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Grower in the Spotlight


CAN (ON): Taking peppers to the next level

Founded in 2000, Orangeline Farms is a 32-acre family farm located in Leamington, Ontario. Orangeline Farms is known for their unique, award-winning pepper varieties, which are sold under the brand Zing! Healthy Foods. Two of Orangeline’s growers, Steve Stasko and Saman Soltaninejad, were awarded a place.....

New Zealand: Retired researcher breeds out-of-season strawberries

A Palmerston North horticultural scientist's life-long passion for strawberries has finally borne fruit as trials growing the summertime berry in winter prove successful.Dr Mike Nichols used to work for Massey University as a researcher and lecturer. And although he retired 20-years ago, he still consults on.....

Malaysia: Grower turns two pots into strawberry farm

When Muhammad Hossen Ediwi first planted strawberries in two pots, he never thought the plants could thrive in his village at Kampung Jaya Bakti, located about 30km from Kuching.Today the 62-year-old former bookshop and restaurant owner has over 6,000 plants growing in pots at his home and family farm in the.....

India: Israeli technology helps grow tomatoes in off-season

Farmers in West Bengal are cultivating high quality tomatoes in the off-season by using Israeli technology. The farmers in the region have adopted the technique of production using greenhouses with the help of the Horticulture department.“We are getting a very good response and the quality is better than the.....

Spain: CASI doubles acreage devoted to organic production

Leading tomato-growing cooperative CASI is doubling its acreage devoted to organic production, with a total of approximately 115 hectares. The BIO range features products like courgettes, on the vine tomatoes, Rebelión tomatoes, Dutch cucumbers, plum, cherry on the vine and loose tomatoes, bell peppers and.....

Family day at Noordvliet's CombiVliet location

Where does my family actually work?

Saturday July 14, the family day was held at the NoordVliet location of CombiVliet in Middenmeer (Netherlands). Hundreds of family members, friends and acquaintances came to see where the CombiVliet employees actually spend their time. One works as a student a few hours per week on Saturdays and during the.....

Indian growers get acquainted with hydroponics

Australian based company Genesis Horticultural Solutions has been engaged in delivering a 5 day training course to Indian growers in basic hydroponic growing and controlled environment management. Thirty participants from across India attended the event at Dharwad, and came from a variety of climatically.....

EU: Workshop enabling growers for the digital age

On 26-27 April 2018 the European Commission’s DG Agriculture and Rural Development (DG AGRI) organised the EIP-AGRI Workshop ‘Enabling farmers for the digital age: the role of AKIS’. It was organised in cooperation with the Latvian Rural Advisory and Training Centre. 94 delegates from 25 European countries.....

10 questions with Cor van der Kaaij

"Even if robots are replacing human hands, they can't take over everything"

Grodan introduces Cor van der Kaaij, tomato grower at RedStar.1. Briefly introduce yourself: who are you?I am a real family man, happily married to my darling Diana, father of seven children, three of me and four of Diana, and proud grandfather of Cindy of two and Nick of five years. I prefer to walk around.....

Bell pepper grower Wibo Valstar uses ReduFuse:

"No more constant deliberation about screens provides peace of mind"

There are days when clouds and sunshine alternate constantly. "Then you are constantly faced with the choice: do I close the screen or not?" With ReduFuse, cultivation is much more relaxed," says pepper grower Wibo Valstar.Pepper growers regularly disagree about the benefits of a diffuse coating. "In our.....

US: "Mini pepper category is now a core commodity"

As summer provides greenhouse bell peppers with additional light and warmth, growers are maintaining that demand is outpacing supply. Despite the fact that greenhouse bell pepper volume has grown over the years, demand has grown even more, leaving plenty of room for more production."The growing conditions.....

Canada: Bert Mucci also goes into the cannabis business

Cronos Group has entered into a joint venture partnership with a group of investors led by Bert Mucci (the Greenhouse Partners). This partnership will function through a newly formed entity, Cronos GrowCo, which will develop, construct and operate a state-of-the-art purpose-built greenhouse for cannabis.....

