Engaged Naujaat Community Members
Pounds of Produce Annually
Northern Canadian communities pay four times more than the average Canadian for fresh fruit and vegetables. In addition, with temperatures reaching below negative 30 degrees Celsius, it is nearly impossible to grow food outdoors in northern territories like Nunavut. As a result of these factors, 35% of Nunavut faces severe food insecurity and in the community of Naujaat, one in every three households have reported not being able to feed their children for days.
Armed with the mission to provide fresh, locally grown produce to families living in Northern Canada, Enactus Ryerson created Project Growing North. The team raised $264,000 to build a geodesic biodome in Naujaat, Nunavut that is retrofitted with 310 vertical hydroponic towers that can produce up to 20,000+ lbs of produce per year. To encourage youth to be a part of the solution, Enactus Ryerson developed and implemented a curriculum in the local health centre, Arctic College and in the local school. Youth learn about business, horticulture, healthy eating, and sustainable greenhouse operations. By participating in the program, students also get to put their learnings into action while maintaining the greenhouse plants.
This year, Enactus Ryerson successfully raised sufficient funding to build its first greenhouse. They also created a co-op program for students to maintain and operate the greenhouse and worked with over 270 individuals in the community of Naujaat, Nunavut. The first plot was planted in May and is expected to harvest in late 2016. Enactus Ryerson has also developed relationships with three other rural northern communities to expand the project to more communities in need.