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Burley senior center donation covers costs of greenhouse
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Burley senior center donation covers costs of greenhouse

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BURLEY — The Golden Heritage Senior Center will soon be able to grow some of its vegetables and herbs year round in a greenhouse — thanks to a donation from Mini-Cassia Hearts 4 Seniors, an in-home elder care service.

The center, which previously switched its name to the Senior Junction, has reverted back to its original name.

The senior center was looking for donations of supplies to build the greenhouse when the business stepped forward with a $250 donation, which almost covered the costs of purchasing it unassembled.

“All it cost us was $4.74. We were so happy. We didn’t expect that at all,” said director Bob Alverson.

They also purchased a 60-foot-long misting system to water it.

The greenhouse will be 10 feet by 20 feet and 7 feet high and it is constructed of a stainless steel frame and mesh plastic. It will be placed on the west side of the building.

The center is still looking for a donation of a small heater and fan and volunteers willing to help construct it when it comes in. They’ll also need volunteers to tend the plants and welcome donations of plants, seeds and food items.

Head Cook Chris Clark plans to start growing the garden this fall.

“With the costs of foods rising, we want to get this going as soon as possible,” Clark said.

He plans to grow tomatoes, peppers, onions, garlic and strawberries and a variety of herbs.

Clark proposed the greenhouse plan as a way to save the center money on food costs and allow him to use herbs in the preparation of the meals, which isn’t included in the budget.

Alverson said the center is “breaking even right now” on the costs of meals with all the proceeds going back into food costs.

If the center is able to produce more vegetables than it can use the remainder will be sold to the community or donated to Helping Hands or the Minidoka County Senior Center.

Next year, he plans to use a raised garden near the greenhouse to grow squash and larger vegetables.

The city of Burley, which owns the senior center property, approved the greenhouse plan.

The center also needs volunteer drivers for the Meals on Wheels program and has freezer space if someone wants to donate a butchered animal.

Alverson said the center recently purchased two large roasts, which costs $100.

“The price of meat just keeps going up,” he said.

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