US: Local growers bring competitive edge to tomatoes

With many regions producing tomatoes at the same time, supply is more than ample. “It’s July and there are a lot of tomatoes throughout the country,” says Roger Riehm of Bradenton, Fl.-based Blue Creek Produce LLC. “There are lots coming up locally through many areas and there’s also still a good supply.....

Local superfood from the nursery

Ornamental plant nurseries can and should also take advantage of the vegetable mega-trend: for example, by incorporating vegetable plants into their range and perhaps also by selling grow-your-own vegetables. It’s an approach strongly advocated by Raimund Schnecking, a marketing­ expert at the.....

Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 honourees announced

Honouring Canada’s outstanding leaders under 40 years of age, Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 announced the 2018 recipients. Among the laureates are Mike Silagadze, Co-founder & CEO of Top Hat, and Mark Zekulin, President of Canopy Growth Corporation.Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 independent Advisory Board, which.....

Jelte van Kammen, Harvest House director:

'The consumer will be in charge; this requires action'

Collaboration and offering added value are the keys to the future success of a horticultural company, according to Jelte van Kammen, director of the Harvest House growers' association. Harvest House is also moving in this direction and will continue to focus even more on processed products towards 2026. "If.....

US (NJ): Middleschoolers give hydroponic crops to the needy

Students at Union City's Emerson Middle School, with help from a few hardworking and passionate educators, have started growing community gardens.What started out as a classroom filled with old lunch tables and a courtyard marred by weeds has evolved into an indoor hydroponic garden where crops are grown in.....

Sweden cultivates more than three hundred varieties of chili pepper

Since the 18th century, chili has been grown in Sweden. Kerstin Rosengren has been solely specializing in the cultivation of this exotic fruit for about twelve years. "I was shown a picture of the Black Scorpion Tongue (capsicum annuum) and thought: I want to cultivate it," she says.Twelve years ago Kerstin.....

11 hectare LED

Italy: Fresh Guru aims at doubling its hectares

VIDEO The past seasons have been very positive season for the Italian grower Fresh Guru. "So much so that the covered area will go from the current 11 to 22 hectares of greenhouses", the company reveals. Fresh Guru is a brand of the Italian company Fri-El Green. In this greenhouse, they combine a traditional.....

US (WI): Nelson and Pade honored with Sustainable Business Award

Nelson and Pade received the Wisconsin Sustainable Product of the Year award for a small business, from the Wisconsin Sustainability Council. This award provides recognition of the many facets of sustainability that the company's Clear Flow Aquaponic Systems represent. From low water usage to zero waste,.....

CAN (BC): Pure Sunfarms expands MJ production to 225,000 sq.ft.

Village Farms International and Emerald Health Therapeutics announced that their 50/50 joint venture for large-scale, low-cost, high-quality cannabis production, Pure Sunfarms, received from Health Canada an amendment to its cultivation license for its Delta 3 greenhouse in Delta, BC. This amendment permits.....

Taylor Farms achieves TRUE certification for sustainability

Taylor Farms, a producer of value-added healthy fresh foods, is the first in the fresh food industry to achieve TRUE (Total Resource Use and Efficiency) Platinum certification. The TRUE Zero Waste certification system enables facilities to define, pursue and achieve their zero waste goals, cutting their.....

US (CA): Growing a field of greens

The Ratto farming family in Modesto offers more than 70 varieties of leafy greens. Their vertical integration at the farm—or "one-stop shop for greens"—actually began with their ancestors, back in 1905. That's when Antone Ratto, the son of Italian immigrants, started a small vegetable business near Oakland......

US (CO): Church aquaponics garden a source of healing within and beyond

On a Saturday morning last November, Tina Zamora entered a steel and solar-wrapped structure as if a stranger in a strange, new world.Heads of lettuce floated in beds of water on the ground. Tilapia teemed in a tank. What kind of place was this to be checking off court-ordered community service hours?And.....

South Korean Prime Minister visits Dutch greenhouse

The Prime Minister of South Korea, Mr. Lee Nak-yon, recently visited the Barendse-DC nursery at Agriport A7. He had a four-hour stopover in the Netherlands. During that time he wanted to visit a modern nursery and have a discussion with the owners.At Barendse DC they were honored with the visit: "The Prime.....

