Posts Tagged “greenhouse”

Rapid Growth of Greenhouse Production is Apparently Slowing

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The rapid pace with which greenhouse construction is apparently slowing down for several reasons.

According to Cuesta Roble (Oak Hills) Consulting’s 2018 report, there are 894 greenhouse vegetable companies in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, according to Cuesta Roble (Oak Hill) Consulting’s 2019 report. The study is named, Greenhouse Vegetable Producing Companies North America

Greenhouse proponents say the structures offer better protection from the unpredictability of weather, outdoor pests and contamination and indoor growing of all kinds offers more reliability and consistency.

In 2012, there was 98 million square feet of greenhouse vegetable production in the U.S. specifically, according to the USDA.

In Canada, greenhouses produced 612.8 million pounds of tomatoes in 2017, the latest number available, according to Statistics Canada. That is more than 14 million pounds above 2016’s production level and about 35 million above 2015. 

But the typical annual 7 percent increase in acreage experienced by the 201 grower members of the Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers Association isn’t expected to continue into 2019. Ontario accounts for about 80 percent of the entire Canadian greenhouse output.

And it is not just the cannabis explosion taking up space.

The whole process of expansion has gotten more complicated. There are growing uncertainties of what land municipalities will serve for greenhouse production. 

The time it takes to build a greenhouse has jumped from 24 months to 40 months due to issues ranging from land purchase and rising building costs. As demand increases, so does the demand on resources. 

Cannabis production is demanding on current resources. These resources can mean everything from steel, to municipality services, to construction workers.

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NatureFresh Farms & Eminent Seeds NL Introduce the World’s Smallest Tomato

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TomatoBy NatureFresh Farms

Leamington, ON – This past PMA Fresh Summit in New Orleans in October, NatureFresh Farms and Eminent Seeds NL reached a proprietary agreement within North America. NatureFresh Farms will exclusively grow and market Tomberry tomatoes in Canada, United States and Mexico. Jan van Heijningen, Director at Eminent Group, and John Ketler, Farm Manager at NatureFreshâ„¢ Farms, finalized the agreement during the tradeshow.

In spring of 2018 NatureFresh Farms will begin growing and commercially marketing this exciting new variety of tomato from its Leamington Ontario Greenhouse. Plans are to expand the production of the Tomberry tomato over the next few years, as the category grows to meet consumer demands for snacking tomatoes.

This past year NatureFresh Farms trial and development team has worked with Eminent NL Seeds to explore new tomato varieties that would fit the growing trend in the snacking category. Not only does the Tomberry deliver in flavor, it brings a new look and ingredient to the culinary world of food service. These attractive berries are very versatile in the use of salads, hot dishes, and visually appealing.  The World’s Smallest Tomato, The Tomberry tomato is about 0.5 to 1 cm in diameter with an average fruit weight of 1 to 2 grams, perfect for snacking.

“The Tomberry is unique in size and has caught the interest of our retail partners,”  explained Matt Quiring, Executive Retail Sales Manager.   “The snacking trend in North America has exploded and we continue to search for new items that will help grow our snacking category.  This pearl sized fruit’s unique size is something hard to miss and even more difficult to pass by without picking up.  Once a consumer tries them, we are confident that they will be coming back for more. Visually, it is candy to the eyes. From a sensory standpoint, we can back that up.”

Over the next few months, NatureFresh Farms will be developing packaging and branding for a launch scheduled in spring 2018.

About NatureFreshâ„¢ Farms –

NatureFresh Farms has grown to become one of the largest independent, vertically integrated greenhouse vegetable growers in North America growing operations in Leamington, ON and Delta. Family owned NatureFresh Farms ships Non-GMO greenhouse grown produce year-round to key retailers throughout North America.

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Hydroponic Boston Lettuce Program is Launched

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by Tanimura & Antle

SlettuceALINAS, Ca. – Tanimura & Antle has been a leader in the Hydroponic category for nearly 10 years with distribution all throughout the East Coast.  In order to increase distribution, T&A has recently expanded the East Coast operation.  This resulted in a state-of-the-art clear glass greenhouse, bringing the total growing area to nearly 16.5 Acres in a protected agricultural environment. In addition to the expansion, T&A is excited to announce a new West Coast Hydroponic farm,  It will allow for national distribution of Hydroponic Boston Lettuce from Tanimura & Antle. Hydroponic product will be available year around from Salinas, CA and Yuma, AZ.

“Having a West Coast operation will allow us to provide a nationwide solution for our foodservice and retail partners and grow only the best products that protected agriculture has to offer,” says Ryan Mazzuca, Hydroponic Manager, Tanimura & Antle.

