Grower in the Spotlight

Dream of a greenhouse business takes off

When Travis and Kendra Walker purchased an acreage east of Rivers in 2016, it just happened to include four large greenhouse structures that the previous owner had built on his farm. “I was always interested in the greenhouse business so when the acreage we purchased came with greenhouses it seemed like…

US (OH): A look inside an aquaponics operation

Hidden from prying eyes and tucked beneath a four-story steel and concrete parking garage in the heart of downtown Toledo sits the most unlikely of things — a farm. But this one has no tractors, silos, or scarecrows. Go inside Balance Farms, an 8,168-square foot high-tech aquaponics operation located on…

Ireland: Syrian refugee horticulture project expands

A horticulture project started by Syrian refugees in Co Laois is expanding to Co Offaly. Radwan Abouhajar and Mohammad Kadour set up the Syrian Gardening Project earlier this year at the National Learning Network centre in Portlaoise. The pair took over two unused polytunnels at the back of the centre…

Suriname: Hydroponic cultivation project in the making

Growing vegetables, fruit or herbs without soil, with only water. In other words, hydroponics. Samantha Biharie and Vinod Baldew saw the potential of this innovative technique and decided to start their own company. Funding problems seemed to throw a spanner in the works. But the government offered a…

Bowery Farming: expanding assortment outside lettuce and leafy greens

"Just because it's possible to grow a crop indoors doesn't mean you should do it"

It is one of the favourite topics for critics of indoor farming: how will you feed the world with lettuce? The team with Bowery Farming doesn’t see it as its primarily goal to feed all of the world, but is expanding its produce assortment anyhow. Yesterday at the Indoor AgTech in New York, Bowery Farming…

Scottish fruit farm named as third Strategic SmartHort Centre

A Scottish fruit grower will work with AHDB to highlight how horticultural growers can increase efficiency and reduce their reliance on labour. Blairgowrie-based grower Thomas…

Jordan: Hydroponic growing in a refugee camp

Many refugees in Zaatari Refugee Camp in Jordan come from a farming background but with a lack of space and high water scarcity traditional agriculture is not possible. Thanks to hydroponics, they are able to resort to their former occupations. The UN Refugees Agency (UNHCR) in Jordan shares a video…

Even the largest grower in Norway has difficulties meeting the demand

Largest cucumber grower in Norway is going to expand

Last year, Norwegians bought 26,000 tons of cucumbers, of which 63 percent originated in Norway. This year, the demand for cucumbers is so large that even the largest cucumber grower had difficulties supplying all his customers. Stig Tore Laugen, Frostagrønt: "Even though we are running at full capacity,…

California grower to focus on interactions at Organic Produce Summit

Companies are commenting that they appreciate the intimate setup of the Organic Produce Summit. With only a limited number of exhibitors, consistent booth sizes, and a moderately-sized venue, exhibitors say they have a better chance to interact with visitors when compared with larger shows. This is…

Ghana: Hydroponic greenhouse farm opens in Sunyani

What began as a backyard farm about a year ago with a few lettuce plants has now turned into a big hydroponic greenhouse, which can be used to grow and harvest vegetables all year-round and also serve as a research centre for agricultural purposes. Located at Alaska City, a suburb of the Bono regional…

Thomas Ruiter and Menno Keppel: pioneers in Thailand

It has already been fifteen years since Thomas Ruiter and Menno Keppel of D.A.T.T. packed their bags and went off to Thailand to sell horticultural supplies and technology. Since 2019, Thomas, Menno and their Thai partner Nickey Panadda Inkeaw run a successful tomato company, and their product can be…

CAN: Molly’s Acres uses ‘tower gardening’ to grow its greens

Joyce, Lisa, Marc and Tracey bought a farm. Don't forget Molly. Molly, their golden retriever, was part of the deal, too. In fact, her love — which she readily shares with everyone — reminded the family of the love that they put into their farm and the products they raise. So came the name Molly's Acres.

The loose, round tomato has become an exception to the norm

Due to all of the attention that is being given to snack tomatoes and vine tomatoes in recent years, you would almost forget that there even is such a thing as loose, round tomatoes. So how are the loose, round tomatoes doing these days? What developments is the segment seeing, and where are all of the…

The how-to of hydroponics

A massive system of gutters fills the greenhouse, as does the echoing trickle of running water. Barry Thoele’s crop grows here, thrives, but you won’t find any produce sprouting from soil. Thoele, owner of Barry’s Cherries Hydroponics Produce in Staples, is a longtime practitioner of hydroponics, the technique of growing plants…

US (MI): Special needs students learn skills at Lamphere High’s greenhouse

The greenhouse attached to Lamphere High School is finding new use as a learning space for special needs students. The Lamphere Adult Transition Program, or LATP, is a post-secondary life skills and vocational program that serves young adults ages 18-26 with a development disability or cognitive…

AmericanHort announces the 2019 HortScholars

For the past thirteen years, AmericanHort has identified and supported six college students with a passion and drive for the horticulture industry through the HortScholars…

