Kohlrabi Collective Unheated Greenhouse (SP0170)

Status: COMPLETED April 2017 - January 2018

The Unheated Greenhouse project aims to expand the reach of the Kohlrabi Collective to ultimately increase the supply and distribution channels of student-grown sustainable food on both campuses, by constructing an unheated greenhouse. It also aims at reinforcing the bonds between student-led sustainable food and education initiatives to raise awareness about agriculture and our food system. 

Read the full project description

Established in 2016 as a SPF project, the Kohlrabi Collective is a cross-campus collaboration among the McGill Farmers’ Market, the Macdonald Student-Run Ecological gardens (MSEG) and Organic Campus, seeking to created self-reinforcing partnerships and overcome individual/group challenges. While in the short-term these groups working together will see an increase in the supply and distribution channels of student-grown food on both campuses, in the long-term they aim to raise awareness of local food, and change the habits of consumers. With this project, the Kohlrabi Collective would like to push their project further and expand the collective for greater reach. 

The main goal that the Unheated Greenhouse project aims to tackle is increasing sustainable food production by students for students. At the same time, improving educational opportunities for students across diverse disciplines and backgrounds. 

MSEG does not, at the moment, have its own greenhouse. For all their early seedlings, the team uses the Raymond Greenhouse on MacDonald campus. However, since the whole greenhouse has to be emptied and cleaned (solarized) at the end of June in order to destroy pests, nothing can be seeded later on. This reality forces MSEG to operate inefficiently, considering the space and labour they have.

To tackle this issue, they will be building a small moveable unheated greenhouse to be placed on MSEG’s farm. MacDonald Campus Farm Manager Paul Meldrum specifically requested the moveability of the greenhouse and we already have his approval to install it of the farm. This greenhouse will allow them to seed until late August and then increase their production to full capacity. This would greatly benefit The Kohlrabi Collective as well as all McGill students since we will be able to increase and diversify the offer of organic vegetables during the fall semester. Additionally, this production increase and diversification will allow to include the Out of the Garden Project (OGP) into the collective and distribute the vegetables to even more students on both campuses. OGP have a constant need of fresh fall greens that presently can’t be produced since the need to be seeded mid‐July. Having a greenhouse on site would also allow MSEG to transfer their seedlings right next to the field in early June, when the cool spring temperatures will have left. This would then eliminate the need to drive to campus back and forth each time something needs to be planted (which is almost every day) and then greatly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The greenhouse will also provide a more complete educational experience for all groups involved.

Funds from the SPF will be used to purchase all the materials used in the construction of the greenhouse. 

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mathieu.ouellet2 [at] mail.mcgill.ca (Mathieu Ouellet)