Arviat goes green

Many northern Canadian communities do not have the luxury of the rich soil found in southern Yukon.  This is the case for the fly-in community of Arviat, (population 2,800) – the second largest community in  Nunavut.

Arviat Map, Nunavut, Canada
Arviat Map, Nunavut, Canada

In 2014 Arviat built a greenhouse beside the school to see if they could grow their own vegetables with local soil and local fertilizer. And they have been very successful!

The Arviat greenhouse, Photo by Shirley Tagalik
The Arviat greenhouse, Photo submitted by Shirley Tagalik

To be able to maximize their use of the space, they grow the pepper plants hanging upside down out of recycled coffee cans, which works like a charm!

Upside-down coffee can planters in the Arviat greenhouse, Photo submitted by Shirley Tagalik
Upside-down coffee can planters in the Arviat greenhouse, Photo submitted by Shirley Tagalik

They grow lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, giant radishes, carrots, beets and spinach inside the greenhouse and potatoes in raised beds outside. To manage the temperature, the water barrels are stored inside the greenhouse absorbing heat during the day, so they can keep the greenhouse warmer at night.  This is a great way to creatively solve some of the obstacles presented by the environment, and it is exciting to see that the students from the local schools are very involved in the project.

For further reading about Arviat’s community greenhouse, be sure to check this amazing article

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