Alice Kowalchuck

I work at an organic greenhouse—the first commercial greenhouse in Carmacks. On a daily basis, people see me for advice on how to grow their plants. I feel good knowing that I’m contributing to the production of fresh, chemical-free vegetables. Working with plants is very good for my soul and cleanses my mind. I’ve learned everything I know about growing vegetables from my supervisors and coworkers.

The team has been working together for seven years. I’ve learned about medicinal plants, and the importance of having respect for plants and the land in general. I’ve learned how to grow natural, chemical-free plants that are safe to eat. Did you know that you could mix soured milk with water to give plants the calcium they need to grow well, instead of using chemicals? The greenhouse accepts students to come in for work experience.

Four ninth-grade students work with me for part of the summer. They ask a lot of questions and seem fascinated with how plants grow. I hope that many First Nations people go into farming and gardening. I predict that more people will be trained in this field in the future and that there will be job opportunities across Canada for other farm operators. People like having fresh vegetables, so I think there will be job opportunities with commercial greenhouse operations growing vegetables, flowers and herbs, and in landscaping too. I’d like to help make our greenhouse business bigger so that everyone here can have fresh vegetables and to create more jobs too.