Grower in the Spotlight

Kalter Aardbeien happy with new variety Sonsation

"Switching in one go was the right choice"

Kalter Aardbeien has been growing Sonsation strawberries since this spring, a step they are very happy about at the company in the Koekoekspolder in IJsselmuiden (Netherlands). Richard Kalter, from the company that changed more than just the variety this year: "It is a  beautiful, shiny, and very important,…

US: Sustainability grants available to small farms

Small farms and agricultural nonprofits looking to fund environmental sustainability projects that reduce water and power use, increase pollinators, improve soil health, promote natural pest control, or extend their growing season can apply at no cost for a 2019 grant from The FruitGuys Community Fund…

Israel: All about cost-efficiency in growing habanero peppers

The climate in the Israeli Arava Valley is conducive to grow almost disease-free peppers. “The disease pressure is very low”, says a grower of habanero peppers. “We don’t have botrytis or rots. However, we have our problems: heat and soil salinity. Desalination of the soil is not cost-effective.…

Strawberry growers unite to thank Australia

As Australia gets into the festive spirit, strawberry growers have come out in force to say a special thank you for supporting them through a tough time and showing faith in…

Syrian refugees harvest greenhouse vegetables in Turkey

For nearly as long as the civil war in Syria has been ongoing, 36-year-old Sena Hamad has been living in a refugee camp with her three daughters and husband on the outskirts of the city of Osmaniye in southern Turkey. Today, she is among the first group of 25 trainees to have been selected for training on greenhouse…

Australia: Granite Belt grower group formed

Horticultural producers on the Granite Belt have come together to establish the industry’s newest association – the Granite Belt Growers Association (GBGA). Eager to be represented in issues and discussions that affect them, the local industry formed the association to be on the front foot when it comes to publicity…

CAN (ON): Suntech says no to cannabis

Cannabis producers in Ontario are looking to gobble up greenhouse space including one in Ottawa. But the owner of Suntech Greenhouses has so far said no thanks. Suntech Greenhouses has a massive operation growing tomatoes and other vegetables in Manotick on Doyle Road. For 20 years, the greenhouse has been Bob Mitchell's…

Organic Grower Summit announces Grower of the Year award recipient

California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) and the Organic Produce Network (OPN) will honor long-time organic grower Thaddeus Barsotti of Farm Fresh To You as the recipient…

Marcel van der Pluijm starts Feeling Fresh

"It became time to follow my dream

Marcel van der Pluijm recently founded the company, Feeling Fresh. "I actually considered taking this step a few times over the last ten years. But there was always a reason not to do it. This year, I turned 48." "It became time to follow my dream before I would regret never doing so at a later stage. After years of…

Alberta greenhouse grower ready for the long cold winter

Now there’s a bigger house on the prairie, and its lights will be on through the long winter. Southern Alberta greenhouse producer Frank & Able shipped the first tomatoes-on-the-vine grown in their newly expanded facility in early November. Having doubled their acreage under lights just ahead of the first snowfall,…

Ohio greenhouses in full production this winter

With the last weeks of 2018 still ahead of us, NatureFresh™ Farms is in the thick of a third winter growing season at their Ohio-based facility. Located in the northwestern community of Delta, OH, the NatureFresh™ Farms USA greenhouse will be picking, packing, and shipping fresh tomatoes throughout the…

Tomato grower Schenkeveld:

"Water is the basis of your cultivation"

In April 2017, Schenkeveld started the construction of a new location; Schenkeveld Schiphol. Codema is responsible for all water installations at this project. Schenkeveld and Codema have a close relationship that goes back for decades. Codema has realized the water technology for Schenkeveld new…

Florida grower anticipating good leafy green season

Branch: A Family of Farms is in the midst of what they see as a promising season of leafy green production out of their Belle Glade and South Bay, Florida farms. The region and its crops were spared by Hurricane Michael in early October which allowed Branch to offer its full offering of leafy greens to customers without…

US (MA): Lettuce grower decreases crop cycle by 30%

Fresh Roots Greenhouse is a hydroponic lettuce, herb and leafy greens grower based in Chelmsford, Massachusetts. After 40 years in the pharmaceutical industry, Fresh Roots’ owner Bill Evans wanted to give back to his community during his retirement years. He found himself drawn to how cooperative-run…

CAN (ON): Appreciation for international ag workers

Every year, international farm workers pour about 18 million dollars into Leamington and nearby Kingsville by shopping at local stores, eating out, and just by being part of the community. The Canadian Horticultural Council made a video to highlight these workers. "It’s great that these men and women can come up…

