Gardens in the Arctic

$4,000 of $4,000 goal

Raised by 19 people in 27 months
Nasuġraq Rainey Hopson  ANAKTUVUK PASS, AK

10,000 Years ago my people, the Inupiaq Eskimo of Northern Alaska,  hunted the Mammoth - kiligvuk.  Once he was gone we moved on to other game, relying on the land and the environment to provide for our bellies and our souls.  Our greatest ability has always been to adapt and thrive despite changes.  And now climate change, oil development, and unhealthy foods are threatening our health and our core beliefs.  The animals are changing and moving, the plants are changing and moving, our world is modernizing ....so we look for and explore other opportunities to grow as healthy people while keeping our Inupiaq core values.

Alaska imports about 90% of it's food.  And very little of the healthy stuff makes it to the rural villages, making it hard to  develop good eating habits.  What vegetables and fruits make it are usually heavy priced (no road system means everything is flown in on tiny planes) are usually less nutrient dense than fresher fruits and vegetables found in the 'lower 48', and there is less variety available because they have to travel so far.  This leads to poor diets, even when we lean heavily on traditional subsistance foods. 

I am raising money to buy small ,easy to use, re-usable and portable garden systems to supplement our diets here in the village of Anaktuvuk Pass, Ak .   I am hoping that the experience will encourage healthier food choices and healthier life choices.

What will your donation pay for?
Each unit costs about $117 and it includes a sturdy water saving planter box system, soil, organic fertilizer, a frost cover, and seeds.  Some money will pay for seed starting supplies.  Great thought has gone into it to make sure it is extremely user friendly and easy for beginners.  Our goal is for it to be a successful experience to encourage people to take part in healthier choices.   Each unit is re-usable. 

Can you grow veggies and fruits in the ARCTIC?!
Believe it or not yes! In the past few years our environment warmed up enough so that our Hardiness zone went from a 1a to a 2b.... which means our winters are now milder, our summers longer.   I have had a family garden in the back of my house here in Anaktuvuk Pass for the last three years and I plan to use what knowledge to help each family with their garden boxes.  I will personally monitor the gardens and will encourage the owners to call if they have questions! They will be given instructions on how to get the most use out of them.  The also get to choose what plants they want to grow.

Some tomatoes that were grown outside in my backyard!

What plants are you going to grow?
Potatoes, romaine and leaf lettuce, kale, chard, peas, cabbage, tomatoes, turnips, mustard, arugula, summer squash, herbs, edible flowers, and a few others! Usually I grow a couple different varieties of each type of plant.  All plants and varieties have been personally tested in my backyard to make sure they thrive in our environment. 

Testing this variety of carrot for size and sweetness.

Who will get the boxes in the village?
15 of the boxes are going to students at the local high school that will be growing our seedlings for us till school is over that they can take home for the summer.  15 boxes will go to five families in the village who have volunteered and shown interest, with preference to those household that have children.

If you would like to mail a donation or well wishes you can mail them here:

Gardens in the Arctic
c/o Rainey Hopson
PO Box 21106
Anaktuvuk Pass, AK, 99721
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Update 3
Posted by Rainey Hopson
26 months ago
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The Gardens in the Arctic Project now has it's own blog! It will be a place to ask questions, get advice, give advice and just provide a forum for our families and supporters to gather. Please stop by and cheer us on, or even add your favorite kale recipe!

Find it here: http://gardensinthearctic.blogspot.com/
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Update 2
Posted by Rainey Hopson
27 months ago
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Hello everyone! February is just around the corner and I am hard at work to make this happen! All funding leads are greatly appreciated at this time! I have purchased all of the seeds that we will need we with the money raised so far but we need a couple more hundred dollars to purchase the seed starting equipment for the school. This includes seedling soil, fertilizer, grow lights and pots of various sizes, enough for a couple hundred plants. Please share this link and spread the word!
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Update 1
Posted by Rainey Hopson
27 months ago
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Thank you to all that have donated to our cause! Here is a couple of developments......We have more families that want boxes then we have planned for which is the best thing ever! I am going to be looking into finding grant money so that anyone who is interested here can have a few. Enough money was raised so that we can go ahead and order the seeds! Also our high school students that are going to be raising our starts are going to be learning about composting, :)

Hope this finds you all healthy and happy and please pass on to your friends and family!
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Read a Previous Update
Thelma Kasak
27 months ago

Not sure if your village corp/council has an IGAP program but if they do have I thnk you can get funding from them I'll ask out local tribes how they funded their green houses and let you know soon

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$4,000 of $4,000 goal

Raised by 19 people in 27 months
Created January 14, 2015
Nasuġraq Rainey Hopson  
$3,150
Anonymous
26 months ago
$50
Anonymous
26 months ago (Offline Donation)
PI
$50
Patti Ivanoff
27 months ago
RF
$25
Rio Andrade & family
27 months ago

What a great cause to support!

DP
$25
Diana J. Perkett
27 months ago

Great effort!

JV
$20
Jay St. Vincent
27 months ago

Great project you have going here!

SS
$100
Sarah spencer
27 months ago
BL
$20
Bobby lamb
27 months ago
$75
Nick Brandestini
27 months ago

Sounds like a good project. Grow lots of potatoes and make Röschti! :)

BH
$40
Bill Hess
27 months ago

One day, perhaps you will feed me tuttu and salad for lunch.

Thelma Kasak
27 months ago

Not sure if your village corp/council has an IGAP program but if they do have I thnk you can get funding from them I'll ask out local tribes how they funded their green houses and let you know soon

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