Chief of the Yunesit’in government Russell Myers Ross said they are very luck to have finished the construction on three large greenhouses in the community last week.
“With the fires we had to hold off on construction in late June and July,” he explained.
The Yunesit’in government celebrated the soft opening of the Greenhouse Project on Thursday, Nov. 9 this week. The project saw the construction of three 90 by 40 foot greenhouses located just west of the community’s Health Centre.
They partnered with Carnotech Energy, a company with experience working with the Kwadacha First Nations in order to build the structures. The total construction time was 38 days and although the project faced some obstacles to start, Myers Ross is hopeful the greenhouses will be a success.
He noted that there were several reasons the Yunesit’in government undertook the project.
“One was just trying to produce healthy fruits and vegetables for the community and another reason is the pricing,” he said. “People have expectations of going into Williams Lake all the time to get produce when we could probably do it closer by. It’s just more economic.”
One of the greenhouses will grow leafy greens while another will give a variety of tomatoes a place to bloom. The third greenhouse is to be taken over by cucumbers and bell peppers. Everything you need, said Myers Ross, to build a salad. The produce will be sold at a reasonable price to members of the First Nations community and anyone who needs fresh veggies.
Another reason the greenhouse project is so significant to the community is that it is the first open-source revenue project that provides a means of revenue “that does not come solely from Crown governments or industry,” said Myers Ross. The greenhouse will provide long term, full-time jobs and training for members of the community.