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Grower in the Spotlight


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.....

US (NE): Geothermal heat powers Nebraska citrus crop

Members of the Nebraska Master Gardener Program anxiously wait as Alliance’s Russ Finch cuts an orange. While the excitement for a simple orange seems strange, this orange is different. It is a 3-year-old orange that Finch grew in his own backyard.Finch was simply a mail carrier and farmer in Alliance, until.....

A visit to Frans de Jong - Southern Belle Orchard:

New Zealand grower combines greenhouse peppers with feijoa crops

PHOTO REPORT As winter draws near in New Zealand much of the feijoa crops has been harvested and growers are either busy packing or just finishing up.Southern Belle Orchard, situated in Mata Mata, harvested the last feijoas two weeks ago. Frans de Jong who owns the company said that normally he would expect 30kg of fruit.....

British tomato nursery celebrates 40th anniversary:

UK: Eric Wall has seen tomato growing come of age

British tomato nursery Eric Wall Ltd was established 40 years ago by Eric Wall and his partner Hugh Stevenson.Eric is still very active in the business and what he has forgotten about tomatoes isn't worth remembering. He has recently published a nice article on their website, sharing the great story behind the.....

US (CA): Horticulture classmates launch eco-conscious aquaponics farm

In 2016, at the height of the California drought, Julian Cantando and Clayton Garland envisioned a more sustainable farming model than traditional soil-based agriculture, which has always thrived in California.“Last year was the seventh year of the drought, the lake was down, and the threat of not having.....

June 22, Ely

UK: NIAB Leafy Salads Open Day at G's Fresh

Hosted by G’s Fresh, this year’s NIAB Leafy Salads Open Day will be an opportunity for growers from all sectors to learn more about soils and growing media.AHDB project workshops will be taking place on the day, with Lizzie Sagoo of ADAS looking at precision farming tools such as soil EC scanning and how.....

New Zealand: Creating a life outside the wire in horticulture

Horticulture New Zealand national seasonal labour coordinator Jerf van Beek told a breakfast function in Wellington, hosted by Corrections Minister Louise Upston and the Corrections Department, about the rewards of helping former offenders into permanent work.In July last year, Horticulture New Zealand.....

US (VA): Yoders' Farm shares growing knowledge on YouTube

At Yoders’ Farm in Rustburg, growing tomatoes is a family thing.“My dad started in 94 growing tomatoes and we're carrying that on here,” said Delvin Yoder, president of Yoders' Farms.“We're hearing about these heirloom old varieties and we were curious whether they could be grown hydroponically, as well......

JD.com starts greenhouse venture with Mitsubishi Chemical

Chinese e-commerce heavyweight Jingdong Group and Japan's Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings have joined forces to grow vegetables in high-tech hothouses for fresh deliveries to consumers in China.Jingdong, best known for JD.com, will start a vegetable factory in the Tongzhou district of Beijing under a.....

Mohamed Hage, cofounder and CEO of Lufa Farms:

"When we build our fourth facility we'll look at adding LEDs"

Lufa Farms was incorporated in 2009. Company cofounder and CEO Mohamed Hage recently told UrbanAgNews that the purpose of the company when it opened was to “grow food where people live in order to live more sustainably.”“That is kind of the company’s mantra,” Hage said. “It’s to feed people in cities. We.....

Awards rain down on Leamington growers

Long known as the Tomato Capital of Canada, Leamington, Ontario once again hosted its annual Greenhouse Vegetable Awards this past weekend. Judges again tasted and examined over 200 entries submitted by leading North American growers. Many of them, again took home some prestigious awards during the 10th.....

Fresh kale for Singaporeans thanks to indoor farming

Sustenir is a 668 square meter farm located in a concrete estate, in an industrial suburb of Singapore that wants to grow hydroponic food crops in the land-scarce country to feed more people and keep import costs down. In 2015, local farms produced about 13 percent of the vegetables consumed locally, using.....

