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Grower in the Spotlight


Cheap imports causing difficulties for Slovenian growers

There are still many challenges for vegetable growers in Slovenia. The country's market prices are traditionally low, making it difficult for producers to compete with the cheap vegetable imports coming from Italy, Spain, the countries which make up the former Yugoslavia, Austria, Germany, Hungary and.....

UK: How nature flourishes on London's skyline

The winter purslane at the five star Rosewood Hotel in Holborn is excellent. Served immediately after picking, it is sweet and fresh. Amandine Chaignot, the hotel’s Executive Chef, tells me it’s the best crop they've ever had. However, I’m not eating it in the marble-walled serenity of the restaurant, but in.....

India: Horticulture Secretary visits fruit plant nurseries

Secretary of the Horticulture Department, M.H. Malik accompanied by Director of Horticulture, Bhawani Rakwal and Chief Horticulture officer, Y.K. Keasr inspected three Government Fruit Plant nurseries at Akhnoor and Khour Blocks of district Jammu.The Secretary addressed the concern to remove all dead and.....

Canada: Trudeau put to work at new Lufa Farms greenhouse

Urban agriculture pioneer Lufa Farms has just finished a third highly automated greenhouse in the Montreal borough of Anjou. Canada's PM Justin Trudeau was there to see it in full production.The new 63,000 square foot rooftop greenhouse is a milestone in polyculture efficiency and produces over 40 varieties.....

US: "Nature Fresh in discussions to build greenhouse facilities in Maine"

Acres of peppers could be growing in greenhouses adjacent to the Stored Solar biomass power plant in West Enfield next year if an agreement between the plant’s owners and one of the largest greenhouse pepper growers in North America comes to fruition.The greenhouses would use electricity, as well as heat and.....

US (MI): Producers establish Blueberry Research Education Program

The state's blueberry producers approved a referendum establishing a Michigan Blueberry Research & Education Program. A new Michigan Blueberry Commission (made up of seven Michigan blueberry producers appointed by Governor Snyder) will administer the program which will be funded by assessments on.....

Indian IT firm grows its own veggies

Ever wondered what happens when Garden City also becomes IT City? You tend to hear about IT companies that grow and sell their own vegetables. Sasken Technologies, a Dolmur-based company, has converted a barren piece of land into an organic kitchen garden. There’s cabbage, spinach, tomato, sweet corn, okra,.....

CAN (BC): Growers happy that snowfall is behind them

The harsh winter season has proven to be a mixed bag for farmers in the Fraser Valley.“It sucked,” said dairy farmer Jeremy Wiebe, owner of Rosevale Farms in Chilliwack. “It creates a lot more work for the farm.”Chilliwack had a particularly snowy winter, with more than 100 centimetres of the white stuff.....

Australia: Williamtown’s ‘Maria’s Farm Veggies’ for sale

Colliers International, on behalf of KordaMentha, has been instructed to offer 183 Cabbage Tree Road, Williamtown - Maria’s Farm Veggies – for sale via an International Expression of Interest campaign.The sale process is being negotiated by Jesse Manuel and Richard Royle from Colliers International’s Rural.....

US (WI): Corn, soybean farm family switches to aquaponics

An American Soybean Association trip several years ago to aquaculture facilities in Hawaii, Chile and Ecuador got rural Mindoro corn and soybean farmer Tim Goodenough interested in fish farming.Since then, he, his wife Bonny and their four children have gotten out of corn and soybean farming and have built.....

Growing demand for year round organics in Qatar

A Qatari is growing organic vegetables and fruits year round to meet the growing demand for organic products in Qatar and the region, a local farm owner has said.“We are very proud that this is the only system developed by the Qatari people, until now, to produce all types of vegetables all year long,”.....

US: Cornell graduate nominated as New Jersey Local Hero

Chickadee Creek Farm was honored to be named one of Edible Jersey’s Local Heroes for 2017. Founder and Cornell University graduateJess Niederer was recently featured in an article in the Spring 2017 edition of Edible Jersey. Picture courtesy of Edible Jersey. In 2010, Niederer leased an acre and a half from.....

Kulmalan puutarha:

Hybrid lighting helps Finnish basil grower to grow year round

Finnish commercial greenhouse grower Kulmalan puutarha has extensive experience in producing organic salads, herbs, tomatoes and cucumbers. Their products are marketed throughout the whole country under the brand Lassen Luomu as well as under private labels of Finnish supermarket chains. At the end of last.....

Nature Fresh nominated for Digital Transformation Award

One doesn’t often associate farming with digital transformation, but that isn’t the case with Nature Fresh Farms.Nature Fresh isn’t new to using smart technology to manage its greenhouses, but it’s taking another step forward by bringing mobility to its employees and customers. The firm is nominated for.....

