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Grower in the Spotlight


Len Krahn with British Columbia-based SunSelect Produce :

"It's tomato saturation time"

The west coast is flush with tomatoes. “Overall we’re pretty saturated with tomatoes at the moment,” says Len Krahn of Aldergrove, BC-based SunSelect Produce Inc. “All of the main greenhouses are pounding away and the fields are starting to show some product. And Mexico is still, not necessarily putting TOVs.....

Australia: Building industry couple make horticulture career switch

A Sunshine Coast family has made a daring tree change, leaving the building industry to grow chemical free microgreens, sprouts and edible flowers for restaurants, pubs and cafes.Sharon Koski had no experience, just a love of gardening and a willingness to learn, backed by a family who shares her work ethic......

US (TX): Lamar CISD fosters hands-on learning with Aquaponics Center

Three goldfish flutter around a fish tank in the corner of Lamar Consolidated High School Assistant Principal David Squires' office - but they're not pets.Disassembled on the floor next to the tank are the makings of a miniature aquaponics system - a soil-free plant bed and a pump. Aquaponics is a technology.....

Italy: Tomato grower looks to increase yields with Heliospectra LEDs

Heliospectra announces a new order from Heliospectra’s Italian reseller Ageon S.r.l. The order goes to one of Italy’s prominent commercial tomato producers Gandini Antonio S.S. located in northern Italy, with the goal to improve plant quality and increase yield. The order is valued at $99,000 (805,000.....

A visit to Mans Organics in Coaldale, Alberta:

Canada: The challenge of running a small scale family farm

More demand for locally grown organic produce creates opportunities for small-scale family farms in Canada. Yet, increasing minimum wages and rising energy costs also make it a challenging adventure for some. The day to day operations at the organic farm of the Mans family in Coaldale, Alberta, is a good.....

October 23-27:

India: Hydroponic training course returns to Pune

In order to introduce more access to knowledge on efficient and food safe greenhouse growing practices in India, a second edition of Graeme Smith's and Delish Veggies' technical management course is slated for late October. Those who missed out to join the first sold-out edition in January, will be offered a.....

US (FL): How to grow the world's hottest pepper

"These are the world's hottest peppers," said Dannon Glover of Southport, Florida. "I've always enjoyed hot stuff. I always liked peppers and pepper sauce and hot sauces, but jalapenos and Tabascos really didn't cut it."Your average jalapeno checks in at about 10,000 Scoville Heat Units. The Carolina Reaper.....

Video: James West of Midas letters visits Aphria

In a new edition of the Midas Letter’s Cannabis Video Series, James West travels to Leamington, Ontario: home of licensed producer Aphria, one of the few 100 percent greenhouse growers in the public markets.

UMass researchers run hydroponic farm

Evan Chakrin, 33, spends his summer afternoons harvesting plants, mostly lettuce, at a hydroponic food farm.He worked Friday afternoon, harvesting 10 pounds of lettuce that he was planning to donate to the Amherst Survival Center. He picked a head, doused it in insect soap and packaged it in a clam-shaped.....

US (WI): Farm Technology Days charging forward for 2018

Before Farm Technology Days (FTD) 2017 was even over, almost 300 volunteers were deep in planning the 2018 event in Wood County. In the next year, committees will ramp up and add about another 100 volunteers on the planning side. By the time the show runs from July 10 - 12, 2018, between 2,000 - 2,500.....

Iceland: "Strawberries rot in greenhouses as imports flood market "

Icelandic strawberry growers say they are facing a crisis as cheap foreign exports have flooded the market. Some local growers have stopped picking berries this summer, as the produce cannot be sold at a price which covers the cost of harvesting and getting them to the market. The arrival of retailing giant.....

October 17, Philadelphia

US (PA): Exclusive mushroom farm tours for Indoor Ag-Con Philly participants

As an added bonus for those joining at Indoor Ag-Con Philly on October 16, Kennett Township - home to half of the country's mushroom capacity - is offering an exclusive day of free tours of their world-class mushroom facilities as well as lunch and greenhouse tours at Longwood Gardens on October 17. You'll.....

Meras and Houweling's settle in $12.5 million patent infringement with CH2O

US: Parties bury hatchet in chlorine dioxide patent lawsuit

Meras and Houweling's Tomatoes have buried the hatchet in the longstanding water treatment solution lawsuit with CH20. Meras has settled with CH20, the developer of a patented chlorine dioxide water treatment system.On September 6, 2016, a federal jury awarded CH2O $12.5 million in damages, finding that.....

