Celebrating Canada’s Agriculture Day in the NWT

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Blog Entries

February 13, 2018

Today marks Canada’s Agriculture Day and the Northwest Territories (NWT) has plenty to celebrate.

Test your agriculture knowledge – how many of these fun facts do you know?

  • Most of the land around Gameti has permafrost, which is challenging for growing vegetables. However, the community discovered a micro-climate next to a lake where they have developed the largest community garden in the NWT. It is 21,600 square feet, and the community grows everything from potatoes and carrots to beets and leafy greens!

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  • The hamlet of Tuktoyaktuk now has a greenhouse. That means community members can grow veggies with a view of the Arctic Ocean. How cool is that?
  • The NWT is buzzing with activity – we have more than half a dozen beekeepers in the territory! The most northern beekeepers are located in Norman Wells. Others are located in Fort Smith, Hay River, and Yellowknife. Without bees, there would be almost no food to eat.

Norman Wells Farmers Market 2017 - 5

  • Did you know that Fort Smith has had a beekeeper for 20 years and has 24 hives? There are about 10,000 bees in each hive! 
  • Honey made in the NWT is made almost exclusively from wild flowers, such as fireweed and mountain avens.
  • The NWT is home to some of the most northerly-grown watermelons in the world – they are grown in both Norman Wells and Yellowknife.
  • Up to 30,000 pounds of potatoes have been harvested in Norman Wells by Doug Whiteman of Green Enterprises. It is one of the largest potato operations in the NWT.
  • The NWT and Yukon have more female operators on average, compared to the rest of Canada. Female operators accounted for 41.5% of farm operators in the NWT and Yukon in 2016, compared to the national average of 28.7%.

Norman Wells Farmers Market 2017 - 3

  • Though NWT summers are a bit shorter than places like central Alberta, the longer hours of daylight helps to even out the discrepancy and accelerate plant growth. You can thank the midnight sun for those extra veggies!
  • Polar Egg, based in Hay River, is the NWT’s largest commercial egg producer. These northern eggs can be found at grocery stores throughout the NWT.

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  • The NWT is home to roughly 40+commercial food growers, producers and agriculture businesses. This includes the popular farmer’ markets that have been popping up across the territory.

Canada’s Agriculture Day is a time to showcase the amazing things happening in our industry and create a closer connection with consumers about where their food comes from and the people who produce it.

Be sure to thank growers, farmers and harvesters if you ate today!

Join the conversation online with #GrowNWT and #CdnAgDay

Interested in learning more about Agriculture in the NWT?
NWT Agriculture Strategy