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Grower in the Spotlight


Gilles Carriou, tomato grower in Lézardrieux, France:

"Extending the pre-planting phase gives more control over generative growth"

French tomato grower Gilles Carriou switched last year to using RootmaXX cubes from Cultilene. This stone wool cube allows growers to extend the pre-planting phase to give more control over generative growth. The result? Benefits for both production and quality.Gilles Carriou runs a greenhouse operation.....

"Microgreens are much more than a garnish"

Microgreens are slowly moving from esoteric culinary circles to mainstream diners' plates. In Phoenix, one company holds much of the responsibility for introducing laymen to the diminutive vegetables.Arizona Microgreens is run by two hipster brothers, Joseph Martinez, 28, and David Redwood, 35. The business.....

Germany: Tomatoes from the hotel roof

On the sun terrace of the Estrel in Berlin, the largest hotel in Europe, SUNfarming has built its agro-solar greenhouse.The greenhouse, covered with a 4 m wide light dome, has a size of 42.5m² (5m x 8.5m). The roof tops, east and west of the light dome, are equipped with SUNfarming modules, the generated.....

Rubén Moreno, Agros:

“Without insect net, we don't make our production targets”

Agros Tomate is a pioneer in the production of high quality hydroponic tomatoes which are produced in a state of the art greenhouse in Querétaro, Mexico. The company is a leader in its sector and is recognized by the most demanding national and foreign clients for its quality and service. Agros prides.....

US (KY): Local family brings aquaponics to West Kentucky

Better quality vegetables grown without soil —One family wants to bring that to west Kentucky by using aquaponics.Leaving nursing after 26 years to pursue a lifelong dream isn’t easy. For Tammie McCullough, it’s worth taking that leap.“I was nervous about leaving the corporate world, but I’m fortunate I get.....

CAN (ON): Toronto entrepreneur brings vertical farms to Windsor

Toronto area entrepreneur Zale Tabakman has brought his budding vertical farming business to Windsor through a collaboration with Canada South Science City and support from Unifor Skilled Trades.Tabakman’s agriculture and technology company — Local Grown Salads — is taking root inside the Forster Community.....

US (MO): Growers share success by using high tunnels

As the growing season is ending for many Ozark crops, folks with high tunnels will be going strong all winter long.The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service offers financial assistance for people to put up high tunnels like this one. It's a program that's been around about eight years called the.....

World record breaking carrot weighs in at 23 pounds

Grown by gardener Chris Qualley of Minnesota, Canada the 22.44 pound carrot looks like an entire ecosystem of smaller carrots.Verified by Guinness World Records, the organisation says that the entire weight of the vegetable did not include any sticks, dirt or stones.The previous record, held by Peter.....

UK: 2018 Nuffield Farming Scholars announced

The Nuffield Farming Scholarship Trust has announced the appointment of 19 new Scholars to commence their travels and research in 2018.The successful Scholars were carefully selected from a large group of strong applicants on the basis that they have the ability to lead positive change in farming, food,.....

UK: Retractable greenhouses planned at historic fruit business

A historic Kent farming business is seeking permission to erect almost 30 acres of retractable roof greenhouses for soft fruit production alongside a new storage building and reservoir.G Charlton and Sons is based at Rumwood Green Farm, Langley, and specialises in apple and strawberry production.Acting on.....

Giant 960kg squash breaks world record

Not only did Joe Jutras of Rhode Island break previous records for the world's heaviest pumpkin and the longest gourd, but now the grower can add the world's heaviest squash to his list.At a whopping 960 kilograms, Jutras's squash was crowned the heaviest last Saturday at Frerichs Farm in Warren, R.I.,.....

CAN (ON): Wage increase could hurt farmers

Flamborough broccoli grower Ken Forth is warning that the planned minimum wage increase in Ontario, Canada could have a huge negative impact on farmers.Forth, who is the chairman of the labour section of the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers, said the increases brought on by Bill 148, which will see wages.....