India: Farmers reap profits from cucumber cultivation

Two young farmers are creating wonders cultivating cucumbers under polyhouse conditions and reaping profits. One of them gave up a Hardware & Networking course, which he was pursuing in Bangaluru, and developed a fascination for agriculture impressed by the methods of cultivation being adopted in.....

UK chef creates world's hottest, potentially lethal chili pepper

A plant grower from Denbighshire has developed what he believes is the world's hottest chilli pepper.Mike Smith, from St Asaph, has grown the Dragon's Breath chilli with help from Nottingham Trent University.It has a Scoville scale rating of 2.4 million units of heat, compared to 1.5 million of the current.....

US (MN): Grower bounces back thanks to community shares campaign

Featherstone, as the Rushford vegetable farm begins 2017 with hope. They're putting behind them the troubles of 2016, when record precipitation and plant diseases causing tens of thousands of dollars in crop losses.To mitigate those losses, the farm held a community-supported agriculture shares campaign,.....

Mucci Farms gears up for growth with new private equity partnership

Mucci Farms has announced a partnership with NOVACAP, one of Canada’s leading private equity firms. “We are very excited to be partnering with NOVACAP who, with its resources and expertise, will provide invaluable support to our company as we enter this next phase of growth", said Bert Mucci, President of.....

US vertical farm technology destined for export to Dubai and Botswana

Indoor Farms of America announces that sales through the first four months of 2017 have exceeded the entire year of 2016, when the company first sold its vertical aeroponic indoor farming equipment.According to company CEO David Martin, "During 2016, our first year selling our equipment, we enjoyed what we.....

US: J&J Family of Farms partners with Little River Produce

J&J Family of Farms is pleased to announce a new partnership with Little River Produce. The strategic alliance will allow J&J Family of Farms to continue working with recognized and dedicated farmers to facilitate their expanded distribution across North America. Little River Produce is located in.....

Harvesting season starts for Berrybrothers:

Netherlands: First redcurrants from heated greenhouse

Berrybrothers starts harvesting redcurrants from its heated greenhouses. These redcurrants are of the Junifer variety. “The flowers were very good, and that results in very nice bunches and an excellent quality,” says Nijs van Zuilen. “This week we’ll still have to look for ripe bunches. These mostly hang in.....

Ireland: Hydroponic garden signs deal with restaurant group

Ireland’s first commercial hydroponic garden, Green Space, has created a commercial partnership worth €150,000 with The Market Lane Collection, one of Cork’s biggest restaurant groups.Green Space is located in Cork’s inner city, within 2.5 miles of the Group’s four restaurants – Market Lane, Orso, Castle.....

Bayer supports smallholder farmers in Guatemala

Smallholder farming accounts for most of the agricultural production in Guatemala. Together with San Juan Agroexport, Bayer Food Chain Partnership supports growers both in and off the field, thereby improving their livelihood as well as promoting sustainable agriculture.Bayer promotes good agricultural.....

Pegasus Food Futures finalizes plans for Abu Dhabi facility

Pegasus Food Futures, which launched just last month, are now announcing the finalisation of their Abu Dhabi facility.The organisation is aimed at providing solutions to global food supply challenges through operations and innovations in livestock, feed stock and food production.Plans for their new facility.....

US (NV): Urban Seed to break ground on greenhouses 10 minutes from the Las Vegas Strip

Growing greenhouse produce in the sweltering Mojave desert within a two-mile drive from the Las Vegas Strip. It might sound like a mirage, but for the enthusiastic group behind Urban Seed, it will soon become a green reality.Urban Seed was founded with the mission to increase the access to locally grown.....

India: MBA student drops out to venture into organic farming

In an age where people are chasing B-school placements and those big pay cheques, few choose to tread a different path and follow their passion.For Raghav Baldwa, a 24-year-old from Indore, growing food organically, farming, and leading the lifestyle that it entails meant much more than pursuing a degree in.....