15 acre expansion planned for Wapakoneta:

US(OH): Chibante's Golden Fresh Farms joins Mastronardi Produce

Mastronardi Produce and Golden Fresh Farms, located in Wapakoneta, Ohio, are pleased to announce an exclusive agreement between the two companies to bring Mastronardi’s SUNSET® brand produce to more consumers throughout the US. This will be the 5th state that the SUNSET® brand will be grown locally in,.....

Belgium: open field lettuce hit hard by hot weather

The Belgian open field lettuce season has so far been very disappointing. "At the moment it is a difficult situation for all kinds of lettuce. We have had an extremely dry period, which caused many plants to burn. Luckily this weekend we had some rain again, but not all the plants did respond equally.....

A sneak peek into London's underground shelter farm

The ‘Growing Underground’ vertical farm has been featured on CNN, BBC, National Geographic, Al Jazeera and countless other worldwide media platforms. Located 33 meters underneath central London in an abandoned WW2 shelter, it supplies local restaurants and retailers with 15 varieties of microgreens daily......

Spain: Agroponiente doubles organic production and acreage

Grupo Agroponiente continues to bet strongly on the cultivation of organic products and has held a meeting with its "bio" producers to take stock of a very positive campaign in terms of figures and development. Agroponiente's organic producers have received this information from the general director of.....

CAN (ON): Roelands Plant Farms announces addition to management team

Roelands Plant Farms announces that Arie Alblas, Production Manager with the company since they broke ground in 2013, is transitioning into the role of Account Manager and Crop Specialist. This newly created position within the company will see Alblas focusing on customer service, and maintaining the strong.....

US (IA): High-tunnel grower provides Canaan Township with produce

In the Bible, Canaan is the land of milk and honey. Canaan Township, which includes Mt. Union, used to be Mississippi River swamp ground. In the early 19th Century, the swamp was drained, exposing some of the most fertile, flat, black soil in Iowa. You can see for miles in any direction. Corn, soybeans and.....

UK: Six-year-old twins design vertical farm

When Broughton C of E primary in Preston tasked class Y1 with a school project looking at ‘The Farm Shop’, 6-year old twins, Heidi and Marissa, knew exactly what they wanted to do. They were going to create their very own ‘Intelligent Farm’, having been inspired by the demonstrator video on the IGS.....

UK: Final call for Nuffield Farming Scholarship applications

There is still time to apply for the life changing opportunity of a Nuffield Farming Scholarship, with just a matter of weeks until the 31 July deadline.If you are passionate and enthusiastic about farming or a related industry, aged between 22 and 45, with the desire to broaden your horizons, and make a.....

Canadian demand exceeds supply

Urban settings proving to be fruitful for farming

When you consider the amount of land given to properties in cities, most would think it was only enough for a patio, some furniture and maybe a pool if space (and finances) permit. On the other hand, there are a handful of individuals starting their own urban farms right in their back yards.3,000 sq ft. of.....

US (MS): MSU scientist finds her calling in horticulture

For 16 years, Christine Coker has been doing what she loves: putting food on people's tables."In college, I really liked the study of plants, but I knew I wasn't going to be the world's greatest botanist," she said. "What I really wanted to do was feed people."As an associate Extension and research.....

Israeli-Indian partnership benefits growers

Narendra Modi became the first Indian prime minister to visit Israel when he landed in Tel Aviv on Sunday. Coinciding with the historic visit of the PM, Business Standard looked at some of the joint initiatives of the two countries across India and their impact.Israelis have long been known for changing.....

July 15, Midland

US (SD): Greenhouse growers welcome chefs on tour

The South Dakota Specialty Producers Association has coordinated nine upcoming tours featuring specialty crops, meats and products. The next tour and program is scheduled for July 15 featuring greenhouse production, selling products via a box program, and purchasing local foods from a chef’s.....

Up to 50% less production expected:

German strawberry growers challenged by bad weather

A sizeable majority of German strawberry producers have had 30-50% less production this season due to the bad weather at the beginning of the season.Markus Hofmann from Hegepflanzen GmbH said that demand is good, as usual, for this time of year. The same can't be said for the prices, which are higher than.....

