Local Fertilizer in Arviat, Nunavut


When you live in a fly-in community in the North, shipping by plane can be very expensive, especially for heavy items such as soil and fertilizer.

The people behind the community greenhouse  in Arviat, Nunavut, have taken on the very important issue of food security by devising a strategy to grow their own produce.

And one of the biggest obstacles they have found is that the local soil lacks nutrients. Commercial soil works fine, but it is costly and it needs to be flown in, which impacts the sustainability of the project.

Arviat's Greenhouse, Photo by Arviat Goes Green
Arviat’s Greenhouse, Photo by Arviat Goes Green

To solve this, they have compared growth using imported soil with imported fertilizer vs local soil and such local fertilizer options as worm composting, washed seaweed, fish skeletons, and mounding earth over caribou stomachs.

Radishes bigger than potatoes grown with Arviat's local soil and fertilizer, Photo by Arviat Goes GreenRadishes bigger than potatoes grown with Arviat’s local soil and fertilizer, Photo by Arviat Goes Green

Their best success has been with local soil fertilized with goose droppings (which also helps clean up the droppings from the overpopulation of snow geese in the community!).

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