Video showcases bond between farmers and international farm workers

The Canadian Horticultural Council has just published the latest video in their Heartbeat international farm workers awareness campaign: "The Unshakable Bond." The bond between farmers and international farm workers relies on a sense of mutual trust and respect. Together, they take the time to get to…

Turkey: Engineer grows greenhouse tomatoes in bags

An engineer, Ergin Inal, in Antalya has managed to successfully grow tomatoes in bags in his greenhouse. The grower had previously managed to grow green pepper in bags and now moved on to tomato production. The grower first filled the bags with perlite and then planted 16 tomato seedlings in each one.…

US: Florida strawberry farm to pay civil penalties and back pay

A Florida strawberry farm has agreed to pay civil penalties and back pay to qualified US workers to settle a claim it discriminated against American workers by employing…

Canada: Grower celebrates expansion with themed packaging

This summer, Inspired Greens is celebrating its Canadian roots and Canada’s birthday with red and white Canada themed sleeves. ‘Canada is celebrating its 152nd birthday and Inspired Greens is celebrating a greenhouse expansion and two years of being grown clean without ever spraying pesticides,’ said…

Belgium: Mudslide in greenhouse destroys strawberry harvest

Last week, heavy rainfall caused a mudslide which hit the greenhouses of fruit grower Guy Beeckmans in Strijtem (Belgium). "Around 25 liters of water per square meter fell during Wednesday night last week. From the higher situated potato field, the water flowed into my lower situated greenhouse, which…

US (WY): Tomato grower turned hobby into business

As far back as Ed Thompson can recall he has had a love for gardening. He enjoys the relaxation of gardening but now is reaping the rewards of all his tender care of his tomatoes. Thompson obtained his greenhouse after the hail storm a few years ago, and began growing his hydroponic tomatoes from seeds.…

US (IN): Innovations are born in this 50,000 sq.ft. facility

Nathan Deppe describes a greenhouse —only a little jokingly — as “a thin metal structure with a thin pane of glass that wants to come crashing to the ground and return to the earth.” His job is to ensure these unique facilities in Purdue University's College of Agriculture are well maintained and…

"Using the measurements directly from the crop gives us a stronger indication of whether we’re doing something right"

Since it was founded by two husband and wife teams in 1982, Madestein UK has earned its reputation as a leading supplier of Leafy Salads and Herbs across the United Kingdom. The company currently focuses on growing whole head lettuce (round lettuce, curly leaf lettuce, red butterhead lettuce) and fresh…

How do you grow tomatoes in the desert?

The latest edition of Wamda's Food Technology podcast series features Sky Kurtz, co-founder and chief executive officer at Pure Harvest Smart Farms, the UAE's first hydroponic farm where they grow 17 different varieties of tomatoes. He discusses the difficulties he faced in founding a deep-tech startup…

Australian grower cultivates strawberries with rockwool in hanging gutters

Damien Manno took the opportunity in 2018 to implement a relatively new method for the cultivation of strawberries by using AIS Greenworks, Grodan rockwool substrates in hanging gutters. Climate and irrigation in the new greenhouse is controlled by Galcon’s Galileo and Fertimix systems (supplied by AIS…

Wim Meyers, Meyers Softfruit:

"When we started with a biological approach, everyone thought we were crazy"

“In 1992 when my father founded the company he chose a biological approach over the use of chemical products,” says Wim Meyers. Today, he is the General Manager of Meyers Softfruit. “In 1992 most growers relied almost exclusively on pesticides,” says Meyers. “When we started out Biobest carried out…

and chooses LED for hybrid installation

Poland: Tomato grower builds hydroponic lettuce greenhouse

At his farm in Zuromin, Polish tomato and lettuce grower Pawel Karpinski grows tomatoes in 3.5 ha of glasshouses. He found it difficult to expand due to rising production costs, stagnating prices and growing international competition. In 2017, Karpinski started hydroponic production of lettuce in a new…

"we want to grow to a 19 hectare facility"

Another expansion for Finland's biggest grower

Another expansion for Finnish grower Sven Sigg AB. The company, already Finland's largest tomato producer, is expanding with another 3.1 hectares in Närpes. The greenhouse itself will be 2.5 hectares, the rest of the space is used for additional storage facilities and parking space. Grower Patrik Sigg…

Veetaste grows microgreens with high nutritional properties

"Our company was established in 2017 and uses simple and extremely functional systems to produce over 60 varieties of innovative foods defined as microgreens," explains Francesca Palermo, CEO of Veetaste Urban Agriculture, a business located in Puglia that uses vertical farming as an alternative to…

Bringing aquaponics to Nepal

“Aquaponics is the best way to save water and the environment because the same water is continuously circulated throughout the system,” says Bill Ashwell, CEO of Hope Nepal Bioponic Food and Aquaponic System. “Open farming consumes 10 more times water, yet aquaponics is more productive.” Ashwell came to Nepal for the first time…

Colombia: Organic tomato nursery transformed into medical production facility

LaSanta Botanicals wholly-owned subsidiary, LaSanta SAS, has obtained approval by the national agency for agriculture of Colombia (ICA) to begin commercial cultivation of 10 strains of cannabis, after successfully completing the first characterization crop of over 700 plants. The approved cultivars…

