Grower in the Spotlight

Camden McGregor, Cobre Valley Indoor Farms:

"Our mission is to reinvigorate the community by turning abandoned buildings into indoor farms"

When a local Safeway store in Cobre Valley, Arizona, closed down, septuagenarian Elvin Fant Sr. asked the owner if another supermarket would replace it. The owner said that it would likely sit empty because the local market was not large enough to support another supermarket, with a Walmart on the next…

high-tech radish grower gets rid of harvesting machine

"By hand harvesting, we can sort better"

Radishes grow year-round in the Jongfresh greenhouses in Monster (Netherlands). Yet the consumer knows the radish mainly as 'that spring vegetable'. The trade in radish is currently quiet and the market is stable, after a period of considerable shortages. The market is now more balanced, according to…

UK: A-Level students enjoy greenhouse field trip

Last week, 19 A-Level Biology students and staff from St Philip Howard Catholic School in Barnham brought their science class to Tangmere for a field trip and an opportunity to learn more about the scientific techniques and challenges involved in growing large-scale food crops. Tangmere’s Crops Manager, Mark Knight…

"Only yellow and red bell peppers in the coming year"

Netherlands: Kwekerij Moors adding five hectares

In addition to the eight-hectare location of Kwekerij Moors in Asten (Netherlands), there is still an empty plot of land, but in December the plants should be able to enter the new greenhouse of five hectares. The sweet pepper nursery is building the greenhouse to meet the growing demand at sales…

Arjan Sonneveld, Grow Group BV, Grow Bioplant BV:

"Extra organic growth to anticipate the future"

At first it was organic that was growing fast in greenhouse vegetable cultivation, but now the largest growth in the Benelux happens in open field cultivation. Arjan Sonneveld, representative for both greenhouse vegetables and open field cultivation at Grow Group BV and Grow Bioplant BV: "Organic has the…

CAN (ON): Provincial government helps young growers start business

Ontario's Government for the People is committed to reducing red tape and easing regulatory burden, to lower business costs and improve competitiveness for young farmers and new entrants in the agri-business sector. The Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Ernie Hardeman, hosted a roundtable to hear…

New lighting for Finnish cucumbers

In about three weeks his whole company will be provided with new lighting. Finnish grower Jan Lindberg of Malax Trädgård is happy now that his old lighting, that has been there for ten years, is replaced with the hybrid grow light installation of Hortilux. Top and interlighting In December the top lighting was installed at the full…

Martijn Naaborg

Happy birthday, far away from home

Martijn Naaborg, project manager with Dry Hydroponics, is currently working on his first job in Canada, at the Thiel's Greenhouses project. Today he happens to be celebrating his birthday far away from home, so Bas, Joris, Dirk, Maurice, and Chris of Dry Hydroponics are taking this opportunity to wish…

Three startups take top prizes at Indoor Ag-Con Asia pitch competition

Indoor agriculture startups Biteback, Farmers Cut and Growers Agritech won top honors at the Indoor Ag-Ignite competition finals held during Indoor Ag-Con Asia, January 15-16, 2019 at the Marina Bay Sands, Singapore. Designed to support entrepreneurs and find the most innovative new ideas globally in the…

Nigeria: Dam dredging boosts local tomato production

Irrigation farmers in Tafoki, Faskari LGA of Katsina State have expanded the volume of their tomato production after their irrigation dam was dredged by the state government. Last year, farmers in the area expressed concern on how the small dam they were using could not sustain them up to April considering the large…

growing tomatoes in China & Iran

"Investors often think that one year is enough to learn the trade"

Dutch growers impart their cultivation knowledge all over the world. André Hamel is one of them. "Most of the time it's about a newly set-up greenhouse with new people who are quick to think they can do it all themselves." André Hamel is in Iran on behalf of Bilancia Horticulture Projects. "It is my fourth year now as head…

UK: 2020 Nuffield Scholar applications now open

Nuffield Farming Scholarships Trust (NFST) announced that applications for 2020 scholarships are now open on the Trust’s website and will close on 31st July 2019. Approximately 20 scholarships…

Ghana's young farmers to take advantage of tomato cultivation

District Chief Executive for Berekum West, Isaac Osei, has urged the youth to take advantage of vegetable farming - especially tomatoes - to better their lives. Addressing a farmers' meeting…

Swedish grower works without sunlight or soil

Swedish grower Ellinor Helgeson has been growing flowers and herbs for a year on the top floor of a warehouse near Växjö in Sweden. Parsley, thyme and various types of lettuce do really well in her vertical greenhouse. The crops are grown using hydroponics. They are planted in a minimal amount of peat, in rows…

