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Grower in the Spotlight


greenhouse lettuce delivering local salads

"We try to keep most of our stores within 100 miles"

With the exception of buying at a nearby farmer’s market, the chances of being able to get locally grown salad greens in the United States is still somewhat of a rarity. BrightFarms, which grows baby greens and herbs, saw an opportunity to bring local salad programs to supermarkets where nothing of this kind.....

US (OH): Greenhouse cleaning and sanitizing

The 2017 growing season in Lodi is now a wrap, but that doesn’t mean the work is finished. The time between crops can prove to be paramount to the success of the following season. Every grower should take the opportunity afforded by an empty house to perform yearly maintenance tasks, update equipment as.....

Axia Vegetable Seeds

"Smart automation facilitates ambitious seed breeding process"

Founded in 2010 by Alois and Sander van Vliet, Axia Seeds, based in the Netherlands, has rapidly evolved into a mature seed-breeding company. According to the latest figures, 10% of Dutch tomatoes are now grown from seeds developed by Axia.Precision workBreeding vegetable seeds is precision work. It not only.....

Ghana: Improving all-year availability of safe and fresh vegetables

Ghana knows temporal shortage of fresh (fruit) vegetables, leading to high prices for the poor and hence under-consumption. Also the use of pesticides and poor post-harvest hygiene causes much concern for consumers. The ‘Fresh Green Ghana’ project has been started to improve the all-year availability of.....

US (FL): Wish Farms launches strawberry season with new sweepstakes

Wish Farms, grower-shipper and year-round supplier of strawberries announced an all-new consumer-driven campaign just in time for Florida strawberry season.“The recent cooler weather we’ve experienced is great for the berries and is helping us kick off Florida strawberry season,” said Gary Wishnatzki, owner.....

Urban Crop Solutions wins FoodNexus Challenge Public Choice Award

Urban Crop Solutions was awarded the Public Choice Award on the European finals of the FoodNexus Challenge on Thursday evening December 13th. Fifteen companies from 8 different EU countries were competing during a three day event in Wageningen (NL) for the European FoodNexus Challenge Award. The expert.....

UK: Growers learn management techniques from car industry

Getting the best from staff is becoming more important as concerns around labour availability increase for growers. AHDB’s Labour Efficiency Workshops aimed to address these concerns by encouraging commercial horticultural businesses to adopt ‘Lean’ and ‘Champion’ principles, with workshops in Kent and.....

Jim Darroch, Backyard Farms

"With unemployment at record lows, labor is our biggest challenge"

Greenhouses have made growing all kinds of vegetables possible in practically any climate. Tomatoes have a significant presence in greenhouses all over the world. Thanks to their greenhouse operations, Backyard Farms, located in Maine, are one of the only producers of year-round tomatoes in New England. They.....

CAN (ON): Greenbelt Microgreens receives top honour of Premier's Award

Premier Kathleen Wynne announced Ontario's highest honour for innovative solutions supporting the province's powerhouse agri-food industry at the 11th annual Premier's Awards for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence.Stouffville-based Greenbelt Microgreens received the top honour of the Premier's Award for.....

7 MWe CHP in 8.5 ha illuminated and traditional growth

Rolls-Royce has signed a contract with Tuinbouwbedrijf Marc Pittoors (T.B.M.P) BVBA, for the supply of a 7 MWe combined heat and power plant (CHP). The plant will be powered by two gas-fired gensets based on the new medium-speed Bergen B36:45L6 engine and will provide heat and power to a new tomato.....

Growers say border policies a factor in Texas labor crisis

Labor shortages on US farms have been an ongoing issue for many years. In California, for example, the situation is impacting an increasing amount of producers every year, adding to the overall cost of produce. There is now a growing labor problem in South Texas, which traditionally has been less affected.....

