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Grower in the Spotlight


"I still miss the greenhouse business"

Dutch grower transforms nursery to guesthouses

What does it cost to make your nursery disappear? For many Dutch cucumber growers, this question might have been a gift from heaven five years ago, but Robert Heesakkers was not waiting for this at all. Yet he has said goodbye to his existence as a grower. "But I still miss the greenhouse.""In 1964 my.....

Microsoft & Priva technology help NatureFresh Farms grow vegetables

High-tech vegetable cultivation

VIDEO With just one tap on their smartphones, NatureFresh Farms Growers can manipulate the growing environment of their vegetables. Combining Priva's greenhouse management system & Microsoft's core operating technology, growers can be virtually anywhere in the world to manage their crop's plant health. Check.....

US: ARS geneticist receives first NAS Prize in Food and Agriculture Sciences

Agricultural Research Service (ARS) geneticist Edward Buckler is the first person to receive the National Academy of Science's (NAS) Prize in Food and Agriculture Sciences. Buckler will be recognized for pioneering the use of large-scale genomic approaches linking genes with the crop’s physical traits. This.....

US: Virginia growers get ahead of spring thanks to greenhouse tech

Farmers will have fresh, local summer produce available sooner than ever this spring, thanks to technology that can add several weeks to growing seasons.“I try to get my tomatoes and the occasional cucumber plants started in my hot houses in the beginning of January,” explained Matt Eustace, owner of.....

US (MN): Students prepare for aquaponic harvest

Something fishy is going on at the New Ulm High School greenhouse.Senior Desirae Hertling squealed with delight as she entered the greenhouse and ran over to a cluster of small sprouts.Lettuce, spinach, tomatoes and wildflowers tended to by the school’s agriculture students are just beginning to grow in the.....

Consumption increases with supply

US: Strawberry volumes are very good and continue to improve

It’s probably safe to say that everyone’s dreaming of strawberry shortcake or homemade jam. Looks like there won’t be an issue as far as availability is concerned, according to Jim Grabowski of Well•Pict Berries. “The supply of strawberries right now is very good and increasing on a daily basis,” he said......

US(WV): High tunnels provide extra income for retired couple

In addition to farming, Fane and Sandy Irvine from Pocahontas County, West Virginia, have taken on the high tunnel business in recent years. They were recently featured in an article on the Pocahontas Times./“I finally retired about five years ago,” Fane said. “I had been working for Frontier for thirty-two.....

US: Brandnew Forward Grow greenhouse ready for Maryland MMJ program

VIDEO The Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission has awarded a total of 30 preliminary licenses to companies to either grow or process medical marijuana. On of these companies is Forward Grow. They are currently constructing a brand new 1 acre greenhouse in Anne Arundel County. The greenhouse is expected to grow.....

Young farmers to benefit from EU-China exchange programme

An exchange programme for young farmers from the EU and China will encourage the sharing of best practice in sustainable farming.Commissioner Phil Hogan and Han Changfu, Minister of Agriculture of the People's Republic of China, signed a joint statement in Brussels on 21 April 2017 launching an EU-China.....

Canada: NatureFresh's mobile greenhouse to stop in Milton, Ontario this Sunday

NatureFresh Farms is embarking on a road trip with its one-of-a-kind mobile Greenhouse Education Centre, which will be stopping in Milton on Sunday April 30.NatureFresh's 38-foot mobile greenhouse offers a snapshot of NatureFresh Farms’ 130-acre farm in Leamington, Ont. and its 45-acre operation in.....

Hydroponic farming finds its way to Egypt

As Egypt's agriculture is threatened by water scarcity, soil nutrient depletion and fast-shrinking agricultural lands, Amr Bassiouny decided to think outside the box in the hope of finding a way out of this predicament and boosting the agricultural industry in general. After a period of intensive self-study.....

US (VA): Loudoun farmer plans hydroponics greenhouse

When it comes to farming in Loudoun County, the Virts family has about as much experience in the trade as the U.S. has being a country.Since the 1790s, the Virts family has lived and farmed in the Hillsboro area of the county -- producing some 12 generations of farmers and seeing the transformation of.....