Guyra, New South Wales

Australia: Costa tomato farm starts AU$67 million expansion

Wednesday, the first sod of soil was turned on Costa Group’s $67 million expansion of its tomato glasshouse operation at Guyra. The current facility already is the largest in the Southern Hemisphere. The new expansion will grow snacking and cocktail tomato varieties. Costa Group’s senior management were joined by…

Carl Mastronardi wins Produce Person of The Year from OPMA

During the annual OPMA Gala on November 9, Carl Mastronardi, President of DelFrescoPure® was the proud recipient of the OPMA Cory Clack-Streef Produce Person of the Year Award. Mastronardi received this prestigious award for his diligence and dedication to the greenhouse strawberry program. “This is one of the…

CombiVliet picks last cherry tomato

Why growers say goodbye to the cherry tomato

This week CombiVliet picked the last cherry tomatoes at location MaasVliet in Maasdijk. Theo van Vliet (general director CombiVliet): "We have grown this type of tomato for years and will now say goodbye to our cherry tomatoes. This is for us a moment to stand still. Our manager Peter van Dijk has, in…

Rocket from Piana del Sele

"We started sowing, producing and commercializing various rocket varieties in the 1990s and have always searched for seeds that could reduce the incidence of fungal diseases to the minimum," explains Luca De Martino, producer from Pontecagnano (SA). Due to its soil and weather conditions, Piana del Sele is defined as the leading domestic (and European) area for…

In Brazil, only agronomists can prescribe agrochemicals

The authorities of the Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply of Brazil (Map), together with Blairo Maggi and the Federal Council of Engineering and Agronomy (Confea)…

Australia: Brandsema family cultivates taste of tradition

This year, Brandsema Tomatoes is celebrating 60 years in business at Turners Beach.    Now run by the third generation of Brandsema farmers, Marcus and Anthony, the business has seen many changes over the years.  In 1951 the Brandsema family migrated to Launceston from the Netherlands.  Marcus and Anthony’s grandfather Wilco pursued a baking career on top of housing…

Windset Farms becomes EFI certified

Windset Farms announces that its greenhouses in Delta, British Columbia and Santa Maria, California are certified by Equitable Food Initiative (EFI) . Growers and farms with this certification have met over 300 standards and labor practices that aim to provide greater transparency for consumers and employees in the…

Archaeological study required for new Swedish greenhouse

Building a new greenhouse can sometimes also open up a window into the past. A Swedish tomato grower who wants to expand their business first has to await an archeological study, as the site borders two prehistoric construction sites in the Swedish town of Elleholm. The local government wants…

Steffen Kraushaar, Medifarm

How a master grower realized his childhood dream in Australia

Medical cannabis is big business around the globe. The North American market has been dominating headlines lately, but on the other end of the planet, growers have been making headway too. One of them is Medifarm, Australia's first licensed medical cannabis producer authorized for therapeutic use.…

Scherzer & Boss Fruchtgemüse GmbH

German grower benefits from completely closed cultivation system

Scherzer & Boss Fruchtgemüse GmbH grows tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers on a total surface area of nine hectares. Their vegetables are grown under glass in a completely closed cultivation system. All water and unused nutrients are given back to the plants after treatment. The greenhouse climate,…

CAN (ON): OFVGA seeking nominations for Award of Merit

The Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association is now accepting nominations for its industry Award of Merit. The award is handed out annually to an individual or…

US (FL): High school serving farm-fresh lunches

Lunchtime at Ocoee High School has gotten some upgrades. Orange County School Board leaders and 4 Rivers President John Rivers on Tuesday, Nov. 6, unveiled a new greenhouse and redesigned cafeteria at Ocoee High School. The greenhouse will be used as part of a new “farm-to-school” menu program that has been introduced…

French growers immerse themselves in Polish greenhouse horticulture

At the end of September, Cultilene invited four French cucumber and tomato growers to visit two leading Polish greenhouse horticulture companies: the  Mularski Group  and  VegaPOL . The French growers were updated on the developments in Polish greenhouse horticulture and shared their experiences, including those in…

US (MO): 'Greenthumb' dad turns nutritional dilemma into supplemental income

We've all been there: A kid who doesn't want to eat their veggies. It drove our parents crazy, but now it's driving a dad to turn his nutritional dilemma into supplemental income. Brian Carlstrom is a full time dad, turned part time producer of microgreens. "One of the big benefits is that the kids help grow them, are interested in…

UK: London's underground farm opens doors to the public

Ever wondered what’s going on beneath your feet under the streets of London? Well, now is your chance to enter another world by visiting Growing Underground. This urban farm is situated 33 meters underneath the streets of Clapham, London in a World War II air raid shelter. For the first time ever and for a limited…

