JEFF VAN PATTEN Scottsbluff Star-Herald
SCOTTSBLUFF – The Greener Garden greenhouse at the North Platte Natural Resource District aims to change the face of agriculture in the Panhandle.
In the greenhouse, you’ll find bananas, papayas, dragon fruit, pomegranates, limes, and cantaloupe-sized lemons, among other plants more suited to Nebraska soil.
The uniqueness of the greenhouse has captured the world’s attention during her four years here, greenhouse manager Jeni Berge said.
“I think our last tour was a German band. It’s quite interesting from an agrotourism point of view. There were a lot of people who came here to see it, ”she said.
The greenhouse, however, is much more than a tourist attraction and a test plot for what can be grown in the area. Most of the proceeds are donated to local organizations, Berge said.
“Before the pandemic, we donated to (West Nebraska) Veterans Home, but they stopped accepting donations due to COVID. We’ve also donated to the Migrant Headstart program a few times because they have kind of a short season, ”she said.
Berge said donations are quite frequent.
“(We donate products) two or three times a week in the summer. In winter, it’s about once a week. We can donate all year round, ”she said.