Australia: Greenhouse vegetables come to the Wheatbelt

Fresh vegetables grown in the Wheatbelt are now being delivered across the Great Southern, following the harvest of Wide Open Agriculture's first greenhouse crop.Tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, capsicums, leafy greens and a variety of herbs are now readily available in towns surrounding the Arthur River.....

US (WV): Grow Ohio Valley still growing in third year

With several urban farming sites already established in the East Wheeling area, Grow Ohio Valley continues to ramp up its efforts to expand the program. Two more large growing sites in two separate meadows separated by Grandview Street high above the East Wheeling are being established.With two large high.....

Step by step, hydroponics take off in Thailand

The acreage with greenhouse in Thailand is slowly developing. Wim Damsteegt of Dutch Greenery sees more Thai farmers investing in plastic tropical greenhouses in order to grow leafy greens and other vegetables to supply the growing local market. The team of BVB and Dutch Greenery at the Horti Asia in.....

US (AL): Tomatoes do well despite cold snap

The signature item at Miss Emily's Tomatoes remains ripe and juicy despite last week's cold weather."The mild winter we've been having has been great," according to co-owner Vincent Wallace.One week ago, temperatures dipped into the low 30's, Wallace said they kept their tomato crop warm inside two large.....

US (OR): Pendleton master gardener embraces hydroponics

Spring is finally here, and local gardens are just about ready to bloom back to life.Yet despite this year’s long and especially harsh winter, Pendleton master gardener Richard Bertram is already set to begin harvesting fresh, homegrown veggies.Bertram heads to the back of his basement and pulls back a.....

French cooperative features growers on new labels

Rougeline recently introduced its new line of labels. These feature not only the origin and the grower of the product, but also the quality level. "For several years Les Paysans de Rougeline have proclaimed the French origin of their products," but, says Isabelle Rebrioux. "It was important to go one step.....

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.....

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.....

Canada(ON): Great Lakes expands organic program

In 1985, Great Lakes Greenhouses started growing greenhouse cucumbers on 2.3 acres in Leamington Ontario. Now, 32 years later, the family-owned company grows 90 acres of English seedless cucumbers, still on one property. “We are attempting to be as vertically integrated as possible and have control from seed.....

Agricola Bellia produces Radicchio Variegato di Castelfranco all year round

"It was 1969 when our father Elia started cultivating his first own hectare," explain brothers Bellia, currently the managers of family business "Bellia Claudio".Photo taken byTom Moggach: Claudio Bellia, who manages the company with sons Damiano and Francesco.Buying the land was an important stepping.....

April 8 until June 10, Asheville

US (NC): Passive solar greenhouse opens doors for tours

M R Gardens in the Oakley community of Asheville is offering tours of the nursery’s one-of-a-kind passive solar greenhouse, designed for the production of plants using nearly all renewable resources. The 40-minute tours are at 11 a.m. Saturdays from April 8 to June 10. The information given on solar design.....

Ideavelop's Ed Smit turns 50!

Ed Smit turns 50 today and celebrates his birthday on one of Costa Rica's beautiful beaches with his family. The team of travel agency Edventure and horticultural consultancy Ideavelop wish Ed a great day and we'll see you soon back in San Jose!Congratulations!Linda, Marlou, Rob, Maite and Renee If you want.....

US (KY): Shubin Saha joins Kentucky Fresh Harvest

Kentucky Fresh Harvest, a 30 acre high-tech greenhouse project under construction in Lincoln County, announced that Shubin Saha, D.P.M., Ph.D. has joined the team as their Production and Integrated Pest Management Director.Shubin Saha brings with him a wealth of experience within the academic world, having.....

US (VA): Biology graduate finds her calling in the greenhouse

Thrips and mites: It’s all in a day’s work for Nolan, whose official title is Greenhouse Coordinator in George Mason University’s Office of Sustainability, but she’s commonly known as the “Mason farmer,” and that’s OK with her.When Nolan came to George Mason from Boston for her freshman year in the former.....

Canada: Two Dutchmen start with NatureFresh

After years in the Dutch fresh produce sector at Levarht in Aalsmeer, Niels Klapwijk and Paul Schockman recently moved to Canada to start working for greenhouse vegetable giant NatureFresh Farms. “A great adventure with a fantastic company!”“I have known NatureFresh for a few years already,” Niels starts. “I.....

