ARVIAT GOES GREEN
Part of Aqqiumavvik's Climate Change Adaptation program were initiatives directed specifically at how to grow fresh produce in the North. Northern communities such as Arviat face many issues related to access to healthy, fresh foods at affordable and sustainable rates. To supplement a nutritious diet rich in traditional foods such as locally harvested animals, community members can purchase high priced, often low quality fruits and vegetables that are flown in to the local stores. The Arviat Goes Green projects sought to find alternative ways to supply these foods in a more environmentally friendly way.
These projects worked with local youth and visiting researchers to experiment with different growing methods and conditions to find ways of utilizing the summer growing periods. Elders also shared Inuit knowledge of local plants and their uses.
Climate change has improved growing conditions for greenhouses
Climate change has increased new plants species in the area, some are growing in large batches.
There are many ways these plants can be used to prepare better meals, teas
Although soil is still inadequate for growing many plants, composting can improve soil
What did we learn?
The community produces good quantities of compostable material and is willing to collect it
Most of the area in the community is not suitable for traditional freezers because there is too much ground water
Many families are interested in growing vegetables at home
We need to continue to learn about and adapt to this changing environment
Establish an ongoing community-wide composting project
Establish a research greenhouse to determine what plants grow quickly and can produce the most yield
Continue to harvest local plants and find ways to use them as food
What is next?
Develop and produce a recipe book featuring locally harvested plants
Investigate how we can harvest and make food more available to people in order to improve health
Find ways to preserve and present locally harvested foods and provide information to the public