US (MI): Caledonia farm debuts year-round lettuce

Locally grown lettuce now will be available in Michigan grocery stores during all four seasons. Revolution Farms, at 2901 76th St. in Caledonia, harvested its first crop of aquaponics lettuce last month and made its debut in 16 SpartanNash stores, including Forest Hills Foods, 11 D&W Fresh Market locations and select…

Parisian supermarket becomes self-sufficient with indoor herb-farm

We've showed you before that the French like their veggies to be grown nearby. The French supermarket Metro has taken this even further and is now growing herbs in their own supermarket. Chives, basil, coriander, mint, dill and parsley are being grown at the moment in this Parisian Metro store. The…

Supplying own salads and sandwiches

Japan: Seven-Eleven to set up LED lettuce growing facility

Seven-Eleven in Japan will turn to an indoor farm to grow vegetables for its salads and sandwiches. The aim is to reduce weather-related supply risks. The roughly 6 billion yen ($53.3 million) plant factory will be built on a Sagamihara site in Kanagawa Prefecture. Featuring a light-emitting-diode lighting system, the…

strawberry grower runner-up

Skjaergaarden Gartneri wins Norwegian Innovation prize

This year, the Gartnerhallen innovation prize will be handed out during the annual conference in Norway. This year there were 24 nominations, from which four finalists were chosen. Last weekend, Skjaergaarden Gartneri was declared winner. Skjaergaarden distinguished itself mostly by the knowledge and…

Video: How Houweling's grows tomatoes year-round

Houweling's is a family-owned, family-operated greenhouse tomato grower with facilities in Camarillo, California, as well as Utah and British Columbia. Founded by Cornelius Houweling and now led by his son Casey, Houweling's grows a variety of greenhouse tomatoes and cucumbers, while constantly…

CAN (AB): Aquaponics farm puts fresh fish and greens on plates of Calgary restaurants

It looks like any nondescript industrial park warehouse, but the new Deepwater Farms facility in southeast Calgary produces fresh, local food daily using technology that some believe could be the future of agriculture. This urban farm, located in a 10,000-square-foot building, is the city’s first commercial-scale aquaponics facility…

Purple Pride continues lighted growth

"Make a difference, not on price, but on quality, continuity, and sustainability"

Tom de Jong, son and successor of Dutch eggplant grower Peter de Jong: "It is of added value if you can offer your customers product all year round. There are two ways to realize this: producing in the winter with the aid of artificial lighting or importing product during the winter." A number of factors…

Extension specialist Andre da Silva

US (GA): Vegetable growers have a new resource

New University of Georgia Cooperative Extension vegetable specialist Andre da Silva will improve vegetable production in Georgia through irrigation — and fertilizer-based research on the UGA Tifton campus. A native of Brazil, da Silva began working at UGA-Tifton on Aug. 1, when he began developing his research and extension…

AU: Flavorite expansion leads to higher capsicum production

Major Australian vegetable producer Flavorite's 4.3-hectare glasshouse expansion at their Warragul site is complete, allowing the company to expand its capsicum production. "We have actually increased our production of capsicums, more than tomatoes," National Business Manager, Sam Kisvarda said. "So we are having…

Australian berry growers unite

The peak industry associations representing Australia’s fastest growing fresh produce category – berries – have united to give their members one strong voice. Berries Australia Limited is a joint venture representing the…

La Libellula is the first to grow ginger in Italy

"We've been producing and selling Italian fresh ginger for the past three years. We started because demand was increasing significantly and the market lacked produce that was grown entirely in Italy," explains Giampietro Ferri, owner of "La Libellula", a company specializing in products destined to the…

Turkey: Cucumber grower harvests 1,750 tons with government support

Omer Cankara, a grower in Elazig (Turkey), has received government funds and started a cucumber greenhouse on an acreage of 5 hectares. The grower collects produce twice a year from his greenhouse, and his annual production is around 1,750 tons. The sales price at the grower is approximately 0.35 USD per kg, and…

Noli, Italy

Scuba company grows produce in world's first underwater farm

One hundred meters off the coast of Noli, Italy, scuba divers can find pods of 2,000-liter acrylic demi-spheres that resemble giant jellyfish standing at the bottom of the ocean. Anchored to the ocean floor by ropes, chains, and screws, the biospheres surround a half-ton metal tree that serves as a…

US (CT): 38-year industry veteran on transition to MMJ

Greg Schaan's family owned and operated a farm raising small grains and turkeys in Rugby, North Dakota, a city of about 3,100 people, south of the Canadian border. "I knew that I wanted to work in agriculture," Schaan said. "But I also have a very strong interest, even when I was working on the farm, in knowing what's…

