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Grower in the Spotlight


Aquaponics: ‘economy of scale is the key’

Aquaponics, which combines aquaculture and hydroponics, is increasingly becoming popular in many countries due to its ability to boost farm output and reduce waste. Glenneis Kriel spoke to Ruann Coleman of Eden Aquaponics about his experiences with this production system.Wealth manager, Jack Probart, started.....

US (MA): Easton farm hopes for another fruitful trip to tomato contest

Easton’s Langwater Farm is gearing up for the annual Massachusetts Tomato Contest, where they’ve won many awards for their tomatoes in previous years.For Langwater Farm owner Kevin O’Dwyer, the group tomato taste test is a tradition on the morning of the annual Massachusetts Tomato Contest, hosted by the.....

Merhi family sells farm:

Australia: 5000m2 hydroponic business for sale in NSW

The Australian Merhi family is selling their greenhouse operations in Galston, a rural suburb located in the Hills District of Sydney. Those who are looking to start a new hydroponic greenhouse adventure in Australia, might consider this 5 acre business opportunity in New South Wales.George Merhi explained.....

CAN(ON):Chibante's Kingsville operation also joins Mastronardi

Mastronardi Produce is continuing to expand their local program, this time with an exclusive partnership with Golden Acre Farms. The greenhouse facility, located in Kingsville Ontario, will bring Sunset brand cucumbers to more Canadians year-round.“This local partnership right here in Kingsville will enable.....

Mighty Vine gives props to Royal Pride Holland

A few years ago, as a food industry entrepreneur in Chicago, Gary Lazarski started to notice something that bothered him. “My office back in 2010 was in the Loop; there were a bunch of different lunch places around there, and every sandwich and every salad you bought would have these tomatoes on them,”.....

US: Pure Flavor breaks ground for 75 acres in Georgia

While many North American greenhouse produce giants have been focusing on adding acreage in the Midwest, Pure Flavor is the first greenhouse grower to break ground on a gigantic greenhouse project in the Deep South in the state of Georgia. The company will built a 75 acre facility in three phases of 25 acres.....

US: NatureFresh puts Ohio expansion on hold

NatureFresh is holding back the expansion of their operations in Delta, Ohio. During a recent Northwest Ohio Ag-Business Breakfast Forum, founder and CEO Peter Quiring expressed his concerns about finding the right qualified workers to pick their tomatoes. While business has been good for NatureFresh ever.....

Ghana: Growers enthusiastic about greenhouse tech

Participants at the ongoing week-long Economic Inclusion and Poverty Eradication Workshop, organised by the Institute of Applied Sciences and Technology, University of Ghana, have called for the promotion of greenhouse farming technology in Ghana.Most participants expressed their joy over the use of.....

US (MD): Local farm diversifies with hydroponic lettuce

Andy Holloway, a sixth generation farmer and owner of Baywater Farms in Salisbury, started using hydroponic farming in 2011 hoping to find some stability year round and to help with the unpredictable weather that comes with living on the eastern shore."We founded the company growing sod back in 2003 and then.....

US (CO): Colorado Aquaponics founder got in at the ground floor

In 2009, J.D. Sawyer got laid off. He and his wife, Tawnya, had newborn twins and a 3-year-old daughter. Times were difficult, and J.D. and Tawnya decided to start growing some of their own food in the backyard to help sustain them."It was sort of a joke, like, 'Hey, let's turn the kiddie pool into the fish.....

US: BrightFarms among 500 fastest growing private companies

BrightFarms announces its inclusion in the 36th annual Inc. 500, ranking # 235 among America’s fastest growing private companies.The Inc. 500 is a comprehensive list of high growth private companies across the U.S., and has previously featured some of America’s most recognizable food brands, including Door.....

Len Krahn with British Columbia-based SunSelect Produce :

"It's tomato saturation time"

The west coast is flush with tomatoes. “Overall we’re pretty saturated with tomatoes at the moment,” says Len Krahn of Aldergrove, BC-based SunSelect Produce Inc. “All of the main greenhouses are pounding away and the fields are starting to show some product. And Mexico is still, not necessarily putting TOVs.....

Australia: Building industry couple make horticulture career switch

A Sunshine Coast family has made a daring tree change, leaving the building industry to grow chemical free microgreens, sprouts and edible flowers for restaurants, pubs and cafes.Sharon Koski had no experience, just a love of gardening and a willingness to learn, backed by a family who shares her work ethic......

