“Our purpose at the Northern Farm Training Institute (NFTI) is to restore food independence and food security to people and communities in Canada’s North. So we are disappointed when we see resources spent in the name of food security constantly going towards food production methods which do not actually provide food security. The obsession with hydroponics, aquaponics, year-round greenhouses, and other types of indoor growing methods is a major barrier to the establishment of food security in Canada’s Northern communities”
**I have been to this area a number of times, when we lived in Yellowknife, NWT, the thing to keep in mind here, is that this area like many others do in fact have soil, do in fact have the ability to grow and crop hay for winter feed. When you get into the high artic above the tree line, the conditions do change quite a bit, having said that.. most of the area’s in the Yukon, NWT and even many area of Nunavut are in soil and growing area, the truly high Artic area’s are all coast based as fishing and the seal and so forth are their main or where there many sources of food. As one of Canada’s fastest growing population, it is a very good point that is made by NFTI which is when possible, replacing wild hunting with properly selected livestock that can provide eggs, milk, meat as well as wool or hides an so forth is already needed or will be needed. In the past, the size of the tribes was based on what the land could hold..
The point of Calorie Crops are just as important to all homesteaders and those that are striving to grow more and more of their own food and working within a closed loop between small stock, manure and plants is at least to me.. where its at! FG ***
:Genuine food security means that when the ice road is closed, or the airplane can’t fly, the community can still feed itself the staple foods needed for survival and basic health. This means that northern communities need ultra-stable, and local, sources of calorie-rich foods. Understanding this simple concept is essential for understanding the problem with indoor and soil-less growing techniques in the North.
The primary problem with hydroponic systems, aquaponic systems, and almost all indoor growing systems is that they do not provide the calorie rich foods which are needed for food security. The vast majority of these systems produce only vegetables, and especially low-calorie vegetables like lettuce, kale, chard, spinach, herbs, etc. Human beings cannot survive on these types of foods, which is why these projects do not provide food security.
There are only four categories of staple foods which are capable of keeping a human alive for an extended period of time:
- Calorie rich root crops (potatoes, onions, turnips, beets, etc.)
- Domesticated grain crops (wheat, barley, corn, rice, etc.)
- Tree crops (fruits and nuts)
- Meat products from animals
- Dairy products from animals (milk, cheese, yogurt, etc.)
At the Northern Farm Training Institute we have experimented with all of these types of foods, and we have also learned from the experiences of others in the North. Please use the link provided above to read the rest of this excellent article..