UK: Chef hopes to break world record for hottest chilli pepper

Chef Shaish Alam from Yasmin’s Indian Restaurant in Newcastle Emlyn is trying to break a Guinness World Record by growing the world’s hottest chilli pepper from his greenhouse.The Bengali Naga, known as the Naga Viper Pepper is one of the hottest chillies ever measured. It was briefly the “World’s Hottest.....

March 14, Solon & April 4, Donnellson

US (IA): Farmers host fruit and vegetable producer meet-ups

Two fruit and vegetable farmers in eastern Iowa will host producer meet-ups to discuss the upcoming season, challenges and opportunities for fruit and vegetable growers, and to meet and network with other farmers over a cup of coffee. These meet-ups are free and open to all fruit and vegetable growers.The.....

US: Warm weather aids New England growers in transition

For those in New England, March usually means one thing - the big melt. This is the month when snow typically starts to turn into something more like pea soup, and that typically means everything’s hovering above freezing during the day, and below freezing at night. This year has been a bit warmer, and for.....
Matt Mastronardi, Pure Flavor:

“Pure Flavor grew considerably in recent years”

Pure Flavor recently expanded its head office. “The newfound space has a combination of private offices, cubic sections, open floor plans and quiet spaces where the Pure Flavor team can cultivate collaboration,” Matt Mastronardi, Chief Marketing Office, says. “With this project, the team will create 20 new.....

US (WY): Hydroponic farming brings fresh lettuce to Casper

It's not quite spring, and lettuce is sprouting in Casper.But the romaine isn't clawing its way to the sun from underground. The butterhead isn't vulnerable to bugs or other threats. To find the Swiss chard, you have to look up, not down.That's because this lettuce is growing in a retired refrigerated.....

US (GA) Blueberry farmer loses 90% of his crop after freeze

One Ware County blueberry farmer called Thursday night's freezing weather devastating to his crops. Today the agriculture commissioner will fly to 8 farms to survey the damage done to many crops by frost and freezing temperatures.Owner Joe Cornelius of the J & B Blueberry Farm in Manor said he estimates.....

US (NC): Strawberry farmers rush to save crops

In order to protect their strawberry crops from freezing temperatures in North Carolina, Triangle-area strawberry growers are using sprinklers and tarps in an attempt to save their crops."The plant's pretty beat up with the covers flopping on them," said farm owner, Mark Lyon, who checked on the berries.....

Nursery de Kreek: back to cucumbers

"You just can’t compete with 90 hectares of peppers"

Normally about now the first peppers would be harvested in Nursery de Kreek in 's-Gravendeel, the Netherlands. However, this year grower Kees de Kreek has already been harvesting for three weeks. In recent years he saw the acreage of peppers increasing and decided to make the right switch. A switch to.....

US (DC): Urban farm receives $150,000 in seed money

Little more than grass used to grow on the two-acre plot behind a middle school in the District of Columbia where tomatoes, okra and infrastructure for food entrepreneurs will begin cropping up this year.In a ward of the city with just two grocery stores serving more than 70,000 residents, fresh produce is.....

Italy: Unique conditions make for a special pepper

PDO Peppers from Pontecorvo grow near the Monti Aurunci Natural Park in southern Ciociaria, where the Liri valley meets the land of San Benedetto.This area is located in the Frosinone province and includes the towns of Pontecorvo, di Esperia, S. Giorgio a Liri, Pignataro Interamna, Villa S Lucia, Piedimonte.....

CAN (ON): Greenhill Produce to expand with 40 ha in Lambton County

A veteran greenhouse operator in Chatham-Kent plans to spend as much as $100 million to develop a 100-acre greenhouse complex in Dawn-Euphemia Township.Justin Geertsema, of Greenhill Produce, which operates a greenhouse facility south of Kent Bridge, confirmed Tuesday that Greenhill is planning to develop.....

