PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — The Aroostook Band of Micmacs will use a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to create a greenhouse that will benefit more than just tribal members.
Richard Dyer, the housing director for the tribe, said Tuesday that the Micmac tribe recently received a $492,363 USDA Rural Enterprise Business Grant. The tribe will use the money to plan, construct and operate a tribal greenhouse to be located on tribal trust property on U.S. Route 1 in Caribou. It will be used to propagate, grow and distribute rootstock of apples, pears and plums for other nurseries and agencies throughout the state and New England. The facility also will be used to grow vegetables for tribal members.
“We are very happy to receive this,” Dyer said Tuesday. “We feel this will be a very successful venture. This comes at a great time, because it dovetails with a $54,000 grant our environmental department just received to create a farmers market.”
Dyer said the farmers market would sell the produce that grows in the greenhouse. The market will be located adjacent to the greenhouse on the Caribou property.
The housing director said the greenhouse and farmers market would provide a needed financial boost for the tribe by generating revenue. The two facilities also will employ several tribal members.
Dyer added that nutritious produce grown and sold would help combat obesity and diabetes among tribal members. He noted that there has been a rise in obesity and diabetes among tribal members in the past decade.
“It is late in the season to do much work,” he acknowledged Tuesday. “But we would like to have the greenhouse and the farmers market up and running by early next year.”