The latest miniature food to be grown in Australia

To some it would appear as if farmer Stewart Gow is growing chillies. But instead of these spicy vegetables, they are in fact capsicums; a new variety called Baby Sweet Capsicums. They are grown in red, yellow and orange. The farm in Amiens is in its second year of producing the fruit, with 100,000 plants for Kalfresh…

First Vertical Farm in Putney opens for business

"Producing within 5 miles of the customer makes us 'hyper local'"

There's something else than Brexit news coming out of the UK this week. Yeeld, the vertical farm in Putney, is happy to announce that they have commenced the sustainable growing of fresh produce.  The start-up is the brainchild of ex-city trader Doug Barr who left his job as a commodities trader to tackle one very large problem.  How will…

Peppers cultivated on waste wood from North Holland North residents and companies

Dutch pepper grower ready for climate agreement with heat network connection

Greenhouse horticulture area Alton in Heerhugowaard (North Holland) was officially connected to the heat network of waste and energy company HVC on Thursday 10 January 2019. Pepper grower NH Paprika will be the first greenhouse horticulture company to be connected to the grid and is therefore fully…

Facebook post drives banker to launch multimillion-dollar vertical farm

Next time you feel guilty about idling away your commute on social media, remember that inspiration can come from all sources. That was certainly the case for Benjamin Swan, whose subway scrolling sparked an idea that led him to quit his corporate job and embark on a multimillion-dollar business venture. "It all…

US (CA): Flower grower expands in vegetables with new greenhouse

Seventh generation farmers, the Aschbrenner Family began its legacy back in the 1800s in Old World Prussia, and today their thriving farm in Encinitas, CA is entering a new and exciting time. To create food for its new farm-to-table division, Gene Aschbrenner and his entire family are poised and prepared…

UK: RHS calls for wartime veg plot photos

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) is calling on people to submit photos of their wartime vegetable gardens as it gets ready to mark 80 years since the outbreak of World War II and the Dig for Victory campaign. The charity will display advisory material and wartime propaganda that inspired people to grow more…

365 days on the eternal ice flows

EDEN ISS antarctic grower Paul Zabel returns

365 days in the Antarctic, of which 257 days cut off from the outside world. Antarctic grower Paul Zabel from the German Aerospace Center (DLR) has tested vegetable cultivation, suitable for Moon and Mars environments in the EDEN-ISS greenhouse. There, he harvested peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers and…

Reducing plastic: A priority for Canadian greenhouse grower

Inspired Greens living lettuce has made it a priority to reduce the use of plastics since its inception, it states. The company has operated since June 2017, and has reduced its plastic use by packaging its living lettuce in a sleeve rather than the domed clamshell. According to Inspired Greens,…

Australia: Abundant delivers delicious nutrition by the tonne

Abundant Produce harvested a bumper crop of super-sweet cherry tomatoes, and donated around two tonnes of these vegetables to SecondBite, delivering nutrition to Australia’s neediest families and individuals. Over a million Australians regularly go hungry, and this food insecurity exposes them to increased risk from…

French cucumber grower goes year-round with LED

Jardins Réunis and Cheminant have both installed Philips GreenPower LED toplighting and Philips GreenPower LED interlighting in their new cucumber greenhouses in the Nantes region of France. The members of the Océane grower cooperative are the first to grow high-wire cucumbers with LED lighting in the…

Looye Kwekers and RedStar

Big merger in Dutch tomato industry annulled

It would have created a tomato farm of more than 150 hectares, with a turnover of 180 million euros and focusing on the high-end market completely. The merger between Dutch…

South Africa: Adaptation key to vegetable farmer’s sustainable growth

Mike Pedersen-Horn’s advice to anybody wanting to start a vegetable operation, as he did in 2001, is this: “Start small and get to know your soils and crops as you go. Every…

Westfield creates urban farm on top of French shopping mall

Westfield has created a 270 m 2 urban farm, located on the roof of the So Oeust shopping centre in Levallois-Perret. It produces vegetables and plants through vertical…

As well as tomatoes in greenhouses

Northern Uganda: Innovative farmer took matooke to West Nile region

An innovative farmer has found a way for introducing new crops in the area. Farida Lutaale, aged 42 is growing bananas locally known as matooke. This food crop yields well in most central districts of Uganda but a look at Lutaale’s farm shows that she is ready to beat all odds to grow these crops in Arua…