1st of 5 locations certified

Den Berk Délice the first Belgian tomato grower with Planetproof

Recently, Lauwerysen-Krijnen, one of the five locations that are part of the Den Berk Délice cultivation group, acquired the ‘Planetproof’ certificate - the first Belgian tomato grower to do so. At the Lauwerysen-Krijnen location, they cultivate ‘Miss Perfect Délice’ and ‘Kumato Délice’. Koen Lauwerysen…

Growing on the Sunshine Coast: a peek into Nora Valley's expansion Bunya Fresh

Growing on the Sunshine Coast - doesn't that sound like a dream? To the team with Nora Valley Greenhouse it has been a reality since 2005. The Australian business has grown to over 6 hectares. And the story continues. With their snack tomatoes being in high demand, currently another greenhouse is being…

US (PA): Hydroponics growers strives to bring 'living lettuce' to more people

Big Leaf Hydroponic Lettuce & Greens is a small operation with lofty ambitions. The goal, according to co-owner Wilson Zimmerman, is to serve the community by offering a top-quality product that is locally grown in nutrient-rich water without pesticides, harvested weekly and delivered to sales…

US (NV): Securing the future of food with aquaponics

Somewhere off a dirt road in the middle of Dayton Valley, a large facility lights up the night sky with a pink glow. It’s not anything alien or a scientific experiment gone wrong, it is the home of Dayton Valley Aquaponics (DVA), a unique farming facility that marries aquaculture with hydroponics and…

Cake for 3-year anniversary

Seasun expands Strabena acreage again during coming winter

It has already been three years since Seasun started the cultivation of cherry plum TOV Strabena. The Strabena is now well known on the market. At the moment, there is a select number of growers in the Netherlands that cultivate the Strabena. Jogchem Dieleman, seller of Fresh ConneQt, and Duco de Ruiter,…

US: Bushel Boys eyes Iowa expansion

Tomato growing company Bushel Boys eyes an expansion to Iowa. This week the mayor of Mason City, Iowa, announced on Facebook in his "Monday Minute," that Bushel Boy, based out of Owatonna, Minnesota, is proposing to build a $35 million facility in the city's industrial park south of 43rd Street Southwest…

Work hard first, then relax with a movie

Will Netflix help growers to find enough employees?

Dutch tomato grower Schenkeveld does its best to get plenty of young people into the greenhouses. After all, someone has to pick the tomatoes. That’s why the company now offers young people three months of Videoland, a Dutch equivalent to Netflix, for free, in exchange for working very hard - and of…

Video: Hydroponic strawberry cultivation in Turkey

Grower Umit Cekirdek in Sinop, a city located on the northern coast of Turkey, is growing strawberries in his greenhouse through hydroponic production. The grower notes the high efficiency of this production method and underlines that there is high demand for his products in the market due to the high…

UK: Polytunnel group keen for residents to take advantage of fresh veg and flowers

A small group of individuals are involved in the project at Rhyl Botanical Gardens. The dedicated group spend hours tending to their vegetables and flowers but are keen to for the public to take advantage of their fresh goods and generate more awareness. The project started about five years ago.…

What do you do when you can't find ingredients? Start a farm

While her classmates hit the playground after school, seven-year-old Palisa Anderson would race home every afternoon to tend to the chrysanthemum she had given to her mother. The plant came to life and flowered. "I would talk to it," said Anderson. Anderson's love of plants translated into Boon Luck…

Sustainability at the forefront for Canadian greenhouse grower

Ontario-based greenhouse grower NatureFresh Farms said it has been increasingly looking towards growing and shipping its produce more sustainably. The company sees this as a critical step moving forward and believes more consumers are also looking to companies to demonstrate these values. A big part of…

Australia: Couple swaps inner-city lives for 'moveable greenhouse feast'

Oliver Wichmann and Miquela McGuiness from Huski Greens made such a success of growing microgreens and selling them to trendy Sydney restaurants they decided on it as their new lifestyle. The couple, known as Oli and Mac, relocated from Rozelle to a small rural block on the outskirts of Sorell, just…

Thailand: Young growers adapt IOT to grow organic

The younger generation of the Thailand province Chachoengsao are actively taking part in the development of a smart city concept by switching to technology and organic farming. “This young smart farmers (YSF) group wants to get rid of old idea of farmers being always exhausted as well as poor,” says…

US (MN): CSA farms expanding in Mankato area

As another round of snow fell on south-central Minnesota, blanketing the landscape in early April, bright green leaves of lettuce already were popping up, shielded by a tunnel-shaped frame covered in clear tarp. While freezing outside, the makeshift greenhouse hovered at a relatively balmy 50 degrees.…

India: Engineer turned farmer finds sustainable lifestyle in farming

Abhishek Dharma who first broached the idea to ditch engineering to make a career in the farming, the farmers of north Delhi's Palla village mocked him by calling him 'Mr Stevia'. Abhishek started his farming with that plant, which is a natural sweetener. Dharma took up agriculture three years ago and…

Across China: Sweet business on Tibet plateau

About 30 km west of Nyingchi, a city in Tibet Autonomous Region, is a strawberry greenhouse base. From the field to the shelf, it only takes half an hour for the fresh and…

Singapore: Is urban farming the answer to food security issues?

