Consumers want local fruits and vegetables, but in places where it’s too cold half the year, they’re mostly out of luck.
Greenhouse vegetable growers are changing that. Large greenhouse companies continued to expand into new areas in 2017, often in climates that see snow in the winter, in order to supply nearby population centers with produce that can be considered local.
Aug. 28 – Pure Hothouse Foods makes plans to add 75-acre greenhouse complex
By Ashley Nickle
Pure Hothouse Foods will break ground in September on the first phase of a 75-acre greenhouse complex in Fort Valley, Ga.
The Leamington, Ontario-based company plans to build the complex in three phases over the next five years, and it will also build a 75,000-square-foot distribution facility on the site, according to a news release.
Pure Hothouse expects to plant its first crop of tomatoes and cucumbers there in summer 2018, with the first harvest in the fall.
Aug. 14 – Mucci Farms breaks ground on Ohio expansion
By Tom Karst
Mucci Farms is coming to the U.S. to put down roots.
Kingsville, Ontario-based Mucci Farms has broken ground on a multi-year investment in Ohio that will eventually total 60 acres of greenhouse capacity.
The Huron, Ohio facility will be completed in three phases over several years, according to a news release.
Company officials said expanding Mucci Farms operations to include a U.S. growing facility was strategically done to meet U.S. customer demands for locally grown, year-round fresh produce.
Aug. 7 – Mastronardi, AppHarvest partner on Appalachian greenhouse project
By Jessica MacCallum
Mastronardi Produce Ltd., Kingsville, Ontario, has partnered with AppHarvest, an agriculture startup, to build greenhouses in the Kentucky and West Virginia Appalachian region.
Mastronardi, which markets its produce under the Sunset brand, and AppHarvest’s first proposal is a 1.8 million-square-foot greenhouse in eastern Kentucky, according to the release, which will be on the site of an old coal mine.
July 3 – Mastronardi Produce adds to Michigan greenhouse acreage
By Ashley Nickle
Mastronardi Produce, Kingsville, Ontario, which markets under the Sunset brand, is expanding its Michigan program by 12 acres.
English cucumbers are the latest to join the items Mastronardi produces in the state, along with tomatoes since 2012, berries since 2013 and bell peppers since 2015. The acreage will be producing this summer, according to a news release.
In addition, produce grown in the state will now have the Pure Michigan logo on its packaging to underscore its origin.
Feb. 6 – Ontario growers expand into U.S.
By Cynthia David
As new tomato, pepper and cucumber plants grow through the winter in climate-controlled Ontario greenhouses, ripening up for the traditional first harvest in March, demand for the produce remains strong.
According to the Leamington-based Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers, the province’s greenhouse vegetable production continues to grow about 6% per year, with about 1,000 acres devoted to peppers this year and another 1,000 acres in tomatoes.
Growers are scheduled to add 174 acres under glass in 2017, some with the latest in lighting and automation.
Just across Lake Erie, however, the same growers are taking advantage of lower electricity rates to build high-tech lit greenhouses that give them easy access to U.S. chains and offer a consistent, year-round supply of greenhouse produce.
Mucci Farms plans to start construction this spring on the first 30 acres of a new greenhouse in Erie County, Ohio, with room for a potential 180 acres under glass.
On Jan. 25, Kingsville-based Red Sun Farms announced the lights are on and the first seedlings planted in its 20-acre greenhouse in Wapakoneta, Ohio, its second U.S. expansion.
Leamington-based NatureFresh Farms now has 45 acres of greenhouses in Delta, Ohio, to augment its 130 acres in Ontario.