Frank de Koning pleased about Rijk Zwaan's organic seed

"Organic production is much more challenging"

Grower Frank de Koning from the Dutch town of Brielle likes a challenge, which is why he has been focused on producing tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and aubergines organically since 2000. The right varieties are crucial for him. The plant must be strong and resilient, and the fruits must be tasty and of.....

US (WV): Jackson County church feeds the hungry with aquaponics

LifeSpring Community Church-Jackson doesn’t look like a “church” as you drive by. There are churches along the main street in Ravenswood. None look like LifeSpring.The reason LifeSpring doesn’t look like a church is simple, it was a farm store with a greenhouse behind it before it became a house of.....

Belgian grower Den Boschkant chooses for new LED Interlighting

In early 2017, Philips launched a new light fixture, the Greenpower LED Interlighting module. This fixture is hung between the crop and the entire line can be adjusted in height manually. The fixture produces 300 μmol/m2.s light output and with 100 watts per module, the fixture produces 3.....

Addy Breugem, Thanet Earth:

“HortiQ concept has resulted in better greenhouse and peace of mind”

HortiQ, the recognised mark of quality in the Dutch horticultural technology sector, and insurance company Hagelunie have joined forces to launch the HortiQ concept for international greenhouse horticulture. In addition to setting top-class quality standards for greenhouse construction, the HortiQ concept is.....

British growers hit by severe labour shortages

Will UK greenhouse growers become early adopters of innovations like the deleafing robot or the automatic cucumber harvester? As a result of Brexit, the growers are facing huge labour shortages and the situation is not looking to be solved within the next few months.A large part of the British glasshouse.....

Fue Yang of Yang Family Vegetables :

US (MO): "I am choosing to go backwards to move forward"

Though he fondly recalls growing up amongst rows of pickling cucumbers and snacking on orchard apples while completing homework, Fue Yang didn’t originally aspire to be a farmer.“The farther I tried to get away from it, the deeper I got involved,” says Fue. At Missouri’s Webb City Farmers Market, Farmers.....

US: Maine adopts food sovereignty law

With a stroke of his pen, Gov. Paul LePage last week enacted landmark legislation putting Maine in the forefront of the food sovereignty movement.LePage signed LD 725, An Act to Recognize Local Control Regarding Food Systems, Friday legitimizing the authority of towns and communities to enact ordinances.....

Australian grower pioneers 'impossible' hydroponic wasabi

It has taken years of trial and error but wasabi grower Stephen Welsh has achieved what many thought impossible. Wasabi is a notoriously tricky crop, but Welsh’s persistence over the past 18 years has made him one of the few people in the world to master growing the plant hydroponically.Welsh is the general.....

Mastronardi featured in Canada's 150th anniversary celebrations

Celebrating Canada’s 150th also included celebrating the industry leaders which Canada is known for. This includes the booming greenhouse business in which Canada is a major player. Recently, the National Post, a national news source in Canada, featured a pioneer in the industry, Mastronardi Produce and the.....

Dutch care center thrives urban with Freight Farm

Since the end of last year, Dutchman Patrick Stoffer is growning vegetables in a shipping container on the grounds of Humanitas Residential and Care Center in Deventer.Patrick Stoffer with the cultivation containerIt is not commonplace for a student to live between the elderly in a care center. Together with.....

UK: 150 hectares of soft fruit

Hugh Lowe Farms, established 1893, are local strawberry growers at the top of their game.Farming 750 hectares, they dedicate one fifth to soft fruit production and sell around 4,000 tonnes of strawberries per year. One million berries will be served up at this year’s Wimbledon tennis tournament alone.Marion.....

US: ShopRite expands Locally Grown program

ShopRite announces the expansion of its Locally Grown program, offering a variety of products throughout the supermarket – from farm-raised beef to seafood, flowers, fresh fruits and vegetables, baked goods, honey, craft beer and roasted coffees.“ShopRite has been partnering with local farmers since our.....

CAN (BC): Strawberry grower goes vertical for year-round harvest

Rutland Farm Market on Rutland Road has been growing fresh vegetables for the Kelowna market for the past seven years. Manjit and Raj Basra started growing cucumbers in 2010 when they took over the Kelowna Rose Garden, but soon branched out into other fresh produce.Strawberries are one of their most popular.....

