Rising temperatures in Greenland are resulting in an unexpected occurrence, growth.
Greenland is a country the size of Europe, yet it has only 51 farms (all of them sheep farms except for one with 22 cows) and 9 forests, all of which are both tiny and cultivated by hand. The only vegetable grown in Greenland is potatoes. All other vegetables are imported, mostly from Denmark.
One of these forests, Qanasiassat, is beginning to thrive according to caretaker Poul Bjerge. Long since dormant, the pine trees in this forest have begun to show new growth.
It’s not just a few pine trees that are starting to grow. Remember all those imported Danish vegetables? Well no longer will all Greenlanders have to eat Danish cauliflower. A local supermarket in Greenland is stocking fresh locally grown cauliflower, broccoli, and cabbage for the first time. Five of those sheep farmers are beginning to experiment with vegetables.
There are even reports of strawberry crops, although the small size of the crops means, as one Danish agriculturist jokingly put it, “They know whether they’ve harvested 20 strawberries, or 25.”
South Greenland’s chief agricultural advisor, Kenneth Hoeg, envisions a world where all of southern Greenland could have commercially viable vegetable farms and forests. On a recent visit to Qanasiassat he said “If it gets warmer, a large part of southern Greenland could be like this. If it gets a little warmer, you could talk about a productive forest with enough wood for logs.”
Disrupting the Borg is expensive and time consuming!
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