Australia: Figs from the greenhouse

Alan Richards never set out to be a commercial fig farmer.After all, his early farming years saw him growing table beans for Edgell, run an intensive sow piggery, and milk 400 dairy cattle.But four years ago, following a lifelong interest in hydroponics, Alan bought a 22ha neighbouring farm with a 2900sq m.....

US: California micro kale sees macro attention

Interest continues to increase in California-grown organic micro kale. “Supply is steady and consistent for us,” says Danielle Horton of Irvine, Ca.-based Urban Produce LLC. “We are almost at capacity and looking to expand to a second location to meet increased demand for our living products.”Urban’s kale is.....

US (WY): Pastor-grower preaches local lettuce

Matt Powell opens the door to his hydroponic lettuce farm, housed in a used refrigerated storage container on the corner of his Casper, Wyoming property, and the Marriage of Figaro fills the air.“My little Mp3 there is loaded up with Mozart and Bach. The study I heard said they tested growing plants in three.....

Desert farms yield same-day produce for UAE consumers

When you pass Coffee Pot Roundabout, you know you’re close to tonight’s dinner. And within minutes, you’re upon it: giant tents sprawl across the desert like something out of a sci-fi movie. Spanning over six thousand square metres each, these greenhouses are home to rows and rows of vines, all rising more.....

Dmitry Lashin, Lipesk Agro:

"We broke the Russian tomato record, and will do the same for cucumbers"

‘If we don’t do it, someone else will do it tomorrow,’ is the motto of the young Russian entrepreneur Dmitry Lashin. And so he constantly expands his activities. From developing and selling climate computers for greenhouses to growing in his own greenhouses. And from growing himself to advising other.....

CAN (ON): Students grow all sorts of veg through aquaponics

Al Nason's horticulture students grow organic vegetables all winter long and can produce a full-size head of romaine lettuce from seed in just 28 days. All you need, it turns out, is an old bathtub, some odds and ends from the hardware store and a few healthy tilapias.Truth be told, aquaponic growing is a.....

CAN (NL): Lester's Farm greenhouse take hit in windstorm

Lester's Farm in Mount Pearl took a major hit in windstorm, losing all four greenhouses and an estimated 10,000 plants to cold exposure through Saturday and overnight.Among the greenhouses lost was the farm’s Aquaponic facility the company grows fish and plants in a combined system.“We spent the day cutting.....

Rwanda: School dropout reaps millions from horticulture

To his peers and village mates, he is ‘Mr Greenhouse’. One gets to fully understand why residents call Xavier Baributsa, a resident of Nyakariro sector, Rwamagana in Eastern province, ‘Mr Greenhouse’ only when they visit his farm. There is no doubt that Baributsa has taken horticulture farming to another.....

Financing an indoor farm? Here are some tips.

In a recent blog post, Upstart University introduced Off the Root Hydroponics. The farm was started by Eric Aguilar and Diane Moeller, a husband and wife team located in Gurnee, Illinois.Eric and Diane’s approach to farm financing is a lesson in small farm startup. Upstart University wanted to revisit this.....

US (CA): Talley Farms releases local food cookbook

California grower Talley Farms announced the release of a new cookbook authored by Brian Talley, president of Talley Farms and Talley Vineyards, entitled Our California Table: Celebrating the Seasons with the Talley Family. The 192-page coffee table-style cookbook ($35, Story Farm) features more than 50 of.....

US (TX): Dallas Farmers Market blossoms with local produce

Last month, a reader wrote to Dallas News about the changes around the Dallas Farmers Market. He decried the fact that The Shed was only half-full on a February visit. He pined for the old days, when the market was teeming with produce vendors and lamented that he saw only two farmers when he was there.It's.....

US (KY): AppHarvest CEO shares greenhouse vision

The CEO of AppHarvest, Jonathan Webb, and his team visited Pikeville on Tuesday.Webb said Pikeville is the "prime location" for their greenhouse project. The greenhouse will be over 2 million square feet, making it one of the largest greenhouse projects in the country.AppHarvest will first focus on growing.....

Ten percent of US farmers don't have health insurance

Health insurance can help people and households manage the cost and uncertainty of healthcare expenses. Most Americans with health insurance coverage receive it through their employers, and farm households are no exception.Although many farm operators are self-employed, in the majority of farm households.....