Organic vegetable growers Leo and Martin Carnas on Dutch TV

Automotive painter quits spraying to grow organically

A retired truck driver and a former automotive painter in a greenhouse with vegetables: an unconventional combination. Nevertheless, Martin and Leo Carnas grow various vegetables in Waarland, North Holland in an unheated greenhouse. On Dutch TV show BinnensteBuiten, chef Leon Maziarac visited the ‘out of…

"Kazakh greenhouse industry faces low demand, competition from Uzbekistan"

Kazakh businesspeople establishing greenhouses in the country face competition from Uzbekistan producers and lack of retail availability. While healthy food is trending, the demand for fresh herbs and salad fixings is still low. Despite the odds, the Almaty region’s GreenEco greenhouse in Panfilovo village of Talgar…

No disaster relief for growers during US government shutdown

The current partial US government shutdown, which began on December 22, has still not been resolved and federal agencies continue to operate with lean staff or not at all. The main problem for growers is the complete shutdown of the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA). The agency administers many different…

AmericanHort HortScholars program now accepting applications

The 2019 AmericanHort HortScholars program is now accepting applications through March 1, 2019 from enthusiastic students in horticulture-related degree programs of any degree level. Students wishing to apply may do so online at AmericanHort.org/Scholars . HortScholars is a seven-day program that sets students in horticulture…

Sabores Púrpura starts 2019 season

"We changed the variety, but we did not change the sweetness"

After growing Elsanta for 5 years, the strawberry growers of Portuguese company Sabores Púrpura have switched to Fortuna. The company has harvested the first fruits of this winter season. "For the consumers it's just strawberries, but for producers each variety is so different. It's as if we had to…

Tomato grower Mario about family business Van der Wel:

"By request we are also going to grow medium-large vine tomatoes in 2019"

For three generations, fruit and vegetables have been grown by the Van der Wel family in the Netherlands. "After years of innovating, experimenting and mainly working hard, my father Gert-Jan took over the company in 1996. And now I, together with my father, do the general management," says Mario van der…

Guided tour of the largest cherry tomato farm in Africa

It is in Dakhla, in the south of Morocco, where the largest farm of Africa is located. It is devoted to the cultivation of cherry tomatoes. Its production covers more than 180…

Sixty PCA members attend grower day in Western Sydney

Protected Cropping Australia has again put on a successful grower day in the Western Sydney region of New South Wales. Sixty PCA members came from all over the New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria to network and learn about greenhouse production under different screens, glass, and covers as well as pollination and…

Peter Quiring:

"We're going to expand somewhere; if it isn't here, it's going to be somewhere else"

A Leamington greenhouse owner says he may be forced to expand his booming business outside of Essex County because of ongoing concerns about electrical supply. Peter Quiring, owner of NatureFresh Farms in Leamington, said the government isn't moving fast enough to address an impending electrical supply shortage in…

First harvest of Luther strawberries planned in Wittenberg

With tomato specialties like the Capricia, Brioso and Bellastar, within a few years Wittenberg Gemüse GmbH has made a name for itself in the German specialist trade. Since last year, many different types of peppers have been bred in their greenhouses, after which they were marketed under the Luther…

Singapore: Local farms continue to grow their impact on fine dining

Singapore’s agriculture sector contributes less than one per cent of the country’s GDP per capita and more than 90 per cent of the country's food is imported. It’s on a path of slow and steady growth but that is not to say local farms have not been innovative with growing vegetables and herbs, of which…

India: Secretariat employees test the water in aquaponics

Taking a cue from the success of vegetable farming done on the terrace of the Secretariat, Green Leaf, a group of agricultural enthusiasts under the guidance of Fisheries…

Clip: Canada's first vertical mushroom farm

Rachel Gruger is co-owner of Gruger Family Fungi in Nisku, Alberta. It is the only indoor vertical mushroom farm of its kind in the country. As it specializes in tree-loving mushrooms, we won’t see regular grocery store portobello or button mushrooms growing there. In just three years, the Grugers went from farming…

“If you can grow plants in space, couldn’t they grow anywhere?”