Turkish tomato exporter looks to hot springs to lead world market

Turkey’s largest tomato exporter hopes to further exploit boiling subterranean geothermal waters in order to become the world’s leading exporter.Agrobay, a company based in Dikili-Bergama in the Aegean province of İzmir, currently produces 15,000 tons of tomatoes from greenhouses that utilize thermal.....
Company aims to build local greenhouse farms in every major US metro

BrightFarms ranks in top 10 of most successful Food Startups

BrightFarms has been named to Inc. Magazine’s list of the top 10 most successful startups in the food and beverage industry. Featured among brands such as Halo Top and Chef’s Cut Real Jerky, BrightFarms was the only fresh produce brand to make the list.The company has grown by more than 1,800 percent in the.....

CAN (AB): Thiel’s Greenhouse surpasses crowdfunding goal

Bruderheim’s Thiel’s Greenhouse secured almost $30,000 as part of its ATB BoostR campaign, a number which surpassed the company’s goal by $5,000. The crowd funded donations will go towards bringing hydroponics technology, which is a way to grow plants in water. That equipment comes with a $160,000 total.....

Australia: Season starts for hydroponic berry grower

The first crop of hydroponic strawberries at Blue Hills Berries and Cherries, in Silvan, should be ready for harvest in the next few weeks.The hydroponic system is a leap forward for the property that was first established in the 1890s.Co-owner Tracey Chapman, who farms the 27ha property with husband Kevin,.....

Dutch lettuce grower Van de Pol

NL: Lettuce production doubles with HORTILED Top

Lettuce grows much slower in the winter months than in the summer months. To speed up the process, Van de Pol, from Ridderkerk has opted for a total solution from Hortilux. Hortilux has installed a complete new grow light installation of 9,500m2 including 996 HORTILED Tops. The company expects to double the.....

US (MA): Year-round lettuce without human hands

Little Leaf Farms in Devens has, in just over a year, drastically changed the ability of shoppers in New England to buy fresh, local leafy greens year-round, something never possible with traditional farming.Little that Little Leaf Farms does is traditional.Across a three-acre greenhouse, tens of thousands.....

US: Legislators focus on beginning farmers

A bipartisan coalition led by Representatives Tim Walz (D-MN) and Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) introduced the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Opportunity Act (BFROA) of 2017. This bill will ensure that the 2018 Farm Bill focuses on the future of American agriculture by driving investment toward programs and policies.....

Victorian vegetable grower Bill Bulmer elected as AUSVEG Chair

Third generation Victorian leafy vegetable grower Bill Bulmer has been unanimously elected to the position of AUSVEG Chair following a Board meeting held on Monday 13 November in Melbourne.Bill Bulmer is Director of Bulmer Farms, located in Lindenow in East Gippsland. Mr Bulmer is a long-serving member of.....

Containerized growing system for the coldest weather

Year-round produce for Canada’s most northern communities

Getting fresh produce in remote northern parts of Canada has been costly because of the increased logistics for delivery, but now an Ottawa-based company has created a way to provide these communities access to growing fresh vegetables year round. “We started developing our technology with the specific idea.....

US (NV): Grower hits record-breaking THC & terpene profiles

Kynd Cannabis is one of Nevada’s premier cultivation and extraction companies, specializing in a range of premium cannabis-based products. Headed by Mark Pitchford (CEO), and Mike Rognier (Head Grower), Kynd Cannabis touts over 70 years of combined cultivation and production experience among their executive.....

Alexandre Novi of Exploitation NOVI about hydroponic lettuce

“We are looking into this exciting technique”

French company Exploitation NOVI exports 95% of their winter lettuce. This family-run business specialises in varieties of lettuce. “We have, in addition to our open fields, almost 11 hectares of greenhouses on two farms”, says Alexandre Novi, sales manager at the company, which is based in Provence,.....

February 20-22, Gorinchem

NL: International growers’ HortiContact Tour announces 2018 programme

On 20 and 21 February 2018, international growers can discover the latest developments in Dutch glasshouse horticulture, during the HortiContact Tour. Held for the second year in a row, this field trip is hosted by the HortiContact trade fair organisation (20 – 22 February 2018 at Evenementenhal Gorinchem),.....

