Gleaning Orientation dates set for 2022

Gleaning Program 2022


Since 1993, the Gleaning Program has been harvesting fruit and produce from gardens, farms and back yards in the Nanaimo region. This is among the longest running gleaning programs in the province and is very successful in terms of reducing food waste in the region.


New Gleaners

If you haven’t been a gleaner for this program within the past 4 years, you will need to attend a mandatory safety orientation. The orientations will be held in the Pine St Community Garden behind the Foodshare Centre at 271 Pine St. This will be held in the open-air gazebo so dress for the weather if it is cool. Please attend one of the orientation dates below to join the program. You do not have to pre-register for a session – just show up! Remember to invite any friends or family that want to glean with you. Non-registered gleaners are not permitted on picks. Latecomers are disruptive and may miss important information about the program so please be on time. There will be time to answer all your questions about the program at the end.


At the orientation, you will need to fill out a membership form and submit payment. Please bring exact change for your fee as we will not be making change (the fee is a sliding scale between $15-$25) or have a cheque made out to Nanaimo Community Gardens Society.


The dates for 2021 orientations are:

  • Saturday May 28th, 10-11am
  • Monday May 30th, 6-7pm
  • Wednesday June 1 4-5pm
  • Sunday June 5, 1-2pm
  • Friday June 10, 7-8pm

Protocols for 2022 will be explained and a hard or digital copy of our latest orientation will be provided to you for review at any time. Call Lee at 250-816-4769 if you have questions about the program or the orientations.



Returning Gleaners

All gleaners who have attended an orientation within the past 4 years and wish to join the 2022 season are asked to sign up during the half hour before each orientation listed above or during the drops in times listed below at the Pine St Community Garden.


Sign-up sessions (for returning gleaners only) will be:

  • Saturday May 28th, 9:30 – 10am
  • Monday May 30th, 5:30 – 6pm
  • Wednesday June noon – 4pm
  • Sunday June 5, 10am – 1pm
  • Wednesday June 8, noon – 3pm
  • Friday June 10, 6:30 – 7pm
  • Strawberries!

Generous Cheque from Coastal Community Credit Union

Greg Scott, branch manager of Coastal Community Credit Union, and
several associates, are pictured here presenting a generous $2500 to
volunteers at Beban Learning Gardens. These funds are to assist
Nanaimo Community Gardens Society in various initiatives designed to
encourage people in Nanaimo to engage and re-engage in the most
worthwhile task of growing their own food. Thanks, CCCU!

Plant Sales for Spring 2022!

Beban Learning Gardens will begin selling starter plants on Wed., March 16,
directly from our greenhouse in Beban Park, between the golf course and the VIEx
grounds. Every Wednesday from 10 to 12, you can come and buy veggie, herb,
pollinator flower starter plants, grown organically, right on our site. Lots of
gardening advice is available, as well. You are welcome to browse around our
garden and see what we are growing. (The greenhouse will be out-of-bounds for
a while yet.)
Plants we will be selling for the rest of March and into early April include:
snap peas, broad beans, chives, cilantro, cress, kale, mustards, strawberries,
lettuces, pac choi, and lots more.
Later, there will be, tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, cukes, melons, etc.
As well as Wednesday morning sales, we will be selling on 3 Saturdays from 10am
to 2 pm:
April 30 May 14 May 28

The BLG Covered Workspace is now a reality!

Beban Learning Gardens thanks Nanaimo Community Gardens, the Province of British Columbia, Home Depot, and the City of Nanaimo Parks and Trades Departments for their help in making our Covered Work Space a reality.

Almost exactly four years after officially opening, one of the last items from the original design plan has been built.  Volunteers on the Covered Workspace Committee had almost given up on ever getting this feature built as estimates came in so high.  Then they saw an ad picturing a sturdy, good-looking but inexpensive gazebo, got creative, and decided that four such gazebos (10’ x 10’) placed in a square might just do the trick.

