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Grower in the Spotlight


CAN (ON): Something fishy about downtown Toronto’s Waterwheel Farms

When you think farm you may not think of downtown Toronto, but Alec Wheeler is trying to change that perception.His Waterwheel Farms uses aquaponic techniques to grow leafy greens and herbs in the facility near Queen Street West and Dufferin Street.“It looks a little ‘labby’ in here but this is the identical.....

Italy: PiantaNatura promotes microgreens

With its urban agriculture project, PiantaNatura is astart-up that managed to bring micro-vegetables to Italian tables and to commercialise them as well."We grow over 25 varieties of edible plants including mustard, watercress, radish and rocket. We called these shootsMicro Ortaggi, which is the closest term.....

Few hundred acres of avocado trees impacted

US (CA): Growers set out to fully assess wildfire damage

As the remnants of half a dozen fires in Southern California remain, growers are looking ahead to assess the damage and see where they’ll go from here. “The fire has burned almost exclusively in the hills, so the effect has been mostly limited to rangeland and avocado orchards, which often are planted on.....

Happy birthday, Jan Ingenhousz!

Did you check Google today? If you're in one of the chosen regions, you'll see a doodle of Jan Ingenhousz. The Dutch scientist was born 287 years ago today. Big deal, right? Well, without him, we wouldn't have indoor cultivation as we know it. Not because he invented vertical farming of course, but he did.....

US (MA): $900K subsidy for agricultural clean energy projects

The Baker-Polito Administration awarded 38 grants totaling $908,259 to Massachusetts farmers to implement renewable energy systems and improve energy efficiency on farms. The farms receiving funding are projected to save farmers over $200,000 annually and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by over 660 tons each.....

Growing Forward 2 helps Ontario greenhouse veggies go global

Ontario’s greenhouse cucumbers have strengthened their presence in the United States and will soon be on the market in Asia. That’s due to Growing Forward 2 (GF2) funding that the Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers (OGVG) was able to access for various market development initiatives.by Lilian SchaerOGVG.....

Canada: 60 million dollars for lettuce

Casta.net reported yesterday that a Quebec-based agricultural firm is investing 60 million dollars buying land to grow salad greens and build a packing house in Coldstream. Between 150 and 200 jobs will be created, many of them full-time, when the company starts operating next summer.Vegpro International.....

US (ME): Aquaponic grower secures $1.6M to expand greenhouse

Springworks, an aquaponic farm growing fresh, organically-certified lettuce, has secured $1.6M in capital to finance the creation and operation of a second, larger, and more efficiently designed greenhouse. The three-year old company’s current 6,000 sq ft greenhouse will be complemented by the new 8,000 sq.....

How to farm fish in the Egyptian desert

Driving up to his eight-acre farm, 45-year-old Faris Farrag waves disparagingly at the construction work that surrounds him. “This is all new,” he says, pointing at what looks to be a residential villa under construction. “It just used to be olive trees here.” The land around his little plot, once the site.....

Italian grower on Trianum-P:

"The yield is above average"

Domenico Giulian started his company in the mid-seventies in the Salerno area, in southern Italy. Since then he has produced mainly lettuce in winter. In spring and summer he usually switches to tomatoes, melons and eggplants.In the beginning, the production was in a greenhouse on 3 hectares. In 1999, he.....

UK: Beating strawberry mildew with garlic

Fiveways Fruit Farm near Colchester run by Julian Mead has an established reputation supplying farmers markets, East of England Co-op, London Markets and locals with asparagus, soft and top fruits.One of the main crops is tabletop production of strawberries in polytunnels. Picking starts in May with Flair.....

India: Farming in the heart of a ‘dying’ city

If you have a terrace or a balcony, you can have a digital farm that you could track on your mobile. Woolly Farms, started mid last year as a research project in University of Virginia, are in town and they build urban, community farms. They rent/lease out your space (with a minimum of 500 sq ft) and set up.....

"Dark-green Faiza RZ bean surprises German consumers"

Greentense is one of Rijk Zwaan’s newest concepts. It is based on Faiza RZ, an innovative variety of pole-slicing bean with an attractive dark-green colour and intense flavour. Various customers are already growing Faiza RZ and experiencing the benefits of Greentense for themselves. One such customer is Hans.....

US (NY): Hop growers face challenges to meet rising brewery demands

The New York craft beer industry is really hopping. From 2012 to 2016, the number of breweries more than tripled, from 95 to 302, according to the New York State Brewers Association, and the industry contributes $3.5 billion to the state’s economy annually.Lawmakers seeking to tap into the industry’s.....

US (VA): Gov. McAuliffe recognizes historic African-American youth clubs

Sixty-two former members of the New Farmers of America (NFA) and New Homemakers of America (NHA) were honored by Virginia Gov. Terry R. McAuliffe Friday night, Nov. 3, at a Virginia State University (VSU) reception. The governor, via video, announced a formal proclamation that recognizes “the contributions.....