NL: Provincial commissioner visits strawberry farm

Peter Drenth visited the greenhouse horticulture area between Arnhem and Nijmegen on June 7. As a brand new commissioner for the Dutch province of Gelderland, his portfolio includes nature and agriculture, economy and energy transition. On May 30, he left the role of alderman in Doetinchem for the provincial.....

Koppert Cress starts partnership in Colombia

On June 15, 2018 a license agreement was signed between Koppert Cress and the Botero-González family in Medellín, Colombia. According to this agreement, the family will produce various types of Cress (micro greens) and ‘Specialties’. All these products will be offered under the brand Koppert Cress, assuring.....

2 or 20 hectare greenhouse?

The Sahara Forest Project is a Norwegian limited liability company that develops and operates large scale facilities for vegetable production in arid areas, integrated with revegetation of surrounding lands driven by renewables. In 2017 the Sahara Forest Project signed an agreement with the City of.....

US (CA): Pepper grower invests in high-tech pack line

California Pepper grower/shipper Live Oak Farms launched its 2018 pepper season on a new multi-million-dollar high-tech pepper pack line and marked the expansion of its pepper program with its first ever Jalapeno harvest.“We’d set out to raise the bar on field bell pepper quality, and today a new era has.....

Australia: Low women in agriculture figures ignite scholarship call

Following the release of figures that show men outnumber women more than two to one in Australia’s agriculture industry, Hort Innovation and Women & Leadership Australia (WLA) have put the call out for expressions of interest for dedicated course scholarship opportunities.Labour Force figures released by.....

Belgium grower in soccer spirit

The Belgium company Den Berk Délice normally is devoted exclusively to the cultivation, marketing and innovation of delicious tomatoes. These days though, they're devoted to soccer as well. The Belgians are proud"We have designed several containers especially for the World Tournament. We created three.....

CAN (AB): Lettuce Lads look to hydroponics in valley

While fresh, locally grown commercial produce is generally not a feature of Rocky Mountain geography, a trio of valley entrepreneurs are hoping to change that with a new hydroponic operation.Lettuce Lads – Caleb Allen, Devon DaDalt and Kyle West – have a provisional patent on a hydroponic system in place,.....

US (MO): Aquaponics facility to alleviate food desert

Nonprofit Nile Valley Aquaponics is raising fish in a Kansas City food desert—and they’re creating jobs, providing healthy food and promoting sustainable urban farming in the process. To help the nonprofit lead the community to greener and healthier living, American architecture and engineering firm HOK.....

Italy: Di Meo Remo acquires new production areas

"We have recently acquired a new company covering 11 hectares, 4 of which are open fields. This way, we will increase our production of aromatic herbs focused on a fully-sustainable closed cycle process," explains Remo Di Meo.Remo Di Meo.The company was established over 20 years ago and now needs to meet the.....

US (CA): Creating online training for organic specialty crop production

Sonja Brodt (Coordinator of Agriculture, Resources, and Environment at UC SAREP) and Sara Riegler (UC SAREP Graduate Student Researcher) recently had the opportunity to visit and record field demonstration videos at ALBA in Salinas. The videos, all recorded in Spanish and focused on ALBA farmers’ organic.....

US (PA): LED improves production and plant quality in organic greenhouse

Peace Tree Farm has improved crop production and energy efficiency since deploying Fluence horticulture lighting solutions. Peace Tree Farm installed Fluence VYPRx Plus LED lighting solutions to improve production of its USDA certified organic and sustainably grown herbs, vegetables and ornamental plants in.....
‘No Aussies or Europeans wanted’

Bundaberg strawberry farm looking for Asian workers only

‘No Aussies or Europeans wanted’. That’s how an advertisement posted to a social media job search page looking for strawberry pickers in Queensland ended. The controversial post has outraged Bundaberg jobseekers who say they are struggling to get work or are being turned away in preference of foreign.....

Alban Jaquenoud, Jaquenoud:

Switzerland: "We are independent, to guarantee our freedom"

The Swiss tomato market is doing well. "The market is small, and the production and demand are great, so there is a lot of pressure on the market,” says Alban Jaquenoud of Jaquenoud Maraîchers. "In the summer, the demand is always lower due to the holidays."The Swiss producer has just built a new greenhouse.....