It all started with a movie many people haven’t seen. About 10 years ago, Ruqayah Bhuiyan sat down to watch “Sunshine,” a movie about astronauts flying to the sun. Amid all of the high drama, fission bombs and personal conflict aboard the ship, there was a garden. This outer-space garden got her thinking, “If you can grow plants…

The birth of a hydroponic business

India: Conventional problems, unconventional solutions

The conventional problems associated with agriculture can be solved through unconventional means, the belief was turned into reality by the young entrepreneurs in Delhi. Deepak Kukreja, Dhruv Khanna, Ullas Samrat, and Devanshu Shivnani, the friends who wanted to do something that was economical and…

Frank de Greef, Fleurizon:

'Popularity of Asian cuisine drives demand for Asiatic herbs'

"The demand for Asiatic herbs is very good and still increasing", says Frank de Greef of Fleurizon. For several years now, they produce Asian herbal rooted plugs and cuttings at one of their farms in Asia and over the years they have built up a wide assortment. "The popularity of herbal plants…

US (MN): Revol Greens announces facility partnership to expand operations

Revol Greens, a Minnesota greenhouse farm that supplies fresh, locally grown lettuce and greens, announces a facility equity partnership with Equilibrium Capital to drive expansion in 2019. Although plans are still in development, Revol Greens plans to at least double the size of its Medford, Minnesota…

CAN (ON): Mississauga Food Bank increases aquaponics farm capacity

The Mississauga Food Bank has expanded an innovative program it uses to supplement the fresh food it distributes to feed the city’s hungry. In late 2016, the food bank launched AquaGrow Farms — an aquaponics farm housed in the organization’s warehouse that’s used to grow both fish and produce year-round. Recently, they…

Urban farming lures Indonesia's youth back to the field

Soraya Cassandra, better known as Sandra, has always been passionate about sustainable living. She and her husband are the duo behind a new organization in Indonesia called Kebun Kumara. Both teach volunteers at their garden about modern agriculture and organic planting. Indonesia is working to achieve self-sufficiency in…

Australia: Growing mangoes and avocados in a greenhouse

With a horticulture degree under her belt, Nicky Nealon has more knowledge of plant production than your average gardener, which would help explain her success in growing mangoes and avocados on the outskirts of Orange. While she may be someone of an expert in the field, the former Orange High School agriculture teacher said…

CAN (ON): Urban fish farm helps fight hunger in Mississauga

The glistening blue and silver scales of tilapia fish aren’t just for show. “It’s how they communicate with each other,” explains Colin Cotton. Those details are among the many fascinating facts Cotton shares during a tour of the Mississauga Food Bank’s newly expanded aquaponics operation at its warehouse near Highway…

US (NM): Hydroponic gardens in schools eliminates the need for soil

Even as the days were colder last fall and winter, the tomato garden in Adrian Gaytan’s classroom at Zia Middle School in Las Cruces continued to thrive, a feat that would have been impossible more than a year ago but is now a reality – thanks to an initiative launched by New Mexico State University’s…

Cultivation and trade in arugula at Vreugdenhil Vegetables:

"We actually just followed along with the growth of the market"

Arugula is originally a Mediterranean vegetable that has been cultivated in the Mediterranean since the Middle Ages. Also called rocket lettuce, it's grown in greenhouses in the Netherlands for its spicy, slightly bitter and nutty flavor. Vreugdenhil Vegetables has cultivated and sold arugula for around 10 years now. Merijn Vreugdenhil…

US (KS): High tunnels allow for year-round harvesting in Scandia

No matter what month it is, no matter how cold it is, it's always green inside high tunnels. "They allow you to extend the growing season," said Christi Janssen, co-owner of C & C Farms in Scandia. "Typically in our part of Kansas, we wouldn't be able to start tomatoes until early May, but we can get tomatoes in…

Robot-raised lettuce

At first, people thought the massive greenhouse being built in Coaldale, near Alberta town, was destined for marijuana production. The timing seemed right, 18 months ago, when talk was rampant about…

CA: Demand for vegetables, fish harvested at Calgary aquaponics facility growing

A group of Calgary entrepreneurs has opened the city's first commercial scale aquaponics facility producing fresh vegetables and fish year-round without soil. As Carolyn Kury de Castillo reports, it's what some are calling the future of agriculture. Photo credit: Deepwater Farms The kale being used in a salad at Model Milk…

Turkey: Investor disappointed in return from geothermal greenhouse

Investor Yunus Arifoglu Ozturk from Azerbaijan has set up a greenhouse on 4.2 hectares of his 8 hectare land in the Germencik district of Aydin (Turkey), but he is disappointed that he can't make use of geothermal water nearby in the area. Grower Yunus Ozturk: “I have been using coal for heating for the last 3…

Italy: "Choosing the right variety is crucial to the companies' succes"