“No longer waiting on Excel files”

After a short trial period on several locations, Agro Care now uses the LetsGrow.com platform at all their national and international locations. The reason for Agro Care to start working with LetsGrow.com, is that all the relevant data is automatically collected at one central place. "By collecting data.....

Maximizing cannabis yields using controlled environment technology

On BTV, ABcann CEO Aaron Keay discusses their unique growing technology for cannabis that is delivering industry-leading yields in the range of 300 g per square foot, which is more than double the output of average indoor growers. ABcann selected Conviron to supply all the grow rooms in their facility – from.....

US (AZ): Phoenix-based entrepreneur promotes aeroponics

Troy Albright, a Phoenix based pharmacist and farming entrepreneur spoke to students at ASU’s Polytechnic campus on Oct. 25 about the potential of aeroponics.Albright was invited as part of the Science and Mathematics Colloquium Series, a series designed to expose students to the work of researchers and.....

Tom Webster explains how he is spearheading aquaponic farming in the UK

"I co-founded GrowUp Urban Farms with my business partner Kate Hofman in May 2013. Our vision is to contribute to a more sustainable food system using aquaponics – a combination of aquaculture (fish farming) and hydroponics (growing plants in a nutrient rich solution other than soil). The farming methods we.....

Greenbelt Microgreens installs supplemental LED lights

Heliospectra announces an order from new customer Greenbelt Microgreens. Canada’s largest microgreens producer with greenhouses in Ontario and British Columbia will deploy Heliospectra LX50 series with adjustable spectra and software controls for consistent year-round yields and superior crop quality. The.....

US (TX): Why a new Dallas restaurant grows on site

Janice Provost has harvested "tons" of tomatoes and has basil "as big as trees" in her backyard hydroponic garden.The produce goes straight to her restaurant, Parigi, in Oak Lawn. Provost says she would have liked to put her vertical garden at the restaurant, but there is no room. Instead, she installed.....

US (NJ): IKEA & top chef David Chang round out financing for AeroFarms

AeroFarms closed $40 million in Series D financing led by an international line up of financing all-stars including Dubai-based Meraas Holdings, London-based ADM Capital, NYC-based AB (AllianceBernstein), and Netherlands-based Ikea Group with continuing support from existing investors including London-based.....

US (PA): Elementary school expands aquaponics program

Larry Sutton’s classroom at Frazier Elementary School is full of plants, aquatic life and reptiles — perhaps a little too full.The third-grade science teacher annually leads lessons on water-based plant-growing techniques — hydroponics and aquaponics — that require a lot of space and a lot of attention. The.....

US (FL): Nursery challenges MMJ license ‘preference’ for citrus industry

A Sarasota nursery has filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of part of a new law that includes a preference for the citrus industry in the state’s awarding of potentially lucrative medical-marijuana licenses.The lawsuit, filed last week by TropiFlora, LLC, in Leon County circuit court, is.....

Tomato grower Paul Zwinkels

“If biological products disappear, I’ll quit my business today”

Biology has become indispensable in the greenhouse industry. It is perhaps the biggest change in the 30-year existence of Biobest, thinks Paul Zwinkels. Together with his brother René, he owns a 4.5-hectare vine tomato nursery in Wateringen, the Netherlands. He has been a loyal customer of Biobest for 25.....

US (NY): Bringing the farm right to the table

Diners flock to Mission Chinese Food in Manhattan’s Lower East Side for the ambience, as much as the innovative twists on Sichuan food. Customers have been known to wait hours for the privilege of eating Kung Pao pastrami amid “Chinese banquet and surrealist” decor, as executive chef Angela Dimayuga.....

Australia: Warm weather kick-starts Tasmanian berry season

The warmer weather Tasmania has enjoyed over the past week gave the state’s berries a boost and producers are predicting a bumper season this summer.Hillwood Berries picked the first juicy strawberries of the season from the stock planted in July on Wednesday and posted they were “sweet and juicy” on.....

US (WY): How a vertical farmer is strengthening the community

Penny McBride, co-founder of Vertical Harvest, has made it her mission to educate others about how the vertical farming industry can not only improve the way we eat, but the way we build communities.Vertical Harvest, a 13,500 square foot, three-story hydroponic greenhouse in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, sells.....

UK: Thanet Earth completes construction on sixth greenhouse

The Thanet Earth 100 hectare site near Birchington in Kent has made further strides towards completion this year. Construction is complete on the sixth greenhouse, a dedicated facility approaching 7 hectares in size for growing speciality tomatoes all year round.The new greenhouse is now fully operational,.....

