The first harvest of tomatoes from new greenhouse acres built by Mastronardi Produce Ltd. should begin in about seven weeks.
Dubbed Coldwater Farms by the Kingsville, Ontario-based greenhouse grower, the expanded operation in Coldwater, Mich., has twice the growing acreage with the recent completion of 30 acres, according to a news release.
“The ability to grow fresh tomatoes in the middle of winter is something we are very proud of,” CEO Paul Mastronardi said in the release. “This (expansion) means we continue to deliver the highest flavor possible while also reducing food miles.”
The first crop from the new acres in Coldwater will include tomatoes on the vine, beefsteak tomatoes and grape tomatoes, according to the release. Retailers and consumers across the Midwest should have access to the Coldwater crop beginning in October.
As with the previous phase at Coldwater, the new greenhouse uses energy curtains, grow lights, a diffused glass ceiling and water conservation measures.
“The diffused glass is pretty incredible because it’s simple but so efficient. When sunlight hits it, it gets distributed at different angles to cover the greenhouse with more light,” Christopher Gill, greenhouse operations director said in the release.
“This means that plants are more exposed to sunlight and take in more CO2, which contributes to increased growth and better quality fruit year round. Anywhere you stand in the greenhouse you’ll never see your shadow.”