Quotes from March 2018 workshop evaluation forms:
- I liked that practactical information was presented with hands on opportunities to reinforce understanding. Excellent community building opportunities were created. Wonderful food. Instructor clearly knows her stuff. Workshop fees were reasonable.
- the breadth of topics, good amount of time on each, perfect for an overview and a taster for each person to take home and get going on research
- Getting to know Jane and sharing in her enthusiasm, innovation and deeply rooted knowledge of plants, growing and all other associated things! Benefitting from Jane's filtering process of all her reading and research.
Stephen Salter, PEng, Industrial Ecologist
Water, energy, nutrients and food are inextricably linked. We glimpse this reality when we see just how much fossil fuel and water we consume to grow our food. In fact, the carbon footprint of food for the average Canadian family is greater than the carbon footprint of the furnace and car combined. If we honestly want to help the planet, the best starting point is our own shopping basket.
Jane Squier is a true pioneer in the field of sustainable agriculture. Using a fascinating combination of traditional and modern methods, Jane grows avocados and citrus fruits in winter without a drop of fossil fuel. Jane’s methods are practical and affordable, and The Garden is both economically and environmentally sustainable. Energy for the greenhouse comes from sustainably harvested wood, and also from biogas produced by digesting organic waste in a small anaerobic digester. Jane also uses thermal mass, energy curtains, and seasonal growing techniques to reduce energy consumption.
I find Jane's work inspiring, and can't help wondering what Canada would look like if all of our food could be grown this way.
Courtney Edwards, Blue Roots Farm, Vancouver Island, BC
I approached Jane Squier because I was having a problem with my hydroponic lettuce production.
Jane helped me by coming out to my site and doing a walkthrough of my facility and looking over my water samples. I also went to Saltspring and had a look at her operation. We worked through a set of solutions to the the nutrient problem, and covered all sorts of other topics as well.
One thing I liked was that you can tell that she has been doing this a long time and when she gives you advice you know it is based on her real-life experience as grower. Rather than just repeating “industry standard” information, Jane thinks outside the box and looks for solutions that will fit into your facility.
I found the experience of working with Jane to be very helpful. She is knowledgeable, courteous, and thoughtful with the suggestions she gives.
I would recommend Jane to people who are starting up a greenhouse, are new growers, or are looking to streamline an existing operation. She has run high tech, low tech, and permaculture style operations, and used a lot of different equipment. I know that if I had talked with her in the design phase of my operation I would have saved myself a lot of hassle and mistakes.
Mark Kilner, Teaching Chef, Award winning GISS Culinary Program
The GISS culinary program prides itself on the importance of educating students on healthy choices, Jane Squier has played a very important role with the success of our program. She was involved with purchasing and building of our greenhouse. She designed the original hydroponic system, and taught me how to use them system. This system produces thousands of heads of lettuce and winter greens every year, which supplies our school cafeteria and our student run summer food truck.
Her knowledge gave me the confidence to construct a second greenhouse and build another three hydroponic systems in our school garden. Jane is still very involved with the program; she continues to consult, and donates her time and nutrients to the growing systems.
Marcia Jean, Program Director of SSI Garden Club for 4 years
Jane’s presentation and power point was so informative and well received, she got a standing ovation! Her knowledge and mastery of the systems to create the hydroponic greenhouses to grow lettuce and herbs, and now tropical fruit is mind boggling.
And all this in an area of SSI with so little water you can’t even wash your car.
Dan Jason, Salt Spring Seeds, BC
It's totally inspiring to see what Jane Squier has happening on her farm: 4000 square feet planted to sub-tropical fruit trees all irrigated with rainwater, an aerobic digester for farm and kitchen waste fuels, a wood gasifier/hydronic heating system, a hydroponic lettuce and basil operation. Kudos to Jane for mastering innovative growing techniques and technologies that are transferable to other small farms!