US (WV): Making lettuce fun with hydroponics

For the last year, John Casto and Chance Woodrum have been dabbling in the hydroponic lettuce business.“I was looking for something fun to do. I like the restaurant type of business. But the last thing in the world I wanted to do was own a restaurant,” said Casto, whose wife owns The Art Store downstairs......

US (NC): Growers struggling with temperature swings

On Kenneth Rudd Sr.’s northeast Guilford farm, his grandchildren have been eating strawberries from the field since last month.“I’ve never seen a red berry in February,” observed the fourth-generation farmer who allows visitors to pick their strawberries.Most of his berries are still green and maybe two.....

Canada: Essex County growers disappointed with hydro relief plan

Some Essex County greenhouse operators are expressing disappointment following Kathleen Wynne's announcement of a hydro relief plan.Some growers say it doesn't provide much relief for them and it could curb future expansion.Kathleen Wynne's hydro relief plan promises a reduction of 25 per cent in the hydro.....

Turkish tomatoes find their way to European and Arabian retail

The Turkish tomato grower and exporter Başyazıcıoğlu Tarım has struck up a supply deal with the European retail chain Lidl. They already have similar deals in place with other large supermarket chains, like Magnit in Russia and Gippo in Belarus.“There is a lot of demand for our.....

Hydroserre Mirabel expanding into Rhode Island

The Newport City Council accepted a proposal to allow a Canadian company to build and operate a two-level hydroponic greenhouse in the city’s North End. The glass structure will span five acres and produce up to three million heads of lettuce annually.The facility will be built on land allotted to the.....

Canada: LED upgrade for Ecobain Gardens

Philips Lighting announced the completed installation of Philips GreenPower LED Production Modules at Ecobain Gardens, the largest commercial vertical farm operation in Canada. By upgrading the fluorescent lighting previously used in the facility to LED, Philips Lighting is helping the vertical farming.....

US (IN): Hydroponic berry farm seeking zoning approval

A hydroponic strawberry farm could open in the Fruitdale area if the owners get rezoning approval.The owners of Hydro Harvest LLC were scheduled to go before the Brown County Area Plan Commission Tuesday night, Feb. 28, to ask for rezoning for about 4.75 acres. They need zoning of R2, secondary residential,.....

Oman: Professor goes viral with hydroponics

Dr. Zulfikar Ali, a professor of Biotechnology and Botany in Oman, started growing veggies around his house using coco peat, made with coconut fibre, less than two years ago. Today he has a large rooftop garden atop the same building in which he lives. The professor uses the hydroponics process to grow.....

Ethiopian Ag brings sustainable year round production

Ethiopian producer, Raya Horti Farms, started just five years ago and has its sights set on being able to enter the European market in the near future. They think that the fruit and vegetables they produce have a lot of potential for the international, as well as their own domestic market. The grower is.....

Australian grower invests in Growsens

James and Angela Moran, who own Lonsdale Tomato Farm on the Bellarine Peninsula, invested $30,000 in sensor technology linked to computer programs and mobile phones.The program can tell Mr Moran whether there is too little moisture or nutrients for the tomatoes and other vegetables in the greenhouses.“I get.....

Italy: Pioneers in Rapparino tomatoes and purple artichokes

The Luciano Reina company was established in 2016 in Niscemi, a lively town located in southern Sicily. It is led by a very young team, which aims at achieving the perfect balance between local tradition and innovation.Luciano specialises in the cultivation and processing of typical local products.The.....

European Parliament rallies for women's rights in ag

The Copa Women's Committee welcomed in Brussels a new report adopted by MEPs calling for conditions to be improved for women in rural areas and for more equal treatment between men and women.The report on the women and their role in rural areas adopted by European Parliament's Agriculture Committee and by the.....

TunnelBerries and NARBA members tour Mexican berry production

Last week the North American Raspberry & Blackberry Association (NARBA) and the Mexican Aneberries group hosted a tour of Mexican blackberry, raspberry and blueberry production. Debby Wechsler, NARBA Executive Secretary and TunnelBerries Advisory Board member and Eric Hanson, TunnelBerries.....

March 13, University Park

US (PA): Student Farm Club hosts hydroponic lettuce tasting event

The Student Farm Club at Penn State is partnering with Housing and Food Services (HFS) as part of National Nutrition Month to host a hydroponic lettuce tasting event, “Expand Your Salad Palate,” in Redifer Dining Commons, South Halls, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on March 13. The Student Farm Club invites all.....