US (TX): Lamar CISD fosters hands-on learning with Aquaponics Center

Three goldfish flutter around a fish tank in the corner of Lamar Consolidated High School Assistant Principal David Squires' office - but they're not pets.Disassembled on the floor next to the tank are the makings of a miniature aquaponics system - a soil-free plant bed and a pump. Aquaponics is a technology.....

US (MA): See how Little Leaf grows

"It's about the product. You've got to deliver a better product."That's what Little Leaf Farms CEO Paul Sellew says. And he should know. He grows and sells lots of produce. For the past year, thousands of clamshell boxes leave the 2.5-acre greenhouse every day. The lettuce inside, never touched by human.....

High temperatures affect table tomatoes and mini-watermelons in Sicily

The weather strongly affected the Sicilian table tomato production. There have been serious virus problems right from the start (September 2016), so plants had to be uprooted and replanted in many of the companies in the south-west of the island.Cherry tomatoesThen, in January 2017, frost compromised.....

Cucumbers, Roma tomatoes and green bell peppers

Trio of veggies available year-round from Mexico

Cucumbers, green bell peppers and Roma tomatoes coming from central Mexico’s San Luis Potosí are available 12 months a year. “Supply is meeting demand for all three year-round products,” says Leonardo Tarriba, general manager for Farmer’s Best. This is the first year they’ve brought a year-round program to.....

US (MI): State Representative tours Miller Family Farm

Dawn and Rob Miller of Miller Family Farm hosted Michigan State Representative Beau LaFave and Miss Karly Rae on Sunday, June 4th at the farm. State Representative Beau LaFave was first elected in November 2016 to the Michigan House to represent the people of Delta, Dickinson and Menominee counties and.....

Shenandoah Growers expands into Texas with new indoor farm

Shenandoah Growers announces the attainment of another milestone in the company's drive to fundamentally change the way highly perishable produce is grown and distributed. Leveraging a proprietary combination of automated greenhouses and indoor LED vertical grow rooms to produce over 30 million certified.....

Hunger for tomatoes turns Canada into greenhouse superpower

The test greenhouse of Mastronardi Produce Ltd., part of the family’s 25-hectare crystal palace in this lush farm belt near Windsor, counts 500 varieties of tomato. No matter how you slice it, that’s a lot of tomato species.The other day, Paul Mastronardi led a walk through the grape tomato section of the.....

US: SunFed's greenhouse program supports year-round availability of eggplants

“About three years ago, we started transitioning from open-field eggplants to greenhouse grown,” says Craig Slate with SunFed. “Starting with our upcoming summer crop, all our eggplants will be greenhouse grown, completing our year-round program,” he added. The eggplants are grown in mid-tech greenhouses,.....

UK: Food & Farming Industry Awards nominations open

The Farm Business Food and Farming Industry Awards are now open for business. Each year, the awards celebrate the best in food and farming, recognising excellence across farming and food retailing.There are three new categories this year – Food Innovation of the Year, Farm Innovation of the Year and Farm.....

Ronald Guendel, Bayer Crop Science

Training smallholder farmers in sustainable farming practices

How can we help cocoa farmers in Africa or vegetable farmers in Guatemala to grow safe and healthy food and bring their produce to market? With its Food Chain Partnership initiative, Bayer takes several approaches to support farmers worldwide in running sustainable, profitable farms.by Ronald Guendel, Global.....

tenth cultivation company

Hein Deprez wants to know what is happening in the chain

He grows daffodils in the UK, macadamias in South America, figs in Turkey, pineapples in South America and soon peppers in Friesland. How are Hein Deprez's cultivation companies and The Fruit Farm Group doing?Hein Deprez's goal is to have the entire chain in control, from farm to table. "When we started as.....

Belgium: open field lettuce hit hard by hot weather

The Belgian open field lettuce season has so far been very disappointing. "At the moment it is a difficult situation for all kinds of lettuce. We have had an extremely dry period, which caused many plants to burn. Luckily this weekend we had some rain again, but not all the plants did respond equally.....

A sneak peek into London's underground shelter farm

The ‘Growing Underground’ vertical farm has been featured on CNN, BBC, National Geographic, Al Jazeera and countless other worldwide media platforms. Located 33 meters underneath central London in an abandoned WW2 shelter, it supplies local restaurants and retailers with 15 varieties of microgreens daily......

