New Horizons for New Hampshire, the state's largest soup kitchen and food pantry, is reaping the benefits from the latest greenhouse donation by Rimol Greenhouse Systems. The high tunnel's completion in early September makes Manchester the only urban city in New Hampshire with a community greenhouse.
The high tunnel greenhouse will eventually produce lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers. Ideally, the high tunnel will cut food costs for New Horizons, which serves between 200 and 300 meals daily.
"It's great to see a New Hampshire-based company like Rimol stepping up and doing great things," New Horizons Executive Director Charlie Sherman said. "So many others scratched the surface, but nothing ever materialized. Rimol stuck with us, and they're a local company doing wonderful things."
Longtime food shelter volunteer and Rimol co-owner Mike Marett initially approached Sherman about the possibility of a greenhouse donation. Eventually, the $30,000 greenhouse was agreed upon, which continued Rimol's notable run of greenhouse donations. Now Sherman says there are plans to integrate the greenhouse with local schools to educate students on the process and importance of growing locally, which is a focal point for Rimol's recent donations.
"It's going to take a number of volunteers and some dedication to keep this wonderful thing going," Sherman said. "We want to produce as many fruits and vegetables as possible. I have full confidence in the Manchester community to make that a reality."
Timberland, a global manufacturer and retailer of outdoor wear, sent 50 volunteers to New Horizons to help finish constructing the soil beds for planting. Plans are also in place to assemble a group of volunteer growers to begin the planting process. Sherman says the donated greenhouse thrived on community volunteers to reach its current standing, and he doesn't see that changing.
"This high tunnel is something that will help us in so many ways," he said. "This greenhouse allows us to interact with the community on a lot of levels, so it's incredible what it will do for us. I can't thank Rimol enough for what they've done. It's almost too good to be true, but it's true."