Italy: Tomato grower plans to light 6 hectares with LED

Prominent Italian tomato grower Gandini Antonio officially selected igrox srl as technological partner in LED supplemental lighting. Gandini is going to increase the LED lighted surface in their greenhouses with the Quantum system, in order to improve yield and quality of crop. The first delivery of the LED.....

Hort Connections Gala Dinner celebrates Australian horticulture

Australia’s leading horticulture growers and industry members have been recognised at the Hort Connections 2018 Awards for Excellence Gala Dinner, with around 1,300 attendees from every sector of Australian horticulture celebrating the significant contributions of the industry and its members.Scott Samwell,.....

US: Rainfall brings mixed outcomes for GA, MI bell pepper growers

Georgia is producing strong volumes of bell peppers at the moment as summer temperatures encourage strong growth. Meanwhile in Michigan, growers are preparing for their harvest in a month's time. Both states have experienced significant rainfall in recent months, but each have very different results from.....

Switzerland: Pumps restarted for geothermal heating of greenhouses

Hansjörg Grob Vegetable Agriculture, a large vegetable production company with extensive greenhouses in Schlattingen in Switzerland, has restarted the pumps for its geothermal heating system. The project now again derives water with a temperature of 60°C, after a two year involuntary break.In February 2016,.....

Proudly wear your produce on your sleeve

An eggplant, a radish or some turnip - whatever your pick might be, have you ever thought of getting it tattooed? Because of the Dutch organic open field days, several growers decided to show their veggies on their biceps as well.Well, we'll be honest with you - this is fake news. The photos are real, the.....

Gotham Greens raises $29 million in growth equity funding

Gotham Greens, urban greenhouse developer and grower of locally and sustainably grown produce, has announced the closing of $29 million in Series C equity funding last month. The new round brings the company's total funding until date to $45 million, not including bank debt. Since its launch in 2011, Gotham.....

US (CA): Growers in berry country get innovative to save water

Red and purple berries ripening in vast fields. The sun shining in a blue sky as workers in broad-brimmed hats pluck the best berries from the strawberry tufts and blackberry vines.The bucolic scene in Ventura County along the Southern California coast belies the exacting science and sharp business decisions.....

UK: Peter Wills puts tomato nursery up for sale

The TGA received an email from Hampshire tomato grower Peter Wills advising that his nursery in Romsey was up for sale.A R Wills Limited have been growing tomatoes in Romsey for 91 years and Peter has been a staunch supporter of the TGA since it was set up in 1997.Peter was persuaded to write a few words.....

Pure Flavor growing with new products, awards, and expansion

Greenhouse vegetable production is in full swing in every region of North America which is meeting surging consumer demand heading in to the heart of summer. Pure Flavor’s family of growers are producing more than ever before fueling the company’s momentum in the marketplace. This in turn is setting up.....

Italy: 90 tons of basil plants produced using hydroponic techniques

Il Bettolino is a cooperative producing basil and aromatic herbs employing the Floating System. It sells its produce directly to retailers and owns 10,000 sq m of state-of-the-art greenhouses managed professionally. In 2017, it produced 90 thousand tons of produce."We're a cooperative that has decided to.....
Holland Marsh growers switch to MJ

"Our industry has been going broke"

A trip down into the Holland Marsh usually brings you the scent of onions or earthy soil. But are the area's signature crops about to change? King Township is dealing with the proliferation of marijuana growing operations that may or may not be legal in the area around the marsh.The township is in the.....

Greenhouse producers Anette and Peter van Schie:

"Combining Dutch/Swedish knowledge & experience to make it our own"

Anette and Peter van Schie from Swedish vegetable greenhouse producer, Gällenäs, both came from a long line of horticulturalists. Peter from tomato and vegetable growers in the Netherlands and Anette from potato producers in Sweden. “Potatoes and tomatoes are so closely related that you could inoculate a.....