US (CA): Microgreens grower has been supplying restaurants for two decades

You may not recognize their name, but you might recognize their lettuce. Scarborough Farms' frisée, with its bright appearance and flavorful crunch, it stands out on the plate and makes everything around it look a little more vibrant. At least that's Scarborough Farms' hope and what put them on the…

Strawberry plant cultivator Flevoplant is committed to sustainability and efficiency

"Together you can translate innovation into an effective solution"

For over 60 years, Flevoplant has mainly been cultivating strawberry plants, a process that involves taking cuttings to cultivate young plants from high-quality parent plants. These are then sold on to strawberry and raspberry growers across Europe. ‘Because the global soft fruit sector is developing so…

US (CA): Making the shift from combat to crops

The fragrance of sweet basil greets former U.S. Marine Sgt. Colin Archipley as he begins his workday on a rolling hillside in San Diego County. Stepping into the greenhouse on his small farm near Valley Center, Archipley joins other military veterans already busy harvesting the fresh herbs bound for…

Canadian grower slips into sweet potato production

In the month of February, greenhouse vegetable propagator Roelands Plant Farms Inc., from Lambton Shores, Ontario, is usually shipping the last of its orders for the year’s…

Paul Selina, Village Farms

"We know a lot more than we did a year ago, but for every answer we find there's three more questions popping up"

Only a year ago the last tomatoes of the season were being harvested out of the Village Farms Delta greenhouse. Nowadays it's a completely different view: the complex is retrofitted and cannabis plants are blooming. On the Advanced Cannabis Cultivation Technology Summit (ACT Summit), organised a day…

Technological greenhouses: the winter tomato harvesting has started

The first harvesting of winter-cycle tomatoes has started in the Fri-EI’s technological greenhouse. The marketing manager Alessio Orlandi, “In no time, we installed another 5.4 hectares of LED lights, added to the 2 hectares that we already had. Now, 50% of Fri-EI’s surfaces are provided with LEDs. This…

US (AZ): Copperstate Farms decreases cannabis crop cycle by 15%

Copperstate Farms is the largest permitted greenhouse in North America dedicated to medicinal cannabis. LumiGrow is the sole lighting provider for the facility located in Snowflake, Arizona. Fife Symington purchased the 40-acre greenhouse from Nature Sweet Tomato Plant in September 2016. The facility…

Corné Stouten about future-proof and profitable cucumber cultivation:

"I am not a die-hard entrepreneur, my passion is working with cucumbers"

Corné Stouten (31) lives with his family in the village of Oosterland in Zeeland (Netherlands). His parents are moving to the village in 2019, and Corné will join them in the parental house at the company. He runs a cucumber nursery together with his father. Corné knows what he wants. He is direct, a…

US (VT): Hydroponics business doubles growth in a year

The founders of a small produce operation in Waitsfield are working seven days a weeks to keep up with demand after the company doubled its shipments to Whole Foods in October. Green Mountain Harvest Hydroponic started shipping watercress to the Whole Foods warehouse in Hartford, Connecticut, once a week about two…

Colombian journalists discover Dutch horticulture

On Monday 12 November, Colombian journalists visited the Tomatoworld Foundation, the World Horti Center and Koppert Biological Systems together with a representative of the Dutch embassy and the RVO. The purpose of this visit to the Netherlands was to connect ideas, regions and the future. Colombian journalists, RVO and…

CAN (ON): Organic farmer uses portable greenhouses to extend growing season

Whether it’s repurposing household equipment or using mobile greenhouses, a Dresden-area organic grower makes sure innovation is part of his operation. And that spirit has earned Joseph Grootenboer the Agriculture Innovator of the Year Award from the Chatham-Kent Chamber of Commerce. One of the latest initiatives he launched was an…

New Zealand: Asparagus grower branches into strawberries to shore up staff

Levin's Tendertips, part of Lewis Farms, has been growing asparagus for 37 years, but now has branched out into growing strawberries in an effort to keep their staff employed all year. Tendertips sells 500 tonnes of asparagus to the New Zealand and Japanese export markets. Now they have built a hectare of tunnel…

Mina Export, Vietnam:

“High-tech farming allows our Vietnamese red chili to be competitive”

For Mina Export, an exporting company based in Vietnam, investing in high-tech farming equipment has paid off. With a new license to export to the European market in their pocket, the company is ready to take the region by storm with their red chili, or as it’s called in Vietnam; Bird’s Eye Chili. Mina Export has…

South Africa: Strawberry grower wins Prestige Agri Award

This year’s winner of the Prestige Agri Award is Isaac Ntoto, from Garden of Eden Berries in Brandwag, Mossel Bay. The announcement was made at a gala event held at the Nederburg Wine Estate on Saturday night. Ntoto oversees all the technical aspects of the farm, ranging from soil sampling to fertilisation and integrated pest management. In…