The Cocktail Plum tomato variety represents a substantial segment of the table tomato production in Italy. Because of climate change – with rather sudden temperature oscillations – and plant diseases, it is becoming increasingly urgent to farm varieties better suited for modern horticulture. Rocco, Lino and Salvatore…

Jan Varekamp, ​​Vers Van Voorne:

"Sustainability is easier with electricity than with gas"

Grower Jan Varekamp from Vers Van Voorne in Tinte decided all heating for his vegetables should be electrical instead of gas-driven. For example, an electric boiler has been installed, in addition to a geothermal network he's part of with fellow growers. In addition, thousands of solar panels are being…

CAN (BC): Salmon Arm business to provide fresh greens year round

Salad lovers will be able to access locally grown greens and microgreens, thanks to Living Leaf Growers. Located at Westgate Public Market, co-owner Karen Dow says the company has been working on developing a commercial hydroponic system for two years under the direction of Wolf Wesle of Green Croft Gardens organic farm…

Jos Hakkenes, Duurzame Kost City Farm:

"What we are doing here is a big compromise"

On the fifth floor of Strijp-S in Eindhoven in the Netherlands, lettuce is growing. Under LED lighting, and completely circular. The fertilizer for the lettuce comes from fish, the roots of the lettuce are used to feed insects, and these insects feed the fish. The plants, meanwhile, have to do nothing…

Richard Schenkeveld:

"We're in the right place, but finding good staff is a challenge"

The new greenhouses owned by tomato grower Schenkeveld in Rijsenhout in the Netherlands are an impressive sight, and also clearly visible from the A4 highway. They now cover no less than 22 hectares. Richard Schenkeveld: “We are in the right place. The challenge? That is finding good staff in the coming…

Glenn Behrmann, Robert Colangelo and Erik Runkle reflect and look ahead

An indoor ag year of investments and innovation

2018 is almost over. That means it's time for relaxation, exchanging gifts, and eating way too much (and not just veggies). It's also a time to reflect on the past year, and to look forward to what's on the horizon. That's exactly what we'll do now. Joining us at the holiday table to discuss the state of…

A.A.M. van der Voort & A.A.M. Grootscholten (Globe Plant)

Happy new crop cake

For 25 years AAM v. Voort & Zn. from Honselersdijk has bought his young plants from Globe Plant. Maybe it's because the founders of the two companies have the same initials? John v.d. Voort and Johan Grootscholten got to know each other on the management board of "Jongeren LTB Westland", which Vera Grootscholten later also joined. Working…

"After all, you grow plants in three dimensions, not in two.”

Back in 1993, blockbuster Jurassic Park hit the screens and Whitney Houston topped the charts with ‘I will always love you’. Yes, it’s really been 25 years since then. Also in 1993, Richel built their first greenhouse in Turkey. This year one of their Turkish projects almost completely resembles this…

"It has been a busy, but exciting week”

UK: First plants in semi-closed Sterling Suffolk greenhouse

It’s green and pink and it’s not the HortiDaily Christmas tree. It’s the new greenhouse of Sterling Suffolk, near Great Blakenham (UK). The first tomato plants of the new company arrived last week and the LEDs are lighting up the crop brightly. “It has been a busy, but exciting week”, says Horticultural…

"When we say zero, we mean zero"

Belgium: Weekly supply of zero residue herbs at Van Laethem

"Two weeks ago we unloaded our first shipment of herbs that were cultivated without the application of phyto products. From now on we expect a supply of five herbs every week, herbs that are cultivated without the use of crop protection products", says John Van Laethem of the company with the same name.…

"Smart people from outside the sector help us get ahead"

RedStar starts pilot with robots that analyze plant well-being

RedStar once started out by growing lettuce under flat glass. The Dutch company has since grown into a specialist in the field of high-quality, tasty tomatoes and is active in all parts of the chain. To maintain its leading position, RedStar works together with food companies and educational institutions…

Den Berk Délice grows to 51 hectare:

"Construction was pretty laid-back, compared to our standard"

Den Berk Délice recently celebrated the official opening of the new 7-hectare location Den Horst in Merksplas, Belgium. Since the four tomato growers joined forces in Den Berk Délice, a lot has happened. The opening of the new location was a good opportunity for looking back a bit. At the same time, it…

Research focused on plant health, lighted cultivation, flavor and content substances

Dutch growers unite in Strawberry Innovation Cluster

Four leading strawberry growers in the southeast of the Netherlands have joined forces. Under the banner of Innoveins, an ecosystem where innovations at the intersection of plant and technology are realized, they are going to work together with other interested parties in the coming months to establish…