Kenya: Courgette greenhouse pays off for student farmer

Some few hundred of metres from Kamulu on Kangundo Road is Lucas Mutua’s courgette farm.While thousands of farmers across the country stare at losses as a result of heavy rains, Mutua gets more than 200 kilograms of courgettes every week, which he sells to premium and regular customers.Mutua, who turned 24.....

Netherlands: Fall Creek purchases Driesvenplant nursery

Two family-owned blueberry companies, and long-time friends and industry allies, Fall Creek Farm & Nursery and Driesvenplant announce that Fall Creek has agreed to purchase the Driesvenplant nursery company in the Netherlands and that Driesvenplant’s employees will join the Fall Creek team effective.....

Leamington growers take home awards at annual greenhouse competition

This past weekend, Leamington Ontario hosted its 11th annual Greenhouse Vegetable competition at the Leamington Fair. The competition showcases some of the largest greenhouse growers in North America, and awards their produce through various categories including Hottest Tomato, Perfect Pepper and Coolest.....

Canadian growers shake their heads at talk of boycotting US goods

While headlines and social media postings continue to crop up encouraging Canadian consumers to boycott American products, Canadian growers say they feel very differently. Boycott reports and posts have been popping up with an increasing frequency after U.S. president Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister.....

Liesbeth Lambrecht, bell pepper grower Gemapa

"I feel confident we can grow Gina consistently for many years"

Dutch bell pepper nursery Gemapa started growing the Gina variety this year. Liesbeth Lambrecht, involved in the company since 2004 and daughter of father Marc and mother Gerda, had a decisive role in the choice for the new breed. Liesbeth: "In 2016 we had a lot of problems with a virus, so we actually chose.....

Atlas Obscura visits tomato greenhouse in Iceland

Tomatoes are probably not the first thing one associates with Iceland, the land of fire and ice. But that’s exactly what Knútur Rafn Ármann and Helena Hermundardóttir, husband and wife owners of Fridheimar, specialize in growing. Along with their five children, Knútur and Helena have developed a family.....

Thai melon grower makes €2,600 per 60 m2 greenhouse

Panu Taweepon grows melons in his small farm in Surat Thani province, some 500 kilometres south of Bangkok. His ‘New Farmer Farm’ is just 3,200 m2 in size, but his income from this small parcel could be much more than a rice farmer with several hectares can earn.On his small farm, he has several greenhouses.....

Kenyan growing local veggies in United Kingdom

When Kimnyango Seronei moved to the United Kingdom 15 years ago, the last thing he thought he would miss about his home country was fresh vegetables. Not because Coventry, the city where he works as a researcher lacks greens, but because the variety available in Kenya is a luxury in the diaspora.“We have.....

US (SC): Federal help to farm may be in jeopardy

Due -in part- to federal help, the City Roots Farm in Columbia has boomed. But now, thanks to legislation considered in Congress, that aid could dry up. The farm was looking to sell more microgreens (early shoots of vegetables such as arugula and mustard) when it received a grant from the US Department of.....

Video: Dutch Cuisine - made in Ukraine

"Good Food" is the first video experience presenting Dutch Cuisine in Ukraine. Dutch recipes were combined with the healthy and quality products, produced in Ukraine in a sustainable way with the help of the Dutch technologies.This Good Food was cooked by Carolien Spaans, Agricultural Counsellor of the.....

Modernisation creating good competition on the pepper market

The warm weather and new modern growing facilities in Poland, has brought an early start to the bell pepper season. Last season, exports did not start until mid-July and Agnieszka Arcimowicz from Targban said that they are already able to load full trucks of green peppers, with yellow and red peppers to.....

US (NJ): A microgreens farm grows in Asbury Park

On the other side of the tap room at Asbury Park Brewery, in a high-ceilinged industrial space with not a whiff of barnyard in the air, you’ll find a pair of brothers cultivating a thoroughly modern farm.It’s soilless, it’s vertical, it’s pesticide-, herbicide-, fungicide- and insecticide-free, and its.....

AmericanHort announces 2018 HortScholars

AmericanHort encourages and supports students as they aspire to a diverse array of horticulture careers. The HortScholars program aims to identify these future leaders and give them a platform to network, grow, and work at North America's premier horticulture event - Cultivate’18.“AmericanHort received an.....

