Friday, October 2, 2009

Home Security and Personal Safety Course

*** Not directly related to the Iqaluit Greenhouse Society - a free seminar ***

The RCMP, in partnership with the Public Safety Committee and Qulliit Status of Women, welcome you to join us to learn tips on how to help keep you and your family safe.

Participants will learn how to reduce risk through awareness and crime prevention strategies and techniques.
Where: St. Jude’s Anglican Parish Hall

When: Thursday, October 15, 2009

Time: 7:00pm-8:30pm
This event is free.
For more information, or to register please contact Shylah Elliott at: 979 6690.

Friday, September 25, 2009

The IG Outreach Committee Reaches Out...

Subject: Outreach Committee

Hello greenhousers,

As your new interim Outreach Coordinator I would like to announce the formation of the greenhouse's Outreach Committee. As you can imagine, a key ingredient in this committee is committee members of which there are presently none besides me.

If you have any interest in joining and/or participating in the outreach committee and its activities please let me know by responding to this email and we'll organize a meeting.

In other news, the results of the GREAT GREENHOUSE GROW-OFF will be announced shortly - we're still researching to find numbers high enough to describe the yields of some of our garderners.

I hope you're having a great Fall,

Willie Hyndman
Interim Outreach Coordinator

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

HARVEST / WorkParty, Sunday Sept 13 (Mass Reg Sept 12)

From Karen, the Prez...

Hello gardeners,

A number of end-of-season updates:


The end of season is nigh, alas. We'll be closing up the greenhouse next weekend, so I propose a final harvest/clean-up work party for next Sunday, Sept. 13, beginning at 10 a.m. Please come prepared to harvest and record your remaining produce, bag the waste materials for the composting society and perform a number of other odds and ends. We'd really appreciate having volunteers to help us. (We'll have treats for the workers!)

Anything unharvested by noon of that day is fair game for society members.


Noon of next Sunday will also be the final hour for the GREAT GREENHOUSE GROW-OFF.

If your plot would like to be entered in the "greatest produce-produced" category (most weight), please add up the individual and total totals from your plot's sheet in the binder. (It is helpful for us to have the additions done according to type, such as "beans: 1 lb," or "lettuce: 500g," etc. If you don't have time to do that, please DO NOT remove the sheet from the binder, so we can add it up for our records.) The prize for that category is a $100 gift certificate for Lee Valley.

If your plot would like to be entered in either the "best single vegetable" category, please submit a photo and/or weight of the vegetable you would like considered. The prize for that category is a copy of the awesome companion gardening book: Carrots Love Tomatoes.

And finally, if your plot would like to be considered for the "most creative use of plot space" category, please submit a photo. The prize for that is a copy of the also awesome book: All New Square Foot Gardening."


As the greenhouse is a work-in-progress, we appreciate any/all feedback from our members. Attached to Karen's email is a fairly simple comment card, and we would really appreciate it if you filled it out and returned it via email. (if you did not get it, go to, to copy and paste to your email. If you would prefer to comment anonymously, feel free to print it out and tuck it in back of the green binder in the greenhouse. Your feedback will go a long way to shaping how the greenhouse functions next summer.

Once we compile everyone's notes and tally the final weights, we'll hold a wrap-up meeting for those interested in closing out the season with us.

Thanks, and we look forward to seeing lots of people out to the greenhouse next Sunday morning!


Friday, August 28, 2009

Volunteer at Mass Registration (plus, article on us in Le Devoir)

President Karen sends an APB...

Hello, Hope everyone is having a wonderful summer! We have a couple little jobs that need doing by some intrepid members...

1) Le Devoir published a great article about our greenhouse and Jim Little's in a recent edition - Jardiner sous le soleil de minuit by Hélène Buzzetti. A volunteer, David Rochette, did a French to English written translation of it for our members, merci! ( Translation at

2) Mass Registration event this year on Sept. 12 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. (set-up at 10:30 a.m.) at Cadet Hall - we have a table again. Need YOU to volunteer. We will be passing on information, showcasing some greenery and letting people know how they can get involved. If anyone thinks they can spare some time sitting at the booth, would be appreciated. Doesn't have to be the whole thing, and could just be to help set up.

Please let me know if you can volunteer your time for either of these!


Karen (

More info on Jim Little for composting
The Bill Mackenzie Humanitarian Society
Box 1839
Iqaluit, NU
X0A 0H0

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Volunteer in the Society - That means YOU!

