The year held many firsts for South Essex Fabricating, a premier greenhouse builder based in Leamington, Ontario. Established in 1994 and initially specializing in the fabrication of commercial greenhouse parts and structures, SEF has since expanded to offer comprehensive technical solutions, project management, and construction. Although the COVID-19 pandemic has put much of the world into a headlock, South Essex Fabricating’s quick adaptation to the COVID-19 pandemic allowed the company to have a record-breaking year.
In 2020, SEF completed a remarkable 215 acres of greenhouse manufacturing while also expanding its manufacturing area by 30%, doubling its production capacity for tube and plate laser and increasing automation.
Among SEF’s achievements in 2020, three projects shine particularly brightly and for different reasons. For example, South Essex Fabricating constructed its most technologically advanced greenhouse in Leamington, Ontario. Registered as Sunens Farms Inc., the high-tech greenhouse spans 25 acres and was built specifically for cannabis production. In June 2020, the greenhouse received a standard cannabis cultivation license from Health Canada for its initial phase, which includes a licensed area of 8.3 acres.
Aerial view of Sunens Farms Inc. in Leamington, Ontario
Also exemplary is South Essex Fabricating’s current work with Pomas Farms, a high-efficiency pepper greenhouse located in Leamington, Ontario. Pomas Farms is a family-owned greenhouse that began production in 2012 and is now working with SEF to double the size of their existing operations. The expansion is the largest greenhouse construction project in North America, covering roughly 79 acres. Despite initial setbacks caused by COVID-19, the first crop is expected to be planted on schedule.
South Essex Fabricating also completed its first long-distance project in 2020, a 16-acre greenhouse for Lakeside Produce in North Carolina. Lakeside Produce is an Ontario-based greenhouse grower established over 75 years ago and has facilities in Leamington (Ontario), Taylor (Michigan), Edinburg (Texas), and most recently, it's North Carolina location. Lakeside Produce – North Carolina was designed for tomato production and its first crop was planted in July 2020.
Aerial view of Pomas Farms in Leamington, Ontario
Lakeside Produce in North Carolina
“Our whole team is extremely proud of our accomplishments in 2020, especially in light of the challenges we have faced with deliveries and maintaining a schedule. I believe our success is a testament to our constant drive to innovate, our effort to deliver excellent service, and most of all, the incredible team of designers, suppliers, fabricators & installers that work in harmony on our many projects. We are now looking forward to next year, as designs and planning are already well underway for the 2021 season”. Design Manager, Jonathan Dick.