“iManager helps to get a grip on costs”

“The main advantage of HortiMaX’s iManager? It provides clear insight into our costs. That insight is essential to get a grip on costs and take control of them. If you want to keep the cost price low – and who doesn’t? – you need to know exactly what your costs are.” We spoke with Kees Goedendorp of Dutch.....

Shorter days put Swedish cucumber quality at risk

In October, the days rapidly become shorter in Sweden. This means issues with the quality of cucumbers can arise. Cucumber cultivator, Rickard Jönsson’s mood is, however, positive. He is confident in the future. Although the Swedish market is not always the easiest, he does not envy his Dutch.....

US (IN): The balancing act of aquaponics farming

Little did Stefanie Woodring and Trevor Dawson realize those many years ago when as children they spent carefree hours fishing in Hoosier waters that this beloved pastime in the outdoors would later become intertwined with their life’s work.“I think early experiences out in nature can really help one gain an.....

Singapore: Harnessing tech to combat weather challenges

At the Eden PurelyFresh Farm in Lim Chu Kang, farmers will not have to till the soil as much while growing vegetables for much longer.The farm's chief executive and founder Desmond Khoo, 30, plans to make use of indoor farming technology to boost productivity and make crops more resilient to weather.....

Spanish police discover 6 hectares of marijuana in Almeria

Now that the Dutch have announced their plans to start with regulated cannabis production, a couple of smart Spanish 'ganjapreneurs' must have had the idea to stay ahead of the curve by establishing a year round supply chain.Good intentions, but perhaps a bit too soon, because marijuana still seems to be.....

US (CA): Foxy Produce hopes to retain laborers with better quality housing

After years of planning, shovels finally went in the ground this month on afour-acre parcel in Salinas, known as the Boronda neighborhood, for thesecond farmworker housing complex in the region.Avila Construction of Monterey, CA, hosted a ceremony on October 10, 2017 to honor the Hibino, Nunes, and Rodriguez.....

Japanese agri & food companies visit Wageningen University

FABIO, a Japanese network organisation for Agri & Food (interested) companies active in production, processing, distribution & marketing visited Wageningen University & Research (WUR) from 9 till 11 October. The goal of the visit was to learn more about processing, storage, distribution,.....

US: Duncan Family Farms expands Employee Education Program

Duncan Family Farms, a grower of organic baby lettuces and greens, kales, and herbs with operations in the US has announced the expansion of its DFF University, continuing the education program for employees. The company has formalized the program to sharpen its focus on helping team members advance their.....

CAN (ON): Rob Geertsema still hopes to expand in Dawn-Euphemia

The owner of Greenhill Produce still hopes to build a 100-acre greenhouse development in Dawn-Euphemia Township, but the property has been put up for sale as a precaution.“We did put the farm for sale… but that’s just in case nothing happens,” Rob Geertsema said Thursday.Greenhill, which already operates a.....

'Mister Grodan' is saying goodbye

After 33 years, Kees is leaving Grodan. Kees Struijk, in the walkways often referred to as 'Mister Grodan', will be enjoying his well-earned pension.Kees joined Grodan in 1984. At that time, his focus area was mainly the Netherlands. The Dutch market was developed with the help of Kees; dealers were provided.....

NL: Greenhouse grown rhubarb in stores now

De Rond Agro, a Dutch family business that is specialized in the cultivation of rhubarb now greenhouse grown rhubarb. "Thanks to a tight cultivation schedule, we can produce rhubarb 11 months a year," said grower Rob de Rond. "From October to May, we deliver from the greenhouse and/or plastic tunnel. In the.....

California bok choy production moves south

Producers of bok choy in California are set to move towards warmer areas in the next month as the summer season in Salinas comes to a close. It has been a steady season for growers with little trouble, as they have not been adversely affected by the extended hot spells that occurred during those months."Our.....

US (MA): Little Leaf Farms expands with Oreon grow lights

Mid-2016 sustainable entrepreneur Paul Sellew started a vegetable greenhouse for leafy greens in the Boston area (Massachusetts) to meet the demand for year-round local produce. In the last 18 months the production of Little Leaf Farm has grown and Sellew chooses to expand. The construction of the 1 hectare.....

US (CA): Superior Fruit expands strawberry farming

Superior Fruit LLC has entered into an agreement with Eclipse Berry Farms LLC, advised by Murray Wise Capital LLC, to assume certain agricultural leases to expand its California strawberry growing operations.Superior has been formed by Bobby Jones and his brother RC Jones, long-term California growers, and.....

24 acres completed, next phase announced:

CAN(ON): Berry good developments for Smuccies

Mucci Farms announces the completion of Phase 2 of their 36-acre strawberry farm expansion and subsequently announces that Phase 3 construction is underway with production to begin in the Fall of 2018. The full project will total 36-acres, equivalent to over 1.5 million square feet of high tech glass.....

