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Feds invest in passive solar greenhouse in Whitehorse

The two-year project began in 2022.

February 16, 2023  By Greenhouse Canada

Sarah's HarvestSarah's Harvest founder and owner Sarah Ouellette (right) was named Yukon’s Farmer of the Year in 2019. Photo courtesy Yukon Agricultural Association.

The federal government is providing $99,999 through the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor) to Sarah’s Harvest to help fund a two-year project, which began in spring 2022, to construct a passive solar greenhouse in Whitehorse, Yukon.

The facility, which will be heated entirely by stored energy from the sun, has also received $39,967 under the Canadian Agriculture Partnership, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative intended to strengthen the agriculture and agri-food sector. The use of thermal storage is expected to reduce the greenhouse’s operating costs.

The project is funded through CanNor’s Inclusive Diversification and Economic Advancement in the North (IDEANorth) program, which supports economic infrastructure, sector development and capacity building to help Northerners. CanNor’s funding—announced yesterday (i.e. Canada’s Ag Day) by Dan Vandal, federal minister of northern affairs, Prairies Economic Development Canada (PrairiesCan) and CanNor, along with Yukon MP Brendan Hanley—will support greenhouse design, site preparation, material purchases, hiring local contractors and integrating seeding benches and garden beds in the facility.


“By working with partners to support businesses and organizations, we are helping find local solutions to address food security issues across the North and Arctic,” Vandal said.

“We are very grateful for CanNor’s support of our passive solar greenhouse project,” says Sarah Ouellette, founder and owner Sarah’s Harvest (pictured in 2019 with current Yukon premier Ranj Pillai). “This investment will allow us to lengthen our growing season and increase our production of seedlings, as well as the variety and quantity of fresh produce for our community. Our new greenhouse will store and retain excess heat from the sun, thus reducing our need for supplemental heat using biomass and our carbon footprint. This project supports our commitment to producing high-quality food using practices that build living soil and minimize use of resources. We are excited to greatly increase our contribution to Yukon’s food sovereignty, made possible with the development of this new greenhouse.”

“Growing food north of 60 takes grit, determination, creativity and passion,” added Yukon minister of energy, mines and resources John Streicker. “We have a wide breadth of products available in our market thanks to farmers like Sarah’s Harvest.”

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