How It Works
From the construction of a geodesic greenhouse in the community of Naujaat, Nunavut, we strive to offer low cost, locally grown produce to all of its members. Due to the climate and infertile land in Nunavut, we designed a greenhouse infrastructure that incorporates Growing Domes ® designed by Growing Spaces, vertical hydroponic systems, and hybrid raised dirt beds - all to be able to withstand the colder harsh climate. The greenhouse has a polycarbonate exterior, solar powered air system, and thermal mass storage that is able to maintain temperatures 30 degrees warmer than the external environment, entirely from sunlight.
Growing North - From the Beginning
In 2013, Growing North was founded by Stefany Nieto and Benjamin Canning. Both Stefany and Benjamin are avid social entrepreneurs, passionate about creating projects and initiatives to change the world for the better. With the support of the organization Enactus Ryerson, the two began researching issues faced in the North and landed on food security.
With 63% of the community being under the age of 18 years old, a co-op program based on education, intertwined with the greenhouse, has been implemented for the community. By partnering with the local high school, students are able to gain course credit from volunteering in the greenhouse, along with a supplementary curriculum on horticulture, environment, and nutrition. Engaging students in the greenhouse project not only improves their chances of graduating, but also empowers them provide sustainable food for their community. Growing North also provides programming to adults within the community, such as health and nutrition workshops for young mothers.
Arctic Farmers Program
Growing North has also created the Arctic Farmers program, in which we are able to train local people to manage the greenhouse systems. Once an individual has gone through the proper training, they are certified an Arctic Farmer and can pursue full time work as the Greenhouse Manager for a particular system in their community.
The Greenhouse Manager is responsible for all operations within the greenhouse in order to produce vegetables for the rest of community. They are also responsible for the distribution of the produce through three main avenues: Direct Sales to Consumers (Farmers Market), Direct Sales to Local Businesses and Food Banks.