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Greenhouse thrives around Lake Superior

For years in northern Wisconsin and the “arrowhead” of Minnesota people have been enjoying fresh produce grown by Bay Produce of Superior. It’s no surprise that people on the Lake Superior shore, with its long winter and short growing season, need fresh produce. The surprise is that it’s grown year-round within a few miles of Lake Superior.

The first half-acre greenhouse was built in the 1980s, but vandals cut holes in it during the fall and destroyed the plants. The greenhouse was temporarily closed and later rented out, but eventually was re-opened. Richard Fisher manages the greenhouse. As one looks around at lush plants it becomes evident he has a green thumb.

“I started here in 2004,” he said. “We started out with all grape tomatoes. About five years later we added peppers. Today we grow Roma, grape and yellow-grape tomatoes; red, yellow and orange peppers; and red and green lettuce in our smaller greenhouse. Everything in this greenhouse we started from seed.”

“This greenhouse is where my career began,” Breezee said. “When I started we weren’t growing peppers or Roma Tomatoes. A lot of the jobs we did then are different now. Over the years Bay Produce has changed a lot.

“What I love about working here is that there are jobs I enjoy very much. I love to work with tomatoes. Today I am cutting (support) string and pulling duckweed from around the pepper plants. If you let the duckweed grow it chokes the life out of the peppers. I enjoy my job. I choose to stay here at Bay Produce because I have made a lot of friends and I’m comfortable here.

When more food is produced than can be marketed, Bay Produce donates to feed hungry people. CHUM is the primary safety-net organization in Duluth where people who are homeless or who have reduced incomes can go for assistance.

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