All posts by Barbara

2017 Farmers Institute Year – January report

The 2017 year is shaping up, and already we have the Seedy Saturday date and agenda set for March 18 (click on the Seedy Saturday tab on our main page for details) at the Hall. We are down to 3 very busy board members, so we are looking for people interested in being on the board of directors.  No experience required, just positive enthusiasm and the desire to support the local food producers on the Pender Islands. The Fall Fair seems far off (August 26th) but it really sneaks up on us.  We really need help to pull it off this year, from community groups to individuals.  The theme is tentatively set at "In Simpler Times", harkening back to the first Pender Island Fall Fair in 1932, 85 years ago.  This was a time before Islands Trust, BC Ferries, before electricity, before Magic Lake.  What would that be like?  Come out and see, or better yet, help us create it!  It is quite possible that the fair will be cancelled this year if there aren't enough volunteers for the organizing committee.  If you are interested, please let us know. The Farmers Market will most likely have a shorter season this year, from May long weekend to Thanksgiving, with an extended winter market to fill in the shoulder season. Originally the market began on the May long weekend, but was pushed up to Easter years ago when it moved to the Hall, and the earlier starting date has stuck.  However, the uneven weather in early spring and into the fall, and the abrupt decline in customers at that time of year, has us considering working with the Hall on extending the winter market so vendors have good access to indoors. The Neptune Navy Grimmer - Ashton Ross-Smith Bursary is open to applications.  Current students at GISS may apply through the school, or send their applications to Box 38, Pender Island, V0N 2M0.  Details are on the website and on the GISS online scholarship database (search on the name of the bursary).  Deadline is April 3. The School Planting Day is in the early planning stages, and will also include mentoring support for students who are interested in gardening or keeping livestock (with their parent's permission of course!). The fiscal year end was December 31, 2016, and the AGM is being planned for March.
Barbara Johnstone Grimmer

Time Saving Tools for Farm Business Management

Time Saving Tools for Farm Business Management

Facilitator: Sasha kubicek

By popular demand! From accounting to taxes, to records and more, this course is essential for ensuring you have basic systems in place, to answering questions about more sophisticated record keeping systems for your farm. Learn how to use simple spreadsheets and systems that anyone can operate as well as setting up simple payroll systems and doing bank reconciliations. Sasha Kubicek of Sea Bluff Farm is a spreadsheet wizard and will demonstrate tricks, shortcuts and special features within excel that can save you hours of time and increase your farm management efficiency!

See Course Dates

Course Dates: Time Saving Tools for Farm Business Management

Nov 26, 2016
Instructor:Sasha kubicek
Delivery:6 hours, Classroom
Delivery Day(s)/Time(s):10:00am - 4:00pm
Best to Register By:Sat, Nov 12, 2016
$85.00 + GST

November Pender Post 2016

Pender Islands Farmers’ Institute Report The Farmers’ Market will be taking a winter break until next year, and the Farmers’ Institute would like to thank the community for their support of the market, and the Community Hall for providing a venue, both outside (and inside when weather made it necessary).  We also appreciate the support of the vendors who provide a variety of homegrown and homemade products for our community.  We welcome feedback on the market so that we can improve it for next year: please send any input or suggestions to  To learn about the market and what is involved to be a vendor check out our website . The Farmers’ Institute would like to thank Kelly and George Leroux of Raven Rock Farm for their generous donation of flowers which brightened every corner of the fairgrounds this year, as well as the artful arranging by Islandscapes.  Kristin Taggart and her crew have quietly shown up each year the fair has been at the Hall to provide the finishing touches, whether it be bales of hay with bright sunflowers gracing the front of the hall or the stage, or delicate floral arrangements for the Information booth and the beer garden. We would also like to recognize those who helped with managing the recyclables and the waste from the fair.  Thank you, Pender Island Recycling Society for not only providing recycling stations, but also convening the Recycling Section of the Fair, providing cutlery and dishes for the BBQ, and educating the public, helping with takedown, etc.!!  Thanks also go to Mike and Anne Burdett of Pender Island Waste Management for donating their services to the Fair and handling the waste.  The Recycling Society and the Farmers’ Institute hope to have a Zero Waste fair next year, so let’s all think about how we can help make that happen. The final report of the 2016 Fall Fair will be ready for the December Pender Post.  Any suggestions for next year or feedback from this year may be emailed to  

October 2016 Pender Post – Farmers’ Institute

Last Farmers’ Market of the Year

Thanksgiving marks the end of the Farmers’ Market season. Thanks to everyone who came out this year – especially to our incredible vendors who provide such a fantastic set of arts and crafts as well as delicious produce and prepared food.  We look forward to seeing you all again next year.  Check out our Facebook page for the Farmers' Market, which has been posting some of Ewa Jarosinski's beautiful photos. If you have any questions, you can contact us at