Mucci Farms wins Leamington Business Excellence Award

The Leamington Chamber of Commerce has awarded Mucci Farms with the top honour in the Industrial/Manufacturing Excellence category at the 23rd Annual Business Excellence Awards held at the Leamington Portuguese Club on October 11th, 2017. The award was sponsored by the Windsor Essex Economic Development.....

US (LA): Aquaponics comes to Baton Rouge middle school

Since August, dozens of students at Brookstown Middle School in Baton Rouge have been raising catfish with a plan to use the fish waste as fertilizer to grow lettuce.The school aquaponics lab is the brainchild of ExxonMobil electrical engineer Ronnie Morris, who spent $6,000 of his own money to buy the.....

NatureSweet CEO shares secrets of productivity

The leader of North America’s largest greenhouse tomato growing company on Thursday shared how guaranteeing impoverished Mexican workers a decent income allowed the company to dramatically increase production and become one of the most widely recognized labels in the produce aisle.But first it took gaining.....

US (IN): Indoor garden helps students broaden their food horizons

Bailey Horning knew all about lettuce and broccoli, but recently, she came home excited about Swiss chard.That’s because it was one of the vegetables and herbs growing in the 6-foot hydroponics garden in Nicole Dean’s first-grade class at Tenth Street Elementary School.“I got it from the Anderson City.....

Video blog series covers small-scale urban ag production

University of Illinois Extension has announced the debut of a video blog (vlog) series by Local Food Systems and Small Farms Educator Zack Grant. The series will cover small-scale urban ag production and home-scale food production. The first installment, a 16-minute video on Season Extension, is available.....

Finland: Former cucumber grower closes circle with niche crops

If growing cucumbers is not enough of a tasty challenge anymore, you can always look at more difficult crops like edible flowers and cresses. This is what Finnish growers Pirjo and Tapio Mönkkönen of Kotipelto had in mind when they decided to put their cucumber business aside in 2009.By focusing on culinary.....

Village Farms employees offer Irma relief to Second Harvest Food Bank

In an effort to provide support post Hurricane Irma Village Farms employees volunteered their time at the local Second Harvest Food Bank in Orlando, Florida.Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida distributes tens of millions of meals per year through 550 local nonprofit feeding programs geared toward.....

Australia: Queensland farmers go high-tech

Des and Paula Chapman share a farm in Australia. Their 750ha Rocky Ponds Produce farm property at northern Queensland’s Gumlu — producing a million cartons a year in capsicum, melon and pumpkin varieties — is in a region that boasts the longest growing season in Australia for horticulture.“Because we’re in.....

Westmoreland-TopLine Farms to showcase new Roma tomato at PMA

Westmoreland-TopLine Farms is no stranger at the PMA Fresh Summit. “We have been exhibiting from the beginning,” says Jimmy Coppola with the Leamington, ON- based greenhouse grower. “At first, we started off small and as part of the CPMA pavilion and eventually went onto our own floor space.”PMA has it.....

5 profitable urban farming questions with Metropolis Farms

Jack Griffin, President of Philadelphia-based vertical farming company Metropolis Farms, is known for his passionate support of the burgeoning indoor agriculture industry, whether that’s founding an industry association or representing the industry in Congress. Attendants will be hearing about his.....

Zing! Family brings home BMO Ontario Farm Family Award

The 100th Annual International Plowing Match was held in Walton, Ontario this year and, as in previous years, as part of being a presenting partner, BMO Bank of Montreal has presented their Ontario Farm Family Award. This year eleven families from across Ontario were selected to recognize the outstanding.....

New F&V platform for Ukrainian greenhouse veg growers

It took just over 4 months to reconstruct an old Soviet-era motor transport enterprise into the first stage of a logistics center, capable of receiving and processing up to 80 tons of vegetables a day. The facility makes it possible for small and medium greenhouse producers to bring their vegetables to be.....

