Transition Bay St Margarets has been developing a unique model for Spring vegetable transplant production - using a neighborhood co-operative greenhouse model. We are promoting this model to many neighborhoods in St Margarets Bay, as well as other communities. Creating and managing a neighborhood greenhouse co-operative for the production of vegetable and flower transplants for use in the gardens of the co-op members is a fantastic and easily accomplished way to build local networks and resilience at the same time. Managing a greenhouse co-operatively encourages community-building around the subject of local food production. The seeding and transplanting work is relatively easy for the inexperienced, and the results are obtained within a few weeks – high quality transplants for the home garden. Everyone learns, networks and co-operates.
The co-op model uses a single greenhouse, owned by one of the co-op members, or possibly in a jointly-owned or public location. Generally in more Northern climates, greenhouses are important for early transplant production because of the heat and shelter afforded by a greenhouse. Transplants must be started 1-2 months prior to setting out into the garden in the Spring. Either heated or unheated greenhouses can be used.
We have been managing the 'No Guilt Garden Co-op' in St Margarets Bay for the past several years with outstanding success, and as many as 20 families participating. We produced as many as 6,000 vegetable transplants from a small 125 sq ft greenhouse.
We are pleased to announce that this model is now expanding to other neighborhood groups in Halifax and Dartmouth, Nova Scotia! We will be providing additional information the co-op greenhouse model on this page soon!