“Retailers are about profits; off the back of the producers”

Ireland: Number of vegetable growers drops 56% in 15 years

President of the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) Joe Healy was speaking the topic on RTE Radio 1’s Morning Ireland on December 18, explaining why the IFA felt compelled to protest outside a Marks & Spencers (M&S) store last week. “It’s about the issue of retailers selling vegetable packs for heavily discounted prices…

tomatoes, peppers and strawberries

Germany: 16 hectare greenhouse for Reichenspurner Hof

Last summer, in the South German Obergarching a new project was realized in a short time. Reichenspurner Hof expanded by 16 hectares of covered cultivation at the request of a large retailer. The company, that traditionally focuses on open field vegetables, will now also cultivate tomatoes, peppers and…

Flemish "Farmer Wants a Wife" TV show looking for single Flemish growers

Farmer Wants a Wife (Boer zoekt Vrouw) is incredibly popular in both the Netherlands and Belgium. The originally British show has been on Flemish television since 2004. Since this year they changed the format slightly and are calling the show Boer Zoekt Vrouw - De Wereld Rond (Around the World). Five Flemish farmers who…

US (CA): Family businesses team up to bring gourmet products to plates

Pete Aiello's passion for peppers is as hot as they come. And that makes sense because he has grown up with them. For nearly 40 years, Pete's family has owned and operated Uesugi Farms, a multigenerational family farm in Gilroy that specializes in peppers. Theirs is a fully integrated farm, meaning they grow, harvest…

Tangmere looks forward to 30th anniversary

From 7.5 acres of land to 79 acres under glass

Tangmere Airfield Nurseries look back on an eventful growing year - of two halves. A wet and dark spring gave way to a very sunny and warm summer followed by a light autumn, resulting in a 5% increase in the 5-year average sunlight. In fact, there were 70 more hours of sunshine in July than the last two…

Dirk Bakker (Van Iperen) and grower Dennis Grootscholten talk about biostimulants in radish cultivation

"Either chemical or organic: there is no middle road"

Is there still a place for small crops in the Netherlands with current legislation and regulations? Can you make it work with the limited amount of available chemicals and fertilizers? Take radishes, for example, which in the Netherlands have a total area of about 120 hectares. That's too small for…

In light of E. coli scare:

Canadian farmer recommends P.E.I. leafy greens

The ongoing romaine lettuce contamination scare in Canada has at least one local farmer encouraging Islanders to seek out local produce. “The more … we can know about where our food comes from, [the more] we can feel confident that it’s safe, more nutritious, fresher and - of course - we can support our…

US (MI): Community worried about greenhouse migrant worker housing

It was standing room only at a Comstock Township board meeting Monday night, with people packing in to voice their opinions about migrant workers.       Nothing on the meeting agenda dealt with the issue, but word recently got out that a local business plans to house dozens of migrant workers in Comstock Township. Starting next month, 34 workers will live…

Kees Hendriks harvests his first cucumbers:

Greater planting distance leads to early cucumbers

"Last Wednesday 12 December, I cut off the first cucumbers," says Dutch cucumber grower Kees Hendriks. "This is two weeks prior to the first harvest last year, when we cut the first cucumbers the day after Christmas. The shortest day is yet to come, but we have enough light to get the crop through that…

The secret to good crop rotation? Ghostbusters!

Getting rid of the ghosts of crops past - it's not something to be underestimated as they know at the Dutch pepper nursery Kwekerij Moors. In order to keep hauntings by lost plant souls to a minimum, this company applies a tried and true method during the yearly crop rotation. They decided to share their secret on…

China's pioneer in greenhouse vegetable farming

With digging machines roaring and walls being built brick by brick, a new generation greenhouse is under construction in Sanyuanzhu village, Shouguang, a major vegetable base in east China's Shandong Province. The construction site is just a stone's throw from the office of Wang Leyi, the 78-year-old secretary of the…

First strawberries harvested from Boem Berry Farms phase 3

"No guts, no glory"

With a soft sound the speed roller door opens and reveals a brand new greenhouse. We're entering the third phase of Boem Berry Farms. The 5 hectare expansion was completed this year, and the first strawberries were harvested from this greenhouse on November 1st. With this latest addition, Boem Berry Farms is now completed. Being 15 hectares…

Le Maraîchers du Mont Saint-Michel

France: "Local cultivation is more than the right postal code"