US (GA): University and state officials embark on farm tour

From the trees that beautify Georgia's landscapes to the cows that produce milk to feed Georgia families, agriculture in this state is diverse and faces a wide range of challenges. University of Georgia President Jere W. Morehead and state leaders learned more about these challenges and northeastern.....

to supplement staff feeding

Kenya: Oserian Fairtrade establishes nutrition garden

The Oserian Fairtrade Joint Body has established a garden for production of selected highly nutritious vegetables to supplement staff feeding.The Nutrition Garden is a project of the flower exporter and responsible trading label programme, Fairtrade. The label certifies goods produced by firms that have.....

Empowering women leaders for a stronger Aussie horticulture industry

Women that are current and emerging leaders in the horticulture industry can now apply for a leadership development scholarship opportunity valued at up to $5,470.Funded by Hort Innovation and Women & Leadership Australia (WLA), the scholarship grants cover up to 60 per cent of the cost of the programs......

Start of Monterosa tomato campaign with an empty market

"Domestic market will be key for Spanish tomatoes in future"

The harvest of Monterosa specialty tomatoes, the summer tomato available in winter, started two weeks ago in Almeria, although volumes are still limited."We have faced many difficulties due to the high temperatures recorded since we planted the tomatoes in July, with an excessive drop of flowers. Because of.....

NL: First basil harvest from new hydroponic greenhouse

The harvest of the first basil in the new Kruidenaer greenhouse has been realised. After working on the construction for almost a year, the time is finally here.The Kruidenaer works on 25 hectares with 1 hectare of tunnel greenhouse and now 5 hectares of glass. On December 19 2016 the construction of this.....

John Hoogeboom reflects on his longstanding career:

"Pace of innovation in horticulture is phenomenal"

If there is one man that has witnessed the evolution of greenhouse technology and equipment from the front row, it must be John Hoogeboom. The Dutchman was at the base of introducing new technologies in the United States. At the age of 75 he hopes to retire soon, but not before he shares his story with us......

Australia: NT Farmers resumes AUSVEG membership

NT Farmers has resumed its membership of AUSVEG, with the national vegetable industry representative body eager to work with growers in the Northern Territory to capitalise on the industry’s massive potential for growth.Michael Quach, one of the territory’s leading mango, tomato and cucumber growers, is NT.....

UK grower attempting to grow the world's largest cabbage

A giant vegetable grower has got his sights set on the record for the heaviest green cabbage ever grown.David Thomas from Cornwall already holds three world records for other giant vegetables, but the heaviest green cabbage has eluded him.The current giant cabbage record holder was grown in Alaska in 2012.He.....

"Respecting the environment is key to succeed on Northern European markets"

"We started with organic techniques in the years when fruit cultivation was based on intensive traditional techniques, which were easier and more profitable. Our choice was the right one, as we managed to find our own share of the market," explains Elisa Lauria, quality manager of Soc. Coop......

UK: New panel members sought to help steer horticultural industry

AHDB Horticulture is currently seeking applications from growers to join their crop sector panels for a three-year term from January 2018.There are 15 vacancies across five sector panels, with a range of areas of expertise being sought.Sector panel members play a crucial role in assessing and planning.....

US (SD): Global Aquaponics still seeking cash for stalled project

An investor in the Global Aquaponics fish farm near Brookings says he has been assured by the project’s backers that they are continuing to solicit investors for the project.Jerry Gross, a Sioux Falls accountant, said he was recently told by Tobias Ritesman, the CEO and chairman of Ritesman Enterprises, that.....

US (CA): Vacant greenhouses snapped up in cannabis land boom

To weaken one mind-altering leaf crop 4,000 miles away, the feds inadvertently crushed California’s cut-flower crop, setting the stage for another mind-altering leaf crop to flourish decades later.A preferential trade agreement with four South American countries signed in 1991 — part of the War on Drugs — is.....

Maarten Zwaan passes away

Maarten Zwaan passed away on Monday 18 September at the age of 82. Maarten was on the Board of Directors at Rijk Zwaan from 1988 to 2000 and was co-shareholder of the company.Maarten had been seriously ill for some time, but he continued to dedicate himself to the company, and in particular to its employees,.....

