“Always growing” is the motto behind Alberta’s largest greenhouse - Big Marble Farms, referring to their commitment to growing local produce 365 days a year. Located in Medicine Hat, Alberta, Big Marble has been growing cucumbers and tomatoes for Western Canadian consumers for 12 years. With a goal to grow premium, high quality produce year-round, they began operations in 2009 with 4 acres of production and have since grown to 45 acres in 2020, with another 10 acres to be completed in 2021.
Tomatoes and cucumbers need lots of light, up to 25+ mol/day, to produce high quality, consistent yields, therefore supplemental lighting has been an important part of their operation to ensure a steady environment year-round. "Maintaining a constant climate ensures sure you get the same quality produce in the winter as you would in the summer," they explain.
Since the beginning of their business, they have been using P.L Light Systems’ HPS luminaires for supplemental light because of their reliability, consistency and ability to evenly distribute light over the crop. "In fact, in their oldest greenhouses, they still use our legacy HSE luminaires," the team with P.L. Light shares. "In their newest constructions, they have installed our high efficiency NXT2 1000W luminaires with Alpha and Asymmetric reflectors."
Alpha reflectors are perfect for growing high wire crops like cucumbers and tomatoes because of their wide and uniform light distribution, while the asymmetric reflectors are ideal for reflecting light away from walkways and walls and onto the crop.
Big Marble Farm’s new 10 acre expansion will also include the NXT2 luminaires. "In addition to the great results they get from the NXT2s, the growers have been impressed by the customer service support and relationships they have built with the P.L. team, and is a significant reason they continue to rely on P.L. for their horticultural lighting needs."