US (SC): Groundbreaking held for hydroponics farm in Pee Dee

On Thursday morning, Dillon County held a groundbreaking ceremony for East Nile Farms’ new facility along Heritage Road in Lake View.The company invested $15.5 million and will create 200 new jobs in Dillon County.“We’re definitely excited. It’s been a long time coming for Lake View and Dillon County,” said.....

See how they grow tomatoes in China

Everyone knows about the Westland area, the big growers in Canada, and the upcoming Russian greenhouse cultivation. But we don't often get a glimpse of greenhouse tomatoes in China, so this photo report shared by the country's Ministry of Agriculture offers an interesting insight.Tomatoes are seen in an.....

Dutch scientists close to 'breakthrough' method of growing crops

Scientists in the Netherlands say they are close to a breakthrough which will allow crops to be grown in deserts. Many say this could completely alter life on the African continent and even end hunger.World leaders meeting at the climate talks in Germany are being urged to commit to more funding for new.....

CAN (QC): Demers inaugurates small-footprint greenhouse

Jacques Demers, President and CEO of Productions Horticoles Demers Inc., officially opened the company's new greenhouse today. On hand for the inauguration were representatives from various food chains and wholesale distributors. The $25 million expansion of the small-footprint facility was made possible by.....

Peter Boekestijn on Priva FS Performance:

“Savings between 10 and 20% on harvesting costs are definitely possible”

He can hardly wait. In a few weeks, aubergine grower Peter Boekestijn will analyse the data gathered by his new management information system from Priva in detail and translate it into clear standards for the new year. He has been working with FS Performance since January 2017. The focus in the first year.....

CAN (NB): Agriculture in the Classroom program launches in schools

More New Brunswick students are digging into agriculture this year thanks to the launch of the new Agriculture in the Classroom program.The program will support teachers with educational resources and provide hands-on learning experiences to students. The program is designed to connect more students with.....

US (VA): Gov. McAuliffe recognizes historic African-American youth clubs

Sixty-two former members of the New Farmers of America (NFA) and New Homemakers of America (NHA) were honored by Virginia Gov. Terry R. McAuliffe Friday night, Nov. 3, at a Virginia State University (VSU) reception. The governor, via video, announced a formal proclamation that recognizes “the contributions.....

“No longer waiting on Excel files”

After a short trial period on several locations, Agro Care now uses the LetsGrow.com platform at all their national and international locations. The reason for Agro Care to start working with LetsGrow.com, is that all the relevant data is automatically collected at one central place. "By collecting data.....

Maximizing cannabis yields using controlled environment technology

On BTV, ABcann CEO Aaron Keay discusses their unique growing technology for cannabis that is delivering industry-leading yields in the range of 300 g per square foot, which is more than double the output of average indoor growers. ABcann selected Conviron to supply all the grow rooms in their facility – from.....

US (AZ): Phoenix-based entrepreneur promotes aeroponics

Troy Albright, a Phoenix based pharmacist and farming entrepreneur spoke to students at ASU’s Polytechnic campus on Oct. 25 about the potential of aeroponics.Albright was invited as part of the Science and Mathematics Colloquium Series, a series designed to expose students to the work of researchers and.....

Tom Webster explains how he is spearheading aquaponic farming in the UK

"I co-founded GrowUp Urban Farms with my business partner Kate Hofman in May 2013. Our vision is to contribute to a more sustainable food system using aquaponics – a combination of aquaculture (fish farming) and hydroponics (growing plants in a nutrient rich solution other than soil). The farming methods we.....

Greenbelt Microgreens installs supplemental LED lights

Heliospectra announces an order from new customer Greenbelt Microgreens. Canada’s largest microgreens producer with greenhouses in Ontario and British Columbia will deploy Heliospectra LX50 series with adjustable spectra and software controls for consistent year-round yields and superior crop quality. The.....