“Poor farmer’s hybrid” makes Guatemalan tomato farmers smile again

Virus pressure in tomato is very high in Guatemala and one of the most pressing challenges for farmers. East-West Seed’s recently introduced varieties that offer increasing resistance against viruses. They turned out to be better solutions than the netting that farmers resorted to before. Happy farmers call.....

US (MO): Lettuce Dream grows outside its greenhouse

Lettuce Dream continues to grow its business in Maryville.Lettuce Dream is a nonprofit organization involved in hydroponic farming. It hopes to train those with cognitive disorders in efforts to prepare them for future job opportunities.Director of Lettuce Dream Charlie Clodfelter said the organization had.....

French farmers visit UC Davis hydroponics class

A pair of French hydroponics farmers on a "world tour" to learn from various farmers and experts made at stop at UC Davis recently. They sat in on an environmental horticulture course and took a tour of the UC Davis greenhouses. See what they learned in the video below.

"UK growers could learn a lot from European neighbours"

In Belgium and the Netherlands horticulture is big business and the facilities tend to be more high-tech than their UK counterparts. During a recent study tour, GrowSave's Ed saw some of the advanced technology and practices used by growers, such as LED lighting, diffuse glass and bio-beds for water.....

US: Indoor farming startup Bowery raises $7.5 million

As pollution, extreme weather, and over-population threaten the viability of large, outdoor farms, a startup called Bowery Farming Inc. has raised $7.5 million in total venture funding to grow food indoors, even in the middle of a city. The startup’s high-tech approach uses robotics, LED lighting, computer.....

Ghana: Greenhouse revolution to attract youth

It’s a large tract of land dotted with swathes of green rice fields and heavy with weeds. A long dusty, snaky road split the fields but it is vehicle-friendly.But in the belly of the wild and rice fields, greenhouses are springing up—the Dahwenya Irrigation Greenhouse Enclave where 100-hectares have been.....

US (FL): Former junkyard turns into leafy greens oasis

The would-be farmers bought three transoceanic refrigerated shipping containers, just a little dinged up, for $6,500 each.Shannon O'Malley and Bradley Doyle had them hauled to a distressed property they purchased on Second Avenue S and painted them a vibrant green. The green of John Deere tractors and.....

China: Glass enables Xin Yuan Xin to outperform solar competitors

Since two years, Chinese tomato grower Xin Yuan Xin operates a 2.2 hectare high tech greenhouse operation in Henan Province. Ever since the start of the commercial project, yields have seen an increase. This year the grower expects a production of 23 kg/m2 for its truss cocktail tomato crop. The glass.....

Indian growers switch to soilless cultivation

With a view of providing the city with safe and healthier vegetables, the Haryana horticulture department has commissioned a project at Panchgaon, Manesar, located 16km from the city. The initiative is aimed at growing soil-less vegetables and getting them supplied to the residential societies across the.....

US: New plants are in at Backyard Farms

At Backyard Farms, they've learned a lot in the 10 years since they've been in business. One of the most important things they've learned is how much people enjoy seeing how they manage to grow fresh tomatoes in the middle of Maine in the middle of winter.Since their strict food safety standards restrict.....

US (CA): Greenhouse PhD brings science to MMJ cultivation

Plant scientist Allison Justice is the VP of Horticulture at Outlier Collective in California. The cannabis company prides themselves on their indoor and greenhouse harvests, which are grown with sustainable methods, using beneficial insects, fungi and organic oils to ensure top quality. Rooted in science,.....

Malaysian startup promotes indoor farming

The idea of farming, even just growing vegetables to feed your own family is seen as something that is done in the countryside by humble farmers and to some urbanites, embodies unrewarding physical labour.This is the stigma that CityFarm team Jayden Koay, Johanson Chew and Looi Choon Beng are fighting to.....

An air raid shelter full of produce

A pre-WWII air-raid shelter 120 ft below Clapham High Street with absolutely zero natural light, is not the most obvious place to be growing salad.Yet that is exactly what the team at Growing Underground is doing, trays of trendy and pungent microherbs stacked four high on each side of the growing tunnel -.....

Microgreens grower sets up shop in Switzerland

Andreas and Margret Eschbach About a year ago, 2BFresh started a joint venture in Switzerland. “We started there in March 2016,” Andreas Eschbach says. “We have greenhouses, a packing station and a cold store in Switzerland, all the necessary installations to produce micro-leaves. All of our seeds come from.....

US (TN): Dutch grower turns to greenhouse strawberries

Two years ago, Bas van Buuren began researching how he could grow strawberries in a greenhouse.“I knew it would work because I knew people in Europe who were doing it,” said van Buuren, with Dutch Garden Berries, which is based at his Dutch Garden Center in Madison County. “The climate here is so different.....

