These non-profits are working to increase access to locally grown organic food in their communities
There are many challenges facing our planet’s agricultural systems. Climate change, pesticides, GMOs, over-farming, soil health, corporate agriculture among many others. Food insecurity is also a major concern, as many communities do not have access to fresh, healthy organic food. Or even have the resources to grow their own food.
Many small solutions are needed to solve these global challenges. Call us biased, but we feel that growing your own organic food year-round in a Growing Dome Greenhouse is just one of these small solutions.
Just ask our friends at Green Iglu in Canada.
One of the biggest food deserts in North America is in Northern Canada where 72% of children live in food-insecure households, without reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food. In 2015 we helped Green Iglu build two 42’ Growing Domes in Naujaat, Nunavut, a remote community of 1200 people located directly on the Arctic Circle. This past summer there Arctic farming communities took over the greenhouses and produced the largest growing season to date!
“The Growing Domes cultivated $10,428 (9,546 servings) value in fresh and nutritious local food – all of which was donated to local community programs, including those with members that were most vulnerable to food insecurity. Both root vegetables and leafy greens grew in abundance.” – Stefany Nieto, Founder and Executive Director, Green Iglu
This year, their education program also grew in popularity and success through the development of digital channels. Over the last 12-months, they’ve taught over 20 lessons across eight schools within North America, with a focus primarily on remote Canadian communities. Students dug into experiential learning with in-classroom grow kits, integrated curricula, and digital lessons. To encourage further engagement, Green Iglu has also developed an interactive summer camp where kids of all ages will earn badges towards an Arctic Farming rank. They also saw an increased presence on social media from the Arviat community members posting pictures of the Growing Domes, their produce, and the meals made with said produce along with feedback for the next growing season.
We truly believe everyone should have a greenhouse garden where they can sustainably grow clean, healthy food all year round. Especially those communities that live in a food desert and suffer from food insecurity. Unfortunately, those communities may not always be able to afford a high-quality greenhouse, planting beds, organic soil and the other resources needed to sustain a local agricultural program.
If you are looking to make some last-minute donations for the 2019 tax season, we wanted to highlight some non-profits that are working to combat food insecurity, climate change, sustainable agriculture and provide access to organic produce for their community or schools. We also believe that investing locally helps to build community, so we have featured projects across the US and Canada. Including projects in California, Montana, South Chicago, Maryland, North Carolina and multiple projects in our home state of Colorado.
“By demonstrating the ability to grow food year-round in a mountain climate, Tahoe can directly impact its food security. The Sierra Growing Classroom is focused on rasing awareness for good nutrition, an understanding for eco-literacy, and growing healthy, sustainable food in our food insecure region. Our education farm teaches a deeper connection and respect for our food and our human ecosystem.” – Susie Sutphin, Founder/Executive Direction, Tahoe Food Hub
We can’t talk about food insecurity, without also talking about Africa. Sierra Leone, one of the poorest countries on earth, is still trying to recover from a devastating civil war and provide proper education, clean water, and sustainable food. My son’s High School soccer coach and Chemistry teacher is from Sierra Leone, and he and his wife have been spending their summers working to rebuild a school, library and community farm in Adonkia near Freeport. They also run SCENE, a non-profit with the goal of enhancing the educational experience for children in the Bango Farm Village of Adonkia and surrounding communities.
“Here in Adonkia, Freetown, we have started work on the library. A thousand cinder blocks have been made and work is starting on fencing the property. I am hoping we fence by Christmas. The kids start lessons today. I will be doing (math and sciences) Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and Brenda will take Tuesdays and Thursdays doing computers, E. Lit and Language. It promises to be a very busy vacation. The weather is warm and we love it.” – Larry and Brenda Harding, Bango Farm, Adonkia Sierra Leone
Visit our new Greenhouse Fundraising Page to get more information and links to all of these web sites and to donate directly. Some already have Growing Domes and need additional donations to help build beds, organic soil, hire farmers and start their harvests. Some are working toward building their first Growing Dome. Growing Spaces offers a 5% grant to all schools and non-profits, but send us your receipts, and we will also match up to $500 for each project listed.