RUMFORD — Hope Association announces it will hold a grand opening at its new Briar Patch Greenhouse on Highland Terrace in Mexico next month.

Located across from Mountain Valley Middle School, the greenhouse will replace one at 431 Hancock St. in Rumford.

The new building where those with significant disabilities plant, fertilize, pot and sell plants to the public, is a galvanized steel unit on a concrete foundation with concrete floors. Rigid polycarbonate panels optimize the amount of sunlight needed for growing plants.

With automatic temperature and watering controls, the new building will allow year-round efficiency and operation. Wider aisles, custom growing tables and smooth concrete floors mean it can serve 75 or more individuals with disabilities. Also, it will offer students from the middle School an opportunity to gain horticultural skills.

The idea for a greenhouse began in 2000 when local greenhouse owners Lionel and Pauline Quirion offered to help set one up for Hope Association’s clients. The first Briar Patch Greenhouse has basically operated four months out of the year because it lacks heating and cooling systems. Although its hoop frame and plastic cover are in need of significant repairs, its being used to start the 2017 growing season.

David K. smells the soil at the Briar Patch Greenhouse in Rumford. Hope Association announced it is holding a grand opening at its new Briar Patch Greenhouse in Mexico next month.

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