US: Pioneering locally grown basil in North Carolina

Growing up on a farm taught Matt Marsh the work ethic to pair with his "dreamer" personality. The result of this pairing? Matt was uniquely equipped to solve a problem rampant not only in his home state of North Carolina, but across the country.In an area with dozens of local farms, he saw an industry with.....

US (WI): Nelson and Pade donates aquaponically-grown lettuce to schools

In celebration of National Farm to School Month, Nelson and Pade has donated fresh, aquaponically-grown lettuce to the Westfield and Montello public school districts. On Monday, October 23rd, Nelson and Pade staff member, Jannel Dunn, personally delivered the freshly harvested, Certified Naturally Grown.....

Dutch greenhouse industry loses pioneer Willem Hartman

Dutch greenhouse pioneer Willem Hartman passed away last Friday. Hartman was the founder of A.C. Hartman, a greenhouse company that operated 72 hectares of greenhouse production. Hartman was an important player in the Dutch produce industry. Almost half of his production was dedicated to organic.....

US (PA): Aquaponics facility opens doors for farm tour

Six farms, a high school aquaponics lab, a Quaker meetinghouse and the Reading Area Water Authority welcomed visitors during the recent Berks Agriculture Resource Network farm tour.The event raises money for the group, which promotes agriculture and related food industries through economic development.....

CAN (AB): Thiel's Greenhouses ventures into hydroponics

Greenhouse owner Nadine Stielow started testing hydroponic growing technology last spring and saw the fruits of her labour come to life literally in the form of lettuce and other vegetables this summer.With the successful testing, the next step launching campaign to raise $25,000 this fall, which helps the.....

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.....

Australian grower plans to expand lettuce export

If you've ever ordered lettuce on your Subway sandwich, chances are it came from the farms of Story Fresh.The major leafy vegetable grower, owned by Geoffrey and Anne Story, took out the top gong at the Heritage Bank Business Excellence Awards by winning Regional Business of the Year.With properties in.....

Germany: Potential users visit INAPRO demo site

On the 25th of September, a guided tour for potential end-users took place at the INAPRO Waren demonstration site as a follow up event of the seminar organised in November 2016. Two group visits were organised, one in the morning (in English) and one in the afternoon (in German) and a total of 11 people.....

Dutch peppers a hot item on German TV

VIDEO In June, a German film crew from Magnum film visited the greenhouses of Westlandpeppers to film a segment for their new TV show, Vendetta Lametta. Leila and Ines, the show’s two presenters, held a chilli eating contest in the pepper greenhouses of Westlandpeppers. They ate, among other things, a green.....

Charente-Maritime:

French entrepreneur plans 8ha cogen tomato greenhouse

A large 8 hectare greenhouse tomato project is in the pipeline to be realized in Bogneau, a township in theCharente-Maritime department in southwestern France. The project is initiatied by French agricultural entrepreneur Thomas Caron, who wants to replace Spanish tomato imports with locally grown.....

US (OH): Toledo restaurant builds 8,000 sq. ft. urban farm

Toledo-based Balance Pan-Asian Grille, a fast-casual restaurant chain started by two University of Toledo grads, is expanding to downtown Toledo in a revolutionary manner — something that fans of Balance have come to expect of owners Prakash Karamchandani and HoChan Jang.The two men said Thursday that by.....

US: NFU board grants Hawaii Farmers Union a charter

Hawaii Farmers Union United (HFUU) celebrated its seventh year at its annual convention in Wai'anae on Oahu and was granted a charter by the National Farmers Union.The three-day event opened with a welcome from HFUU President Vincent Mina, which was followed by a talk on polyculture of cover crops by Gabe.....

US (CA): Adventure in aquaponics

On a warm Friday afternoon, student volunteers help trim eight different varieties of basil leaves for a study headed by undergraduate Fisheries Biology major Bryan Lester.Lester is studying which strain of basil grows the fastest using this aquaponics facility, he completed his second trial on Friday. The.....

Future of CAP: Where are all the women?

The farmer's wife is a well-known literary trope across many cultures: many of us grew up on variations of the same general image of jolly, flour-covered matriarchs feeding the ravenous mouths of the farmer and his sons working all days in the field.Yet while farming, like many other professions, continues.....

Czech Republic: Tomato producers set up their own sales organization

Tomato producers in the Czech Republic are setting up their own sales organization, called Čerstvě utrženo. The goal of the cooperative is to achieve optimal business conditions for growing fruit and vegetables and consolidating their market position. "The main motivation for the creation of a.....

Dutch police raids greenhouses in heroin investigation

A large heroin production facility has been discovered by Dutch police during a raid in the province of South-Holland. The heroin was produced at an automobile repair shop and several greenhouse companies were involved in the criminal activities. The greenhouses were used for the cultivation of bell peppers.....