Spain: Agroponiente doubles organic production and acreage

Grupo Agroponiente continues to bet strongly on the cultivation of organic products and has held a meeting with its "bio" producers to take stock of a very positive campaign in terms of figures and development. Agroponiente's organic producers have received this information from the general director of.....

CAN (ON): Roelands Plant Farms announces addition to management team

Roelands Plant Farms announces that Arie Alblas, Production Manager with the company since they broke ground in 2013, is transitioning into the role of Account Manager and Crop Specialist. This newly created position within the company will see Alblas focusing on customer service, and maintaining the strong.....

US (IA): High-tunnel grower provides Canaan Township with produce

In the Bible, Canaan is the land of milk and honey. Canaan Township, which includes Mt. Union, used to be Mississippi River swamp ground. In the early 19th Century, the swamp was drained, exposing some of the most fertile, flat, black soil in Iowa. You can see for miles in any direction. Corn, soybeans and.....

UK: Six-year-old twins design vertical farm

When Broughton C of E primary in Preston tasked class Y1 with a school project looking at ‘The Farm Shop’, 6-year old twins, Heidi and Marissa, knew exactly what they wanted to do. They were going to create their very own ‘Intelligent Farm’, having been inspired by the demonstrator video on the IGS.....

UK: Final call for Nuffield Farming Scholarship applications

There is still time to apply for the life changing opportunity of a Nuffield Farming Scholarship, with just a matter of weeks until the 31 July deadline.If you are passionate and enthusiastic about farming or a related industry, aged between 22 and 45, with the desire to broaden your horizons, and make a.....

Canadian demand exceeds supply

Urban settings proving to be fruitful for farming

When you consider the amount of land given to properties in cities, most would think it was only enough for a patio, some furniture and maybe a pool if space (and finances) permit. On the other hand, there are a handful of individuals starting their own urban farms right in their back yards.3,000 sq ft. of.....

US (MS): MSU scientist finds her calling in horticulture

For 16 years, Christine Coker has been doing what she loves: putting food on people's tables."In college, I really liked the study of plants, but I knew I wasn't going to be the world's greatest botanist," she said. "What I really wanted to do was feed people."As an associate Extension and research.....

Israeli-Indian partnership benefits growers

Narendra Modi became the first Indian prime minister to visit Israel when he landed in Tel Aviv on Sunday. Coinciding with the historic visit of the PM, Business Standard looked at some of the joint initiatives of the two countries across India and their impact.Israelis have long been known for changing.....

July 15, Midland

US (SD): Greenhouse growers welcome chefs on tour

The South Dakota Specialty Producers Association has coordinated nine upcoming tours featuring specialty crops, meats and products. The next tour and program is scheduled for July 15 featuring greenhouse production, selling products via a box program, and purchasing local foods from a chef’s.....

Up to 50% less production expected:

German strawberry growers challenged by bad weather

A sizeable majority of German strawberry producers have had 30-50% less production this season due to the bad weather at the beginning of the season.Markus Hofmann from Hegepflanzen GmbH said that demand is good, as usual, for this time of year. The same can't be said for the prices, which are higher than.....

Frank de Koning pleased about Rijk Zwaan's organic seed

"Organic production is much more challenging"

Grower Frank de Koning from the Dutch town of Brielle likes a challenge, which is why he has been focused on producing tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and aubergines organically since 2000. The right varieties are crucial for him. The plant must be strong and resilient, and the fruits must be tasty and of.....

US (WV): Jackson County church feeds the hungry with aquaponics

LifeSpring Community Church-Jackson doesn’t look like a “church” as you drive by. There are churches along the main street in Ravenswood. None look like LifeSpring.The reason LifeSpring doesn’t look like a church is simple, it was a farm store with a greenhouse behind it before it became a house of.....

Belgian grower Den Boschkant chooses for new LED Interlighting

In early 2017, Philips launched a new light fixture, the Greenpower LED Interlighting module. This fixture is hung between the crop and the entire line can be adjusted in height manually. The fixture produces 300 μmol/m2.s light output and with 100 watts per module, the fixture produces 3.....

Addy Breugem, Thanet Earth:

“HortiQ concept has resulted in better greenhouse and peace of mind”

HortiQ, the recognised mark of quality in the Dutch horticultural technology sector, and insurance company Hagelunie have joined forces to launch the HortiQ concept for international greenhouse horticulture. In addition to setting top-class quality standards for greenhouse construction, the HortiQ concept is.....