France: Clément brothers go for zero residue tomatoes

Brothers, Davy and Vincent Clément, are aware of the sometimes excessive use of phytosanitary products in conventional farming, especially in tomatoes which are highly sensitive. They grow cherry and cocktail tomatoes without using chemical products. Their tomatoes are grown above ground, in greenhouses......

US (CA): Educational greenhouse enthuses kids about aquaponics

At Palmquist Elementary School, kids are learning how to germinate plants, manage irrigation and use state-of-the-art farming systems. And they’re producing food for their own cafeteria and local restaurants in the process.In the school greenhouse, Swiss chard, cilantro, strawberries and watercress grow in.....

Mexico: Agropark growers starting their crop change

PHOTO REPORT For some Mexican growers at the Agropark high tech greenhouse cluster in Queretaro, the season has come to an end again. While their counterparts in Canada and the U.S. are currently in full production, the Mexican growers are in the middle of the crop change, preparing the new season.Saul Baez Hernandez,.....

US: NSAC warns Trump budget will be devastating for farmers

The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) had the opportunity to view the second installment of the Trump Administration’s budget proposal for fiscal year (FY) 2018.“The Administration’s FY 2018 budget request continues its assault on rural communities by slashing USDA’s Rural Development.....

Mazaya Agro brings hydroponic farming to Omani communities

Mazaya Oman has brought a hydroponic farm to Barka to provide fresh vegetables grown locally above the markets in Muscat, where conventional farming is not possible all year round. The endeavour is being conducted by a new subsidiary company called Mazaya Agro.The first crop started harvesting in April. Six.....

Video: Greenhouse improvement on Réunion Island

VIDEO Aside from its beautiful landscape and green hilly nature, the Island of Réunion is known for it's small horticulture industry that is helping the island to be self-sufficient with its own food supply. The Island is located in the Indian Ocean about 420 miles east of Madagascar. Growers have limited.....

Australia: Victorian organic grower receives Women in Horticulture award

Lisa Brassington of Peninsula Fresh Organics in Victoria has received the prestigious Women in Horticulture award at Hort Connections 2017, in recognition of her passion for promoting the diverse role of women in the industry and her ongoing contribution to the organic sector.For the first time, the award.....

Australia: Veg industry’s best celebrated at Hort Connections Gala Dinner

Australia’s leading vegetable and potato growers and industry members have been recognised at the Hort Connections 2017 Awards for Excellence Gala Dinner, with around 1,100 attendees from every sector of Australian horticulture celebrating the significant contributions of the industry and its members.The.....

Interruption to Serres Toundra’s cucumber production

The Serres Toundra, which currently has about 160 employees, have stopped producing Lebanese cucumbers for an extended period due to a lack of manual labour.Eric Dubé, President of Serres Toundra, says that they always have to stop production for a while to clean the greenhouses. The same will soon occur for.....

Rino Kaljouw discusses cultivation in new greenhouse:

"Labor is the bottleneck in high-wire cultivation"

This week, Rino Kaljouw harvested the first high-wire cucumbers in his new greenhouse. "You grow high quality cucumbers on the high-wire, but labor is the bottleneck," he says.During last winter in the Netherlands, at one point the temperature was 7 degrees below zero. That was when the greenhouse builders.....

Doug Kling, Village Farms:

“The state of our industry is evolving”

“We primarily grow tomatoes,” Doug Kling, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer with Village Farms International told FreshPlaza during a recent interview at Viva Fresh in Austin, TX. The company owns 130 acres of high-tech greenhouses located in Marfa, TX and 110 acres in BC, Canada. In.....

Aksenov Valentin grows Mahitos RZ:

Russia: ‘We’ve continuously improved the results over the years’

Aksenov Valentin grows tomatoes under plastic covers in Russia. A few years ago he put his trust in the variety Mahitos RZ, which combines a good flavour with reliable production characteristics. With long-standing experience and an open mind, he claims to have gotten the best out of this variety.Big.....

US: Aquaponics farm provides hunger relief to Texans

The greenhouse on Richard and Sharon Hasting’s property in rural East Texas looks like a typical greenhouse any gardening enthusiast might own.But a closer look reveals the channels of water where red and green butter lettuce plants are floating on foam pads. This is not a typical greenhouse after all.The.....

