Food security has become a prominent issue in northern Canada. Many constraints, including environmental, cultural and economic barriers to cause food insecurity in northern Canada where local food production is one proposed solution to the northern food crisis. Initiated at McGill University by the Biomass Production Laboratory, the Canadian Integrative Northern Greenhouse (CING) unit provides a completely integrative design solution that could allow northern Canadian communities to grow their own fresh and nutritious food year-round. The CING unit is a hybrid between a northern greenhouse and a growth chamber housed in a shipping container, designed to be adaptive by functioning as a typical solar greenhouse when solar light provides considerable heat and light, and as a closed growth chamber during the night and when colder, darker winter conditions prevail. The CING was designed and prototyped by McGill students since 2013. Lettuce was grown during the four-season test of the CING, the greatest yield obtained was in March 2019, where the plants grown achieved 72% of the dry mass of the plants grown in the research greenhouse. The CING relied on supplemental heating to successfully grow plants but demonstrated the potential for northern and remote applications.
Part of the book: Next-Generation Greenhouses for Food Security