British growers hit by severe labour shortages

Will UK greenhouse growers become early adopters of innovations like the deleafing robot or the automatic cucumber harvester? As a result of Brexit, the growers are facing huge labour shortages and the situation is not looking to be solved within the next few months.A large part of the British glasshouse.....

Fue Yang of Yang Family Vegetables :

US (MO): "I am choosing to go backwards to move forward"

Though he fondly recalls growing up amongst rows of pickling cucumbers and snacking on orchard apples while completing homework, Fue Yang didn’t originally aspire to be a farmer.“The farther I tried to get away from it, the deeper I got involved,” says Fue. At Missouri’s Webb City Farmers Market, Farmers.....

US: Maine adopts food sovereignty law

With a stroke of his pen, Gov. Paul LePage last week enacted landmark legislation putting Maine in the forefront of the food sovereignty movement.LePage signed LD 725, An Act to Recognize Local Control Regarding Food Systems, Friday legitimizing the authority of towns and communities to enact ordinances.....

Australian grower pioneers 'impossible' hydroponic wasabi

It has taken years of trial and error but wasabi grower Stephen Welsh has achieved what many thought impossible. Wasabi is a notoriously tricky crop, but Welsh’s persistence over the past 18 years has made him one of the few people in the world to master growing the plant hydroponically.Welsh is the general.....

Mastronardi featured in Canada's 150th anniversary celebrations

Celebrating Canada’s 150th also included celebrating the industry leaders which Canada is known for. This includes the booming greenhouse business in which Canada is a major player. Recently, the National Post, a national news source in Canada, featured a pioneer in the industry, Mastronardi Produce and the.....

Dutch care center thrives urban with Freight Farm

Since the end of last year, Dutchman Patrick Stoffer is growning vegetables in a shipping container on the grounds of Humanitas Residential and Care Center in Deventer.Patrick Stoffer with the cultivation containerIt is not commonplace for a student to live between the elderly in a care center. Together with.....

UK: 150 hectares of soft fruit

Hugh Lowe Farms, established 1893, are local strawberry growers at the top of their game.Farming 750 hectares, they dedicate one fifth to soft fruit production and sell around 4,000 tonnes of strawberries per year. One million berries will be served up at this year’s Wimbledon tennis tournament alone.Marion.....

US: ShopRite expands Locally Grown program

ShopRite announces the expansion of its Locally Grown program, offering a variety of products throughout the supermarket – from farm-raised beef to seafood, flowers, fresh fruits and vegetables, baked goods, honey, craft beer and roasted coffees.“ShopRite has been partnering with local farmers since our.....

CAN (BC): Strawberry grower goes vertical for year-round harvest

Rutland Farm Market on Rutland Road has been growing fresh vegetables for the Kelowna market for the past seven years. Manjit and Raj Basra started growing cucumbers in 2010 when they took over the Kelowna Rose Garden, but soon branched out into other fresh produce.Strawberries are one of their most popular.....

Indoor farming patent doesn't impress Philips

Is a patent on indoor or vertical farming possible? Well, according to Philips not. Despite Plantlab's claim to have a patent on growing in a completely closed and controlled environment, Philips Lighting will continue with its activities in indoor farming.Last week, Plantlab announced that it canobtain its.....

Produce heavyweight Hein Deprez acquires large Dutch organic greenhouse grower

One of Holland's largest organic greenhouse growers has sold its business to Greenyard's Hein Deprez and his family company The Fruit Farm.A.C. Hartman, which grows bell peppers on an acreage of 72 hectare in the Friesland province, is one of the premier suppliers to Dutch retailer Albert Heijn. With the.....

US (TX): Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan seek inspiration at Texas A&M AgriLife

A group of scientists, teachers, consultants, governmental and non-governmental representatives from Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan recently visited the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center in Uvalde to learn how work being done there might be adapted in their countries.Cochran Fellows from.....

Canada: Orangeline turns pink for year round Ontario berries

Orangeline Farms has teamed up with smart horticultural lighting company LumiGrow to determine the optimal light levels for year round greenhouse strawberry production.Leamington based greenhouse grower Orangeline Farms is known for being a pioneer for specialty crops. After having successfully introduced.....

