FOOD INSECURITY IN THE ARCTIC

Canada: A high-tech industrial society with one of the highest standards of living in the world. However, there is a very different picture that is painted for many people living in the Northern remote communities of Canada. Many Canadians do not enjoy the basic necessities that most of us often take for granted - access to fresh and affordable food. With prices that are nearly double than what they are in Southern Canada, we decided to take action.

 
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THE GREEN IGLU

Canada’s Northern landscape is a vast and beautiful place, but with frigid temperatures, blistering winds, and heavy snowfall, growing food is nearly impossible.

To facilitate local food production, we required a design that could withstand these harsh conditions and help the local community grow affordable, nutritious food. Our answer to this challenge was the Growing Dome. Based on the original design by Buckminster Fuller, the Growing Dome is a geodesic-shaped greenhouse that is perfectly suited for the Arctic’s climate.

In 2015, our team built a Growing Dome in Naujaat, Nunavut, a remote community of 1200 people located directly on the Arctic Circle. This geodesic greenhouse was the first of its kind in the Canadian Arctic and the community of Naujaat believed in our mission and embraced this technology, calling it their Green Igloo.

 
 
 
 
 
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Our Journey

Formerly known as Project Growing North, Green Iglu built its first Growing Dome in Naujaat, NU in 2015. Since then, our organization has been at the forefront of agriculture in Canada’s North. From our beginnings at Ryerson University as an Enactus social impact project, we are now recognized as a Canadian non-profit organization and operate multiple food production facilities across Northern Canada. Our designs, methodologies, and technology are all formed through the perspectives and input of our partner communities.

 
 
 
 
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How it all works

The Growing Dome® designed by Growing Spaces utilizes a polycarbonate exterior, a solar powered air system, and thermal mass storage that is able to maintain temperatures 30 degrees warmer than the external environment, entirely from sunlight

On the inside, we use state of the art vertical hydroponic pillars that produce up to 3 times more than traditional growing methods. For more nutrient-rich food options the towers are complemented with hybrid raised dirt beds that can facilitate the growth of root vegetables.


 
 
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GROWING DOMES®

Green Iglu’s Growing Domes are fully-equipped to withstand the harshest of conditions and are designed to provide a habitable environment where food production can thrive. In the Arctic, the Growing Domes have handled winds speeds of over 180km/hr and 7 ft of direct snowfall.

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SUSTAINABLE OPERATIONS

Sustainability is at the forefront of all of our efforts. Our goal is to ensure that our greenhouse operations can be successfully integrated into the community’s long-term infrastructure and growth. With this goal in mind, our model extends beyond just greenhouse infrastructure and incorporates a production and distribution model that will facilitate self-sustainability.

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COMMUNITY OUTREACH

Our greenhouse operations are integrated into the community through stakeholder participation, partnering with local organizations, and hiring community members for the Arctic team. Green Iglu is continuously adapting to the social and economic needs of its target communities while ensuring that there is a positive effect on the environment.

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Educational Programming

Part of our mission is to improve the educational opportunities for Northern Canadians. Green Iglu is working towards this goal through our educational content and programming for both partner and non-partner communities . Our focus is based on food-sustainability, Arctic Farming and generating interest about alternative growing methods throughout the North.

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Arctic Farmers Program

The Arctic Farmers program is dedicated to educating both students and local community members alike who are interested in becoming a part of Green Iglu. Through in-person and digital training, supplemented with continued support, we prepare anyone who is interested to become a volunteer or full-time employee of Green Iglu to feed their community.

 
 
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Grow in your community

Interested in growing fresh produce in your own community? Want to implement an educational unit in your school?

Fill out the form below to find out more. Green Iglu is always looking to partner with new communities, schools, and organizations.

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