Cover Cropping in the Greenhouse

It’s nearly September and that means plant growth is starting to slow down in the greenhouse. But it isn’t over yet! We still have a couple weeks of sun and enough warmth to keep those cold-weather crops alive, like spinach, lettuce, kale, radishes, turnips, carrots, and more. This is also a good time to consider planting a cover crop!

Cover crops are plants that are seeded in order to add nutrients and improve soil structure. Some examples of common cover crops include clover, radish, alfalfa, peas, oats, and other legumes. When legumes are planted in the soil, for example, they fix nitrogen (an extremely important nutrient for plant growth), meaning that they make nitrogen available to other plants and organisms in the soil. Cover crops provide a great organic option to adding nutrients to your garden plot. It’s also beneficial to soil structure to have organic matter present, rather than to leave the surface of your soil barren.

Radish and pea cover crop mix

At the community greenhouse we have some cover crop seeds from West Coast Seeds, including clover, rye, oats, and peas. We have these available in envelopes, so please find a staff member to receive a free envelope of seeds. We suggest planting these no later than September 15th so that you can water them for about two weeks before the greenhouse closes. The plants will die as there won’t be any source of water or insulation for them in October, but the organic matter that goes back into the soil will benefit your soil next year. Contact Emily, coordinator@inuvikgreenhouse.com, if you have any questions about cover cropping!

Sauerkraut workshop

On Thursday, September 7th at 7:00pm we’ll be hosting a sauerkraut workshop at the greenhouse! For $10 for greenhouse members or $15 for non-members, you’ll get to learn the process and take a jar home with you. Fermented foods are high in vitamins, enzymes, are probiotic, and very healthy for you! Email coordinator@inuvikgreenhouse.com to sign up.

Trivia Night & Beer Yoga

This month we decided to host a trivia night at the greenhouse, as well as beer yoga. We had about 50 people come out for a “Night out at the Greenhouse” eager to spend their Saturday night surrounded by vegetable, fruit, flower plants, and friends. As a community greenhouse, we offer a space and programming for gardening, but we also are also fortunate to be able to offer a venue for community events, including our own fundraisers like trivia and yoga.

Kim Herle, one of our regular yoga instructors, decided to offer a beer yoga event, where each participant was given two drinks throughout the hour-long yoga session. Somehow the class ended in a sing-along, with one participant playing the ukulele while everyone else sang their hearts out. For those who weren’t ready for their night at the greenhouse to end, we had a trivia night downstairs, where teams of 4-5 tested their general and local knowledge. We had the help of some local groups to include a round on local trivia, with questions from Children’s First Society, Inuvialuit Communication Society, Environment and Natural Resources, Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, Aurora Research Institute, and more. As the sun finally began to set around midnight, the greenhouse cleared out with people encouraging us to host more “nights out at the greenhouse”.

   

Growing healthy squash: Pollinating by hand

Pollinating Squash by Hand

Butternut! Acorn! Patty pan! Spaghetti! Zucchini! These are some of the delightful squash varieties that come with summer. (That is, so long as you can beat the powdery mildew that our greenhouse is prone to.) Also important to growing healthy squash is making sure that they get pollinated.

Squash plants produce both male and female flowers, with the male flower located at the end of a thin stem, and the female flowers located at the end of the squash that forms. It can take several visits from a pollen-laden bee to successfully pollinate a female flower, and sometimes we don’t have enough pollinators finding their way into our greenhouse.

Female flowers

Male flowers

If you notice wilting flowers on your squash, there’s a chance that the flower was not properly fertilized. In order to make sure your flowers become pollinated, use a fine paintbrush to transfer pollen from the male flower to the stigma on the female flower. When looking ahead to planting next year, consider planting sunflowers or alyssum flowers alongside your squash plants in order to encourage pollinators to visit.

For more information, read this article by West Coast Seeds.