Hello gardeners,

Just putting a couple volunteer opportunities out there, in case some members are chomping at the bit to take on a larger role in the greenhouse society over the next year.

We are looking for members interested in the following:

This person will chair a committee to promote awareness and participation in the greenhouse and related themes. Activities could include, but are not restricted to, event coordination, media outreach and publication development. The ideal person would be creative, self-motivated and keenly interested developing the greenhouse as a sustainable and welcoming community resource. He/she would have to occasionally attend board meetings, and would likely work most closely with the GH chair and the GH webmaster.

These members will assist the chair of the research committee to identify research priorities for the greenhouse and its members, establish basic research regimens, and liaise with potential scientific partners. Members will likely not be required to attend board meetings. This committee will likely work most closely with the GH vice-chair and the GH operations committee chair.

Unfortunately I can't give you an estimated time commitment for either of these, as we expect the volunteers would be fairly self-directed. However, if you would like to chat more about the research committee, please contact Erin Gordey (cc'ed to this email). And if you would like to chat more about the outreach committee, please contact me at this email.

I eagerly await the deluge of correspondence from interested members. :)


Monday, July 27, 2009

Water and Harvest - from the Prez

The days are long and hot and the plants need more water than usual. Please be vigilant about visiting your mini-farms at least once a day to give them a good soak. There are more than a few wilting plants lately :-(

If your radishes/lettuce/spinach are going to see (ie starting to flower), it is time to harvest and replace them.

We are a volunteer-run space and your contributions of any time help everyone. For example, if you see the weight-station turning into a mess, please spare some time to help tidy it. And it is also great to see volunteers sweeping, especially the front entrance where visitors drop in.

And finally, the Great Greenhouse Grow-off! Please take a pix and submit by email. We hope to post to the blog.

Enjoy growing!


Friday, July 10, 2009

It's So Easy Eating Green! Sara Holzman shares pix, thoughts, and a RECIPE!

One of the types of produce I have always missed the most while living in Iqaluit are my leafy greens. I have never seen kale, swiss chard, bok choy, or any realllly nice spinach at the Northmart, and never think to bring any up with me. So, I was very excited to have the chance to plant them at the greenhouse.

My swiss chard is not ready yet, but there are lovely, lush beet greens just waiting to be eaten! Now, I have never actually eaten beet greens before. I don't like beets, so maybe it was just the association that left me uncertain about them. But I'm ready to take the plunge and try them out!

A gardening friend suggested taking only a few leaves off each plant (you don't want to take too many). Store them in the fridge, and wash before using. I have been looking for recipes on how to cook them so they don't just end up a pile of green mush, and I found this one off one of my favourite foodie blogs: everybody likes sandwiches (
Here is the recipe:

braised greens with leeks & lemon
2 lbs of assorted greens (chard, kale, beet greens is what I used)
1 T olive oil
1/2 t red pepper flakes
3 leeks sliced thinly
zest & juice of 1 lemon
salt & pepper

Rinse the greens very well to get rid of any dirt hidden within the leaves. Remove the tough ribs from the kale and discard. Chop the greens and set aside.

In a large pot, heat olive oil and saute the leeks and red chilies until fragrant.

Add in the toughest leaves first (kale) and then the chard and then the beet greens. Reduce heat.

What looks like a massive amount of greens will soon wilt into a very manageable amount.

Add in the lemon juice and zest and sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper and stir about until all the leaves become wilted and tender, about 10 minutes. Serve.

---I am very excited to try this recipe. In the meantime, I am planning my lunch in my head: beet greens and lettuce salad (not yet from the greenhouse), green onions, cherry tomatoes (definitely not from the greenhouse!!), roasted walnuts and maybe some goat cheese!

I encourage everyone to post an exciting recipe!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Bring Water, Take a Tomato

A Nunavut Day note from Karen, the prez:

Happy Nunavut Day! Sunshine, politicians flipping pancakes, the super-awesome Gjoa Band and a DFO-hosted game called "Life of Char"... yay!

On a not-as-exciting note, you likely noticed the city forgot to fill up our water tank. Try as we might, we were unable to rouse a truck yesterday afternoon. Sadness.

So I lugged a few jugs of water into the GH this morning, and left them by the table. I also watered any of the plots which seemed a little parched. (I didn't water the shelves though.)

Thanks to whichever kind soul took care of watering the tomatoes last night! It was much appreciated.