US (MI): Indoor farm looks to grow food, create jobs, and feed the hungry

"I never had a dream of being an urban farmer, or farming really, until I started feeding people." That's what Kimberley Buffington says about the transformation that led her to start a non-profit and in turn a for-profit urban farm.  12 years ago, while working in the pastorate of a suburban church, she began to wonder why they…

the final growing season of Ton Janssen

"I will keep telling the story of horticulture, a hundred times a day"

Crop change is here, also for Ton Janssen. It will be his last as tomato grower, because as of November 12 he is grower no more. Recently he sold his own cultivation company, 2.6 ha in size. In week 45 the last harvest will take place. "At the moment we have a super beautiful garden of tomatoes. The…

fraudulent sale of peppers

Spain: Two people arrested for fraud on horticultural trader

The Guardia Civil has arrested an agricultural producer and the security guard of a fruit and vegetable marketer in the Comarca de Poniente de Almería, accused of hatching a…

US (CA): Farmer hopes marijuana revenue will buoy business

A farm once known for flowers and now famous for pumpkins is at the center of the marijuana debate in Half Moon Bay, California — and the focus of a lengthy feature story in this week’s Washington Post . Tuesday’s election will determine whether Eda and John Muller, owners of Daylight Farms, will be allowed to use…

US (TX): Uvalde AgriLife center donates hydroponic Asian vegetables to nutrition center

When researchers at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center in Uvalde completed recent yield and quality trials on hydroponically produced Asian leafy greens, they didn’t toss the surplus — they donated it to the Uvalde County Nutrition Center. Ten different varieties of red and green bok choy and…

Ellen van Kester, Horticola Guadalfeo:

“More and more European supermarkets want to work with blue Marazul tomatoes”

The new Spanish greenhouse vegetable season is about to start for Horticola Guadalfeo from Motril. “We currently have the final supply from the tomato productions in the mountains, but these no longer have export quality. In the next two weeks, we’ll therefore have a bit less production. The cold and wet…

US (PA): Camden County greenhouses are feeding Philadelphia Zoo

It was feeding time Tuesday morning at the giraffe exhibit at the Philadelphia Zoo, and Camden County Freeholder Jonathan Young got to hold greens grown in greenhouses in Blackwood, at the Office of Sustainability. Giggling gaggles of schoolchildren gathered nearby, marveling at the gentle animals. With guidance from…

Australian growers experience informative field day

The peak industry body for the greenhouse & hydroponic industry, Protected Cropping Australia, has again put on a successful grower day in the Western Sydney region of New South Wales. The day started at the Western Sydney University (WSU) and kicked off with 3 very informative talks from WSU Associate Professor David Tissue on “Novel glass for…

India: Self-taught grower harvests veggies from PET bottles

Rudrarup was in class eight when his father, a mechanical engineer, came home with a library book on Hydroponics, long before urban farmers in India began experimenting with the farming method. It was as if a different world had been opened up for the young boy. Armed with earthen pots, the father-son duo conjured nutrients…

CAN (AB): Agriculture leaders inducted into Hall of Fame

Three Alberta visionaries have been honoured by the Agriculture Hall of Fame in recognition of their contributions to the cattle-feeding, crop science and greenhouse industries. Agriculture and Forestry Minister Oneil Carlier stands with 2018 Agriculture Hall of Fame inductees (L to R: Ronald Howard, Dietrich Kuhlmann, Minister…

Australia: Masterclass scholarships and placements up for grabs

Are you a professional working in the horticulture industry who wants to take their career to the next level? No matter what your level of expertise, no matter what your ambition, the Masterclass In Horticultural Business is a flexible program tailored to your needs, designed by some of horticulture’s best from around…

US (NY): Celebrity visit for students' hydroponic farm

Grammy-Award winning singer, Broadway producer, and philanthropist Gloria Estefan learned about growing fruits and vegetables from students who do it at the Dewitt Clinton High School in the Bronx. "I think it's an amazing opportunity for them to learn about the food that's nutritious and learn how to grow it," Estefan said. "They're…

Ton Olsthoorn, former bell pepper grower about selling his company

"Selling a car in parts does not work either"

Begin July 2018, four (former) Dutch greenhouse horticulturists and the Hoogheemraadschap in Monster sold their parcels to Ontwikkelingsbedrijf HOT Greenport West-Holland B.V. An acreage of in total ten hectare is involved. The parcels will be purchased in 2018, redeveloped in 2019, and sold at the end…