Singapore imports about 90 percent of its food—one of the highest percentages of any country in the world. Over the years, the Singapore government has worked hard to diversify its food import sources—in 2017 Singapore imported food from 170 countries worldwide—but the island-state has witnessed…

Behind the scenes at Hollandia Produce

Keeping things fresh is what the Overgaag family and their farm, Hollandia Produce, know a thing or two about. They have been growing produce in greenhouses for people to enjoy since 1927 and are still coming up with new ideas to keep things fresh! The family actually raised greenhouse vegetables in…

Auction at opening bash nets €74,085

Koppert Cress opens new 'Cas Spijkerskas' greenhouse

On Friday, 24 May, Koppert Cress opened its new 7,000m2 Cas Spijkerskas. More than 350 guests from the horticultural sector, government, politics, and healthcare attended. An auction was held at their, charity event, Het Goede Doelen Gala. It yielded €74,085. The event was a great opportunity to collect…

Growing coffee in a greenhouse

After University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) horticulture student Nayla Charbonneau’s powerpoint presentation to her class about her latest project, students headed up to a coffee maker to get a cup.…

Gourmet Waiuku

NZ: Growing peppers with natural gas instead of coal boiler

New Zealand pepper growing company Gourmet Waiuku are exchanging their old coal boiler for natural gas, to heat their 4.7-hectare glasshouse. This means their operation will not only reduce its carbon footprint, but the glasshouse growing environment will be enriched with carbon dioxide (CO2), increasing…

Pieter van Gog steps down as board member Van Gog Kwekerijen / Wittenberg Gemüse

Pieter van Gog recently announced to the family and management of Van Gog Kwekerijen in the Netherlands and Wittenberg Gemüse GmbH in Germany that he has decided to step down as a shareholder and member of the board. Last year, Van Gog Kwekerijen celebrated its 50th anniversary. After Pieter, Marion and…

US (WI): Selling microgreens at the farmers market

That microgreens are not only a niche product for fancy chefs is what Bear Creek Organic Farm is proving. “We never heard of microgreens when we started the farm, but we wanted to start plants earlier in this greenhouse.” A visit to the farmers market gave Brian Bates of Bear Creek Organic Farm the idea…

CAN (AB): Big Marble Farms expansion: 10 acre greenhouse and 6MW cogeneration facility

In a continuation of our growth journey, Big Marble Farms Inc. is pleased to announce their next expansion. "We are adding 10 acres of vegetable greenhouse and a state-of-the-art 6MW cogeneration power plant", they say. This will take Big Marble Farms to a total of 45 acres in production to support the…

presenting the brochure top sector Horticulture & Starting Materials

What is the horticultural industry contributing to sustainability?

Last year on the 9th of May, a brochure regarding the contribution of the top sector Horticulture & Starting Materials to attaining the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) was presented at Deliflor in the Dutch town of Maasdijk. The brochure consists of examples of sixteen companies and two trade…

"The fish don't swim underneath the lettuce"

The NKWK, a conference about water and climate, took place on May 14 in the Netherlands. Greenhouse horticulture could not be left out of the program, and so a group of civil servants, policy makers, and scientists went, after a full morning program and a series of workshops, to Vers van Voorne, where…

US (MN): Deep Winter Greenhouse allows Grampa G’s Farm to grow vegetables year round

Last year, Shayne and Louise Johnson, owners of Grampa G’s Farm in Pillager, received some good news that took their gardening business to a new level. Louise said after they expressed their interest in building a Deep Winter Greenhouse (DWG), they were approached by the University of Minnesota Extension…

Gitzels Plant Nursery:

"We feel the need to innovate constantly”

The main activity of Gitzels Plant Nursery is the cultivation of Brassica seedlings - but that's just the beginning of the story. In the different departments of the high-tech nursery various activities take place, including the breeding of warm fruit vegetable plants, quality research for breeders and…

Investigative learning stimulates healthy behavior

Sprouts in the classroom

Alderman Van Halderen recently visited one of the five elementary schools that received the lesson package 'Investigative learning with sprouts' from the local municipality. Students discover in different ways how sprouts grow, combined with short lessons about healthy food and lifestyle. The idea is to have students of the…

Turkey: Tomato grower makes lucrative switch to greenhouse corn

A grower in Antalya is experimenting with growing sweet corn as an alternative product in his tomato greenhouse and is ecstatic with the results so far. Each corn cob is sold for 0.25 USD per piece, which leaves significant profits for the grower. Increasing tomato production costs has pushed grower…

German lettuce grower Brimmers:

"Heating the greenhouse by cooling our LEDs"

German lettuce grower Brimmers once again opts for Oreon's water-cooled LED luminaires for the expansion of its location in Straelen. This time it concerns the Oreon Grow Light 3.0. Thanks to the higher output of this new luminaire (2,050 µMol / w / s), significantly fewer lamps are needed in phase 2 to…

US (IN): Non-profit that grows vegetables for those in need faces delay in planting

