February 21st, 2018

Squamish CAN Grow Community Gardens

Squamish CAN operates three community gardens, two in the heart of downtown (corner of Cleveland Ave. & Main St., and corner of 2nd Ave & Main St. ), and one in the Garibaldi Highlands (corner of Hwy 99 and Mamquam Rd.)

Community gardens are a great way to enjoy fresh, seasonal food, connect with nature, meet your neighbours, and stay active.

Apply for a Garden Plot

To apply for a garden bed in 2018, please download and complete the an application below. Note: Applications are due Feb 1, 2018. Gardeners will be notified of plot assignments by Feb. 15. Current gardeners are given priority, and if the gardens are full you will be added to the waiting list.

Instructions for submitting the application and payment is included in the application form.

Downtown and Garibaldi CAN Grow Gardens Application: 

CAN Grow Garden Application Form 2018_Fillable

Garden Guidelines and Rules will be sent to accepted gardeners. Work party dates will be sent out via email.


We are no longer coordinating a community seed order. Instead, find your seeds at our new event, Seedy Sunday! The 2018 date is Sunday, March 4th from 10-3 at Brennan Park. See you there! Facebook event link here.

We are also launching a Seed Library and Seedy Sunday Event March 12, 2017 with seeds for sale, a free seed swap, and seed saving and garden workshops.

Public Gardening Workshops

The gardens hold public workshops throughout the growing season, approximately once per month. Example topics include composting, cover crops, building your soil, mason bees, etc. Are you interested in leading a workshop? We offer a small stipend for instructors. Email Michi at garibaldicangrow@gmail.com to discuss details.

To hear about our upcoming workshops, please Like us on Facebook, or sign up for our newsletter.


Looking for Garden Information and Guidelines?

Garibaldi CAN Grow Community Gardens – Guidelines and Information ONLINE VERSION

Downtown–coming soon!

About the Garden

The garden beds are adopted on an annual basis and upon maintaining good standing in the upkeep, may be renewed each spring.

As part of this project, we hope to inspire the community with the potentials of ‘urban farming’, as well as the importance of supporting locally grown food for the purpose of health and sustainability.  Healing herbs and companion flowers are welcomed.

Along with the edible benefits, we hope to foster a nurturing and inspiring community space. This garden space is free of chemical pesticides and fertilizers with the intention of supporting ecological and holistic health for all.

If you have any questions or comments, please contact us!

About the Straw Bale Garden Shed Downtown

The straw bale garden shed has been built with the support of some fantastic volunteers! Deb McQueen and Patty Heintzman led the building project, and with a sturdy frame and solid walls, we hope that this garden shed will last a very long time!! The final stages of the garden shed included its artistic decoration, and the planting of its ‘green roof’.

Composting Systems

The downtown garden has a 3-bin, palette compost station.  We worked with the District of Squamish and Wildsafe BC to create signage and use it as an opportunity to educate on municipal composting that doesn’t attract wildlife. The compost accepts food waste from our gardeners. We hope that this will inspire many Squamish residents to establish composts in their backyards – reducing waste and feeding their sustainable gardens!

At the Garibaldi Garden, we have an insulated tumbler composter. It is certified wildlife safe by the District of Squamish and Wildsafe BC, generously funded by the District of Squamish. This composter also accepts kitchen waste and garden waste from our gardeners. The composter is manufactured by Jora Canada, distributed by Microcosm composting in Squamish.


Gardening 101

We hope to make the CAN Grow Garden a supportive and educational space for new gardeners.  Here are some basic guidelines to help you get started on your gardening adventure!

  • Start with the Soil.  Before planting, ensure that the soil is well mixed and healthy.
    • Soil needs to be able to drain, so water does not ‘drown’ your plants, while simultaneously maintaining appropriate moisture for the plants.  If it’s too ‘wet’, add some sand.  If it’s too dry, add some compost and/or peat.
    • Soil amendments are used to enhance and maintain the health of the soil.  Amendments include: compost, organic fertilizer, manure, egg shells and sea weed.  The timing of the application is key to its success.  Know the amendment and the appropriate time and method to apply it to the garden. Cover crops can also be used during the off-season (or grown alongside you summer veggies!) to enrich the soil and reduce nutrient and soil loss.
    • A key indicator of soil health is the presence of worms.  Worms are a fantastic attribute for mixing the soil and further decomposing nutrients.
  • What to plant? As a beginning gardener, it is essential that you set yourself up for success.
    • Know what is best to plant from seed, and what is best to plant from starts or tubers.
      • Seed starts include: salad, kale, squash, cucumbers, peas, radish, beans, beets, carrots, spinach, parsnips and Swiss chard
      • Plant starts include: broccoli, tomatoes, cabbage, fennel, leek, squash, cucumbers, bok choi, basil and parsley
      • Tuber starts include potatoes and sunchokes
    • Choose plants that grow well in this region.  Our season is quite long, but lacks the intense heat that allows certain plants to thrive. Melon, for example, will grow well, but may be challenged ripening. On the other hand, kale can be planted throughout the season, and may even continue to grow through the winter.
    • Timing is everything.  Spinach grows well in the early spring and fall, but doesn’t like the hot summer.  Use garden charts for guidance in planning and planting.  Many plants, including lettuce and radish, require re-seeding throughout the season to allow for continuous harvest.
    • Plant starts on a cloudy day or later in the day so the intense sun doesn’t shock them.
    • Many plants, such as peppers and eggplant require great attention and are best grown in a greenhouse. Tomatoes grow well if started early and experience a hot and sunny season to ripen.
    • Plant ‘em right the first time
      • Give plants room to grow.  Look on the package for distance recommendations.
      • Rule of thumb for seed planting depth: Plant a seed 3x deeper than the width of the seed.  Cover with a loose layer of healthy soil- no heavy lumps on top. Water immediately, and maintain moisture while seeds germinate.
      • Label plants and include the specific variety. This allows us to remember what grows well, and learn from the gardens around us.
    • Ideas for a delicious and successful garden include:  Peas, kale, arugula, baby greens, zucchini and radish
  • Take care of the plants.
    • Water them as needed. More thorough watering less often encourages healthy root development
    • Thin them to allow for root health
    • Keep weeds under control
    • Provide plant supports as needed
  • Fall & Winter Gardening Guide 

Observe your plants on a regular basis and pay close attention to their growth.  They have much to offer — from tips to care for them, to a delicious meal!!

Where to Find Amendments in Squamish

Soil and Amendments

We buy our compost and soil from Net Zero Waste through Coast Aggregates. The garden blend is enriched with organic compost, and is a great soil to start your gardens with. We use the straight amender after the first year to boost the fertility of the garden.


Straw can be difficult to find locally. Fallen leaves can be raked up in the fall and used as a wonderful free mulch.


We regularly order bulk seeds, which you can purchase for $2 per package. Order deadline is usually late February. It is a fundraiser for us, and you save a bit on seeds as well! We are also producing a seed exchange spring 2017, as well as a seed library. Contact garibaldicangrow@gmail.com for more information and the seed order form.


For more information on the community garden please contact the garden managers:

Garibaldi CAN Grow Garden Manager and Squamish CAN liaison, Michalina, at garibaldicangrow@gmail.com

Downtown CAN Grow Garden Manager, Allie, at cangrowgarden@gmail.com


Thank you for your support in developing this community project as a living example of practical skills and inspiration for a sustainable food system.  Be proud of your commitment and enjoy its bounty!


Photos from first Work Party May 2014:


Backyard Hens in Squamish- Video by Quest Students

Recycling in Squamish