Simple ways to upgrade your hoophouse

If you’re growing in a greenhouse, you might be upgrading or expanding your operation this summer. Many farmers start with a simple greenhouse and add features over time. This can be a great option for farmers who want to start on a low budget and scale up, or who are testing out the method before investing.....

African governments urged to attract youth into agriculture

African governments and other stakeholders have been urged to encourage the youth to embrace agriculture and to let them understand that they could make money from the sector and its value-chains.Mr Bukar Tijani, FAO Assistant Director General and Regional Representative for Africa, who made the call, said.....

Walter Cafaro, Vivai Cafaro

Italy: "We export over 70% of our aromatic herbs production"

The interest in aromatic herbs is on the rise every year. New uses in the kitchen, new forms of food or the growing popularity of cocktails and infusions are promoting their consumption more and more."We are increasingly shipping more aromatic herbs outside of Italy. In our case, we export over half of the.....

More than half of planting days cancelled; recent warmer weather catchup

California lettuce had a rainy start this year

The growing season for lettuce has been less than stellar, but many growers have still been able to meet supply now that weather conditions have turned around and winter is long gone. January and February’s major rain events caused short planting windows for grower-shippers in the Salinas Valley. “It’s been.....

Israel: Field-to-Fork organic rosemary solutions

In order to create a sustainable supply chain for organic rosemary ingredients, Frutarom Food Protection Business Unit has expanded its organic oxidation management solutions line with an organic rosemary extract designed to prevent oxidation and increase shelf-life of food products. This natural.....

Malaysian startup aims to revolutionise urban farming

FOLO Farms is the Malaysian finalist in the Chivas Venture, and its founders have a dream — to transform urban farming by creating a movement that will see communities grow their own organic vegetables.The social start-up was set up two years ago when six families came together with a mission to grow.....

"Peter Quiring hand delivered when Fedex said they could not"

VIDEO "Peter Quiring has built over 2,000 acres of greenhouses over the last 20 years, at times with his own bare hands. Peter has built, grown, picked, packed, and shipped right to the customer's door. He has even hand delivered when Fedex said they could not."These are just a few phrases from a new video.....

Jos Ceulemans: Europe’s biggest producers of lettuce under glass.

"Competition spurs everyone on to do their very best"

Jos Ceulemans has been growing lettuce in the small Belgian municipality of Sint-Katelijne-Waver since 1969. Together with his son Paul, he strives for continuous innovation and improvement. Thanks to their focus on freshness, they have become one of Europe’s biggest producers of lettuce under glass.Jos.....

July 22, Maryville

US (MO): Lettuce Dream hosts 'The Amazing Lettuce Chase'

Lettuce Dream, a hydroponic greenhouse complex in Maryville that offers post-high school vocational training for young adults with cognitive and developmental disabilities, will host “The Amazing Lettuce Chase” fundraiser on Saturday, July 22.“The Amazing Lettuce Chase,” which organizers emphasize is not a.....

Italy: F.lli Cerrato announces start of leaf vegetable campaign

F.lli Cerrato, a company specialising in leaf vegetables with branches in Campania and Abruzzo, has announced the imminent harvesting of salad heads in the Fucino area.Loreto Cerrato, who is part of the new generation running the company, together with cousins Angelo and Antonio, reports that "we will start.....

Safe and faster screen installation:

CAN: Boem Berry Farms opts for Smart Skate System again

In 2016, Holland Scherming introduced their new screen installation system: The Smart Skate System (‘Triple S’). After a number of successful tests in The Netherlands, the system was used for installation at the new greenhouses of strawberry growers Boem Berry Farms in Canada. In the high strawberry.....