While farmers are dealing with an overabundance of rainfall, they're not the only one having to delay planting. It's much the same situation for an Elkhart non-profit that grows its own vegetables for those in need. Seed to Feed is also waiting for dry weather. The Seed to Feed program at church…

US (IL): Bad weather impacts specialty crops

Roth Countryside Produce has greenhouses filled with tomatoes and cucumber, along with specialty crops that have been facing challenges due to inclement weather this season. Nic Roth operates a greenhouse in Morton where he grows hundreds of tomatoes, cucumber, egg plant, peppers and more. Roth said it…

17,000 square feet

US (NC): Vertical farm in former factory site doubling in production capacity

In Burlington, North Carolina, a nondescript building belies the busy hive of a salad greens farm inside. Your Local Greens, the new venture of successful serial entrepreneurs and mental health philanthropists Doug Calaway and John Battle, is presently expanding in response to market demand. "Our…

Christ Monden, De Kruidenaer, about growing on water:

"Compare systems and take blow molding seriously"

Hydroponic cultivation is taking off. It is a development that started not so long ago. Christ Monden from De Kruidenaer grows on water. His tip for other growers: "Compare systems and take blow molding very seriously. Then the benefits will automatically become clear." Advantages which Bas Dirven,…

Greece: Hydroponic workshops launched in Corfu

Hydro Fresh Produce announces the launch of Hydroponic Workshops in sunny Corfu, Greece. The workshops will take place at their hydroponic farm in central Corfu, Greece. The farm is located just 5 km from Corfu International Airport and 7km from the historic UNESCO city centre. Accommodation is available…

US (GA): Aquaponics garden opens at youth detention center

Next to a chain-link fence topped with rings of barbed wire, some Georgia officials walked into a greenhouse Monday afternoon, hoping the Elbert Shaw Regional Youth Detention Center's new addition can inspire teenagers on a hazardous path. Funded by a federal grant, the Georgia Department of Juvenile…

Israel: Kosher veggies growing in the sand

Stuart Tucker, a retired high school biology teacher, grew up in Cleveland. Anita Tucker, although born in London, grew up in Brooklyn. Together they made aliyah (Hebrew for “immigrating to Israel”) to Beersheva in 1969. Looking for a new challenge, they moved in 1979 to the area now in Gaza, which…

Growers celebrate British Tomato Fortnight

"Working together makes us more productive"

When it comes to their relations with retail and market agreements, the UK tomato growers play their own game. But when it comes to threats for the industry, or representing the industry, they know where to find each other. As a result, every year the British Tomato Fortnight is organized, putting this…

Australia: Southbrook vegetable facility sows first seedlings

Boomaroo Nurseries has started sowing its first vegetable seedlings at their new Southbrook nursery site in Queensland. Modelled off a Dutch tulip facility, the hi-tech facility is expected to produce 100 million seedlings in its first two years, to later reach a 300 million a year capacity. It has…

UK: Suffolk and Essex strawberry growers prepare for busy season

A fruit grower in Essex has managed to get its strawberry crop in stores two weeks ahead, thanks to an innovative new growing system. Wilkin & Sons at Tiptree succeeded in extending its season to more than half a year as a result of changes to its growing methods around three years ago which enabled…

Russia: Over a ton of strawberries picked in Sevastopol

Over a ton of strawberries were picked within several weeks in the greenhouse complex of Sevastopol enterprise Artwin. The so-called Veronese tunnels appeared on the land of the collective farm last year. The first strawberries of the Clery variety were planted in the same period. Harvesting began in the…

US (VT): Greenhouse classroom teaches kids about plants, science and themselves

The Vermont Farmers Food Center is a nonprofit in Rutland that’s been working to harness the economic potential of local agriculture. The group created Rutland’s indoor farmer’s market and has put teens to work on area farms. Now they’re focused on using farming as a teaching tool. They hope a new…

Goal is 10 hectares in 2021

Rainbow Growers adds 1.1 hectare to Tunisian acreage

It is quite warm in northern Tunisia at this time of year, but a lot of hard work is currently being done to realize 1.1 hectares project. It concerns a foil greenhouse for Rainbow Horticulture Tunisia. "Construction has been going on for two months and the greenhouse has to be finished by week 34," says…

Kenya: 'Mr Agriculture' runs model farm to educate growers

Rodgers Kirwa, popularly referred to as ‘Mr Agriculture’ by friends and associates, is an award-winning agronomist. He believes if youth take up agriculture and do modern farming, Kenya would not be subject to famine every year. Kirwa, 27, grew up in Nandi, a county full of tea farmers. His interest in…

Korean grower automates tomato production

Agricultural Corporation Wooil Farm Co., based in Hwaseong, south of Seoul, is an example of how smart farming solutions can revolutionize the traditional agricultural industry. The smart farm, South Korea’s largest, producing around 3,000 tons of tomatoes annually, said its staff members do not even…

The Arctic farmer that wants to make his town more sustainable

Longyearbyen, on the Arctic's Svalbard Islands, is a hostile natural environment for plants, with no daylight for three months each year. The people living there rely on air…

