Three years ago an idea blossomed in registered dietician Jessie Jollymore’s mind – an idea that would promote healthy food choices and encourage community pride at the North End Community Health Centre. Her idea was the beginning of the community vegetable and herb garden, which has become a focal point for more than 50 youth and 14 families. The garden has inspired them to take control of their future and make a difference in their community. With increasing demand and expansion on their side, Jessie knew a greenhouse was the next logical step toward long-term sustainment of the garden.
The grant from the Local Food Fund at the Community Foundation of Nova Scotia was used for materials to build the greenhouse which will allow residents to lengthen their community garden’s growing season and save seeds for the next year. The greenhouse will also be used by 30 young people to sustain production of their herb salad dressings under the Hope Blooms label. Proceeds from the dressings go into a scholarship fund for the youth gardeners in this community.
The greenhouse will also provide an opportunity for educational workshops to teach locals about growing organically and starting seeds. Other contributors that helped fund the greenhouse were the Black Business Initiative, the Positive Aging Fund and proceeds from a yard sale held by two youth in the north end. The project was managed by engineers from the Department of Health and built by CFB Halifax as part of the United Way Days of Caring. St. Patrick’s Church donated space and water, while Ted Hutten Family Farm and the Halifax Farmers’ Market provided greenhouse design expertise.