US: West Michigan company's innovative salad greens now on store shelves

Revolution Farms, a recently launched aquaponics farm based in Caledonia, harvested its first salad greens earlier this month and is now selling them at 16 SpartanNash stores across Michigan. "We'll really be the only local option," said Tripp Frey, a Grand Rapids native who founded the company after spending nearly a…

Brunei: Course helps reintegration through agriculture

A five-day training course on ‘Basic Hydroponics: Growing Vegetables Using Hydroponics System’ was recently conducted in Brunei for five aftercare peers under the Prisons Department, Ministry of Home Affairs as part of a community outreach project. The training course was a project organised by participants of the…

US (PA): Formal apprenticeship for vegetable growers

The Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA) is developing the first formal apprenticeship in the region for vegetable farmers: Diversified Vegetable Apprenticeship. The program launches this fall, when they’ll begin accepting applications for the 2019 season. Plowshare Produce apprentice Jess Hermanofski…

Wilko Wisse, Lans:

"Crop rotation is part of the cultivation in which residual water is also collected"

Tomato company Lans in Maasdijk (Netherlands) cultivates various types of tomatoes on stone wool on 32 hectares in the Westland and 20 hectares in the Zeeland province. By far the largest part is illuminated. Only 10.6 hectares is still unlighted. The lighted cultivation is rotated earlier - in August…

Turkish producers switching from tomatoes and peppers to pitaya

Due to the rising costs of growing tomatoes, peppers and other greenhouse vegetables in Antalya, Turkey, some producers, like Bilal Bayram, are switching to the cultivation of…

Morocco: Farmers plant fewer tomatoes and more blueberries

Moroccan farmers have increasingly begun cultivating other crops - at the expense of tomatoes - such as bell peppers and blueberries. Spain has also begun planting fewer snack…

CombiVliet opens its doors on Lidl Farm Day

"Many people still have an ancient tomato farm in mind"

Hundreds of people visited the Lidl Farm Day at the NoordVliet location of CombiVliet in Middenmeer, Netherlands on Saturday, October 20. The public could discover where the products they buy at the grocery store come from and who grows them. For the children in attendance a quest was organized, an…

CAN (ON): Basil grower uses light spectrum to improve flavor, fight disease

Freeman Herbs is a family-owned business that grows a wide variety of organic fresh herbs in Beamsville, Ontario. Founded in 1979 by Tim Freeman, Freeman Herbs is one of the biggest growers and distributors of fresh herbs in Canada. They currently grow 12 organic herb varieties year-round, including…

Real Farm Lives

New documentary series shows how food finds its way to Canadians

A recent survey from the Canadian Centre for Food Integrity reveals that most Canadians are disconnected from the people who grow their food and how it is grown. Perceptions of farming are often outdated, inaccurate and cliched. In fact, 93 per cent of Canadians say they know little-to-nothing about…

"Kivu RZ just loves to produce big tomatoes"

It has been a wonderful year for Gordon Yakel, who is head grower at Delta View Farms in Delta, Canada. The family-owned company is growing 11 acres (3.6 hectares) of the beefsteak tomato Kivu RZ, a relatively new Rijk Zwaan variety. Yakel is very enthusiastic about the results. The yield is better, the…

Vereijken Logistics

Dutch tomato grower sentenced to fine of 75,000 euros for fatal elevator incident

A malfunction of the packaging robot, on the automatic transport or on a trolley stacker. Just a bit of tinkering, a little diversion and it is functioning again. Yet it can go terribly wrong. This is evident from the accident that happened three years ago at Vereijken Logistics. An employee was killed…

Greenhouse grower to offer taste-tests "behind closed doors" at PMA

The dynamics of the Canadian greenhouse industry are getting more sophisticated each year. It's impressive enough to think that hothouse vegetables are growing in a freezing climate, but now these greenhouse growers are taking further steps to bring their produce to a higher level. NatureFresh™ Farms, based in Leamington,…

Dutch delegation visits vegetable farm in Rwanda

On 4th October 2018, the Agricultural Counselor, Carian Emeka, with a delegation from the Netherlands: A.J.Arno Rohde from the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food quality and Frank Buizer from the Netherland Entreprise Agency (RVO) - visited SUNRIPE farm Ltd, a 7 hectare farm located in the Kayumba…

Australian agriculture groups join together to voice concerns over harvest workforce plans

Several major farming and horticulture industry representative groups have raised concerns with the Australian Government's new initiative to get unemployed workers to fill the labour shortage gap in harvesting. Under the new plan announced by Prime Minister Scott Morrison, farmers have to register their need and…

South Africa: "The extent of farm attacks must be internationally recognized"

Agri SA is displeased with President Cyril Ramaphosa's statement that there is “no killings of farmers" in South Africa. He said this in an interview at the United Nations in…