Experimental grower hopes to rejuvenate Australian coconut industry

Despite having no soil, no capital, cripplingly high freight costs and a brace of ducks he doesn't know what to do with, a micro-farmer is determined to build a viable agricultural business on the Cocos (Keeling) Islands. Tony Lacy arrived on the islands 10 years ago with his wife (a park ranger) and…

Kenyan grower: Secret to successful tomato cultivation is proper training

Despite being one of the most challenging ventures, Kenyan tomato grower Nicholas Munene makes handsome returns from horticulture farming, where many farmers have failed due…

La Grange Park's tomato man:

"I am really selling memories"

It started with just a few plants and a hobby for Bob Zeni, a La Grange Park man dubbed “the tomato man” by neighbors. Zeni, who works from home as a graphic designer, wanted something to do for fun and started growing a few plants in his basement. “I started with a few and now have around 2,500 plants, primarily tomatoes. I…

Five new scholars join Arrell Food Institute

Five incoming students have each been awarded an Arrell Food Institute graduate scholarship worth $50,000 a year. Selected for their academic excellence and community engagement efforts, the scholars will participate in the Arrell Food Institute graduate program. They will begin graduate studies at the…

Working towards modern horticultural practices in India

In 2018 HollandDoor started a 3-year project in India in collaboration with the Center of Excellence (see Launch protected cultivation vegetable project ) . The main objective is to increase awareness, understanding and finally acceptance (as well as investment willingness) of greenhouse farmers and…

US (MN): 87,000 sq. ft. aquaponics farms closes

Pentair is closing Urban Organics, a pioneering aquaponics venture that in six years had become a darling of Minnesota’s sustainable-food community. Urban Organics raised fish and grew salad greens year-round in a closed-loop system in the former Schmidt Brewery in St. Paul. A Pentair spokeswoman said…

Growing strawberries in the basement of a block of flats

Russia: City farming in Tomsk

The Orlov family started an unusual business two years ago. Despite Siberian frosts, they successfully grow strawberries year-round with the help of their own engineering inventions. In the basement of a regular 5-storeyed block of flats, the city farmers grow their berries, without a single ray of sunshine and natural warmth.…

Coprohníjar sets up a 12,000 m2 warehouse for the organic line

"A fully organic production would saturate a limited market"

While some large Spanish fruit and vegetable companies aim to produce one hundred percent organic, others prefer to diversify. Juan Segura, of Coprohníjar, comments on the difficulty of the challenge. "A fully organic production would saturate a limited market, creating more supply than demand. It would…

Asparagus production and marketing in Spain

Global Plant Genetics recently visited a range of asparagus businesses across Spain to get a deeper insight into their industry for this crop. It is certainly a country where there is a great deal going on with asparagus production. Estimates suggest that there are 12-15,000 hectares of asparagus planted…

Duckweed and grower eagerly awaiting approval from Brussels

Dutch grower Hans Roelofs grows water lentils, also commonly known as duckweed. It is an experiment that was started in 2015, pending permission to use the duckweed, full of…

Mt Barker – Australia: Kalettes & Brussels sprouts a winter success

In 2012, a third-generation vegetable producer’s decision to plant 80 mystery seeds turned into a promising venture for the Adelaide Hills family farm which has become…

Kenyan growers give advice on greenhouse investments

Martin Njoroge had just stepped out of college when he realised no reasonable job was forthcoming. Together with two other young men, he decided to venture into horticulture at his parents’ plot in Kiambu. At the time, greenhouse farming was the craze in Kenya, with reports of farmers making astronomical…

Tomatoes without watering or pesticides

In Lodève (Hérault), Pascal Poot grows tomatoes without watering or pesticides, with a yield three times higher than that of conventional agriculture. Having always lived in…

Italy: Consorzio BIA produces organic traditional tomatoes

"Our cooperative was founded about 20 years ago and is totally dedicated to organic production. We are located in south-eastern Sicily, in the territory of Acate (Ragusa). We also have members in the areas of Marina di Ragusa, Santa Croce Camerina, Scoglitti, up to Marina di Acate, all very close to the…

US (ME): Student, aquaponic farmer with 22 employees awarded

At a special luncheon in early May, President Clayton Rose of Bowdoin College presented six seniors with awards to celebrate their personal achievements and contributions to the College. Inaugurated in 1997 by Bowdoin President Robert H. Edwards, the President’s Award recognizes a student’s exceptional…

US (SD): Jury convicts former aquaponics company official of fraud

A federal jury has convicted a former executive of a South Dakota company accused of defrauding investors in a scheme to build an $11 million fish farm. The jury on April 29 found the official guilty of five charges of wire fraud for his role in soliciting investors for a company in Brookings. He will be…

"No illusions for Georgian strawberries to find a niche in the European market"

LLC Adina was founded in 2012. The enterprise, located in the Imerety region of Western Georgia, currently comprises 4 ha of raspberries (JoanJ variety), and a greenhouse of 2 ha, 1.5 of which is used for growing garden strawberries (Albion, Monterey, Murano, Camarosa varieties). Another 0.5 ha is used…

