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Grower in the Spotlight


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.....

French farmers visit UC Davis hydroponics class

A pair of French hydroponics farmers on a "world tour" to learn from various farmers and experts made at stop at UC Davis recently. They sat in on an environmental horticulture course and took a tour of the UC Davis greenhouses. See what they learned in the video below.

"UK growers could learn a lot from European neighbours"

In Belgium and the Netherlands horticulture is big business and the facilities tend to be more high-tech than their UK counterparts. During a recent study tour, GrowSave's Ed saw some of the advanced technology and practices used by growers, such as LED lighting, diffuse glass and bio-beds for water.....

US: Indoor farming startup Bowery raises $7.5 million

As pollution, extreme weather, and over-population threaten the viability of large, outdoor farms, a startup called Bowery Farming Inc. has raised $7.5 million in total venture funding to grow food indoors, even in the middle of a city. The startup’s high-tech approach uses robotics, LED lighting, computer.....

Ghana: Greenhouse revolution to attract youth

It’s a large tract of land dotted with swathes of green rice fields and heavy with weeds. A long dusty, snaky road split the fields but it is vehicle-friendly.But in the belly of the wild and rice fields, greenhouses are springing up—the Dahwenya Irrigation Greenhouse Enclave where 100-hectares have been.....

US (FL): Former junkyard turns into leafy greens oasis

The would-be farmers bought three transoceanic refrigerated shipping containers, just a little dinged up, for $6,500 each.Shannon O'Malley and Bradley Doyle had them hauled to a distressed property they purchased on Second Avenue S and painted them a vibrant green. The green of John Deere tractors and.....

China: Glass enables Xin Yuan Xin to outperform solar competitors

Since two years, Chinese tomato grower Xin Yuan Xin operates a 2.2 hectare high tech greenhouse operation in Henan Province. Ever since the start of the commercial project, yields have seen an increase. This year the grower expects a production of 23 kg/m2 for its truss cocktail tomato crop. The glass.....

Indian growers switch to soilless cultivation

With a view of providing the city with safe and healthier vegetables, the Haryana horticulture department has commissioned a project at Panchgaon, Manesar, located 16km from the city. The initiative is aimed at growing soil-less vegetables and getting them supplied to the residential societies across the.....

US: New plants are in at Backyard Farms

At Backyard Farms, they've learned a lot in the 10 years since they've been in business. One of the most important things they've learned is how much people enjoy seeing how they manage to grow fresh tomatoes in the middle of Maine in the middle of winter.Since their strict food safety standards restrict.....

US (CA): Greenhouse PhD brings science to MMJ cultivation

Plant scientist Allison Justice is the VP of Horticulture at Outlier Collective in California. The cannabis company prides themselves on their indoor and greenhouse harvests, which are grown with sustainable methods, using beneficial insects, fungi and organic oils to ensure top quality. Rooted in science,.....

Malaysian startup promotes indoor farming

The idea of farming, even just growing vegetables to feed your own family is seen as something that is done in the countryside by humble farmers and to some urbanites, embodies unrewarding physical labour.This is the stigma that CityFarm team Jayden Koay, Johanson Chew and Looi Choon Beng are fighting to.....

An air raid shelter full of produce

A pre-WWII air-raid shelter 120 ft below Clapham High Street with absolutely zero natural light, is not the most obvious place to be growing salad.Yet that is exactly what the team at Growing Underground is doing, trays of trendy and pungent microherbs stacked four high on each side of the growing tunnel -.....

Microgreens grower sets up shop in Switzerland

Andreas and Margret Eschbach About a year ago, 2BFresh started a joint venture in Switzerland. “We started there in March 2016,” Andreas Eschbach says. “We have greenhouses, a packing station and a cold store in Switzerland, all the necessary installations to produce micro-leaves. All of our seeds come from.....

US (TN): Dutch grower turns to greenhouse strawberries

Two years ago, Bas van Buuren began researching how he could grow strawberries in a greenhouse.“I knew it would work because I knew people in Europe who were doing it,” said van Buuren, with Dutch Garden Berries, which is based at his Dutch Garden Center in Madison County. “The climate here is so different.....

US (NC): Tomato growers plan referendum in March

The N.C. Tomato Growers Association will conduct a statewide referendum in March to continue the $20 per acre assessment on harvested commercial tomatoes. Funds generated by the assessment would support research, education and marketing to promote tomatoes grown in North Carolina.The proposed assessment term.....

