New types of greenhouse-grown cucumbers are gaining popularity thanks to high quality and flavor.
Greg Cardamone, general manager for vegetables at L&M Cos., Raleigh, N.C., is growing limited production of cucumbers at its Mexican shade houses.
“There is less insect damage and less wind and less scaring, so the quality of those products coming out of the shade house has just been excellent,” he said.
L&M also has had success in limited quantities of eggplants, he said.
“The majority of the competition is with field-grown, although the majority of the growers in Mexico are moving to shade house production on these item,” he said.
Aaron Quon, greenhouse category director for the Oppenheimer Group, Vancouver, British Columbia, is giving cucumbers a try for a second season.
Oppenheimer’s slicer cucumbers are a new offering that is gaining attention, Quon said.
George Gilvesy, general manager at the Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers Association, Leamington, said one-third of his growers’ production is in English cucumbers, both mini cucumbers and the Persian variety.
“Actually, Canada knows about English cucumbers. American consumers we’re hoping will pick up on the English cucumber’s usability and taste profile,” Gilvesy said.
Gilvesy also said English cucumbers are in demand because of their unique characteristics including being totally edible, including the skin.
“It has a clean, fresh taste and that can certainly be put on any salad,” he said. “Minis are a real draw, especially for children. They are easy to eat and fit in a lunchbox.”
Gilvesy said as parents look for healthy snacks for their children that are fun to eat, miniature cucumbers fit the profile and are convenient for families.
In addition to their quality, Gilvesy said his growers are marketing their cucumbers for their local program. Retailers also are picking up on the consistent freshness and quality of the greenhouse product, he added.