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The Future Fix: Smart Farms for Northern Communities

  • Date Updated: February 2021

The Future Fix is a collaboration between Evergreen and Spacing for the Community Solutions Network.

Food security is a challenge everywhere, but especially for northern communities. The climate can make growing food difficult, and the distance and expense to ship food can mean long waits and exorbitant prices.

In Gjoa Haven, Nunavut, the Arctic Research Foundation, in consultation with local elders, has established a farm and research station, built out of two shipping containers, called Naurvik. We speak to Betty Kogvik, one of the local guardians of the farm, and Arctic Research Foundation CEO Adrian Schimnowski, who hopes the idea can help different communities, and help us learn about growing in extreme environments:

We’re looking at how to improve building research-type structures, how to utilize green energy, growing systems, and the other type of automated systems that assist with that. So within that there are so many different types of research possibilities.

The neighbouring communities of Opaskwayak Cree Nation, the town of The Pas, and the municipality of Kelsey Manitoba joined together to establish an LED Smart Farm to provide the people of that area with fresh produce they might not otherwise have access to. Glen Ross, executive director of Opaskwayak Cree Nation Health Authority explains:

We don’t get get very good vegetables… by the time we get them, they’re usually frozen a few times, kind of rubbery, and expensive.

Listen to the podcast for more about LED smart farm technology and the Naurvik farm and research station.

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