US (TX): Why a new Dallas restaurant grows on site

Janice Provost has harvested "tons" of tomatoes and has basil "as big as trees" in her backyard hydroponic garden.The produce goes straight to her restaurant, Parigi, in Oak Lawn. Provost says she would have liked to put her vertical garden at the restaurant, but there is no room. Instead, she installed.....

US (NJ): IKEA & top chef David Chang round out financing for AeroFarms

AeroFarms closed $40 million in Series D financing led by an international line up of financing all-stars including Dubai-based Meraas Holdings, London-based ADM Capital, NYC-based AB (AllianceBernstein), and Netherlands-based Ikea Group with continuing support from existing investors including London-based.....

US (PA): Elementary school expands aquaponics program

Larry Sutton’s classroom at Frazier Elementary School is full of plants, aquatic life and reptiles — perhaps a little too full.The third-grade science teacher annually leads lessons on water-based plant-growing techniques — hydroponics and aquaponics — that require a lot of space and a lot of attention. The.....

US (FL): Nursery challenges MMJ license ‘preference’ for citrus industry

A Sarasota nursery has filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of part of a new law that includes a preference for the citrus industry in the state’s awarding of potentially lucrative medical-marijuana licenses.The lawsuit, filed last week by TropiFlora, LLC, in Leon County circuit court, is.....

Tomato grower Paul Zwinkels

“If biological products disappear, I’ll quit my business today”

Biology has become indispensable in the greenhouse industry. It is perhaps the biggest change in the 30-year existence of Biobest, thinks Paul Zwinkels. Together with his brother René, he owns a 4.5-hectare vine tomato nursery in Wateringen, the Netherlands. He has been a loyal customer of Biobest for 25.....

US (NY): Bringing the farm right to the table

Diners flock to Mission Chinese Food in Manhattan’s Lower East Side for the ambience, as much as the innovative twists on Sichuan food. Customers have been known to wait hours for the privilege of eating Kung Pao pastrami amid “Chinese banquet and surrealist” decor, as executive chef Angela Dimayuga.....

Australia: Warm weather kick-starts Tasmanian berry season

The warmer weather Tasmania has enjoyed over the past week gave the state’s berries a boost and producers are predicting a bumper season this summer.Hillwood Berries picked the first juicy strawberries of the season from the stock planted in July on Wednesday and posted they were “sweet and juicy” on.....

US (WY): How a vertical farmer is strengthening the community

Penny McBride, co-founder of Vertical Harvest, has made it her mission to educate others about how the vertical farming industry can not only improve the way we eat, but the way we build communities.Vertical Harvest, a 13,500 square foot, three-story hydroponic greenhouse in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, sells.....

UK: Thanet Earth completes construction on sixth greenhouse

The Thanet Earth 100 hectare site near Birchington in Kent has made further strides towards completion this year. Construction is complete on the sixth greenhouse, a dedicated facility approaching 7 hectares in size for growing speciality tomatoes all year round.The new greenhouse is now fully operational,.....

“iManager helps to get a grip on costs”

“The main advantage of HortiMaX’s iManager? It provides clear insight into our costs. That insight is essential to get a grip on costs and take control of them. If you want to keep the cost price low – and who doesn’t? – you need to know exactly what your costs are.” We spoke with Kees Goedendorp of Dutch.....

Shorter days put Swedish cucumber quality at risk

In October, the days rapidly become shorter in Sweden. This means issues with the quality of cucumbers can arise. Cucumber cultivator, Rickard Jönsson’s mood is, however, positive. He is confident in the future. Although the Swedish market is not always the easiest, he does not envy his Dutch.....

US (IN): The balancing act of aquaponics farming

Little did Stefanie Woodring and Trevor Dawson realize those many years ago when as children they spent carefree hours fishing in Hoosier waters that this beloved pastime in the outdoors would later become intertwined with their life’s work.“I think early experiences out in nature can really help one gain an.....

Singapore: Harnessing tech to combat weather challenges

At the Eden PurelyFresh Farm in Lim Chu Kang, farmers will not have to till the soil as much while growing vegetables for much longer.The farm's chief executive and founder Desmond Khoo, 30, plans to make use of indoor farming technology to boost productivity and make crops more resilient to weather.....

