Michigan Produce business updates - The Packer

Michigan Produce business updates

06/10/2014 04:39:00 PM
Andy Nelson

“They’re a great alternative to tomatoes” in vegetable trays, Miedema said.

That’s because radishes store better at the same temperature as other traditional tray items, he said.

The 8-ounce retail bags are perfect for people who don’t want a big bag of radishes, or for those who don’t want to eat a whole radish at a time, Miedema said.

The matchsticks are 1½ inches long and are perfect for salads, sandwiches and stir-fries, Miedema said. The chips have ridges for holding dips.

In other company news, Miedema Produce has added a salesman.

Eric Miedema, who had worked at the company in shipping and receiving for several years, started in sales earlier this year, Todd Miedema said.

“He walks in with a lot of knowledge already,” Todd Miedema said.

“He’s very familiar with handling and receiving, and he has an understanding of all the different growers and packs.”


Mike Pirrone boosts cukes

Mike Pirrone Produce Inc. has boosted its cucumber acreage and switched to trellis production.

Capac, Mich.-based Pirrone grows a full line of summer and fall vegetables, and for the most part, acreage is similar to last year, with the exception of cukes and pickles, said company president Henry DeBlouw.

Cuke and pickle production is expected to rise as much as 20% this year, and the vast majority will be grown above ground on trellises, DeBlouw said.

“It was a very expensive investment, but it’s definitely in our best interest,” DeBlouw said.

Five levels of strings hold the cucumber plants to their stakes on the trellises, DeBlouw said.

With trellises, he said, cucumbers grow straighter and are less susceptible to “yellow bellies” — they have dark green skin all around.

In addition, because they’re off the ground, cucumbers have more room to breathe, are less susceptible to diseases and other problems, and as a result have longer shelf lives, he said.


Todd Greiner Farms adds staff

Holt, Mich.-based Todd Greiner Farms has added two staff members.

Darren Gilbert was hired in February as sales and logistics manager, and Aaron Fletcher in March as sales and logistics associate, said Todd Greiner, the company’s chief executive officer.

Gilbert has more than 20 years’ experience in the horticulture industry.

Most recently, he worked for the Biltmore estate in Asheville, N.C.

Fletcher grew up on a farm near Holt.

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