Also, one other note: please re-plant your bins once you harvest them. Radishes grow fast, or you can take one or two of the tomatoes that are still on the mini-greenhouse shelves nearer the back. We should be able to make use of the space all summer.


Monday, July 6, 2009

TONIGHT: Transplanting Tomatoes

The Prez sends this update that she will be at the Greenhouse from 5 to 6pm tonight to transplant tomatoes. Sounds like fun!!!


Growing comparisons...

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Weighing the Fruits of our Labour...

Hello, all

As things grow, green and ripen in your garden, please remember to weigh and record your harvest data in the green binder on the table next to the scale. All we need to know is what you harvested, when, and how much it weighed.

This is very important information to us, and we appreciate your help in tracking what you produce! Every gram counts as we continue to prove food production is feasible in theArctic.

Cheers, Karen

Thursday, June 11, 2009

See us grow

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Request: Touch not the plumbing and ventiliation systems

Another note from Karen:

Hola greenhousers,

Thanks for a good kick-off to the season. It's awesome having so many people around getting excited about growing things. And I think we have a record number of gardeners this year!

Some housekeeping notes:

1. We have a leaky valve on the pump, and as such shut it down for the day until the plumber returns to fix it. I filled up a few jugs of water and the watering cans and left them in the greenhouse. If that runs out, come get me at NRI with the empties. Water should be online again shortly and I will let you know.

2. Someone was in the greenhouse after I left last night at 10 p.m. and before I returned at 8 a.m. and unplugged the heating mats in the mini-greenhouse. I plug these in at night because we still have some seeds germinating, and the temperature sometimes reaches zero. I've done so for the past three weeks with absolutely no problems. I know the person thought they were being helpful, as they coiled them on the wall.

However, DO NOT CHANGE ANY ELECTRICAL, PLUMBING OR VENTILATION SYSTEMS WITHOUT CLEARING IT WITH OPERATIONS. My number and Rob's number remain clearly marked by the door if there's a problem.


Monday, June 1, 2009

First-Day-of-Planting Party on June 3, 2009

Karen sends another party notice: "I know you're all eager to get in and start planting. We'll be all set with the water next Wednesday June 3, so...


Wednesday, June 3, 2009

starting at 7 p.m.

at the Iqaluit Greenhouse

Lots of people around to answer questions, seeds to plant and juice boxes to be had.

This work is done on all the plots to ensure a proper growing medium, and the more hands the better."

Hello, again, from Karen
Planting starts tonight at 7 p.m. Yay!

If you can't be here tonight, get the code from your plotmatesand you can all come and go as you please. (Just remember to lock the door behind you.)

Gary DeCasmaker from Eternal Seeds (an awesome Ontario greenhouse company which produces heirloom and organic seeds) will be around to kindly answer questions and give us advice on growing wonderful food.

I have listed the plot teams below. Unless you specified team mates, you were placed randomly on a team. Please let me know if you need contact information for your team mates or if one of your team mates has dropped out. Or if I am missing your name!

Also please note there may be some jostling of members around - we are at near total capacity right now, so if you are in a team of three you may have a fourth added tonight.

The list is based on all membership forms and/or expressions of interest in the last two days. The draw for plots was totally random, done by vice-chair Eric Corneau and I this morning. We are doing are best to ensure everything is fair and equitable, and that there is room for everyone who is interested.

Also wanted to thank everyone for helping out with the plant swap on Saturday. Treasurer Darlene Thomspson reports the swap raised over $200 for the greenhouse!

Alright, see everyone tonight.


PLOT ONE - Leah Fusco, Nick Burnaby, Mesut Simsek, Janna MacLachlan

PLOT 2 - Chris Scullion, Kimmie Hubbard, Lindsay Hudson

PLOT 3 - Karen Mackenzie, Rob Long, Michael Walsh, Stephanie McDonald

PLOT 4 - John Thompson, Darlene Thompson, John (?)