Spanish police discover 6 hectares of marijuana in Almeria

Now that the Dutch have announced their plans to start with regulated cannabis production, a couple of smart Spanish 'ganjapreneurs' must have had the idea to stay ahead of the curve by establishing a year round supply chain.Good intentions, but perhaps a bit too soon, because marijuana still seems to be.....

US (CA): Foxy Produce hopes to retain laborers with better quality housing

After years of planning, shovels finally went in the ground this month on afour-acre parcel in Salinas, known as the Boronda neighborhood, for thesecond farmworker housing complex in the region.Avila Construction of Monterey, CA, hosted a ceremony on October 10, 2017 to honor the Hibino, Nunes, and Rodriguez.....

Japanese agri & food companies visit Wageningen University

FABIO, a Japanese network organisation for Agri & Food (interested) companies active in production, processing, distribution & marketing visited Wageningen University & Research (WUR) from 9 till 11 October. The goal of the visit was to learn more about processing, storage, distribution,.....

US: Duncan Family Farms expands Employee Education Program

Duncan Family Farms, a grower of organic baby lettuces and greens, kales, and herbs with operations in the US has announced the expansion of its DFF University, continuing the education program for employees. The company has formalized the program to sharpen its focus on helping team members advance their.....

CAN (ON): Rob Geertsema still hopes to expand in Dawn-Euphemia

The owner of Greenhill Produce still hopes to build a 100-acre greenhouse development in Dawn-Euphemia Township, but the property has been put up for sale as a precaution.“We did put the farm for sale… but that’s just in case nothing happens,” Rob Geertsema said Thursday.Greenhill, which already operates a.....

'Mister Grodan' is saying goodbye

After 33 years, Kees is leaving Grodan. Kees Struijk, in the walkways often referred to as 'Mister Grodan', will be enjoying his well-earned pension.Kees joined Grodan in 1984. At that time, his focus area was mainly the Netherlands. The Dutch market was developed with the help of Kees; dealers were provided.....

NL: Greenhouse grown rhubarb in stores now

De Rond Agro, a Dutch family business that is specialized in the cultivation of rhubarb now greenhouse grown rhubarb. "Thanks to a tight cultivation schedule, we can produce rhubarb 11 months a year," said grower Rob de Rond. "From October to May, we deliver from the greenhouse and/or plastic tunnel. In the.....

California bok choy production moves south

Producers of bok choy in California are set to move towards warmer areas in the next month as the summer season in Salinas comes to a close. It has been a steady season for growers with little trouble, as they have not been adversely affected by the extended hot spells that occurred during those months."Our.....

US (MA): Little Leaf Farms expands with Oreon grow lights

Mid-2016 sustainable entrepreneur Paul Sellew started a vegetable greenhouse for leafy greens in the Boston area (Massachusetts) to meet the demand for year-round local produce. In the last 18 months the production of Little Leaf Farm has grown and Sellew chooses to expand. The construction of the 1 hectare.....

US (CA): Superior Fruit expands strawberry farming

Superior Fruit LLC has entered into an agreement with Eclipse Berry Farms LLC, advised by Murray Wise Capital LLC, to assume certain agricultural leases to expand its California strawberry growing operations.Superior has been formed by Bobby Jones and his brother RC Jones, long-term California growers, and.....

24 acres completed, next phase announced:

CAN(ON): Berry good developments for Smuccies

Mucci Farms announces the completion of Phase 2 of their 36-acre strawberry farm expansion and subsequently announces that Phase 3 construction is underway with production to begin in the Fall of 2018. The full project will total 36-acres, equivalent to over 1.5 million square feet of high tech glass.....

US: Pioneering locally grown basil in North Carolina

Growing up on a farm taught Matt Marsh the work ethic to pair with his "dreamer" personality. The result of this pairing? Matt was uniquely equipped to solve a problem rampant not only in his home state of North Carolina, but across the country.In an area with dozens of local farms, he saw an industry with.....