"The French market is a very good market to cultivate for. There is a demand for a clean, sustainably cultivated quality product: the tomatoes must be red and of good taste." This is what Jean Marc Paimblanc from the French tomato nursery Le Maraîchers du Mont Saint-Michel is saying. Recently, Havecon…

UK Government highlights horticultural innovations

The UK government’s modern Industrial Strategy is a long-term plan for boosting the productivity and earning power of people throughout the UK. A new interactive map showcases some of the many innovative, cutting-edge small businesses and organisations employing thousands of people in high-quality jobs and working…

Meet the Nigerian farmer who grows crops in the air

Samson Ogbole is trying to solve a problem many aren't aware exists. In his native Nigeria there is a shortage of land needed to provide food for its ever-growing population of 190 million. There are only 30 million hectares of farmland under cultivation in Nigeria annually, short of the estimated 78.5 million needed for food production,…

Bell pepper growers Henk and Jan Breugem:

"The last planting got a boost this year"

Henk and Jan Breugem from Bleiswijk in the Netherlands are happy with the production of their bell peppers this late in the season: "We can see a boost in the last planting of the peppers, and we believe it's due to the effects of Pentakeep. The green bell peppers of the Frazier variety were considerably…

US (MA): Lettuce grower reduces winter crop cycle by over 25% using LEDs

Atlas Farm is a certified organic farm in South Deerfield, MA. Gideon Porth founded Atlas Farm in 2003 to help connect people to their food and be a model for sustainable agricultural practices. The 95-acre farm uses its acre of greenhouse space to propagate lettuce, tomatoes, bok choy, herbs, and…

Ireland: Christmas campaign warns retailers against discounting fresh produce

Ahead of the two biggest shopping weekends of the year, IFA President Joe Healy has warned retailers against discounting fresh produce in the run-up to Christmas. “Using farm produce as a tool to drive footfall undermines Irish production and the financial viability of specialist growers and producers. Farmers have…

"Buy additional land, put glass on it and then finally be allowed to move. Unrealistic, of course."

The greenhouse that never should have been

We do not want to gossip nor speak bad about people, but to be honest the greenhouse at Maatschap B. Otten in IJsselmuiden, Netherlands doesn't look very up-to-date. That's…

Nothing is wasted in this greenhouse restaurant

It has been there for a while, restaurant the Green House in the center of Utrecht (Netherlands). On April 9, the restaurant opened its doors, and since then the visitors have been able to enjoy food which is harvested above their heads in the greenhouse. The video below gives a good overview of the…

UK: BBC's Countryfile visits cannabis grower

Adam Henson of BBC Countryfile was granted rare access to the biggest single glass house in the UK where a controversial crop is now being grown. Here, on this East Anglia site, they used to grow food. But now the glasshouse has been converted to become one of the world’s largest producers of pharmaceutical-grade cannabis. The…

CAN (SK): Herb grower talks about switch to marijuana

If everything goes according to plan, Brian Bain will convert his Saskatoon market garden to a marijuana nursery by next year.  He said it's a matter of economics. "All of a sudden, you have a crop that comes along, that you can pay your employees better, you can pay yourself better and the business itself will do better," he told…

Dennis Grootscholte, 4Evergreen, about the completion of phase 3:

"Better to have a larger pipe with a small pump than vice versa"

The most recent expansion of 4Evergreen Terneuzen in Westdorpe, Netherlands, was finished at the end of November. The completion of phase 3 brings the total acreage on this location to 54 hectare. The expansion project is doubling the size of the company. In 2012 the Grootscholte brothers went looking for a good…

US: English teacher returned from Korea to grow microgreens

After living in Korea for 12 years, Brian Carlstrom is happy to spend time in his backyard. While standing in his greenhouse, Carlstrom talked about leaving South Korea, getting his daughters settled in Springfield and developing a knack for growing baby plants, or microgreens. Carlstrom is a Springfield native and had graduated from…

Bowery Farming raises $90 million

“Indoor farming is about producing an economic product by using technology”

"The mistake many in our industry make is to attribute the success of indoor farming solely to LED. LED makes indoor farming viable. But if you want to make indoor farming scalable, you have to think in trends that are happening in robotics, automation, computer vision and machine learning." So says…

Georgia: Cucumber grower installs new grow lights for high quality winter crop

The need for year-round cultivation of tomatoes and cucumbers is growing rapidly in Georgia. Grow light is an essential factor for optimal crop growth in the dark period of the year. In order to realize the most optimal light-emission, JSC Georgian Greenhouse Corporation chose to go with a Hortilux grow…