1.5 meters luffa brings significant profit

A farmer from Xinjiezizhen, a place near Hanzhong, Shaanxi province, has a luffa plantation of about 6 ha. His luffas are pretty unusual, they can reach 1.5 meters in length! In general, all of his luffas are about one meter or longer. This luffa is not for food. When it gets old and dry, it is used for.....

Dutch grower boosts tomato yield in LED trial

Plessey announces the results from a trial of its LED grow lights combined with existing high-pressure sodium (HPS) lighting in a hybrid installation with a leading tomato grower in the Netherlands.The seven-month trial, managed by Maarten Klein, Plessey’s Head Agronomist, has been running since the end of.....

Mars farmers come home again

Six NASA-backed research subjects who have been cooped up in a Mars-like habitat on a remote Hawaii volcano since January emerged from isolation Sunday. They devoured fresh-picked tropical fruits and fluffy egg strata after eating mostly freeze-dried food while in isolation and some vegetables they grew.....

Smart Yookr sensor network speeds up start of new operation

Dutch nursery Grenspaal is a leading company in the innovation of greenhouse horticulture. In August 2016, Maurice Kassenbouw started the construction of a new high tech greenhouse, which was completed in December 2016. Before the greenhouse was handed over, Maurice Kassenbouw and Kwekerij Grenspaal.....

Village Farms listed as one of British Colombia's fastest growing companies

Business in Vancouver has recognised Village Farms as one of the fastest growing companies in British Columbia for 2017. The list is compiled by Business in Vancouver, a weekly business news journal which ranks companies based on outstanding growth over the last five years.Business in Vancouver’s annual list.....

Canada: Red Sun Farms makes Profit 500 list

Celebrating its 29th anniversary in 2017, the PROFIT 500 is a ranking of Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies by five-year revenue growth. This year Red Sun Farms has made the list. It profiles the country’s most successful growth companies through joint venture between Canada’s premier business and current.....

NatureFresh Farms

HPS lighting allows for Ohio grown tomatoes in fall, winter & spring

While most greenhouse tomato growers in the Northeast are nearing the end of a growing season, NatureFresh Farms in Delta, OH, is just getting started. With an abundance of off-peak power available from the grid, NatureFresh is using High Pressure Sodium (HPS) lighting to supplement its growing.....

China: Dutch grower takes on new challenge at Beijing Hongfu

In February this year Dutch greenhouse grower Henk Gerichhausen set foot on Chinese land for the first time to visit the brand new 5 hectare greenhouse operation of Beijing Hongfu International AgricultureLtd.. He took on the challenging position as Head Grower. "You should not expect to reach Dutch.....

Crop diversification helps ensure Westland Orchids and Westland Produce stay profitable

As the U.S. market for ornamental and food crops continues to evolve, Westland Orchids and Westland Produce are looking for products that consumers are willing to pay for and are profitable. They were featured in issue 12 of Urban Ag News. When Jerry Van Wingerden started growing greenhouse cut flowers at.....

CAN (BC): Strawberry fundraiser pushes farm’s total to over $14,000

Joanne and Kevin, and daughter Katie Leek presented Reach Child and Youth Development Society executive director Renie D’Aquila and development manager Kristin Bibbs with a cheque for $3,552 from this year’s Canada Day Strawberry Fundraiser.Since 2014, Emma Lea Farms has contributed $14,584 to Reach’s.....

US (MA): MMCRU Middle School almost at $40,000 greenhouse goal

Jared Ehrp of Remsen Farmers Coop stopped by the MMCRU Middle School seventh grade Exploratory Ag class on Friday, September 8 to present the $3,000 donation that the MMCRU FFA was receiving for their greenhouse, which will be located in Marcus. Remsen Farmers Coop donated $1,000 for the greenhouse and two other businesses, Land O’ Lakes and CoBank, matched that donation for a total of a $3,000 donation to the greenhouse. Sam Schroeder, the MMCRU Exploratory Ag teacher and MMCRU FFA teacher stated, “We are almost to our goal of $40,000 for our greenhouse! It is so great to have our community recognize the need for students in school to learn more plant science and crop management practices.” 


