Today I (Chris Thoreau) arrived in Whitehorse on the first of 8 days visiting the Yukon to talk and learn about seed in Yukon communities. The goal of the trip, I suppose, is to help Yukon communities determine how to integrate seed into their community food security initiatives. I will meet with various individuals, organizations, and government staff over the next eight days in communities from Whitehorse to Dawson and back!
This trip is taking place in cooperation with the Arctic Institute for Community-Based Research (AICBR) which works with Yukon communities on a variety of topics. Seed security has become a recent topic of interest with a particular interest in acknowledging and preserving indigenous traditions and knowledge around seed production.
Arriving in Whitehorse has been a real treat. From the plane I could see the landscape spotted with clumps of yellow from the birch trees – an autumn scene we do not tend to experience in Vancouver. Many of the mountains were topped with snow – yet the valleys were still bare.
It is a strange thing that even though the day length right now is pretty much exactly the same as in Vancouver there is a sense of long days and nights here. It is as if the landscape reflects the incredible length of night and day that exist here in summer and winter.
I am curious as to what to expect on this trip. There are some obvious things which need to be considered regarding seed production in the Yukon such as the short growing season and the extremely long summer days. But what are the issues which I cannot see that appear more pressing to the locals than the climate?!!