Greenhouse Vegetables: Business updates

03/19/2010 01:40:35 PM
Abraham Mahshie

Backyard Farms runs smoothly with addition

Backyard Farms LLC, Madison, Maine, is “in full production with all acreage ready to go” said Tim Cunniff, executive vice president of sales and marketing of the company’s recent expansion.

An 18-acre addition was wrapped up last summer, and harvesting began in September. The company’s tomatoes are shipped primarily to the Northeast market with 35% sold in Maine.

Cunniff said regional clients appreciate the freshness of Backyard Farms tomatoes, which can stay on the plant until peak flavor before overnight shipping to most clients.

Clear Choice reports strong strawberry prices

Gary Wishnatzki, president and chief executive officer of Clear Choice Greenhouses LLC, Thonotosassa, Fla., said pricing has been up on strawberries compared to last year. However, the premium he gets is only possible because his greenhouse strawberries are organic.

Desert Glory plans to expand significantly

Desert Glory Ltd., San Antonio, is in expansion mode, ready to build and plant greenhouses in 100-120 days.

“When you are growing like this, capital isn’t something that you are scraping around for,” said Bryant Ambelang, vice president of sales and marketing. “It gives us the capital to go out and build more greenhouses.”

Ambelang said Desert Glory has made another land acquisition and is planning to “grow significantly” over the next 12 months in order to better meet the needs of customers.

“It is unacceptable to us that we cannot fulfill all of the demand of our customers,” he said.

HydroSerre makes packaging eco-friendly

Like many greenhouse growers, HydroSerre Mirabel Inc., Mirabel, Quebec, is looking for ways to be more eco-friendly and achieve cost savings.

“We are adapting our packaging to be even greener than we have been,” said Pierre Dolbec, sales director.

Dolbec said the company is nixing the red cardboard band from its lettuce in favor of a label. “[The label] would save very high quantities of cardboard that we can do without.”

HydroSerre also is working on having packaging like clamshells made from recycled goods as it becomes available.

Intergrow Greenhouses considers addition

Intergrow Greenhouses, Inc., Albion, N.Y., it planning to expand its growing area.

“We are looking for 18 acres, but not to add a new backhouse,” said Sarah Brown, sales and marketing manager.

Intergrow’s 30-acre greenhouse near Rochester, N.Y., last expanded by 15 acres in 2003, and is hoping to break ground again this fall or winter.


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