Vietnamese farmer learns trick of trade in Israel

When he saw local residents destroy a forest to reclaim land for cultivation, 24-year-old Giang A Day became very upset “I always wondered how to change the way they did farming and how to cultivate in areas short of water,” he said. In September 2015 Day was a final-year student at Tay Bac University when.....

NatureSweet CEO to address students, business professionals at Texas university

Bryant Ambelang – president and CEO of NatureSweet Brands LTD, the world’s largest greenhouse producer of tomatoes – will be the Forum on Entrepreneurship Breakfast Series keynote speaker Thursday, Sept. 28.The event, hosted by the Meadows Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at St. Mary’s University, will be.....

Netherlands: Landspout destroys Westland greenhouses

While you can not compare it with the hazardous situations as a result of the hurricanes at the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, some Dutch residents were pretty surprised when a severe landspout hit the Westland region yesterday afternoon. Aside from a lot of damage to houses and vehicles, about 20.....

US (MA): Serial tomato thief strikes again

A serial tomato thief has stolen hundreds of pounds of the crop from a local farm over three annual Labor Day weekend trips, farm workers told Boston 25 News.After the first theft, in which approximately 300 pounds of tomatoes were stolen, the Waltham Fields Community Farm installed a surveillance system.The.....

CAN(ON): Del Fresco Pure expands berry production with 10 acres

Tapping into consumers’ increasing interest in locally grown food, Kingsville, Ont.-based Del Fresco Pure is expanding its greenhouse strawberry production by 10 acres. “We’ll be in full production by November,” says Del Fresco Pure’s Ray Mastronardi. “The local demand for the greenhouse berries is strong......

US: Farmers’ Guide helps growers navigate value-added grant program

Following months of consternation by farmers and advocacy groups alike, on Monday, August 28, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) finally announced its fiscal year (FY) 2017 Notice of Solicitation of Applications (NOSA) for the Value-Added Producer Grant Program (VAPG). As one of the key organizations.....

by Ed Attanasio

US (CA): Oceanside Unified School District gets into greenhouse growing

Director of Community Engagement and Innovation Vicki Gravlin works for the Oceanside Unified School District that oversees 23 schools. She is in her 27th year as a teacher and administrator and a former principal of Palmquist Elementary.by Ed AttanasioGravlin has played a pivotal role in getting the school.....

US (ME): Lisbon farm raises money for aquaponics facility

A farm in Lisbon that grows lettuce indoors year-round using aquaponics has raised one-third of the total $1.6 million in equity funding it is seeking.Springworks Farm Maine Inc., started three years ago by Bowdoin College student Trevor Kenkel, 22, raised $535,838, according to a U.S. Securities and.....

First LED-lit snack cucumbers grown by Dutch nursery

Last week, the LED lighting in the greenhouse at Kwekerij Verhoeven was switched on. For owner Ad Verhoeven, this signifies a huge step for his company. LED lamps were installed above a snack cucumber growing area of 2 hectares. The LED lighting enables Verhoeven to sustainably grow snack cucumbers.....

Application open for companies to participate in AgLaunch365

AgLaunch announces applications are open for its latest initiative AgLaunch365, which combines its accelerator program with its network of innovative farmers in a flexible wrap-around model that revolves around the agricultural production cycle.AgLaunch365 will operate in three phases, allowing startups to.....

US: Urban food from supermarket rooftops to a storied ball park

Since its inception in 2008, Green City Growers (GCG), a Certified B Corporation that installs and maintains vegetable gardens and farms within the greater Boston area, has assisted in the production of more than 175,000 pounds of organic produce, donated more than 12,000 pounds of fruits and vegetables, and.....

Available September through May

Mexico: Divemex picks first crop from Ahualulco expansion

Divemex, a Mexican greenhouse vegetable grower, has just harvested its first peppers from a recently opened greenhouse in Ahualulco. "While many growers have expanded into new regions to expand and extend their offerings, we have opened a new greenhouse," says Luis de Saracho, CEO of Guadalajara.....

