Officials with Abegweit First Nation in P.E.I. say a greenhouse in the community will increase food security, promote nutrition and help members learn more about living off the land.
Construction is underway now on the geothermal greenhouse in an open field near the community’s daycare centre.
Gerard Gould is Director of Health with Abegweit First Nation. He’s overseeing the greenhouse project.
“I think it’s just the connection to the land that we want to foster,” said Gould.
“Making sure that, not only is it by us and for us, but we’ll also get that knowledge and pass it down, generation to generation, to make sure that we are able to be self-sufficient, self-sustaining, within our own community, moving forward.”
Gould said the idea for a a greenhouse came from the success of a community garden in recent years. He said some of the community’s children and youth really took an interest in growing their own food, and he’s hopeful that will continue.
“They had a program where they were engaged with the community garden,” said Gould.
“And we hope this will continue with the greenhouse year-round, so we’ll try to introduce this with a younger generation and at a younger age.”
He said once construction is complete — hopefully by the end of July — the Health Centre’s dietitian will get involved with the project as well.
“What we’re hoping this greenhouse will do is extend the benefits of nutritional eating, knowing exactly what is going in the soil, what we are planting and what we want to get out of it,” said Gould, who expects the project to cost between $70,000 and $80,000.
Gould said the community will