Tuktoyaktuk’s debut collection of aqpik (cloudberry) and cranberry jam received a hearty welcome from the community and abroad, with one jar even making a 10,000km journey to Chad, Africa.
Annie Steen, Economic Development Officer in Tuktoyaktuk, says there was great interest in growing the gardening and northern food activities in the community and jamming was one idea she was excited to bring forward.
A group of eight volunteers took part in a jam workshop that was hosted and sponsored by the Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment (ITI) under the Northern Food Development Program. The group made a total of 180 jars of jam, which were sold at the community Christmas craft sale as well as online through community sites and Facebook. It was through social media that a friend of Annie’s came across the unique product and ordered a jar that he plans to share with colleagues in Africa.
The jars were sold for $10 each and volunteer participants have big plans for the funds raised – their goal is to eventually purchase a hydroponics dome, a cost of approximately $38,000, so that community gardening can take place throughout the year.
Not only was the jam production a success on its own, but it also inspired renew interest in the Tuktoyaktuk Community Garden Society, which provides fresh produce to community elders.
For those who missed out on the high Arctic preserves, the group has plans to expand their offerings in the future to include salsas, pesto and chutney using locally-sourced ingredients.
ITI is committed to supporting and fostering local food production and consumption within communities.