US (IL): MightyVine celebrates first tomato harvest

Last Friday, Chicago's newest tomato grower MightyVine celebrated its first harvest. The 3 hectare state of the art hydroponic greenhouse in Rochelle Illinois, is the result of a unique cooperation between suppliers of Dutch greenhouse technology, a group of U.S. entrepreneurs and Dutch grower Frank van Kleef who will supply his horticultural expertise.

With the help of supplemental lighting and energy efficient technology, MightyVine will be growing Roterno and Robinio tomatoes year-round for the 9,9 million people in the greater metropolitan area of Chicago, as well as for nearby cities such as Milwaukee and Madison (Wisconsin) and other markets in Western Illinois.

Our reporter on site, Henk Verbakel of Havecon, was so kind as to supply us with some pictures that he took during the first harvest event last Friday.

MightyVine is now growing on three hectares, the first phase. But more expansion is on the way as the contract for Phase II was signed between VB Group, Royal Pride and MightyVine Tomatoes in June this year. This three hectare greenhouse will be identical to Phase I, and will also have supplemental lighting in order to grow year round.

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