Growing fresh produce in Canada's northern communities

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Growing fresh produce in Canada’s northern communitiesCorey Ellis, University of Ottawa student

“We wanted to provide a tool that empowers people to grow their own food and reduces reliance on expensive imports.”

Corey Ellis, University of Ottawa student, co-founder of The Growcer

Growing fresh produce in Canada's northern communities

University of Ottawa student entrepreneurs launched The Growcer to address food sustainability and agriculture in Canada’s northern communities, as well as create jobs for the local community. During a visit to Iqaluit, Alida Burke, Corey Ellis, Kathleen Kemp, and Ajmal Sataar ran a workshop on entrepreneurship and heard about the high cost of fresh food and related health problems from members of the community.

When they returned to Ottawa, the four students used the entrepreneurship supports available to them through the university’s Enactus Club to create the social enterprise, which allows residents to harvest vegetables year-round from high-yield containerized farming systems.

The Growcer has now partnered with a small Alaskan company that retrofits 40-foot insulated shipping containers with soil-less hydroponic systems capable of growing three tonnes of food annually. Ellis expects three containers to be installed in northern communities within a year.

For more information about The Growcer, visit University of Ottawa.