Marco de Bruin starts new hydroponic venture in Minnesota

A high-tech greenhouses for lettuce cultivation on water, equipped with LED lighting. The construction of the new greenhouse for Dutch grower Marco de Bruin will start this spring in Minnesota. On Wednesday at the HortiContact the last papers for the supply of the LED-lighting system were signed.A toast to.....

US (KS): Aquaponics farm eyeing comeback

Gary Poulton, owner of Wholesome Meadows Farm, and his wife, Tami, opened an aquaponics greenhouse last spring. In November, they posted on the farm’s Facebook page that they were stepping back from the business for a while.“We have determined that we need to step away from it for a period of time to.....

Manuel Magdaleno, FreshMex

"Different shading products solution for climate problems"

Three years ago, Mexican company FreshMex had problems with the climate in their glass greenhouse. The large amount of radiation caused drought. A combination of three different shading products proved to be the solution. "The humidity is higher, the climate improves tremendously, we have an earlier.....

Taylor Farms thanks automated harvesting crews

Taylor Farms, in partnership with Yuma, Arizona based Labor of Love, gave thanks to two automated harvesting crews for their service to the agriculture industry last week. Taylor Farms’ automated celery harvester and automated cabbage harvester are two of the most revolutionary machines in the industry......

Patrick van Schetsen, Purple Pride:

“Aubergine market went from extremely good to extremely bad”

The Dutch aubergine season started out as very good in January, but by now, the market has hit a major slump. “We started unusually early as a result of the favourable weather and the amount of sunshine after planting. The first three weeks of the season, up to the first week of February, were exceptionally.....

Year round snack tomatoes thanks to illuminated cultivation

Since a few years, more and more tomatoes are grown under exposure in the Netherlands and Belgium. But since this winter, snack tomato growers also have chosen for production under lights. In fact for the same reason: to be able to deliver high-quality tomatoes all year round.It is well known that the.....

Young New Zealand farmers urged to upskill

The New Zealand agricultural sector is facing considerable change in 2017 and strong business management skills are needed if farmers are to secure a successful future for their business, the head of Rabobank New Zealand has told farmers.Announcing the opening of applications for this year’s Farm Managers.....

US (GA): Incorporating high tunnels in organic farming

Intensive year-round vegetable production under high tunnels is a cornerstone of Crystal Organic Farm. Farming in the Deep South, Nicolas Donck gravitated toward high-tunnel production because of its many benefits including less soil erosion from storm events, ability to achieve lasting soil quality.....

Canadian wild blueberry growers grateful for recent snow

While some may be inconvenienced by the recent snow in Prince Edward Island, wild blueberry growers are counting their blessings. The snow is needed to protect the blueberries according to John Handrahan, president of the P.E.I. Wild Blueberry Growers Association. "Wild blueberries take their damage more.....

US (AZ): From CEAC graduate to successful hydroponic grower

At the University of Arizona, Jenn Frymark helped develop a greenhouse for extreme weather and then spent six months at the South Pole growing food for scientific researchers.Now she grows 10 million heads of lettuce and other greens year-round, without soil, in considerably more benign conditions inside.....

CAN (ON): Growers out millions after tomatoes rotted in fields

Millions of dollars worth of tomatoes rotted in Southwestern Ontario fields last year when a Maidstone canning company — with plans to build a new state-of-the-art plant — didn’t take all the tomatoes it had contracted growers to deliver.“The helpless feeling of watching a good crop rot, just rot, is hard to.....

Who grows food for Blue Apron?

Blue Apron co-founder Matt Wadiak, a former chef and Alice Waters protégé, helped start the company in 2012 with the idea that the ingredients would be sourced from small-scale, sustainable producers. This turned out to be much easier said than done—sourcing such high-quality ingredients for a single.....

US (OH): Greenhouse owner holds burglars at gunpoint until police arrive

A rural Columbus homeowner held off two burglary suspects at gunpoint early Saturday until police could arrive to arrest them and a third individual who was later found hiding in a vehicle.Eric Simo, 44, a southern Bartholomew County landscaper and greenhouse owner, said he went outside about 6 a.m. Saturday.....

Kenya: So you bought a greenhouse... now what?

"It was a venture meant to change fortunes of hundreds of farmers. The ‘magic house’ that was what farmers were told. But from my field visits to various regions in what was the former Western Province the story is discouraging," writes an expert on sustainable agriculture and agricultural solutions at.....

