Sign up for our daily Newsletter and stay up to date with all the latest news!

Subscribe I am already a subscriber

You are using software which is blocking our advertisements (adblocker).

As we provide the news for free, we are relying on revenues from our banners. So please disable your adblocker and reload the page to continue using this site.

Click here for a guide on disabling your adblocker.

Sign up for our daily Newsletter and stay up to date with all the latest news!

Subscribe I am already a subscriber
Two-level swing gutter system was an obvious choice

"Decision to grow organic strawberries in Ohio was a business differentiator"

Established in 1999, Nature Fresh Farms is one of the largest vertically integrated leaders in greenhouse-grown produce in North America, producing both organic and conventional varieties of tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and strawberries. When asked about their activities in Ohio, Octavio Rodriguez, director of growing operations says the decision to grow Organic Strawberries there was a business differentiator. "It allowed us to become the first company in North America with forty-five acres of organic cultivation of strawberries." Together with Jose Agustine Ramirez Zamudio, head grower, he expands on the cultivation.

Conducting trials
As with all crops Nature Fresh Farms grows, extensive trial testing was done prior to production to determine optimal growing conditions leading to the selection of the Growtec Two-Level Swing Gutter System for cultivation of the company's Organic Strawberries.

"We did extensive trial testing that included testing various, gutter systems gutters," both Octavio and Jose shared. "The Two-Level Swing gutter system was an obvious choice, based on production, plant health, and numerous other metrics that were tested".

Conducting trials prior to production had its benefit, affording the team crucial information they were able to take into consideration when building their facility, including light penetration, planting density, and irrigation. "It is important to keep in mind the light penetration differences between the top and bottom gutters," explained Rodriguez. "Light is lower at the bottom level than at the top, which means you have to adapt your density and irrigation of the bottom gutter".

IPM and bioreactor
With the growing system decided, the next step was cultivation. "Cultivation and growth is going well," noted Ramirez Zamudio. Additionally, the team is utilizing an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) system, which allows us to use good biologicals such as ladybugs, to fight pests such as aphids, and a bioreactor to supply nutrients to plants to aid in the production of their Organic Strawberries.

Looking ahead, the team at Nature Fresh Farms is future-oriented, "this year was our first season," Octavio explained. "We have learned and improved, and we are ready for next season's opportunities."

For more information:
Freddy Sarkis ([email protected])
Robin Dirks ([email protected])