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Sustainability 2013, 5(9), 4057-4075; doi:10.3390/su5094057
Article

The Potential Use of Agroforestry Community Gardens as a Sustainable Import-Substitution Strategy for Enhancing Food Security in Subarctic Ontario, Canada

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Received: 10 August 2013; in revised form: 7 September 2013 / Accepted: 10 September 2013 / Published: 23 September 2013
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Abstract: The high prevalence of food insecurity experienced by northern First Nations partially results from dependence on an expensive import-based food system that typically lacks nutritional quality and further displaces traditional food systems. In the present study, the feasibility of import substitution by Agroforestry Community Gardens (AFCGs) as socio-ecologically and culturally sustainable means of enhancing food security was explored through a case study of Fort Albany First Nation in subarctic Ontario, Canada. Agroforestry is a diverse tree-crop agricultural system that has enhanced food security in the tropics and subtropics. Study sites were selected for long-term agroforestry research to compare Salix spp. (willow)-dominated AFCG plots to a “no tree” control plot in Fort Albany. Initial soil and vegetative analysis revealed a high capacity for all sites to support mixed produce with noted modifications, as well as potential competitive and beneficial willow-crop interactions. It is anticipated that inclusion of willow trees will enhance the long-term productive capacity of the AFCG test plots. As an adaptable and dynamic system, AFCGs have potential to act as a more reliable local agrarian system and a refuge for culturally significant plants in high-latitude First Nation socio-ecological systems, which are particularly vulnerable to rapid cultural, climatic, and ecological change.
Keywords: subarctic First Nations; climate change; food security; adaptation; agroforestry; import substitution; sustainability subarctic First Nations; climate change; food security; adaptation; agroforestry; import substitution; sustainability
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Spiegelaar, N.F.; Tsuji, L.J.; Oelbermann, M. The Potential Use of Agroforestry Community Gardens as a Sustainable Import-Substitution Strategy for Enhancing Food Security in Subarctic Ontario, Canada. Sustainability 2013, 5, 4057-4075.

AMA Style

Spiegelaar NF, Tsuji LJ, Oelbermann M. The Potential Use of Agroforestry Community Gardens as a Sustainable Import-Substitution Strategy for Enhancing Food Security in Subarctic Ontario, Canada. Sustainability. 2013; 5(9):4057-4075.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Spiegelaar, Nicole F.; Tsuji, Leonard J.; Oelbermann, Maren. 2013. "The Potential Use of Agroforestry Community Gardens as a Sustainable Import-Substitution Strategy for Enhancing Food Security in Subarctic Ontario, Canada." Sustainability 5, no. 9: 4057-4075.


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