US (NC): Tomato growers plan referendum in March

The N.C. Tomato Growers Association will conduct a statewide referendum in March to continue the $20 per acre assessment on harvested commercial tomatoes. Funds generated by the assessment would support research, education and marketing to promote tomatoes grown in North Carolina.The proposed assessment term.....

Marco de Bruin starts new hydroponic venture in Minnesota

A high-tech greenhouses for lettuce cultivation on water, equipped with LED lighting. The construction of the new greenhouse for Dutch grower Marco de Bruin will start this spring in Minnesota. On Wednesday at the HortiContact the last papers for the supply of the LED-lighting system were signed.A toast to.....

US (KS): Aquaponics farm eyeing comeback

Gary Poulton, owner of Wholesome Meadows Farm, and his wife, Tami, opened an aquaponics greenhouse last spring. In November, they posted on the farm’s Facebook page that they were stepping back from the business for a while.“We have determined that we need to step away from it for a period of time to.....

Manuel Magdaleno, FreshMex

"Different shading products solution for climate problems"

Three years ago, Mexican company FreshMex had problems with the climate in their glass greenhouse. The large amount of radiation caused drought. A combination of three different shading products proved to be the solution. "The humidity is higher, the climate improves tremendously, we have an earlier.....

Taylor Farms thanks automated harvesting crews

Taylor Farms, in partnership with Yuma, Arizona based Labor of Love, gave thanks to two automated harvesting crews for their service to the agriculture industry last week. Taylor Farms’ automated celery harvester and automated cabbage harvester are two of the most revolutionary machines in the industry......

Patrick van Schetsen, Purple Pride:

“Aubergine market went from extremely good to extremely bad”

The Dutch aubergine season started out as very good in January, but by now, the market has hit a major slump. “We started unusually early as a result of the favourable weather and the amount of sunshine after planting. The first three weeks of the season, up to the first week of February, were exceptionally.....

Year round snack tomatoes thanks to illuminated cultivation

Since a few years, more and more tomatoes are grown under exposure in the Netherlands and Belgium. But since this winter, snack tomato growers also have chosen for production under lights. In fact for the same reason: to be able to deliver high-quality tomatoes all year round.It is well known that the.....

Young New Zealand farmers urged to upskill

The New Zealand agricultural sector is facing considerable change in 2017 and strong business management skills are needed if farmers are to secure a successful future for their business, the head of Rabobank New Zealand has told farmers.Announcing the opening of applications for this year’s Farm Managers.....

US (GA): Incorporating high tunnels in organic farming

Intensive year-round vegetable production under high tunnels is a cornerstone of Crystal Organic Farm. Farming in the Deep South, Nicolas Donck gravitated toward high-tunnel production because of its many benefits including less soil erosion from storm events, ability to achieve lasting soil quality.....

Canadian wild blueberry growers grateful for recent snow

While some may be inconvenienced by the recent snow in Prince Edward Island, wild blueberry growers are counting their blessings. The snow is needed to protect the blueberries according to John Handrahan, president of the P.E.I. Wild Blueberry Growers Association. "Wild blueberries take their damage more.....

US (AZ): From CEAC graduate to successful hydroponic grower

At the University of Arizona, Jenn Frymark helped develop a greenhouse for extreme weather and then spent six months at the South Pole growing food for scientific researchers.Now she grows 10 million heads of lettuce and other greens year-round, without soil, in considerably more benign conditions inside.....

CAN (ON): Growers out millions after tomatoes rotted in fields

Millions of dollars worth of tomatoes rotted in Southwestern Ontario fields last year when a Maidstone canning company — with plans to build a new state-of-the-art plant — didn’t take all the tomatoes it had contracted growers to deliver.“The helpless feeling of watching a good crop rot, just rot, is hard to.....

Who grows food for Blue Apron?

Blue Apron co-founder Matt Wadiak, a former chef and Alice Waters protégé, helped start the company in 2012 with the idea that the ingredients would be sourced from small-scale, sustainable producers. This turned out to be much easier said than done—sourcing such high-quality ingredients for a single.....

US (OH): Greenhouse owner holds burglars at gunpoint until police arrive

A rural Columbus homeowner held off two burglary suspects at gunpoint early Saturday until police could arrive to arrest them and a third individual who was later found hiding in a vehicle.Eric Simo, 44, a southern Bartholomew County landscaper and greenhouse owner, said he went outside about 6 a.m. Saturday.....

Kenya: So you bought a greenhouse... now what?