Greenhouse vegetable grower to launch seven products at PMA

With the produce industry preparing to head to Orlando for PMA Fresh Summit, greenhouse vegetable grower Pure Flavor® is prepping for one of the biggest trade shows ever. Pure Flavor® said it will be launching 7 new items at the trade show. “We are bringing new products to market that will help our retail & foodservice…

Businessman-philanthropist Patrice Motsepe at annual congress AgriSA:

“South African farmers need security of land and assets”

Billionaire businessman and philanthropist Patrice Motsepe says South African farmers, both black and white, need to be safe in the knowledge that their right to land and…

US (AZ): Chef partners with local grower

Joseph Dominguez works closely with some local chefs to create the freshest farm to table dishes. From cucumbers to his famous cherry tomatoes, beefsteak tomatoes and heirloom tomatoes to eggplants, peppers and colored carrots, he helps grow organic produce for people to enjoy in Yuma. “Hillside Farms, I started…

Following the Dutch model, here they work on trolleys between rows.

Italy: "Hydroponic cultivation lowers disease risk"

The young, Italian horticulturist Rosario Aurnia has made a very meticulous working system for the farming of his tomatoes. Six hectares are mostly cultivated in mini plum tomatoes (70%), while the remainder is used for the datterino variety. The entire surface has been allocated for hydroponic…

Sarah Dressel: New Paltz woman is a vibrant symbol of farming’s future

Sarah Dressel, the youngest person to lead the New York Apple Association, is in the vanguard of a generation that is coming back to the farm and securing her family’s –and…

Italy: the fennel campaign has started in Emilia-Romagna

The fennel harvesting started two days ago. The production area is located in Emilia Romagna. The Cagliari & Babbi company – specialised in fennel (Finò brand) – have 36 hectares, between direct production and farmers. Vittorio Cagliari explains, “The production is of high quality. Also, the quantity met the expectations. The lowering…

Frank Vansimpsen, Sint-Lucie:

“Watercress power food for all seasons”

Things are calm for Sint-Lucie at the moment, after the watercress fields were flooded last June. “We had to clear everything before re-sowing at the time, and that kept us busy. Fortunately, we’re spread across Haspengouw, Belgium, with our seven nurseries, and nature was kind enough not to flood all…

US (NV): Aquaponics farm increases tomato yields by 20% with new lighting

Founded in 2015, Dayton Valley Aquaponics is a year-round aquaponic greenhouse designed to provide the northern Nevada area with consistently fresh, sustainable, local produce. They currently use their LumiGrow fixtures to light 20,000 square feet of greenhouse. Tomatoes are Dayton Valley’s bread and…

Canada: Opportunity Scholarships awarded to students pursuing education in agriculture and food-related fields

This year’s Opportunity Scholarship winners are starting their first year of post-secondary education and all look forward to having an impact on Canadian agriculture and food…

Cees and Nynke Groenewegen grow 25 tomato varieties in Sweden

Growing for the local market. That was the wish that Cees and Nynke Groenewegen brought along with them to Sweden 13 years ago. From their greenhouses in the town of Karintorp, near Åsbro, they provide shops and restaurants with a wide range of tomatoes. Cultivation outside the Netherlands is nothing new for Cees. After he…

Canada: Winners announced of 2018-19 ASPB Conviron Scholars Program

The ASPB Conviron Scholars Program is aimed at supporting the next generation of plant scientists by helping students build their foundation for a successful career. The program selects exceptional Undergraduate and Graduate students studying Plant Biology and delivers a year-long experience which…

Malaysia: Three friends supply fresh veggies thanks to NFT

Using the ‘nutrient film technique’ (NFT) hydroponic system technology, three friends are now enjoying the benefits from a 30 x 35 square metre plot which has been developed into a greenhouse and planted with various types of salads and highland vegetables. The Farmia developed by Saiful Bahri Ahmad Adibi, 42, together…

Wout van Es, Van Nature:

“I care about Dutch product a great deal”

Since May this year, Wout van Es has been working as product and market specialist for Van Nature. He’s the connecting link between growers and mercantile houses, and every day he dedicates himself tirelessly to both parties. It’s an understatement to say Wout has an extensive fresh produce background. It started…

Serbia arrests 36 for alleged smuggling of EU fruit to Russia

Serbian police said that they have arrested 36 people suspected of illegally exporting fruit to Russia that was originally imported from the European Union. This would be a…

Can the Russian greenhouse industry overcome challenges?

