Jake and David installing GAHT pipes 4 feet below grade

There have never been so many big, black, shiny, 4WD trucks in this yard before.  Construction on the new heated greenhouse has begun.  We’ve also never hired a crew to build before.  Leading the crew is Jake MacDougall, of MacDougall Meadows, who also sells his pastured meat with our vegetables at Seaport Market.  Before we build up, we are digging down, to install a Ground Air Heat Transfer (GAHT) system underneath the greenhouse.  Of course we can’t just build a normal heated greenhouse that burns fuel.  No, we need to do things differently, using technology and designs from Colorado, unproven here in the frozen North.  We’re trying to avoid burning fossil fuels to extend the growing season.  David found this system that transfers ground heat into the greenhouse.  After all, the ground under a greenhouse is going to be warmer than surrounding ground.  Right??  Hope so!

That’s not all.  He decided to use another idea at the same time.  Between the two layers of GAHT pipes, we’re going to put in a layer of pipe from a composting pile of ramial wood chips.  I’ve always wanted to use the heat from a composting system to replace fossil fuel heating somewhere.  Here’s our chance.  If this works, we’ll try a hot tub next!

At the same time, we are starting the new extended market schedule on Isleville St this week.  This has taken many weeks and meetings to develop and we’re very pleased with our excellent producer-partners.  We’ll be open Thursdays and Fridays (11-7) and Saturdays (9-1).  David and I (Jen) will be there on Thursdays, and Jessi will be there Thurs-Sat.  I hope people will be patient with us as we work through all the logistics and details.  We’ve had a tremendous amount of support from the community (both our member community and the physical neighbourhood community) and we love the vision of having small markets in neighbourhoods throughout the city.  Community markets in other countries add vitality, colour, small business, and social spaces for all ages. Why not here too?

Here are some photos from the week so far:


Covering over the first layer of GAHT pipes


Kathleen and Hyla starting seedlings for the new greenhouse.  They have both cycled across this vast country so they had lots of stories to share.


Lots of little baby spinach and salad on the way in Anna’s field


Jasper tomatoes – so labour intensive, so disease-resistant, so flavourful!


This is eggplant parmesan, made with baked eggplant, cherry tomatoes, onions, and green peppers, with cheese and parsley sprinkled on top.  The intense flavour of the baked cherry tomatoes makes it very special


It’s cover crop seeding time to get the soil ready for next year


It is also yellow watermelon time!

One thought on “Risk

  1. Jen and Dave, your vegetables taste SO delicious!!!! I swear, my three-year old has grown at least an inch since he devoured a punnet of your cherry tomatoes on Thursday (yes,I have a 3-year old that loves tomatoes). I have shared your new hours on the Facebook group “North End Community Circle”, so I hope you get lots of new Friday and Saturday visitors. – Helen 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s