Flat Q1 revenues, GATES greenhouse forecasted to repeat 2016 production levels:

Village Farms considers alternative crop strategies

North American greenhouse grower Village Farms saw it's 2017 first quarter results shrink a little bit, compared to the same period last year.Mike DeGiglio, CEO Village FarmsMichael DeGiglio, Chief Executive Officer of Village Farms, stated: "Overall revenues were flat in our first quarter compared to the.....

Don Mastronardi honored with CPMA Lifetime Achievement Award

Sunset Chairman Don Mastronardi was honored with the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2017 CPMA conference. "This year, I'm honored to present the lifetime achievement award to an individual who has been considered a true innovator in Ontario," shared Ron Lemaire, President of CPMA. "Don.....

US: MightyVine's Jim Murphy featured in the Chicago Tribune

As a child, Jim Murphy grew tomatoes with his grandfather, Silvio Pasquesi, in Highland Park."I remember seeing how proud he was of his garden and the quality of the tomatoes, which was the bulk of what he grew," Murphy said. "It sowed a passion in me to grow high-quality tomatoes."The Chicago resident said.....

Germany: Ministers visit power plant tomato nursery

It's not a combination you would expect beforehand: a greenhouse right next to a power plant. Yet it makes perfect sense. A greenhouse needs heat energy, and a power plant needs to get rid of heat energy. By placing them next to each other, lines are kept short between them. Early May the greenhouse received.....

Pukekohe grower wins New Zealand’s best young vegetable grower

Scott Wilcox from Pukekohe has emerged victorious against six other entrants to be named New Zealand’s Young Vegetable Grower of 2017.Scott continues AS Wilcox’s winning streak, becoming the third employee in three years to take home the award.The day-long competition in Pukekohe saw competitors engage in a.....

US: Taylor Farms announces three on-the-go salad bowls

Taylor Farms is delivering on the consumer appetite for single serve on-the-go salads. With three new additions, Taylor Farms now offers 20, complete meal, single serve salad bowls packed with protein.The assortment provides multiple recipe options, with the inclusion of on-trend ingredients and.....

India: Former textiles businessman starts greenhouse venture

VIDEO In Kolamasanapalli, Palamner, Chittur, on the southeastern coast of India, a former textiles businessman recently took on a new challenge becoming a greenhouse grower. Mr. Tribhuwan started his venture when he lost a lot of money in the textile business and decided that he wanted to take advantage of the.....

Casey Houweling:

“Every innovation leads to the next”

How do you grow 365 days a year where the market is? Over a period of ten years, Casey Houweling built 20 hectares of greenhouses in British Columbia, Canada. Because he was unable (then) to grow all the year round, he expanded his business with a further 50 hectares in California. It was there that he and.....

Phil Pearson, APS Group:

“It’s always a surprise to people how many tomatoes are grown in the UK”

VIDEO British tomato grower Phil Pearson of APS Salads was recently featured in a new video from the Red Tractor quality mark, a product certification program that comprises a number of farm assurance schemes for British food products. Pearson's APS Group, has glass covering the equivalent of 250 football pitches.....

Backyard Farms promotes Brady Sinclair to Assistant Grower

Brady Sinclair is the first "homegrown" Assistant Grower in the history of Backyard Farms. Brady began his career at Backyard Farms in the summer of 2008. During the hot summer months, the heat loving tomato plants grow even faster than their normal foot per week pace. So much so, Backyard's personal.....

Why greenhouses have gone from blooming to booming in Ontario

On Wednesday, Statistics Canada released 2016 census data that shows greenhouse agriculture is growing across the country, and particularly in Ontario. The province accounts for more than two-thirds of the 165.4 million square feet devoted to greenhouse vegetable production in Canada, and registered a nearly.....

US: Maryland-grown fish peppers could find hot market

Since its founding in 2011, Andy Holloway's Hebron-based Baywater Farms has evolved into one of Delmarva's least risk-averse agricultural operations. While its specialty is tomatoes, Baywater also has a penchant for experimentation, giving over portions of its 60 acres of cropland to rainbow carrots,.....