US: From food safety training to audit day

An audit or inspection can be a nerve-racking experience for any business owner. Farmers in North and South Carolina, however, have greatly benefited from having a trusted ally – the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association (CFSA) – to help them through the process. Through their Local Produce Food Safety…

US (FL): Two UF/IFAS researchers inducted into AAAS

Among their many accomplishments, one may be best known for trying to grow plants in space; the other, for helping growers battle bacterial spot disease of tomato. The two University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences professors have been named fellows of the American Association for…

Greenhouse farming offers lifeline for Zimbabwe’s unemployed

When Perpetua Muziri lost her office job, she paid a local company to put up two, 120-square-meter (1,292-square-foot) greenhouses in the backyard of her suburban home. “I heard about greenhouse farming on Facebook, and I thought of trying it out, since I was now jobless,” she says. For the past four years, Muziri has been growing…

Turkey: Tomato grower goes bananas

A greenhouse tomato grower in Mugla (Turkey) decided to switch from tomato to an alternative product after years of low returns on his investment. After his research and visit to banana greenhouses in Alanya, he planted 600 banana trees around 3 months ago and will harvest the first batch of products…

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,…

New technology at NatureFresh

With 175 acres of greenhouses to manage, NatureFresh is always staying ahead of the game by adopting new technologies, software programs, and machinery. They incorporate new innovations at every level of their operations – from making packing lines more effective with greater automation, to ensuring office staff can connect to one another…

Horti-Consult on market exploration in Guatemala and Costa Rica

Tomato business as usual, even with the armed guards

Each year, the cultivation consultants from Horti-Consult International organize a study trip to a distant destination. How do they cultivate in a place where everything is different, and what are the challenges and solutions? For example, in recent years, study trips were made to South Korea (2013),…

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…

US (MN): Students grow their own veggies at home

University of Minnesota students are encouraging one another to grow their own vegetables — not in a greenhouse or on a plot of land, but in their own apartments and dorms. The University’s Minnesota…

Food & Energy training in South Africa

14 participants from a Correctional Services department in South Africa successfully participated in the Food & Energy training in November. They received their certificate after a 4-day training course with theoretical and practical part in the areas of agro-solar food production and technical…

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…

Mexico: First roma tomatoes shipped from new greenhouse

The Star Group’s new Culiacán growing and packing operation is off and running. Star is producing Big Taste roma tomatoes that will hit the market this week. The packing operations, propagation facilities, greenhouses, and test fields have been in preparation throughout the fall. “We are thrilled to be…

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…

How farmers markets can respond to the romaine lettuce scare

Just prior to Thanksgiving, the CDC and FDA took the unusual step of warning shoppers to avoid all romaine lettuce, stating “Consumers who have any type of romaine lettuce in their home should not eat it and should throw it away.” The advice came as a response to an outbreak of E. Coli that has sickened…

US (WI): Appleton greenhouse to grow industrial hemp

For nearly a century, Memorial Florists & Greenhouses has grown plants of all kinds, but a new look at an old variety has president Bob Aykens very interested. "They came in as cuttings, and they're in the process of being rooted and propagated," said Aykens, the business's president. Aykens says through a lease agreement with…

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…

Jan Reijm, positive about test results Winterlight Greenhouse

"Think about how test results can be used to your advantage

Jan Reijm, of Komkommerkwekerij Reijm & Zn. grows cucumbers on the high wire in Berkel en Rodenrijs, together with his father. The company is about 4.5 ha in size, and…

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…

"Nigeria’s small farmers are embracing hydroponics"

In May 2016, the invasion of the Tuta absoluta moth was all Nigerians were talking about. The pest, also known as the tomato leafminer, and nicknamed “tomato ebola,” ravaged hundreds of tomato farms in northern Nigeria, where most of the country's tomato crops are located. The episode led to an increase…

Backyard Farms expands with high-tech greenhouse in the Northeast

Mastronardi Produce is expanding the Backyard Farms brand with the introduction of a high-tech greenhouse in New York, which according to the company is the largest-ever single build in North America. “This expansion allows us to meet the incredible loyal consumer and retailer demand for this brand," says Paul Mastronardi,…

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…

Mexico: Seasonal production ramping up of specialty greenhouse vegetables

Growers of specialty greenhouse vegetables such as slicer cucumbers and heirloom tomatoes are preparing for increased production from Mexico from January. Volume is already starting in many regions and in about a month, this will markedly increase. Supplies of these greenhouse vegetables have been lower…


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