Indoor farming patent doesn't impress Philips

Is a patent on indoor or vertical farming possible? Well, according to Philips not. Despite Plantlab's claim to have a patent on growing in a completely closed and controlled environment, Philips Lighting will continue with its activities in indoor farming.Last week, Plantlab announced that it canobtain its.....

Produce heavyweight Hein Deprez acquires large Dutch organic greenhouse grower

One of Holland's largest organic greenhouse growers has sold its business to Greenyard's Hein Deprez and his family company The Fruit Farm.A.C. Hartman, which grows bell peppers on an acreage of 72 hectare in the Friesland province, is one of the premier suppliers to Dutch retailer Albert Heijn. With the.....

US (TX): Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan seek inspiration at Texas A&M AgriLife

A group of scientists, teachers, consultants, governmental and non-governmental representatives from Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan recently visited the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center in Uvalde to learn how work being done there might be adapted in their countries.Cochran Fellows from.....

Canada: Orangeline turns pink for year round Ontario berries

Orangeline Farms has teamed up with smart horticultural lighting company LumiGrow to determine the optimal light levels for year round greenhouse strawberry production.Leamington based greenhouse grower Orangeline Farms is known for being a pioneer for specialty crops. After having successfully introduced.....

Dutch hail horror: a year later

Growers have always known that hail and glass don‘t go together. And the Dutch growers in Brabant are still fearful. "Even with some light showers you get a little nervous," says Wim van den Boomen. The pepper grower is one of the entrepreneurs who saw his greenhouse completely destroyed.....

Netherlands: Drone films first steel at Royal Peppers

At Royal Peppers in Waddinxveen (the Netherlands) the first steel trellis has been erected. In just a couple months the first peppers will be grown in this greenhouse. At the moment only the foundation has been constructed. The entire infrastructure has to be created since this is an entirely new location. A.....

Chili peppers training next gen of Swedish producers

Back in 1996, after Jeppe Robertsson took over the livestock farm started by his parents, the first stage of greenhouses were built. Since then, Gummagårdens has grown to a production of 1700 tonnes of cucumbers each year, adding up to roughly five million cucumbers, across 23,400m2.Gummagårdens has pretty.....

Disafa, Turin:

Italian research station to boost domestic basil production

Our Italian collageus at FreshPlaza.it recently visited Disafa's Experimental Centre in Turin. Here, for the past 20 years, professor Silvana Nicola has been coordinating the research for the soilless cultivation of vegetables and medicinal plants. Nicola is currently grown basil plants cultivated with on a.....

Lee and Gordons Greens featured on WTVC:

US (GA): Hydroponic greenhouse owner "never stops growing"

Joan Jones owns the hydroponics greenhouse Lee and Gordons Greens. She grows lettuce year round without using any soil. She's now in her ninth year."We've never stopped. That's our slogan for our business we never stop growing," Jones said. On average, Joan grows seven different varieties of lettuce year.....

Sunset to pick first Michigan grown English cucumbers

SUNSET® is continuing to grow its successful local program, this time with an additional 12 acres in Michigan for the 2017 season, all in time for summer.“Since opening our Coldwater greenhouse facility in 2012, we’ve been filling a growing customer need for fresh, local produce all year long,” shared CEO.....

Intern Berjelle van Namen shares experience in blogpost:

Finland: Vertical system results in better quality for Robbe's Little Garden

Berjelle van Namen is a third-year student in Business Administration & Agribusiness at the HAS Hogeschool in 's-Hertogenbosch., Holland. His trainee period abroad was done at Robbe's Little Garden in Finland. In the blog below, he reveals more about the choice of LED lighting, biological cultivation and.....

"Everyone’s a winner" in IFAMA’s 2017 student competition

What challenges lie ahead for farmers in emerging markets like Guatemala or Mali? How can agribusiness in different parts of the world benefit from an initiative connecting stakeholders throughout the whole food chain – and how does its implementation contribute to sustainable agriculture?Ronald Guendel.....

Ontario Agri-food Award of Excellence for Greenbelt Microgreens

Greenbelt Microgreens came on the scene about a year ago. The company, having recently won an Ontario Premier’s Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence, was started by a former landscaper named Ian Adamson. And he’s sure done his homework. Eco-conscious himself, he decided to figure out exactly what modern.....

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.....

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.....