US: 15 acre Hydronov aquaponic greenhouse comes to Rochester, NY

VIDEO Clearwater Organic Farms LLC will soon start construction of a 15 acre (6.07 hectare) commercial leafy greens production facility in Monroe County, New York. The plans were announced by Governor Andrew Cuomo yesterday. The project will make use of Hydronov's leafy greens deep water floating raft technology.....

Famgro vertical farms says it can compete with conventional farms

Steve Fambro, CEO at Famgro Farms in Oceanside, Calif., isn’t your typical farmer. And his “farm” isn’t the typical agricultural operation. It’s located in a 10,000-square-foot building that was previously used to make surf boards.Prior to starting Famgro Farms, Fambro, who is an electrical engineer by.....

Pakistani growers learn about hydroponics

A 15-day training workshop on hydroponics agriculture started at Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi (PMAS-AAUR) on Tuesday.The workshop was organised under the project titled ‘Testing Indigenous Hydroponic Greenhouse for Vegetable Growing’ funded by the Agriculture Department,.....

Russia: Agrokultura expands with 30ha under Hortilux lights

Agrokultura Group is one of the biggest Russian brands in growing fresh vegetables in greenhouses. In August 2016, the company already bought 12 ha of the 1000 Watt HSE NXT II and have decided to purchase the 1000 Watt HSE NXT II again for another 30ha of tomatoes.Agrokultura Group is a fairly young company.....

Papua New Guinea greenhouse grower back on track again

Israeli greenhouse and irrigation solutions provider Netafim has recently achieved good results with the introduction of their Crop Management Technology program at an existing greenhouse operation on the tropical Island of Papua New Guinea in the South-Western Pacific.Shmulik Hadar, a Netafim customer and.....

US (VA): Aquaponics growers overcome bears and other challenges

Bears, aphid infestations and dying fish represent a few challenges the Delaplane aquaponic lettuce farmers have faced since starting their business 18 months ago.But, the trio of entrepreneurs has persevered to grow fresh, plump lettuce year-round in Northern Fauquier County.Jake Hall and brothers Hank.....

US: South Carolina man saves hundreds of heirloom varieties

Rodger Winn traces his obsession with seed saving to the first grade.As a little boy, he read “Seeds and More Seeds: A Science I CAN READ Book” by Millicent E. Selsam and “drove my mother crazy with the experiments in the book,” he said.It was a part of him: Winn’s parents and grandparents were farmers and.....

Belgium: Desmet expands lettuce production with Plessey LEDs

Belgian greenhouse lettuce grower Desmet will install Plessey’s new, high-power Hyperion LED top-light on 20,000 m². The installation is part of a greenhouse expansion that will boost Desmet's total cultivation area to 49,000 m².Johan Desmet and Mirjan Vandoorne began their year-round hydroponic.....

Holland: Many interest for greenhouse grown blackberries

On Easter Monday, about 1,500 consumers from all corners of the country visited Pippel Bramen in Haaften, Holland, during the AH Buitendag (AH Outdoors Day). “It was very nice that so many people are interested in our cultivation,” says Bert-Jan Pippel. The increasing interest for growing greenhouse.....

Australia: Logan growers on the road to recovery

Vegetable growers in Queensland’s Logan district who were affected by the devastating floods triggered by Cyclone Debbie are heading to Adelaide for Hort Connections 2017, to connect with the wider industry and begin rebuilding their livelihoods following the recent devastation.Three local growers, Lisa.....

India: Mumbai ecopreneur turns city dwellers into urban farmers

Priyanka Amar Shah attributes her love for greenery to her “nature loving family.” The Mumbai resident grew up in a suburban home with balconies that were always adorned with plants. It was also her affinity for nature that made her notice how barren the other balconies of her neighbourhood seemed in.....

Greenhouses promote healthy eating for Qatar's youth

A vast array of fruit and vegetables has been grown by school students as young as seven as part of learning about health, nutrition and healthy living.Students took part in Project Greenhouse, an initiative from Weill Cornell Medicine - Qatar's Sahtak Awalan — Your Health First campaign, that is designed to.....