf island community when you support these growers and makers!

Follow this farm on Facebook @gabriolagoodearth

AngelStar Farm

This farm and food producer on Gabriola is proudly Canadian-Ukrainian and woman-owned. 

Prepared foods include tea and spice blends, jams and jellies, syrups and sauces, mustard and spreads, pickles and ferments, Ukrainian specialty foods, and more. 

Find AngelStar produce and products at their farm stand (look for a sign and green flag at 1320 North Rd), Sunday Markets at Silva Bay, Ground Up Cafe, Page’s Li’l Market, and online

Owner-Operator, Dr Olena Gill, also promotes holistic health and wellness through her naturopathy and acupuncture business, Indigo Medicine

Paradise Island Alpaca Farm

A favourite stop for kids and crafters near Gabriola’s village!

Paradise Island Alpaca Farm’s Ambassadors offer tours, opportunities to interact with the animals, and sell eggs, alpaca wear, wool supplies, and produce in the onsite farm store.

Find alpacas, llamas, hens, pygmy goats, rescue miniature horses, and other animals at this family-friendly farm! 

Visit their website for hours, location, and contact info.