US (FL): 4th graders grow lettuce for sea turtles

Budding young scientists at a Saint Paul’s Elementary School have been growing hydroponic lettuce for Stubby and Titus, two sea turtles at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium.“I’m so happy they were eating up the lettuce we worked so hard on,” said Alec Alarakhia, one of the students.It took the students six.....

US (CA): Trevor Airola: The student that became teacher at Bret Harte Union High

While most 24-year-olds are out there finding themselves and considering their career options, Trevor Airola has already landed the job of his life and if everything works out for the young man, it will be the only position he will ever hold.Written by: Edmund AttanasioA former graduate of the nationally.....

Bright Farms' urban farm not so urban anymore?

When the urban farming startup BrightFarms first launched, it envisioned building its hydroponic greenhouses directly on grocery store roofs and on vacant city lots. Now, it says that the smartest place to grow food for cities may be just outside of them.The company’s newest site will be in the town of.....

Meet the people behind Backyard Farms' plants

Backyard Farms has started a new series on their blog. With over 200 full time employees working hard behind the scenes of their 42-acre greenhouse, they want to introduce you to some of them.First up is Liza Graham, Director of Crop Care."Liza came to us directly out of college as a part-time crop care.....

US: Farm-to-school/farmers market nutrition survey looking for Mid-Atlantic growers

Fruit or vegetable farmers in the Mid-Atlantic region (PA, NJ, DE, MD, VA, WV, and DC) that have participated or have considered participating in:Farm to School sales or activities, ORFarmers’ Market Nutrition Incentive programs (like FMNP & SNAP matching programs)are invited to participate in a survey.....

Dutch strawberry grower sentenced for 'modern slavery'

The advocate-general of the Dutch Public Prosecution Service (OM) has demanded a twelve month prison term with a four-month suspended sentence for a now 53 year-old strawberry grower.In the view of the OM, the grower has been guilty of (labor) exploitation of a number of foreign workers that worked for his.....

CAN (BC): Aquaponics business opens in Lillooet

JAR Enterprises, named for Jake and Alex Reynolds, held the grand opening of its new aquaponics business Sunday afternoon, Mar. 5.Many Lillooet residents showed up to tour the building and learn more about aquaponics, which is most easily described as the marriage of aquaculture (raising fish) and.....

Omer Kamp, Arava Export Growers:

“Dependency is the nemesis of free trade”

"The bell pepper season started off slow, and everyone was a bit pessimistic," says Omer Kamp from Arava Export Growers in Israel". However, the circumstances in Spain have made consumers realize that one cannot and should not place all the eggs in a single basket.""Now, all of a sudden, everybody wants.....

US (NH): Fifth time's a charm for greenhouse plan?

Perhaps Berlin will be Richard Rosen’s lucky charm.Rosen is an entrepreneur who is proposing to build two high-tech greenhouses in the city. But over the last six years, similar projects he proposed in four other locations didn’t happen.The plan is for the greenhouses to provide fresh produce year-round to.....

CAN (AB): Help shape farm labour legislation

In May 2016, six technical working groups began developing recommendations on how employment standards, labour relations, and occupational health and safety requirements could be applied to meet the unique needs of the agriculture industry.The technical working groups that were reviewing employment standards.....

Dutch growers trial new Plessey LED grow lights

Plessey, a developer of award-winning LED technologies and manufacturer of solid-state lighting products, announces it is running horticultural lighting trials with four of the Netherlands’ leading growers: Villa Gerbera (growing a crop of gerbera), Gebr. Koot BV (tomatoes), Together2Grow (alstroemeria), and.....

CAN (ON): Truly Green shares experience with Growing Forward 2

VIDEO Through cost-share funding opportunities with Growing Forward 2, farmers are tackling projects to help grow their profits, expand their markets and manage risks. To share in their on-farm success, the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association is launching a series of videos of how producers are.....

NatureFresh internship program kicks off year 2

After a successful program launch in 2016, NatureFresh Farms is once again promoting summer internship opportunities for its mobile Greenhouse Education Center (GEC). NatureFresh’s recruitment efforts are being focused on colleges & universities that offer agriculture, agri-science, agri-business,.....