The development of Russia’s greenhouse industry has become a well-known fact in the last few years. Analytics argue that 2017 was one of the most successful years for the industry thus far with more than 250 hectares of new commercial greenhouses commissioned. This rapid increase resulted mainly from a…

Four million sealed bell peppers for cruise ships and military bases per year

Recording a TV show at your company, changing buyers and a 15th anniversary. Three good reasons to make a new company film, according to bell pepper sorter MidFresh in Harmelen, the Netherlands. As of late August, a modern company film is online, featuring drone images of the entire production process. “The old…

Europe's largest greenhouse vineyard

From rose greenhouse to vineyard under glass

On Friday 28 September, Europe's largest greenhouse vineyard could be admired on television. In Dutch TV program BinnensteBuiten, chef Leon Mazairac and sommelier Lendl Mijnhijmer visited Egchel in Limburg, where a former rose nursery of 1.5 hectares was turned into a vineyard in 2015. Winemaker Joep van…

US (TX): Big Tex Urban Farms donate more to local community thanks to oxygen nanobubbles

Big Tex Urban Farms has installed Moleaer's Boost nanobubble generator to increase crop production. Throughout the growing season, Big Tex Urban Farms donates all its produce to local Dallas area organizations. Big Tex Urban Farms wanted to incorporate an innovative solution that would help them grow more food per square foot…

US (MI): Flint resident wants to beat the food desert with a greenhouse

The north side of Flint is largely a food desert, the result of a steady decline in jobs and economic security compounded by the city’s enduring water crisis. But Mark Baldwin wants to change that. “Especially for young folks, there’s an amazing amount of opportunity in Flint,” he says on a crisp Thursday afternoon, gesturing…

US (IL): Organic farm sees "healthy and productive tomatoes" with clipper system

Tempel Farms Organics is a diversified, certified organic vegetable, cut flower and egg farm located in Old Mill Creek, Illinois. Mike Morrison has introduced the Qlipr system in July 2018 and shares their experience. Mike Morrison about Qlipr: "The system has been working very nicely for us. Our tomatoes were grafted…

CAN (ON): Tomato grower to be sentenced for illegal cannabis

A 64-year-old farmer who was enlisted to grow marijuana due to his proficiency in growing tomatoes will be sentenced in the new year for his role in a medical marijuana facility that police say grew thousands of plants illegally. In the early morning hours of Sept. 19, 2016, Niagara Regional Police responded to a…

The broccoli season is starting, as well

Courgette: a good beginning for the autumnal campaign

In the area surrounding Foggia, in Puglia, the harvesting of courgettes and broccoli has started. Giovanni Pasquariello, the owner of the Azienda Agricola Pasquariello Giovanni di Carapelle, told to FreshPlaza, “Fortunately, our fields were not affected by the bad weather. It did not rain much and we had…

Over $10,000 raised

CAN (BC): Village Farms Runs for the Cure

The Village Farms family came together to raise awareness for the Run for the Cure while exceeding their goal by raising more than $10,000 last week for the Canadian Cancer Society. In addition, Village Farms took home the Pepsi Corporate Spirit Award as the top fundraising corporate team at the CIBC Run…

Tomato grower celebrates 10 years in Tunisia

SanLucar, a premium brand for fruit and vegetables, celebrated its 10th anniversary of production in Tunisia with a commemorative event at the farm La Cinquième Saison in El Hamma in the region Gabés. 1,400 people attended the celebration, including employees and their families, the entire management team of SanLucar…

UAE: Pure Harvest reaps 1.5 million USD investment

The Mohammed bin Rashid Innovation Fund, MBRIF, operated by the Emirates Development Bank, announced a disbursement of AED5.5 million [1.5 million USD] to UAE headquartered Pure Harvest. The fund will be utilised on construction and pre-production of Pure Harvest’s foundational, high-tech greenhouse in Nahel, UAE.…

CGC Bus Tour: challenges for Canadian enterprises in a good market

Due to the switch being made by its competitors to cannabis and the gap occurring in the market, the team of plant nursery Waldan Gardens has decided to expand its company faster than originally planned. It's one example on how the cannabis industry affects the whole horticultural industry at the moment.…

Minister MacAulay concludes second "Growing Canadian Agriculture" tour

In August, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lawrence MacAulay, embarked on the second "Growing Canadian Agriculture" tour, which concluded on Friday in Southwestern Ontario. During the tour the Minister travelled to many parts of the country to meet with farmers, processors, and industry…

Qatar: Melon grower increases production with hydroponics

Prominent Qatari agriculturist Nasser Ahmed al-Khalaf told Gulf Times that his farm will harvest melons and watermelons, grown for the first time in the country using hydroponics, in the coming weeks. "We have also increased the (production of various types of) herbs,” disclosed al-Khalaf, who is also the owner and…


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