Rob Galey, owner of Galey Farms, has Howard the Gnome’s hat set up in the pumpkin patch along with some giant mushrooms. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

Howard the Gnome is coming home to Galey Farms

Saanich council approves height variance request for 26-foot-tall gnome

Howard the Gnome will soon be at his new home at Galey Farms in Saanich.

In a unanimous vote at Monday night’s meeting, Saanich council approved Rob Galey’s development variance permit to bring the world’s tallest gnome to his farm.

Galey was happy to hear the news. “Howard is one of my best friends,” he explained. “He’ll be here at Galey Farms forever.”

READ ALSO: The world’s tallest gnome is apparently 16 inches too tall for Saanich

The two have been buddies since 2002 when Galey’s indoor racing team practised at the arena across the street from Howard’s old home. Howard was built in 1998 and spent many years waving to gas station customers in Nanoose Bay.

Galey purchased the 26-foot-tall gnome in the spring for one dollar but had to keep him in an undisclosed location as he is 16 inches above Saanich’s legal height limit and council approval was required before he could take up his post in the pumpkin patch near the railroad at Galey Farms.

Galey and his staff have been giving the large gnome a make-over so that he’ll be ready for photos this fall. He’s been given blue eyes, lips, eyelashes and a mechanic arm so he can wave at those who pass by. Galey promises Howard will look friendly, not scary, and that a fun voice is in the works.

READ ALSO: Howard The Gnome expected to rise over Saanich in early October

The Agricultural Land Commission did not give permission for Howard to be on the farm permanently, so he will be a temporary structure and will only stand guard in the fall. For the rest of the year, he will snooze in storage.

Eventually, Howard will have some company as Galey plans to build a “Gnome-man’s Land” full of mechanical gnomes and other creatures. Until then, Howard will work alone and wave to the folks on the train.

Howard will make his debut on Oct. 5, just in time for Pumpkin Fest and for the 20th anniversary of the Galey Farms corn maze and market.

READ ALSO: Howard the Gnome finds a home at Galey Farms


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devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

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Howard, the world’s tallest gnome, was located along the Island Highway near Nanoose Bay for many years before finding his new home in Saanich. (Bridget Matewish/Facebook)

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