The construction of a new geodesic agriculture research dome is gaining attention in Chisasibi. It’s the newest project of the growing Chisasibi Resource and Research Institute (CERRI), a community-driven project. The dome and an accompanying greenhouse to be built early next year aim to improve food sovereignty in Chisasibi, where grocery prices are high and accessing fresh produce is challenging. This summer’s fires underlined this urgency as closed roads prevented deliveries, resulting in empty shelves before plane shipments arrived.
“This initial dome is our first attempt at experimenting with different ways of growing agriculture according to what the community would like to eat,” said Jason Stevens, CERRI’s environmental sustainability specialist. “We’re going to be experimenting with soil regeneration and hydroponics.”
Stevens explained that any hydroponics project must be kept in a closed system to avoid any synthetic fertilizer or pesticide from contaminating the environment or entering the food chain. With domes providing relatively efficient insulation, he hopes to keep it open year-round.
“We’ll be able to have people visit in the winter and give workshops,” Stevens explained. “Even if the cost of heating is too much to be cost efficient for produce, we’re still able to experiment there year-round and welcome the community. This is not solely for food production – it’s to experiment with food production and engage with the community.”
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