With the added growing capacity, T&A is excited to continue growing Hydroponic Boston Lettuce.  As they explore new leaf items in the category, “Hydroponic Boston is just a start for the West Coast!  We continue to find new, innovative and sustainable ways to grow the category and we can’t wait to see how this technology will shape the future of farming!” continues Mazzuca.

For more information about the latest happenings with Tanimura & Antle, please visit the Family Farming blog ( ) or find T&A on social media @taproduce.

About Tanimura & Antle:

Tanimura & Antle is an industry leader whose commitment to premium quality produce has remained strong since its formation in 1982. The Tanimura & Antle families combined more than 50 years of experience and knowledge. This has established a produce company unrivaled in its quality products, innovation and dedication to growers, customers, consumers and employees.  T&A is one of the largest independent lettuce growers in the United States.  The company farms more than 30,000 acres of rich, fertile farmland and ships a full line of premium fresh produce products throughout North America, Europe and Asia.

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European Mini Tomato is Introduced to North America

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Heavenly Villagio Marzano® is an authentic Mini San Marzano tomato originating in Europe and exclusive to Village Farms®, who are the first to offer this new variety to customers in North America. With a better than anticipated response and a sold out season the company is ramping up production for 2013.  Sought after by chefs and foodies alike, consumers are also asking grocers for the tomato by name.  Heavenly Villagio Marzano® is a great snacking tomato sold in convenient grab and go  1-lb and 10 oz bags.  Ideal for the health conscious consumer, it is a versatile tomato wonderful for snacking or salads, stuffed as an appetizer, cooked into a sauce, or try fire roasting to bring out the tomatoes unique flavor.

Click here to see Darren Brown, Executive Chef at Oru Restaurant, discuss Village Farms’ passion for tomatoes.

Part of Village Farms®, “Olde World Flavor™” collection, Heavenly Villagio Marzano®, “Has the authentic tomato flavor experience that is highly desired but generally lacking in many varieties on the market today”, says Helen L. Aquino, Marketing Manager for Village Farms®.  Aquino continues, “We hear this over and over again from consumers; Heavenly Villagio Marzano® has Garden Fresh Flavor™.”

Visit Village Farms® at this year’s PMA Fresh Summit in Anaheim at booth number 2510 to see all of the exclusive varieties from the Village Farms® collection or visit us at

About Village Farms:

Village Farms leads the industry as premier grower and marketer in North America of branded, finest quality, hydroponic greenhouse grown produce. Our great tasting fresh vine ripened tomato, bell pepper, and cucumber varieties are handpicked at the peak of flavor. At Village Farms we exceed customer expectations through our unparalleled commitment to quality produce, remarkable food safety standards, and sustainable growing practices utilizing leading edge environmental stewardship principles. Our earth friendly growing methods produce vegetables 365 days a year that are healthier for people and the planet.  Village Farms is Good for the Earth®.

Source: Village Farms

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Look for These Greenhouse Tomatoes

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Good news on the tomato front in retail supermarket stores.  Another source is available for greenhouse grown tomatoes, which are the closest thing you’ll find to those tasty homegrown tomatoes we all crave during the summertime.

Grape tomatoes are now arriving in stores that are grown by Delta, British Columbia headquartered Winset Farms.  However, look for the clamshell packages under the Green Giant label, with is the company marketing the product for the Canadian-based firm.  The tomatoes are actually being grown in greenhouses in Santa Maria, CA.

Even better news is that by spring there will be beefsteak, roma and vine tomaotes made available to consumers.

Not sure how big the production is, so it will be interesting to see what retail chains are carrying the tomatoes.


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Imported Produce in Your Store

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Thirty years ago you could only get certain produce items at particular times Tomato Harvestof the year.  This has gradually changed over time as countries around the world have started growing fruits and vegetables, improving varieties, increasing volumes and exporting to countries such as the United States.

In 2011 the leading suppliers of veggies to America were Mexico, which accounted for 58 percent of imports, Canada 27 percent and Peru three percent.  The top countries providing us with fruit was Mexico 34 percent, Chile 20 percent and Costa Rica 11 percent.

In most cases if these countries were not providing us these perishables, these items would not be available at all, or least in much less limited supplies, which would greatly increase the costs we pay for them.  Their growing seasons differ from ours.

There are some exceptions, with perhaps the most drastic being the tomatoes available to us from Florida in the winter, which compete against tomatoes coming out of Mexico.  Over the years the Florida tomato industry has complained out Mexico undercutting them on price and flooding the market with excess supplies.

There is some truth in these claims.  At the same time, you’ll find Florida providing your supermarket with mature green tomatoes, while the Mexicans are supplying us with vine ripe grown tomatoes and in more recent years have greatly increased their greenhouse grown tomato supplies.

Outside of the folks who grow mature green tomatoes in Florida, I find it difficult to find people who like the taste of these tomatoes, especially when compared to vine ripe and greenhouse grown products.

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