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Yaffle your next project

Yaffle, Memorial’s online connecting tool is full of big ideas looking for someone to take them on. Here’s one of them.

The opportunity:

The Avalon Gateway Regional Economic Development Region is coming up roses. Literally.

Drive along the Cape Shore in the summertime, and you’ll see wild rose bushes growing all over the place.

According to Michael Mooney, executive director of the Avalon Gateway Regional Economic Development Board, the small, fragrant roses have been part of his, and everyone else’s lives, as long as he can remember.

“When I was a kid, we’d get dropped off the bus, and on the walk home, we’d keep an eye out for rose bushes with buds, pick them, and eat them,” recalled Mr. Mooney. “Little did we know, they’re actually a very good source of vitamin C and have various medicinal uses.”

The abundance of the roses, and their potential value within the nutraceutical industry, has many in the region wondering whether they could be farmed commercially.

The residents of the region have a strong farming knowledge, with just about everyone over the age of 50 having participated in growing vegetables; however, the roses would be a different sort of venture.

“In terms of agriculture, we’re looking for commodities that haven’t been grown here before,” explained Mr. Mooney. “It’s a way to expand on our agricultural scene. Farming in this region has traditionally been at the subsistence level, and we’ve got plenty of people with strong knowledge of the region’s growing conditions. These days, fewer people are producing their own food, but we’ve seen development into non-traditional cash crops like cranberries and sod.”

The project:

Mr. Mooney is looking for someone from Memorial to help prepare a feasibility study looking into whether growing roses commercially makes economic sense.
While it would probably be necessary to make some trips to the region (and with its rocky coasts and beautiful scenery, who would complain?), it’s likely that most of the work could be done remotely.

Mr. Mooney also believes there is good potential for finding funding for the project.

Got time to smell the roses? Contact Bojan Fürst (bfurst@mun.ca) at the Harris Centre to get involved with this, or any other, Yaffle project. And don’t forget to update your Yaffle profile with any new projects or publications.

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