Growing West Coast Gardeners Workshop Series - April/May/October 2023

Join the Tofino Community Food Initiative to learn about growing food on the west coast!


April 15 - October 15, 2023


Tofino Community Food Initiative


Načiks/Monks Point,
174 West St., Tofino, BC


Growing West Coast Gardeners is a 4 module workshop series from the Tofino Community Food Initiative designed to support the beginner gardener to grow food on the coast. 

Program Goals

  1. At the end of this program, every participant will have successfully grown & eaten produce from their garden.
  2. Each participant will receive tangible tools & information that advance their foundational knowledge of gardening on the west coast.
  3. Each participant will have a clear path of “what to do next?” in their gardening journey.
  4. Each participant will have made clear choices to plan their garden & what they want to grow.

Program Value

  • A welcome package with goodies to get you started on your growing journey
  • 4 full days of classroom & hands-on activities
  • Handouts & additional resources to support further learning
  • Small-group instruction with expert gardeners
  • Access to a private discussion group to get support from our team & build community with other growers between the in-person modules
  • Take-home gardening materials & supplies


Thanks to the generous support of funders, the Tofino Community Food Initiative is able to offer this pilot program at a subsidized cost for the first round of participants! They are offering a 'pay what you want' model. 

  • Any payment between $50-$530 gratefully accepted 
  • The program is valued at $530/participant (true value) 
  • Any monetary surplus from program fees will go towards supporting full bursaries for the program 
  • Please contact the Tofino Community Food Initiative if you would like a bursary spot (entire cost of the course covered)


Sat, Apr 15 - 9am-3:30pm: Course Introduction & Module 1 - Planning Your Garden

In this module, you will learn the importance of assessing your space and planning ahead for a successful growing season. As a group, there will be the opportunity to learn about a variety of gardening set ups, sharing about each person's spaces to gain a well-rounded understanding of how it is possible to garden anywhere! Whether you have a small outdoor patio or a large forested property, this course will provide an introduction so that you feel confident in creating a new growing space or maximizing the potential of what you already have established. Lecture by an experienced gardener will be complemented with hands-on learning including building a lasagna garden and creating a blueprint of your future garden.

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Gain an understanding of what can be grown successfully on the west coast.
  2. Feel confident in assessing your space based on growing conditions.
  3. Learn how to choose appropriate materials (seeds, soil, containers) required for gardening.

Sun, Apr 16 - 9am-4pm: Module 2 - Starting Your Garden

In this module, you will learn everything you need to know to confidently select seeds and seedlings that will do well in your garden. There will be the opportunity to experiment with different methods for starting your own seeds and understand the considerations for direct sowing vs. transplanting seedlings. Another integral part of starting your garden is having nutrient-rich soil and finding affordable ways to amend the soil throughout the season. With the group, everyone will assemble a worm composter as one option for building soil that is cost and space effective. Lecture by an experienced gardener will be complemented with hands-on learning - let’s get dirty!

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Learn how to read seed packages and choose appropriate seeds and seedlings for your unique growing environment.
  2. Learn different methods for starting seeds and how to transplant them.
  3. Learn how to build a simple worm composter to supplement your garden with nutrients.

Sun, May 14 - 9am-4pm: Module 3 - Maintaining Your Garden

In this module, you will learn what it takes to keep your garden alive and thriving. As a group you will check back in with the demonstration garden and learn through action the importance of different watering and mulching methods. You will also learn the important skills of identifying pests and disease, and how best to solve some of those common garden challenges. At the end of the day, you will learn about the importance of continuously amending your soil and we will demonstrate making compost tea.

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Learn how to assess your plants, and provide what they need to remain happy and healthy.
  2. Learn how to identify common garden pests and diseases.
  3. Learn how to ‘brew’ compost tea to supplement your garden with nutrients.

Sun, Oct 15 - 9am-4pm: Module 4 - Harvest Celebration

In this module you will learn all you need to know about your fall/winter garden - how to harvest what you’ve grown, how to put your garden to bed, and how to set yourself up for success the following year.

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Learn how to save seeds to plant for the following year.
  2. Learn about cover crops and how to protect the soil you’ve built.
  3. Understand what comes next - GARLIC.

Course fee:

Any payment between $50-$530 gratefully accepted  - The program is valued at $530/participant (true value) 

How to register:

Follow the link below!