"Children love the shape, size, and flavor"

"Great market prospects for bunched small tomatoes in China"

"Beijing Hortipolaris is located in an industrial park in Miyun District of Beijing. The greenhouses cover 3.3 hectares and include 2.2 hectares of tomato plantations and 2000m2 of lettuce plantation, as well as 2000m2 of nursery garden. We began planting small tomatoes on February 15th, 2018, and already.....

Canadian ready-to-eat salad producer expands line

The newest offering from The Star Group is Inspired Leaves; Canadian Grown, pesticide-free lettuce that the company says is cut, washed, and ready-to-eat.This new product is an extension of Inspired Greens living lettuce, which is greenhouse grown year-round in Coaldale, AB. “We are taking ultra clean, fresh.....

How sensors make the world small for crop advisors

"When I notice that there are a lot of chemicals being used somewhere in Africa, I like to change that using the biological resources that are available. Food safety is a theme that appeals to me," says Ewout Schurink. As a crop advisor, he travels around the world and spends a lot of time in Africa. He.....

Greenhouse potatoes making up for late harvest

The potatoes in the Netherlands will be harvested later than usual this season. “Because of the cold and wet weather of late the planting has been postponed. The open-field offer is still small for now,” says Jan Goedegebuure at the start of May. The Goedegebuure - Gunter company from Sint-Annaland.....

The only spinach grower in Colorado

The North American spinach market has been dominated in recent years by the surge in popularity of baby leaf spinach. The ubiquitous salad and smoothie ingredient has been popularized by growers, especially in California. Another type of spinach, the more mature variety suitable for cooking, continues to be.....

US (MO): Students grow herbs and lettuce for peers

Smelling like cilantro is normal for Missouri State University seniors Rachel Veenstra and Jennifer Rice.“I’ve been in class before and people are trying to figure out why it smells like plants,” Veenstra said. “That gives me an opportunity to tell them about what I do.”The students, both environmental plant.....

More demand for local Norwegian vegetables

Norwegian growers aren't producing enough fruit and vegetables to meet the rising demand. The minister of Agriculture wants the growers to grow more tomatoes and apples."Nowadays health is in the spotlight. The average household consumes more fruits and vegetables and people are eating more healthily. This.....

Inside Britain's biggest weed greenhouse

Most people don't know the British government allows cannabis to be grown on an industrial scale, never mind the fact that the UK is the world's largest exporter of medicinal weed products. For residents of Downham Market—a sleepy east Anglian town that was overpowered by a dank aroma this time last.....

Jurgen Franco, eggplant grower:

"No regrets from the switch to eggplants"

"My father started in 1970 with small scale traditional greenhouse cultivation of lettuce and tomato. When I joined the company, we renovated all the greenhouses, increased the height to 5 meters and removed all the separate sections so that we’d get one large greenhouse. In the 1990s, my father switched to.....

US (PA): Microgreens make a mark in State College

Isabel Kumerz grew up in Spain with dreams of one day growing her own food. When she moved to State College and the ample space allowed her to garden, she did so voraciously. However, when the barren winters of central Pennsylvania hit, she started looking for ways to continue her passion year-round,.....

European agriculture through the eyes of young Chinese farmers

Benefiting from an EU-China project on capacity building for young professional farmers and agricultural professionals, a group of 12 young farmers from China came to Europe. Visiting Belgium, the United Kingdom and Estonia between 15 and 28 April 2018, the Chinese farmers and agricultural professionals had.....

Belgium: GE provides three gas engines to Den Berk Délice

With Belgium’s goal to transition to 100 percent renewables by 2050, there is a stronger focus on flexibility in the power market and an increased need for small distributed power plants. Helping to meet this need, GE’s Distributed Power (NYSE: GE) business will provide three of its Jenbacher gas engines and.....

CAN (ON): Grower hopes new PM will 'save the industry'

Gerry Mastronardi, owner of T G & G Mastronardi greenhouses, says he was on "pins and needles" over the past few years trying to keep up financially with the carbon tax, soaring hydro rates and a higher minimum wage. But today, he's hoping a Ford government will offer some relief.Mastronardi says he was.....