September 5, 2008 - News

The trials and tribulations of home grown vegetables
Inside Iqaluit's Piruqsiavut greenhouse, the zucchini, beets and lettuce sprung up nearly as fast this summer as the new RCMP building under construction next door. Tomato plants, loaded with ripening red fruit, hang from the 17-foot-high ceiling of the greenhouse, while scarlet runner beans snake along the translucent plastic walls on strings. Successfully growing vegetables in a greenhouse can be hard. That's because gardeners must reproduce nature's conditions by providing the right kinds of soil, fertilizers and temperature ranges for their plants. This a tough when the closest source of topsoil is a couple of thousand kilometres away and Iqaluit's temperature roller-coasts from chilly to sunny during the course of a single day. Because of the challenges involved, Iqaluit's greenhouse will never be a farm, and probably it will never even be self-sufficient, admits Workman, president of the Iqaluit Community Greenhouse Society, which runs the Piruqsiavut greenhouse. Flowers are great, but producing vegetables is the main focus of Iqaluit’s Piruqsiavut greenhouse, says Peter Workman, president of the Iqaluit Community Greenhouse Society. "It's what I would call an admirable pursuit," he says.