Dutch and local companies help Aphria to expand with 16 acres

Aphria Inc., one of Canada's medical cannabis leaders located in Leamington, Ontario confirmed their choice of primary vendor/contractors for their Part IV expansion project planned for later this year. Thermo Energy Systems Ltd of Leamington, Ontario has been chosen to provide and build the greenhouse.....

A winter harvest from Martha Stewart's greenhouse

"Delicious, organic greens are ready to pick in my vegetable greenhouse," writes Martha Stewart on her blog."My expansive outdoor vegetable garden is bare, but I'm fortunate to have lots of wonderful vegetables growing in the ground in a special greenhouse located behind my Equipment Barn. As many of you.....

CAN (BC): Aquaculture system produces 600,000 kilos of fish annually

Pentair AES spotlights Marine Harvest Canada – Dalrymple Hatchery. Located in Vancouver Island, British Columbia, this Recirculating Aquaculture System (RAS) facility produces 600,000 kilos of Atlantic Salmon Smolt annually (approximately 5.5 million fish).Source: Canadian Aquaponics

Fresh Box Farms’ Dave Vosburg on indoor ag’s potential

As consumers increasingly demand food that is both locally sourced and more nutritious, Controlled Environment Indoor Agriculture (CEIA) has an important role to play in our future food system.By growing close to urban consumers, produce gets from its point of harvest to tables faster. Shorter travel.....

Canada: Food Bank greenhouse provides fresh produce all year round

The shed was just collecting dust out behind the Regina and District Food Bank but the group could see its potential.During the summer, fresh fruit and vegetable donations run aplenty at the food bank but in the winter, those dry up. So the solution was simple, why not turn the shed into a greenhouse?“We’re.....

US (AK): Live greens bring freshness to winter markets

Things are turning green at the Center Market. Fresh, Alaska-grown lettuce and herbs are showing up regularly at the market held weekly at The Mall at Sears. On Wednesday, greens from both Alaska Seeds of Change and Alaska Natural Organics will be available.Ryan Witten, greenhouse manager at Alaska Seeds of.....

Canadian food banks grow own food as donations decline

In a bid to make up for a shortfall of high-quality nutritious food, some Canadian food banks are growing their own produce — and even farming fish.The Mississauga Food Bank recently launched AquaGrow Farms, where tilapia is being raised in tanks and lettuce is raised through hydroponics, or without.....

Wish Farms donates 1,000+ pounds of strawberries for Valentine's Day

Wish Farms, grower-shipper and year-round supplier of strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries donated more than four thousand pounds of strawberries to Feeding Tampa Bay just in time for Valentine’s Day.“We are always happy when we can arrange a donation to Feeding Tampa Bay,” said Gary.....

Australia: 92-year-old woman grows 2kg tomato

At 92 years old, gardening granny Ida Guadagnin, of Manly Vale, has grown a tomato that weighs a staggering 2kg.A lifelong gardener, Mrs Guadagnin defied the odds – which included a scorching summer and intrusive animals – to grow the massive tomato.While the original batch of seeds had also resulted in a.....

US (CO): School district wants to help small growers get certified

Dan Sharp spends most of his days thinking about food.As the director of nutrition services at School District 51, he is constantly brainstorming ways to serve food that is healthy, made-from-scratch and locally sourced to the thousands of students who will eat nearly 170 breakfasts and lunches at school.....

US Farm income expected to continue to decline in 2017

Net farm income is a conventional measure of farm sector profitability that is used as part of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product calculation. Following several years of record highs, net farm income trended downward from 2013 to 2016. For 2017, ERS forecasts net farm income will fall to $62.3 billion ($54.8.....

US (CA): Tower farm sprouts in Los Olivos

As of late last year, the Santa Ynez Valley has its first retail tower farm. It's called The Farm - Los Olivos, located in Los Olivos, of course. It's a Tower Garden by Juice Plus + operation, owned by Todd Mehl.He and his fiancée/business partner, Maria Arroyo, moved to the Valley from Santa Barbara several.....

US (WI): Family sets up 'drive-in' aquaponics greenhouse

In their new two-bay, 6,000-square-foot greenhouse near Bangor, the Steve and Michelle Glandt family and their Lyfe Gardens, LLC, have begun growing tilapia fish and produce for sale year-round.Lyfe Gardens began selling vegetables in November, Michelle said, and will begin selling tilapia by March. It sells.....