"It was a venture meant to change fortunes of hundreds of farmers. The ‘magic house’ that was what farmers were told. But from my field visits to various regions in what was the former Western Province the story is discouraging," writes an expert on sustainable agriculture and agricultural solutions at.....

Dutch and local companies help Aphria to expand with 16 acres

Aphria Inc., one of Canada's medical cannabis leaders located in Leamington, Ontario confirmed their choice of primary vendor/contractors for their Part IV expansion project planned for later this year. Thermo Energy Systems Ltd of Leamington, Ontario has been chosen to provide and build the greenhouse.....

A winter harvest from Martha Stewart's greenhouse

"Delicious, organic greens are ready to pick in my vegetable greenhouse," writes Martha Stewart on her blog."My expansive outdoor vegetable garden is bare, but I'm fortunate to have lots of wonderful vegetables growing in the ground in a special greenhouse located behind my Equipment Barn. As many of you.....

CAN (BC): Aquaculture system produces 600,000 kilos of fish annually

Pentair AES spotlights Marine Harvest Canada – Dalrymple Hatchery. Located in Vancouver Island, British Columbia, this Recirculating Aquaculture System (RAS) facility produces 600,000 kilos of Atlantic Salmon Smolt annually (approximately 5.5 million fish).Source: Canadian Aquaponics

Fresh Box Farms’ Dave Vosburg on indoor ag’s potential

As consumers increasingly demand food that is both locally sourced and more nutritious, Controlled Environment Indoor Agriculture (CEIA) has an important role to play in our future food system.By growing close to urban consumers, produce gets from its point of harvest to tables faster. Shorter travel.....

Canada: Food Bank greenhouse provides fresh produce all year round

The shed was just collecting dust out behind the Regina and District Food Bank but the group could see its potential.During the summer, fresh fruit and vegetable donations run aplenty at the food bank but in the winter, those dry up. So the solution was simple, why not turn the shed into a greenhouse?“We’re.....

US (AK): Live greens bring freshness to winter markets

Things are turning green at the Center Market. Fresh, Alaska-grown lettuce and herbs are showing up regularly at the market held weekly at The Mall at Sears. On Wednesday, greens from both Alaska Seeds of Change and Alaska Natural Organics will be available.Ryan Witten, greenhouse manager at Alaska Seeds of.....

Canadian food banks grow own food as donations decline

In a bid to make up for a shortfall of high-quality nutritious food, some Canadian food banks are growing their own produce — and even farming fish.The Mississauga Food Bank recently launched AquaGrow Farms, where tilapia is being raised in tanks and lettuce is raised through hydroponics, or without.....

Wish Farms donates 1,000+ pounds of strawberries for Valentine's Day

Wish Farms, grower-shipper and year-round supplier of strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries donated more than four thousand pounds of strawberries to Feeding Tampa Bay just in time for Valentine’s Day.“We are always happy when we can arrange a donation to Feeding Tampa Bay,” said Gary.....

Australia: 92-year-old woman grows 2kg tomato

At 92 years old, gardening granny Ida Guadagnin, of Manly Vale, has grown a tomato that weighs a staggering 2kg.A lifelong gardener, Mrs Guadagnin defied the odds – which included a scorching summer and intrusive animals – to grow the massive tomato.While the original batch of seeds had also resulted in a.....

US (CO): School district wants to help small growers get certified

Dan Sharp spends most of his days thinking about food.As the director of nutrition services at School District 51, he is constantly brainstorming ways to serve food that is healthy, made-from-scratch and locally sourced to the thousands of students who will eat nearly 170 breakfasts and lunches at school.....

US Farm income expected to continue to decline in 2017

Net farm income is a conventional measure of farm sector profitability that is used as part of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product calculation. Following several years of record highs, net farm income trended downward from 2013 to 2016. For 2017, ERS forecasts net farm income will fall to $62.3 billion ($54.8.....

US (CA): Tower farm sprouts in Los Olivos

As of late last year, the Santa Ynez Valley has its first retail tower farm. It's called The Farm - Los Olivos, located in Los Olivos, of course. It's a Tower Garden by Juice Plus + operation, owned by Todd Mehl.He and his fiancée/business partner, Maria Arroyo, moved to the Valley from Santa Barbara several.....

US (WI): Family sets up 'drive-in' aquaponics greenhouse

In their new two-bay, 6,000-square-foot greenhouse near Bangor, the Steve and Michelle Glandt family and their Lyfe Gardens, LLC, have begun growing tilapia fish and produce for sale year-round.Lyfe Gardens began selling vegetables in November, Michelle said, and will begin selling tilapia by March. It sells.....