About the Inuvik Community Greenhouse
Welcome to the Inuvik Community Greenhouse, home of the Community Garden Society of Inuvik and thousands of plants!
We have come a long way since the germination of this project in November of 1998. We are very proud to be the most northerly greenhouse in North America and the only Community Greenhouse of its kind in the world!
The Inuvik Community Greenhouse is located at the corner of Gwich'in Road and Breynat Street, behind the Igloo Church. We are open from May until October. Come and see how much we've grown!
The Community Garden Society of Inuvik (CGSI) is a not-for-profit organization formed in November of 1998. With the help and support of Aurora College, we began by converting a decommissioned building (the former Grollier Hall Arena), into a community greenhouse as a focal point for community development. The objective was to utilize this space to allow for the production of a variety of crops in an area where fresh, economical produce is often unavailable. Based upon the success to date, we believe that the Inuvik Community Greenhouse will serve as an effective model for other northern communities.
During the spring and early summer of 1999, the project progressed from the conceptual and feasibility stage into the renovation/construction phase, and then through to the operational stage.
The greenhouse consists of two major areas: raised community garden plots on the main floor and a commercial greenhouse on the second floor. Garden plots are available to residents of Inuvik, and are also sponsored for elders, group homes, children's groups, the mentally disabled, and other local charities. A 4000 square foot commercial greenhouse produces bedding plants and hydroponic vegetables to cover operation and management costs. There are rooms for storage, an office for staff and a classroom for gardening classes. The Inuvik Community Greenhouse is now fully operational. The summer of 2000 saw the first test run of sample hydroponic crops and bedding plants, which were successfully sold to the community.
In the construction of the greenhouse, we were able to use $61,000 of building materials liberated from the old Grollier Hall site. The original area framework was left intact and most of our floors, windows, and doors as well as many other structural elements were built using recycled materials. Styrofoam cups and milk cartons were used as temporary pots for some of our bedding plants. We have also set up a compost facility. The Community Garden Society endeavors to serve as a role model in the North for recycling and composting.
Today, the greenhouse holds 174 full-size plots. Each full plot is approximately 8 ft. by 4 ft. The rental fee per full plot is $50 per plot. Each member pays a $25 membership fee per year and completes 15 volunteer hours. The greenhouse is naturally heated through the summer by the 24 hour sunlight. The typical greenhouse season lasts from late May to the end of September. Our commercial greenhouse typically begins production in late March/early April. Those wishing to extend to a full plot or become a member may email us at email@example.com. New members are entitled to a plot; if there is room, they may apply for a second plot.
What We Grow
Members are able to grow anything they like, and with the 24hour sunlight, anything is possible! Greens such as spinach, chard, and lettuce grow very well, and many members get multiple crops each year. Tomatoes, carrots, peas, herbs, strawberries, rhubarb, zucchini, and squash are among the common crops. Flowers abound, and rarer crops include flax, cucumbers, raspberries, Asian greens, roses, kohlrabi, and watermelons!