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N.W.T. family wants to farm potatoes

N.W.T. family wants to farm potatoes

The farm could be the largest commercial operation in the territory

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

A Hay River, N.W.T. family has set some ambitious farm goals.

Anne Boden and her husband want to grow potatoes this year. The couple has cleared about 48 acres of land and acquired machinery to get their operation off, or in this case, in the ground.

The family doesn’t consider starting a farm to be a hobby. Rather, they view it as a commitment to becoming serious farmers.

“We hope to make a living from this,” Anne told Cabin Radio yesterday. “The arable land is good. We are sitting on almost 50 acres and we want to put it to use and make it pay for itself.”

The decision to start a farm is also an exercise in family trust.

Boden’s husband “really wants to be a farmer and grow potatoes,” she said. “I am only recently on board.”

In the short-term, the Bodens hope to add a processing building and storefront to help with storage and sales. The family’s long-term goals include developing opportunities to export potatoes to Alberta.

Farms are scarce in the Northwest Territories.

The 2016 Census of Agriculture only reported 16 farms in the territory. The average size of each farm is about 164 acres. That number also includes the Yukon Territory, which has a larger agricultural industry than the Northwest Territory.

The Bodens are optimistic their farm will be among the largest in the local ag community.

“When it’s all and done for development, it probably will be the largest commercial farm in the Northwest Territories,” Boden told Cabin Radio.

The ag sector in the Northwest Territories mainly consists of small scale producers, but also includes an egg producer and a training facility.

Polar Egg supplies six local communities with eggs, and the Northern Farm Training Institute provides farm training on its 260-acre campus in Hay River, N.W.T. has reached out to the Bodens for more information about their farm operation.

Anne Boden in front of what will become a potato field.
Ollie Williams/Cabin Radio photo

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