A Cochrane producer that grows vegetables year-round has won $10,000 in the Northern Food Security Challenge.
Launched in June, the challenge sought producers from across the North to boost food security in the region. It’s an initiative of Bioenterprise Canada, a national organization that helps food producers innovate and grow their businesses.
Grey Wolf Gardens of Cochrane was declared the winner for its carbon-neutral growing system, which enables the business to grow vegetables year-round. Grey Wolf wins a top prize of $10,000 for its efforts.
“We consider it an incontrovertible truth that having access to abundant high-quality food is an essential component of maintaining good health. This temperature mitigation technology uses wood fibre — a locally abundant resource that is currently underutilized,” Luke Dinan, owner and operator of Grey Wolf Gardens, said in a news release.
“The results of implementing this solution are thriving rural landscapes, healthier northern communities and dramatically improved food security in the North.”
Northern Sustainable Farms, an aquaponics operation in Killarney that grows fish and vegetables year-round, won the People’s Choice Award and $5,000 in prize money.
As well, two runners-up were chosen: Ferme Agricole of Opasatika, which grows crops using a hybrid hydroponics system, and Lacroix Aquaponics of Thunder Bay, which produces organic baby greens and rainbow trout.
Each will receive $1,000 in in-kind services from Bioenterprise.
The challenge was part of Bioenterprise’s Northern Ontario Program, which is funded by FedNor.