Trivia Night at the Greenhouse! August 12 @ 8PM

On Saturday, August 12th we’re hosting a trivia night at the greenhouse! Come with a team of 1-5 people and test both your general and local knowledge. There will be a cash prize for the winning team, door prizes, a cash bar, and a BBQ dinner available for purchase. Trivia starts at 8pm and this is only open for folks aged 19+

Entry is $5 in advance or $10 at the door and includes snacks and a chance to be the trivia victor! Bonus: if you go to beer yoga from 7-8pm you get free entry into trivia. Tickets for both events are now available for sale at the greenhouse from 9am-6:30pm.

The BBQ dinner available for purchase will be BBQ chicken pesto, roasted potatoes, and a green salad. There will be a vegetarian option of a roasted veggie pesto pasta. Yum!

More details are available on the Facebook event page.

YOGA! And beer?? August 12th from 7-8pm at the Greenhouse!

As Watercolour 101 suggested to us, folks in Inuvik are looking for something new to do in the evenings. When our yoga instructor, Kim, suggested a beer yoga event… we thought the heat upstairs was perhaps getting to her! However, it turns out that other folks in the south are taking this up, and it is a LOT of fun!

This started in Germany, and is basically an event where you practice yoga and incorporate beer drinking. It is fun, funny and totally safe – although we will ask you to sign a waiver to take part!

Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door. You will be given 2 free beer (or cider), which will be given out at the 0 minute and 30 minute mark of the class. After the event, you will be invited to stay for our licensed trivia night (tickets are $5… but free to yoga participants).

Contact info@inuvikgreenhouse.com for more information, or to purchase a ticket! Maximum 30 participants for this event (and we have some yoga mats if you need them!)

Sorry… must be 19 or older to take part!

What IS that!?

 

full Monday | In the Garden with Janet Carson

Last night a member asked me to identify a beautiful yellow flower in her garden. It was her Pak Choi, bolting! Quick! Catch it!

Ok, that is a bad gardening joke, but really, it means that the growth is running away on the plant and happening way faster than usual. In a space like ours, this happens quickly. You can water and weed on a Friday and come back to a plot full of yellow and white flowers on Sunday! Your plant just got too hot and sensed the end was near – so put out flowers in an attempt to rapidly create a new generation before its demise.

What was odd about her situation, was that she didn’t actually plant a pak choi in her garden… and this is the other side of bolting. If you do not take care of those flowers, they will send out their seeds to take root in other plots.

In some plants, especially herbs, you can often reverse the bolting by cutting off the flowers and trimming back the leaves. However, if your pak choi, lettuce, spinach and broccoli are going, there isn’t much hope for them.  You can still harvest the leaves – so don’t just throw them out.

In the greenhouse, this means we are seeing a lot of yellow flowers in the trash. Please remember to compost your green matter, and in the case of bolting flowers, either eat them (cilantro flowers = coriander if you dry them) or put them in the weed bin.

Arctic Market 2017

From June 13th until September 26th, every Tuesday, the much anticipated Arctic Market will be hosted in the Inuvik Community Greenhouse. From 6:00 PM to 8:30 PM, the Greenhouse will open it’s doors to vendors, locals, and tourists. Since starting on the 13th, we have seen a huge success with the market and want to thank everyone involved for the tremendous start to the season.

The market makes a space available for vendors to sell their local products and food. This includes anything from craft work to homemade baked goods, and even sushi. It’s also a great way to enjoy the beautiful space the greenhouse provides. We hope you enjoy the market season from now until September!

If you’re interested in becoming a vendor, please email info@inuvikgreenhouse.com. The cost per table each night is $5 and $50 for the season. If you need electrical, it will cost $10 a night, and $100 per season. If you’re a non-profit or charitable organization, no need to worry – you’re table cost is covered! Keep in mind that if you are a food vendor, you must have a food permit and have a printed copy on you for the duration of the market or you cannot have a table.

We welcome everyone to come check out the market and hope to see you in the future!