US (WI): Nelson and Pade donates aquaponically-grown lettuce to schools

In celebration of National Farm to School Month, Nelson and Pade has donated fresh, aquaponically-grown lettuce to the Westfield and Montello public school districts. On Monday, October 23rd, Nelson and Pade staff member, Jannel Dunn, personally delivered the freshly harvested, Certified Naturally Grown.....

Dutch greenhouse industry loses pioneer Willem Hartman

Dutch greenhouse pioneer Willem Hartman passed away last Friday. Hartman was the founder of A.C. Hartman, a greenhouse company that operated 72 hectares of greenhouse production. Hartman was an important player in the Dutch produce industry. Almost half of his production was dedicated to organic.....

US (PA): Aquaponics facility opens doors for farm tour

Six farms, a high school aquaponics lab, a Quaker meetinghouse and the Reading Area Water Authority welcomed visitors during the recent Berks Agriculture Resource Network farm tour.The event raises money for the group, which promotes agriculture and related food industries through economic development.....

CAN (AB): Thiel's Greenhouses ventures into hydroponics

Greenhouse owner Nadine Stielow started testing hydroponic growing technology last spring and saw the fruits of her labour come to life literally in the form of lettuce and other vegetables this summer.With the successful testing, the next step launching campaign to raise $25,000 this fall, which helps the.....

Gilles Carriou, tomato grower in Lézardrieux, France:

"Extending the pre-planting phase gives more control over generative growth"

French tomato grower Gilles Carriou switched last year to using RootmaXX cubes from Cultilene. This stone wool cube allows growers to extend the pre-planting phase to give more control over generative growth. The result? Benefits for both production and quality.Gilles Carriou runs a greenhouse operation.....

"Microgreens are much more than a garnish"

Microgreens are slowly moving from esoteric culinary circles to mainstream diners' plates. In Phoenix, one company holds much of the responsibility for introducing laymen to the diminutive vegetables.Arizona Microgreens is run by two hipster brothers, Joseph Martinez, 28, and David Redwood, 35. The business.....

Germany: Tomatoes from the hotel roof

On the sun terrace of the Estrel in Berlin, the largest hotel in Europe, SUNfarming has built its agro-solar greenhouse.The greenhouse, covered with a 4 m wide light dome, has a size of 42.5m² (5m x 8.5m). The roof tops, east and west of the light dome, are equipped with SUNfarming modules, the generated.....

Rubén Moreno, Agros:

“Without insect net, we don't make our production targets”

Agros Tomate is a pioneer in the production of high quality hydroponic tomatoes which are produced in a state of the art greenhouse in Querétaro, Mexico. The company is a leader in its sector and is recognized by the most demanding national and foreign clients for its quality and service. Agros prides.....

US (KY): Local family brings aquaponics to West Kentucky

Better quality vegetables grown without soil —One family wants to bring that to west Kentucky by using aquaponics.Leaving nursing after 26 years to pursue a lifelong dream isn’t easy. For Tammie McCullough, it’s worth taking that leap.“I was nervous about leaving the corporate world, but I’m fortunate I get.....

CAN (ON): Toronto entrepreneur brings vertical farms to Windsor

Toronto area entrepreneur Zale Tabakman has brought his budding vertical farming business to Windsor through a collaboration with Canada South Science City and support from Unifor Skilled Trades.Tabakman’s agriculture and technology company — Local Grown Salads — is taking root inside the Forster Community.....

US (MO): Growers share success by using high tunnels

As the growing season is ending for many Ozark crops, folks with high tunnels will be going strong all winter long.The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service offers financial assistance for people to put up high tunnels like this one. It's a program that's been around about eight years called the.....

World record breaking carrot weighs in at 23 pounds

Grown by gardener Chris Qualley of Minnesota, Canada the 22.44 pound carrot looks like an entire ecosystem of smaller carrots.Verified by Guinness World Records, the organisation says that the entire weight of the vegetable did not include any sticks, dirt or stones.The previous record, held by Peter.....