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The image of a fresh vegetable garden in subarctic weather may be a little difficult to conjure up. However, believe it or not, thanks to global warming this is not as rare a sight and as years go by, one that may become increasingly common especially, in areas like Greenland.
What's even more amazing is the variety that the locals have been able to grow - They include herbs like thyme and vegetables like peppers, tomatoes and cabbage. Kim Ernst, a Danish chef who has an outdoor garden and a greenhouse, has even managed to grow a handful of strawberries, that he reserved for a special dinner he hosted for the Scandinavian royal family.
And while most vegetables are confined to small gardens, potatoes are doing so well that they are currently being grown commercially in Southern Greenland - In 2012 over 100 metric tons of the tubers were harvested, double that of 2008 and this year's crop is expected to be twice that!
Also, thanks to the increasingly abundant grass under the melting ice, the reindeers belonging to the local Inuit hunters are becoming healthier and fatter! Greenland's Prime Minister believes that if the warming trends continue, they will be able to witness even more development in cattle and agriculture farming. This is welcome news for the self-governing country of 57,000 largely Inuit residents, that depends on Denmark for its food supply.
The ironic part is that if agriculture does really start to take off, the farmers may have to figure out an irrigation system - For believe it or not, just like many countries all over the world, one of the side effects of global warming in the Arctic, has been dry summers!
While all this may sound alarming to most of us and raise even bigger global warming red flags, the locals are thrilled - They want things to get even warmer. Maybe Greenland will finally live up to the name Erik the Red gave the ice-covered island in the 10th Century, in an attempt to attract more settlers!
Resources: reuter.com, dailymail.co.uk