Dutch eggplant grower switches to Multigrow Premium:

"Slab is keeping up with tough times"

During this season, Dutch eggplant nursery Jansen from Etten-Leur is cultivating on the 10 centimeter high Multigrow Premium slabs for the first time. "Last season we did a test on the brown slabs from Multigrow," grower Hans explained He is one of two brothers who run the family business. "One week after.....

Upgrades for El Oasis:

Despite political tension, Mexico continues to grow

Mexican young plant nursery El Oasis has invested in new technology to upscale and maximize its efficiency.Located in Tunas Blacas near the greenhouse horticulture hub of Queretaro, El Oasis is one of the more advanced nurseries in the Mexican greenhouse industry. The company is specialized in vegetable.....

Canada: Waste heat fuels growth at Truly Green

The heat is on at the greenhouses of Chatham based Truly Green. Yesterday, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada announced that is has invested $3.7 million for both tomato grower Truly Green and ethanol producer Greenfield to “collaboratively reduce their environmental footprint, while making their operations.....

Vietnam: Lam Dong farmers go high tech

The Central Highlands Province of Lam Dong is leading the country in high-tech agriculture. It grows crops on nearly 50,000ha under hi-tech agricultural methods. This amounts to 18 per cent of the province’s land under production.According to the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development,.....

Australia: Mining juggernaut expands into horticulture

The man known for making his fortune in Western Australia through iron ore, Andrew 'Twiggy' Forrest, has turned his attention to fruit and vegetables.He has announced plans to use centre-pivot irrigation to grow melons, sweet potatoes, potatoes, and onions on land where he grew up, at Minderoo Station, about.....

Photo report: International Strawberry Congress

PHOTO REPORT The International Strawberry Congress was held on the 6, 7 and 8th of September in Antwerp. "Hoogstraten can look back on a very successful third edition of the congress held last week. We are very satisfied with the positive feedback we got from those who attended. Again, it seems the mix of science and.....

MightyVine's Gary Lazarski blogs on Business News Daily

In a piece for Business News Daily, Gary Lazarski, CEO of MightyVine, talks about the company's mission:"MightyVine was founded on the simple belief that the best tomatoes are grown closest to home. Our goal is to emulate the feeling someone has when growing their own tomatoes in the summer in their garden –.....

Sunny skies for Mexican eggplant growers this year

Growers of eggplants in Mexico are enjoying a good season this year. Rain and cloudy skies are the only factors preventing product from reaching the market at the moment. Mexico has had an active tropical storm season, which has created difficult conditions for harvesting. But those producers in a position.....

A closer look at Nature Fresh: energy management

NatureFresh's greenhouse operation uses technology to manage energy usage and environmental responsibility. They deal with wood combustion, Carbon Dioxide (CO2) reactions, water reclamation/treatment, and electricity management every day to make sure they're using resources in the most efficient way.Read all.....

CAN (ON): Indoor farm thrives inside Toronto industrial unit

Jonah Krochmalnek is a 26-year-old farmer. He pulls up to work every day ready to plant, tend and harvest a variety of organic greens and herbs.He produces loads, too. In a given year — he doesn’t have to worry about seasons on his farm — Krochmalnek estimates he could grow 16,000 kilograms of pea shoots, if.....

Azrom introduces Remote Consultation Center:

Thanks to WeChat, you can run a profitable greenhouse without any knowledge

Building a sophisticated greenhouse project with the latest technology advancements is one thing. But in order to grow a quality yielding crop inside and turn it into a profitable business-model requires a lot more knowledge, dedication and experience than often anticipated.This was reason for Israeli.....

US (MI): "Indoor vertical could invigorate Grand Rapids"

Brian Harris is not a traditional farmer. But neither is the tender kale, spicy arugula and crispy pak choi he raises inside of a converted freight container on the edge of downtown.Harris, who sold his steel company a couple of years ago, had little experience in farming or gardening before he created Green.....