A year and one pandemic later, our covered workspace has been erected and is already being put to good use, enabling volunteers to work in the open-air and yet have some shelter. The need for this facility has become more important during the pandemic to allow normal activities to take place at the Beban Learning Gardens.

Thanks to Home Depot  and the province of  British Columbia for their contribution towards the cost of the gazebos and their ongoing support of our community garden projects.  And, last but not least, to City workers who put it all together.


Lead Well donation from Island Savings

Island Savings, a division of First West Credit Union recognizes employees for their leadership in the community through the Lead Well program. Employees receive a $500 donation to a charity of their choice. The donation we received represented the award given to Lindsay Grill for her outstanding contributions to the community. Lindsay attended one of our work parties to present the donation of $500 to Nanaimo Community Gardens Society. Here, Lindsay presents her award to Lee Sanmiya and some young volunteers at the Wednesday work party at the Pine St Community Garden.

The donation will be used to continue our educational programming. This includes offering work parties, workshops, hands-on learning, tours and field trips at our two garden sites. Thanks Lindsay and the Island Savings Lead Well program.

Work Parties

Do you wanted to volunteer at one of the Nanaimo Community Gardens Society sites? There are no rental plots, instead we garden together doing whatever is needed depending on the site and the time of year.
At the Beban Learning Garden work parties are held Wednesdays between 10am and 12pm. This garden is located beside the golf course at Beban Park. This site includes a greenhouse, fruit trees and bushes and outdoor gardening beds. During the late winter and early spring, the focus is on maintaining the site and growing seedlings for sale and donating to the community. Later in the season, the greenhouse becomes too hot to work in and the focus is growing outdoors.
The Pine St Garden has work parties on Wednesdays from 11am to 3pm. To participate in these work parties, visit the Pine St Garden behind the Foodshare Centre at 271 Pine St. These work parties continue year round but tasks are very weather dependent. Volunteers have lunch together at 1pm so drop by , bring your lunch and join us for a wonderful meal in the garden.
For May and June there will also be Thursday work parties at the Pine St Garden from noon to 3pm. If these are successful, they may continue through the summer. If you have a group that wishes to attend the garden, this time may be ideal as it is less crowded and we will have a teacher leading the work parties. Please call if this is something that interests you at 250-816-4769.

Growing Food Course

Do you want to grow your own food? Improve your food security? Or make your garden more productive? Then the Growing Organic Food course is for you!
Canadian Organic Growers is offering the Growing Organic Food course. In this 11 week in-class and hands-on course students will learn about soil health, water management, propagating plants, food preservation and more!
Dates: May 30 to July 4
Location: Beban Learning Garden, Beban Park 2300 Bowen Rd. Nanaimo
Registration fee: $845 +tax – COG Members save $50!
To learn more visit or email

Fruit Trees Donated by Island Savings

Representatives Jenna Sutherland and Tammie Muir from Island Savings were on hand at a recent tree planting work party at the Beban Learning Gardens to present a cheque to Nanaimo Community Gardens Society. The cheque for $1,500 will to go towards the purchase of fruit trees for the site. The planting of young fruit trees, berry bushes and grape vines  has been planned since the site was first occupied. In the years to come, the fruits will supplement the production of vegetables, herbs and edible flowers on the site to be used in programs and event. Island Savings has been focusing on reducing paper use in their branches and wanted to reinvest those savings in the community with the planting of food producing trees. Thank you Island Savings!

Bee Time!

We took some time recently to take out the old tubes of mason bee cocoons and replace them with fresh, new paper tubes. These tubes are where the new female mason bees will lay their eggs, fully provisioned with pollen. These eggs will hatch and the larvae will eat and grow until they are large enough to spin a cocoon and wait out the cold winter all snug and cozy. In the spring the males hatch first and wait for the females. It is at this time that the mason bees provide their renowned pollinating services to flowering fruit trees. As you see in this picture, one of our youngest volunteers is helping to remove the old mason bee tubes and putting them in a special box where the bees can safely hatch out.