CAN (AB): Positive meeting on issues with supplemental lighting in Medicine Hat

Greenhouse growers from the Medicine Hat area in Alberta have recently met with representatives from Cypress Country and the Medicine Hat Regional Airport. The meeting was the first formal gathering of all the parties to work toward a resolution to the problems caused by the supplemental lighting of the.....

Cogeca launches European Award for Cooperative Innovation

The European Agri-Cooperative Group Cogeca launched in Brussels this week the European Award for Cooperative Innovation to promote practices and innovative solutions designed by cooperatives.Speaking in Brussels, Copa & Cogeca Secretary-General Pekka Pesonen said “European farmers and their cooperatives.....

US (MN): Owatonna market grows fresh hydroponic veggies

A market focused on connecting area residents with fresh, locally grown produce and products has opened in Owatonna.Greens Market, owned and operated by Ron Phillips and Jason and Kirie Sarazine, opened its doors at 216. W. Bridge St. last week after months of work at the space.“This will be a farmers market.....

Still growing after all these years

In 2010, Randy and Laura Pierce in Montana received funding through the NRCS (Natural Resources and Conservation Services) and EQIP, their Environmental Quality Incentives Program. The NRCS recently published a video featuring the Pierces’ GrowSpan high tunnel and provides a real life example of a successful.....

US (CO): Restaurant-supplying indoor farm to expand in size and crops

In a shipping container surrounded by snow, Wendy Wyatt is growing lettuce, arugula, kale and other greens.Suspended from the ceiling in hollow fiberglass fencing, her 4,000 plants are kept in a near perfect environment that accelerates their growth and allows them to thrive year-round, Wyatt said.Since the.....

NatureFresh a finalist for World’s Most Inspirational Tomato Grower

NatureFresh Farms has been named as one of 5 finalists for the prestigious international award of Worlds Most Inspirational Tomato Grower. The award, handed out each year during the annual Fruit Logistica in Berlin, Germany, recognizes the top tomato growers worldwide who have been nominated by an.....

Things to consider for new growers

Starting a farm can seem like a very romantic endeavor. In fact, if agriculture is your passion, there is something romantic about working the land and reaping your harvest. Those who have fallen in love with the earth know that love comes at a cost, takes a lot of hard work and maybe some exhausting.....

"Dutch parliament could use some more Westland"

“The Dutch parliament could use some more Westland." That's the motto of Karin Zwinkels, who is fighting for a seat in Parliament.She's currently a teacher and a member of the Westland City Council, but after the elections Karin Zwinkels hopes for a seat in Parliament. The wife of a grower, and a grower's.....

CAN (ON): Elderly couple goes into urban farming

Imagine it’s -10C outside, but you’re warm inside harvesting a crop of lettuce that is hanging vertically without even the hint of dirt around to make a mess.That might sound like science fiction to some, but it’s the reality for Ruth and Harvey Easton, owners of The Urban Farm in St. Thomas.“The response.....

US (AK): How an indoor farm could help at-risk youth

To help disadvantaged teens and young adults land jobs, an Anchorage mental health provider is staking out ground in the high-tech farming fields of hydroponics and vertical gardening.Inside a warehouse off Arctic Boulevard last month, violet light bathed rows of tall white columns. Leafy greens poked out in.....

Texas A&M horticulturist receives Blue Ribbon Award

Dr. Joe Masabni, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service horticulturist, Overton, received an award for his latest how-to book for Texas gardeners titled “Easy Gardening for Texas.”Dr. Joe Masabni, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service horticulturist, with sprouts grown for field trials at the AgriLife.....

US (VT): Farmers use greenhouses for local produce in winter

Demand driven by the farm-to-table movement knows no seasons, so farmers in colder areas of the country increasingly use greenhouses and similar structures to meet wintertime demand for local produce.While crusty snow and ice covers the ground in January in Vermont, spinach leaves sprout in rows of unfrozen.....

Finland: 100% LED pays off for Martin Sigg

Martin Sigg specializes in growing tomatoes. He has been pioneering the use of grow lights since 2000. He decided to equip all his greenhouses with a double line of LED interlighting combined with his existing HPS systems. In 2016, he moved to 100% LED in one greenhouse.In Finland it is only possible to grow.....

US (CT): State invests $3 million in indoor agriculture venture

Connecticut is investing a lot of green — $3 million in financing — to get an indoor agriculture venture off the ground in Suffield.Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced Friday that Four Seasons Farm, the project for which the state is providing financing, is expected to create 40 new jobs over the next two years......