PLOT 5 - Barry McLaren, Sara Holzman, Dawn McArthur

PLOT 6 - John Robertson, Lise Robertson, Neville Crabbe, Natasha Stephen

PLOT 7 - Joelle Lavallee, David Rochette, Angelique Dignard

PLOT 8 - Willie Hyndman, Emily Woods, Elizabeth Debicka

PLOT 9 - Laura Allardyce, Arielle Stockdale, Gwen Healey, Joel Fortier

PLOT 10 - Janice Seto, Monika Templin, Michael Chappell, Nicolas Raymond

PLOT 11 - Adult Group Home – Carolyn Sloan

PLOT 12 - Kate Darling, Dave Knight, Bruce Uviluq, Sherri Young

PLOT 13 - Peter Workman, Pat Lynch, Iris Deschamps

PLOT 14 - Matty McNair, Janet Armstrong, Sarah Tugak

PLOT 15 - Erin Gordey, Olivia Brown, Andy Nichols

PLOT 16 - Charlotte Sharkey, Jamal Shirley, Susan Hardy

PLOT 17 - Akausisarvik Mental Health Facility

PLOT 18 - L’association des francophones du Nunavut(Eric, Maude, Caroline, et al)

Non-Allergenic Cleaning Products You Can Make At Home

Friday May 29, 2009 - Staff, Toronto

They're in your home, probably under your counter and you use them at least once a week. They're the ubiquitous cleaning materials you buy to keep your house spotless. But while they're cleaning up your mess are they also aggravating your allergies?

Some of the products contain chemicals which can leave those sensitive to their contents sniffling, sneezing, and crying from irritated eyes. But there's hope for people with that problem - and they likely don't have to go much farther than those same cupboards to find relief.
There are a host of natural and non-allergenic materials you can use to accomplish the same thing - and most of them will cost you a fraction of the store bought items.

Among them:
Sink Cleaner and Disinfectant (click on link to get the full story)

Plant Swap & Sale, Sat May 30, 2009

Annual Plant Swap & Sale on Saturday, May 30, at the Nunavut Arctic College - main college building above the Nunavut Court of Justice - from 10 a.m. to noon.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Get DIRTY this Wed May 27, plus Annual Plant Swap & Sale

This Wednesday May 27, there is another place in Iqaluit
to get REALLY DIRTY...
Iqaluit Greenhouse Soil Mixing starting at 7pm!

If anyone is interested in volunteering for the swap or putting up GH posters around town, please let me know, Karen Mackenzie (

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Mix it up Wed May 27!!!

Our Prez sends out a Green Alert for W May 27, 2009

You didn't make it to
Soil Mixing Saturday?
Here's Your Chance to
Get Dirty
starting at 7pm Wednesday May 27...
Soil Mixing Wednesday Night!!!

Pix from Saturday, May 23, at the Greenhouse at 11 a.m.
Even if you don't have time to stay, feel free to stop by and say hi to the other members!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Super Spuds in Greenland

Some growing news from Nuuk...

Greenlandic Super Potatoes

The potato crop in Greenland has produced some super healthy potatoes which are better than their foreign counterparts. Curious researchers are now carrying out a study on the super potatoes.

Sermitsiaq, May 17, 2009 (

There is something about the Greenlandic earth that is preventing fungus diseases like mould from attacking and destroying Greenlandic potatoes and it has piqued the interest of Danish researchers, reports Politiken Søndagnewspaper.

Potato farmers from Denmark and many other countries are often faced witha fight against mould, which destroys the shoots, or reduces the qualityand growth of the crop. Researchers have sought for years to uncover theunexplainable mechanisms and are now starting to see some results.

‘We have established that there is mould present in the earth in Greenland that is of the same kind as that in Denmark. At the same time, we have found bacteria, that is not present in Danish soil and which is thought to be especially suitable for Greenland’s climate conditions. The laboratory tests show that it releases substances that inhibit mould. But we don’t know precisely which substances in the bacteria are effective, it could also be the cold which hampers the mould’s growth, or a combination of the two,’ said microbiologist Peter Stougaard to Politiken.
Stougaard is an associate professor at the Department of Agriculture and Ecology at the University of Copenhagen.

‘If we can identify a bacteria that can inhibit the growth of damaging mould at low temperatures, then we open the possibility of using it to protect potato crops grown in other cold locations, such as Alaska that are plagued by mould. It could lead to treating the potatoes with bacteria before they are put in the ground,’ said Stougaard.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Iqaluit Community Greenhouse Society

Welcome to the new blog for members of the Iqaluit Community Greenhouse Society!

This blog is a collaborative work-in-progress so check back often.

Exciting upcoming events include:

- Gardening 101

- May 30 - Plant & Seed Swap

And did we say meetings? Can't forget that...

Come Grow With Us!

Only $25 and a committment of 15 hours of volunteer time during our 3rd growing season! Please contact members of the board for membership forms at