Gaza families benefit from greenhouses

It is springtime in Gaza now and the flowers are in bloom. And inside Anera-built greenhouses, tomatoes are ripening. Amena, 40, is the owner of one of these greenhouses. She lives in a modest tent by the seashore with her mother. “I enjoy the fresh breeze,” Amena says. In the evenings, she likes to take…

US (CT): How to maintain a historic farm? Diversify

Spinach, broccoli and herbs line a greenhouse at Stone Acres Farm in the seaside community of Stonington. Amee Hussey shakes aphids off a leaf of organic spinach before she gives it a taste. “Delicious!” she says. Hussey is chef at the Oyster Club, a farm-to-table restaurant in nearby Mystic. Part of her…

Criminal damage

France: Tomato greenhouse destroyed in Brittany

In Paimpol, in the department of Côtes-d'Armor in the Brittany region, a greenhouse of more than 3 ha of tomatoes was destroyed by a weedkiller in what could be a criminal…

Italy: Vivo presents hemp shoots at European level

There are no reports of any European companies producing hemp shoots. Or rather, there is only one: the company Vivo, which presents this novelty. The manager Andrea Farnedi: "Produced with certified seeds, with levels of THC and CBD according to law, hemp shoots have a pleasant appearance and a bitter…

CAN (NU): Kugluktuk finding new ways to produce fresh food

Kugluktuk, Nunavut, is finding new ways to provide the community with fresh produce. In April the hamlet harvested its first batch of leafy greens from the community greenhouse. The greenhouse is a converted shipping container with a hydroponic system. "It helps in many different ways, first is providing…

US (AZ): Farming sustainably with aquaponic produce

It began years ago with a pledge from Chef Ken Harvey to provide his guests at Loews Ventana Canyon with food made from the freshest possible ingredients, and Harvey hasn’t cut any corners in sourcing his meats, cheeses, breads and produce from sustainable purveyors. But it was his first meeting with the…

Growing red berries in spring and amaryllis in autumn

In recent years it has been a tradition at FruitMasters that Romberama supplies the first Junifer red berries. Anyone who then decides to google the Belgian grower will only see amaryllis on the grower's website. How does that work? Raf Rombouts: "With this combination of crops, we can engage our staff…

60% of the production is shipped overseas

The Spanish Fresón de Palos is the largest strawberry producer in Europe

During his visit to the Cooperativa Sociedad Andaluza Santa Maria de la Rábida, the delegate of Employment, Training, Autonomous Work, Economy, Knowledge, Business and University, Antonio Agustín, has highlighted that this firm, dedicated to the production of strawberries and other berries, has become a…

Ukrainian growers looking for ways to compete with Europe

Despite the fact that the greenhouse acreage has been growing in the past three years, the number of greenhouses allocated for tomatoes in the Ukraine is gradually decreasing. As a result, tomato export in 2018 amounted to 15.2 thousand tons, being the worst in the past 12 years. In an interview with…

US (IA): Enterprise budget for cherry tomatoes

Cherry tomatoes are popular with consumers, but are also a labor-intensive crop. In 2017, farmers at two farms each completed an enterprise budget to determine if the labor expense required for cherry tomatoes made sense for their farm. Both farms showed that cherry tomatoes were a profitable crop, but…

PCA members on tour in Tasmania

"Tassie tour gets thumbs up"

More than 50 members of PCA, including members from New Zealand and all states of Australia, descended on northern Tasmania for a two-day tour of some of the state’s leading growers in February. Dinner at the award-winning winery, Josef Chromy Wines at Relbia near Launceston, was a big drawcard. by Jennifer Stackhouse Berries…

15 acre Randhawa Farms greenhouse put into production

"Benefit of late planting is it all goes very fast"

"The benefit of late planting is that heat and light are abundant and it all goes very fast." Speaking is Business Director Vijay Randhawa with Perpetual Vegetable Co, the brand of Randhawa Farms. The company recently put a new 15 acre greenhouse into production and Vijay tells all about this expansion.…

An aquaponics pioneer in Cameroon

Flavien Kouatcha, who is almost 30, is an example of youth entrepreneurship in Cameroon. Since he was a child, he’s always wanted to have the best job in the world and, as he likes to say, “feed the planet”. His parents and grandparents are farmers. He has just been appointed National President of the…

Greenhouse peppers gave a Kenyan teacher his first real cash

At David Karira Ndiritu’s family land in Thaithi village, about a kilometre from Karatina (Kenya), the sight of bananas, coffee plants and Pomegranates greets the visitor. Next to Ndiritu’s coffee plantation is a 50-by-28 greenhouse where he grows capsicum. Ndiritu embarked on the capsicum journey in…

US (MA): Valley growers harvest first cukes of the season

Early May represents an in-between season when storage coolers are close to empty but the earliest field crops haven’t come in yet. Fortunately, farmers across the Valley have developed many creative techniques to make sure there’s a supply of local vegetables during this shoulder season. Field cucumbers…

In business for 10 years now, using fewer fertilizers

A feather in the Dutch Plantenkwekerij Kapteijns's cap

Do you know that the little strawberry plant in your garden probably grew for years at the nursery it came from? And that Dutch leeks are whiter than their British counterpart? Grower, Piet-Hein Kapteijns enthusiastically tells about all the specialties his family business grows - the cultivation of…

