Nov 15, 2016
Farming Made Possible in Arctic By Jasmina Dolce

Despite unforgiving environmental conditions in the Arctic, a creative kind of farming has developed in the Alaskan Kotzebue community. Arctic Greens, a subsidiary of a local Native corporation Kikiktagruk, is using hydroponics technology to grow produce where conventional farming is not possible.

The first farm was introduced in June, and the response from the community — and beyond — has been positive. Arctic Greens is now harvesting kale, various lettuce varieties, basil and other greens weekly from the soil-free system and selling them at local supermarkets.

The venture is the first of its kind north of the Arctic Circle. The ultimate goal is to set up similar systems in partnerships with other rural communities far from Alaska’s minimal road system.

Vertical Harvest Hydroponics, which builds enclosed systems out of transformed shipping containers, partnered with Kikiktagruk. “Our vision is that this can be a long-term solution to the food shortage problems in the north,” said Ron Perpick, a company founder. “We’re hoping that we can put systems anywhere that there’s people.”

For now, the business is just a prototype, especially as the harsh winter season approaches. But operators are trying to work out kinks and find ways to lower energy costs.

To learn more about Arctic Greens, click here.

— Jasmina

Organic Trade Association Calls for Hydroponics Guidelines

The Organic Trade Association (OTA) believes there needs to be clear definitions of soilless growing technologies used by organic growers. Nate Lewis, farm policy director for the OTA, said the industry needs to clearly define what is acceptable in organic production. The National Organic Standards Board is scheduled to meet about the issue Nov. 16-18, in St. Louis, Missouri. “We need new definitions because in the last six years there has been a lot of advancement in these production systems,” said Lewis.

Greengro Technologies Introduces Vertical HydroGarden Website

Greengro Technologies Inc. recently announced the launch of the firm’s Vertical HydroGarden Inc. website, which was developed to market and showcase the firm’s flagship location and serve as a valuable resource to boost the growth of its franchise network. Vertical HydroGarden is a leading retailer of hydroponic supplies and a pioneer in modular mechanized hydroponic greenhouses, aquaponics and hydroponics supplies, cultivation consulting services and portable grow containers. The new website provides insightful facts and information pertaining to Vertical HydroGarden’s development and progress.

Dominion Builders Launches DominionAG

Last week, Dominion Builders launched its new division, DominionAG, which specializes in the planning, design and construction of agricultural facilities. The new division will be led by a team of executives with more than 40 years of experience in development and construction, along with expertise in building large-scale greenhouses and hydroponic farms. Dominion’s latest project includes BrightFarms’ Chicagoland greenhouse, a 177,441-square-foot hydroponic operation, which produces approximately 1 million pounds of produce a year.


Jasmina Dolce

Jasmina Dolce is managing editor of GPN magazine. She can be reached at