Dutch hail horror: a year later

Growers have always known that hail and glass don‘t go together. And the Dutch growers in Brabant are still fearful. "Even with some light showers you get a little nervous," says Wim van den Boomen. The pepper grower is one of the entrepreneurs who saw his greenhouse completely destroyed.....

Netherlands: Drone films first steel at Royal Peppers

At Royal Peppers in Waddinxveen (the Netherlands) the first steel trellis has been erected. In just a couple months the first peppers will be grown in this greenhouse. At the moment only the foundation has been constructed. The entire infrastructure has to be created since this is an entirely new location. A.....

Chili peppers training next gen of Swedish producers

Back in 1996, after Jeppe Robertsson took over the livestock farm started by his parents, the first stage of greenhouses were built. Since then, Gummagårdens has grown to a production of 1700 tonnes of cucumbers each year, adding up to roughly five million cucumbers, across 23,400m2.Gummagårdens has pretty.....

Disafa, Turin:

Italian research station to boost domestic basil production

Our Italian collageus at FreshPlaza.it recently visited Disafa's Experimental Centre in Turin. Here, for the past 20 years, professor Silvana Nicola has been coordinating the research for the soilless cultivation of vegetables and medicinal plants. Nicola is currently grown basil plants cultivated with on a.....

Lee and Gordons Greens featured on WTVC:

US (GA): Hydroponic greenhouse owner "never stops growing"

Joan Jones owns the hydroponics greenhouse Lee and Gordons Greens. She grows lettuce year round without using any soil. She's now in her ninth year."We've never stopped. That's our slogan for our business we never stop growing," Jones said. On average, Joan grows seven different varieties of lettuce year.....

Sunset to pick first Michigan grown English cucumbers

SUNSET® is continuing to grow its successful local program, this time with an additional 12 acres in Michigan for the 2017 season, all in time for summer.“Since opening our Coldwater greenhouse facility in 2012, we’ve been filling a growing customer need for fresh, local produce all year long,” shared CEO.....

Intern Berjelle van Namen shares experience in blogpost:

Finland: Vertical system results in better quality for Robbe's Little Garden

Berjelle van Namen is a third-year student in Business Administration & Agribusiness at the HAS Hogeschool in 's-Hertogenbosch., Holland. His trainee period abroad was done at Robbe's Little Garden in Finland. In the blog below, he reveals more about the choice of LED lighting, biological cultivation and.....

"Everyone’s a winner" in IFAMA’s 2017 student competition

What challenges lie ahead for farmers in emerging markets like Guatemala or Mali? How can agribusiness in different parts of the world benefit from an initiative connecting stakeholders throughout the whole food chain – and how does its implementation contribute to sustainable agriculture?Ronald Guendel.....

Ontario Agri-food Award of Excellence for Greenbelt Microgreens

Greenbelt Microgreens came on the scene about a year ago. The company, having recently won an Ontario Premier’s Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence, was started by a former landscaper named Ian Adamson. And he’s sure done his homework. Eco-conscious himself, he decided to figure out exactly what modern.....

Photo report: A visit to Beekenkamp's latest greenhouse

The Beekenkamp Group is one of the largest plant nurseries in the world. Last year, they opened a new modern greenhouse and are currently already working on an expansion. Furthermore, for years there has been a woman at the top of the company together with her brother-in-law. More than enough reasons for the.....

US (NY): Horticulture student named Empire State Potato Growers Scholar

Karen Luong of Rushville, NY, has been named the 2017 Empire State Potato Growers Scholarship winner and will receive a $500 scholarship per academic year for up to four consecutive years of agricultural education at a college in New York State. She will be recognized at the Ag Leadership Luncheon at Empire.....

US: Georgia Food Oasis galvanizes community farm

Since breaking ground in January 2017, Sharayah Davis’ operation — named Elijah’s farm, after her son — has made astounding progress, becoming a beacon of hope in Columbus while inspiring the community to take action.On just 10,000 square feet — about 1/3rd of an acre — Elijah’s Farm is located on the.....

June 21-September 22

American Farmland Trust celebrates farmers markets

'The most powerful tool we have to protect farmland – is our fork.' That’s the message of a summer-long campaign to promote family farmers and local farmers markets — the people and the places that bring us ripe, luscious strawberries, flavor-packed tomatoes, crisp greens and cucumbers and other fresh and.....