Verschuren Centre, New Dawn Partnership Benefits Seniors

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Cape Breton Post

A new greenhouse program will see local seniors benefitting from nutritious meals.

The initiative is a joint venture between Cape Breton University’s Verschuren Centre for Sustainability in Energy and the Environment and New Dawn Enterprises.

The greenhouse was donated to the Verschuren Centre under an agreement with New Dawn to test an innovative cold climate heating system. As a result, the Verschuren Centre is growing leafy greens that are being provided to New Dawn’s A Better Bite community kitchen for its meals on wheels program. The greenhouse became operational in late 2018.

“We’re thrilled to be able to combine the expertise of our researchers and the resources of such a strong community partner like New Dawn Enterprises,” CBU president David Dingwall said in a media release. “This type of collaboration is the perfect example of how innovative solutions can have major impact in our own communities and beyond.”

The greenhouse unit will serve three key purposes in its first full year of production, including testing the Forgeron Infra-Red Systems Technology for maintaining low-level heating to extend greens production into the cold shoulder seasons of northern climates like Cape Breton. It will also supply leafy greens during these typically non-productive periods to New Dawn’s community kitchen for meals for the elderly. As well, an isolated section of the greenhouse will be used to test new natural products derived from the Verschuren Centre’s marine biorefinery.

The cold climate greenhouse has been a vision of New Dawn’s manager of special projects Fr. Ora McManus since it was first initiated on a previous site in 2013.

“It is such a dream to see production scaling up for real impact,” said McManus. “We are thrilled to partner with the Verschuren Centre and Cape Breton University, and make this dream come true.”


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