Wholesum brings industry together to build Fair Trade project in Mexico

To close out National Volunteer month, Wholesum celebrates the completion of their third Fair Trade support project – Healthy Start Los Janos. Key customers, partners and industry friends came together to build a kitchen at the local kindergarten in the Wholesum farming community of Los Janos, Sonora,…

Intent on boosting new farmers

South African commodity groups team up with Western Cape government

The Western Cape Department of Agriculture has signed a new memorandum of agreement with eleven agricultural custodians to help black upcoming farmers. This forms part of the…

Reinventing the tomato for survival in a changing world

In a borrowed van, Brad Gates of Wild Boar Farms sped south on Interstate 680 with hundreds of fuzzy tomato seedlings bumping around in the back, their trembling leaves, warmed by the sun, filling the cab with the smell of summer. It was one of a half-dozen deliveries on his to-do list. Born and raised…

India: Mumbai couple grows organic produce through hydroponics

A Mumbai based couple - Oshua Lewis and Sakina Rajkotwala decided to take the leap after a visit to Auroville in Puducherry in 2017 where they got inspired by Krishna Mckenzie, a native of England, who’s “honouring Mother Nature through local food.” They named it as Herbivore Farms, Mumbai’s first…

Farming heads indoors to escape punishing weather

Hurricane Michael knocked down pecan trees and blew cotton to shreds in Peach County, Ga., early last October. But two crops survived unscathed: tomatoes and cucumbers, coming into bloom in a 25-acre greenhouse just steps away from a pecan grove. The site in central Georgia, just a 10-minute drive from…

CNN visits Pure Harvest Smart Farms

The United Arab Emirates imports at least 80% of its food. A startup in the capital Abu Dhabi wants to help change that. Launched in 2016, Pure Harvest Smart Farms is developing smart greenhouses, using technology to allow agriculture to flourish in the tough environment. For now, it only grows tomatoes.…

US (MA): Former army base brings fresh greens to New Englanders

A decommissioned army base named for Union Army General Charles Devens is now a residential and business community that is home to a small company helping New Englanders eat fresh, locally grown greens year-round. “It’s an automated system,” explained founder and CEO Paul Sellew. It’s a massive…

Qatar: Students awarded for growing greenhouse crops

Green-fingered students have received awards for their schools after growing bumper crops of fruit and vegetables for the Sahtak Awalan’s Project Greenhouse competition launched by Weill Cornell Medicine – Qatar (WCM-Q). The students participated in Sahtak Awalan’s Project Greenhouse competition, which…

Henk van Doorne, Van Doorne Imex:

"The last of the greenhouse fennel"

"It is the last of the greenhouse fennel," laughs Henk van Doorne. This farmer is from the Dutch town of 's-Gravenzande. He has been active in the growing and selling of lettuce and tuber varieties for many years now. This will soon come to an end. The greenhouses have been sold to 'neighbour'…

US (WI): Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation features aquaponics

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation provides resources to help new and existing residents. Part of this effort of the Wisconsin Stories project, which features those who think big and strive to make positive change happen in the world. Recently, Wisconsin Stories featured Nelson and Pade of…

Young farmers: €1 billion to facilitate access to finance

The European Commission and the European Investment Bank (EIB) launched today a €1 billion loans package targeting specifically young farmers. In 2017, 27% of the loan…

US (TX): Vegetable feasibility analysis developed for High Plains producers

Producers in the Texas High Plains will soon be able to run advanced budgeting scenarios before planting non-traditional crops such as vegetables on smaller acreages. High-value crops such as vegetables can increase overall producer profitability, said Dr. Justin Benavidez, Texas A&M AgriLife…

Spain: Looije teaches students the production process of cherry tomato Sarita

In April, workers from Looije, the agricultural company specialized in cherry tomatoes, visited María Inmaculada school in Águilas (Murcia) to teach groups of preschool children and E.S.O. students the process of production of cherry tomato Sarita, from its plantation in the greenhouses to its direct…

Irish niche breeding firm invests €1 million in R&D centre

The Irish firm Beotanics is investing €1 million in a new Research & Development Centre which includes a plant science laboratory, plant quarantine and R&D greenhouse at its headquarters in Stoneyford, Co Kilkenny. Beotanics is an AgTech spinout from an innovative alternative farm enterprise set…

US (WI): Aquaponics provides stability, livelihood for Sheboygan farmers

Sixth generation farmer, Nate Calkins, used to work with cattle but now he spends his days handling a new ‘stock’ as co-owner of Lake Orchard Farm Aquaponics. In 2014, after consulting with Nelson and Pade, Inc., the family started moving out heifers to make way for the transition to raising fish and…

US (NJ): Organic home-delivery aquaponic grower looking to expand

Heather and Mike Scannell started growing aquaponic lettuce in 2016 in their garage. Their three children gobbled it up. Next, the Toms River couple moved their garage system to their backyard. After a successful growing season, Mike, a financial advisor, cut back his work hours to focus on growing more…


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