In the modern world, it’s normal for our food to travel a very long way to reach our stores and use an enormous amount of energy in the process. In the north, this issue is particularly acute and there’s no hiding from the fact that almost everything we eat has to be flown or driven here from somewhere else.
Community gardening and local agriculture are growing across the NWT. Discussions about food – how it get’s here, where it comes from, how it was harvested – are being carried out across the NWT, as local cultivation of crops and domestic animals becomes more common, and the harvest of wild plants and animals becomes more and more accessible.
NWT Elders and community leaders have identified food security as one of the most pressing issues they face. Changes to the natural environment caused by climate change, local pollution and development can threaten traditional sources of food such as caribou and fish. Finding ecologically and culturally appropriate solutions to these issues can be challenging yet it is increasingly important that we collectively do so.
Northern gardeners and communities face many challenges growing food in a way that is compatible with the land, the cultures, and the existing food and economic systems of the NWT. One way Ecology North tackles these issues is by focusing on gardening as a fantastic way to promote outdoor learning and environmental education in NWT schools.
Food is inherent to the way we live. Finding sustainable ways to balance growth in traditional and agricultural food production in the NWT is an ongoing discussion, and one that Ecology North will continue to participate in in the years ahead.
Take a look at what is, and what has been, going on!