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National Observer: How to grow veggies at the edge of the Arctic

Ryerson University, Growing North, Arctic, food, food sustainability, food security, Nunavut, Google Impact ChallengeFresh, locally grown kale, at the edge of the Arctic Circle? A Ryerson University student project is proving it’s possible to grow vegetables in a part of Canada where almost nothing green can survive.

Produce is usually shipped to Canada’s northern communities by air, truck or barge, depending on the season. A greenhouse built by the Growing North project enabled the Inuit community of Naujaat, Nunavut, for the first time, to produce their own fresh produce grown right at home at the edge of the Arctic Circle. It was enough for half of the 1,000-person community to eat vegetables every day.

Growing North just won a $250,000 prize from the Google Impact Challenge, and co-founder Stefany Nieto said in an interview that they’re now planning to build two more greenhouses in a second Nunavut community. Communities up north desperately need affordable produce, she told National Observer.

“Here, we always have to force kids to have their vegetables. When we go up north, it’s ‘Can I have carrots? Can I make kale chips?’” said Nieto, who started Growing North with fellow Ryerson student Ben Canning in Toronto in 2014. She said they took on the project after learning about the high levels of food insecurity facing residents of the far north.

Read the full article here.

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