NatureFresh Farms is celebrating a 20-year growing milestone with what they describe as a strong start to the first season at their newly developed 32-acre greenhouse in Leamington, ON.
After nine months of construction, the facility measures 32 acres in total area and, to the gutter, is 7.3 meters tall. With this space, NatureFresh Farms is growing just over 15 acres of Tomatoes-on-the-Vine and over 15 acres of a diverse range of specialty tomato varieties, including red cherry, red grape, and cocktail tomatoes.
For their first crop, NatureFresh Farms planted 235,000 tomato plants in May 2019. With it only taking 8-9 weeks from planting to reach the first harvest of tomatoes, their team started picking tomatoes in June 2019 and will continue until late next Spring. A crew of 80 team members will be working everyday to pick, pack, and ship their tomato products.
Executive Retail Sales Accounts Manager Matt Quiring (pictured, below) said he isn’t surprised by the success of this new facility: “NatureFresh Farms made a major commitment to year-round consistency in supply, quality, and flavor five years ago when we built our greenhouse in Ohio for winter production. This allowed us to offset the typical growing season for Canada and it has been a tremendous success for our retail partners – and consumers have shown support for the USA-grown program from the start,” said Matt. “That demand continues to grow each year. We are excited to be able to offer retailers and consumers in Ontario and Canada that same consistency in supply, quality, and flavor that local products offer!”
According to the company, this greenhouse is also equipped with innovative technology, creating an ideal growing environment possible. The use of self-driving cart systems, high-pressure sodium supplemental lighting fixtures, and vertical circulation fans are just a few examples of the technology being used in the facility – which will also help the NatureFresh Farms tomato crop grow during the winter months.
NatureFresh said the completion of this greenhouse brings it to over 200 acres of family-owned facilities.