March 2015 – The “Aqua Pad in Tray” is a unique system for reducing plant losses in the retail sector by 10 per cent as well as prolonging the life of the plant by up to 30 per cent.
March 2015 – This compact, flexible and durable forklift with German engineered drive axle and mast is now available across North America through the Stärke Material Handling Group.
March 11, 2015 – The Stärke Continuous Stability System reduces incidence of tipping while turning corners, or travelling on uneven surfaces.
Feb. 6, 2015, Markham, Ont. – Royal Philips has introduced a new GreenPower LED production module for multilayer applications.
Nov. 26, 2014, Amsterdam – Holland Flowering: How the Dutch Flower Industry Conquered the World is a new release from Amsterdam University Press.
Oct. 22, 2014 — Van Wingerden International started working with Biobest and biocontrol 15 years ago. Sam Newsome a grower at VWI is very familiar with the full array of biocontrol tools, including beneficial insects and mites, bio-insecticides, banker plants, etc.
October 2014 — Van Wingerden International started working with Biobest and biocontrol 15 years ago. Sam Newsome a grower at VWI is very familiar with the full array of biocontrol tools, including beneficial insects and mites, bio-insecticides, banker plants, etc.
September 2014 — The newest creation from PlaceTile designs is a beautiful green colour, made to resemble a gingko leaf.
September 2014 — The orchid garden combo arrangement from Sun Bulb Company is designed to instantly brighten any space.
September 2014 — The Garden365 Hanging Garden offers an easy vertical gardening solution for just about any space.
September 2014 — Mastronardi Produce has debuted its all-new packaging system: the Eco Flavour Bowl™.
March 13, 2015 – Brett Martin, one of the most successful European manufacturing companies, and IP-Plastic Wisconsin, have joined forces to serve the North American horticultural market.
March 13, 2015, Toronto – Ontario’s public safety regulator, the Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA), has launched its inaugural Safety Awards program.
March 5, 2015 – LED horticultural lighting is a hot topic with growers these days and LumiGrow will be sharing some of its latest research during a webinar tomorrow (March 6).
March 5, 2015 – Heater maintenance and proper ventilation will help you avoid this common spring problem.
March 4, 2015, Guelph, Ont. – There was a steady stream of new ideas discussed yesterday at a major farm water management conference.
The 2015 Pacific Agriculture Show has wound up and with it another series of fascinating presentations of the Lower Mainland Horticultural Improvement Association “Grower Short Course.”
During every busy shipping season you invariably run into issues that would have been eliminated had a little spring cleaning taken place.
Ontario is making it easier for greenhouse growers to comply with regulations regarding the disposal of greenhouse nutrient feedwater by streamlining environmental compliance that will benefit farmers and enhance protection of the environment.
Feb. 26, 2015 — Nothing lasts forever, and fertilizer injectors are no exception.
Feb. 19, 2015 — Regardless of where we live, almost all of us have to deal with snow on our greenhouse from time to time.
Feb. 11, 2015, Burnaby, B.C. — Research to develop new smart-materials technology for handling delicate objects – including fruits and vegetables – is among Simon Fraser University projects sharing in more than $1.5 million in new money for projects funded by a federal government research-grant agency.
March 27, 2015 – We’ve been seeing more begonias on greenhouse benches over the past few years.
March 24, 2015 – Good thrips management starts with cultural controls.
March 23, 2015, Toronto – Ontario is taking the strongest action in North America to protect bees, birds, butterflies, and other pollinators by proposing new rules that would reduce the number of acres planted with neonicotinoid-treated corn and soybean seeds by 80 per cent by 2017.
March 16, 2015 – Success with succulents focus of e-GRO webinar March 16, 2015 – This Friday’s e-GRO Alert webinar (1 to 2 p.m. EDT) will look at succulents.
March 12, 2015 – This e-GRO Alert includes information on the detrimental effects of substrate compaction from stacking or nesting containers on top of each other prior to planting.
March 5, 2015, Columbia, MO – Scientists and gardeners alike study and examine plants for outward signs of damage caused by disease and insects.
March 5, 2015, Toronto – Ontario’s proposal to restrict bee-killing pesticides received an overwhelmingly positive response from the public.
Feb. 26, 2015, Vineland Station – Flowers Canada Ontario is hosting a reception this afternoon (Feb. 26) to welcome Dr. Sarah Jandricic as OMAFRA's new greenhouse floriculture IPM specialist.
Feb. 25, 2015 – Can you use natural genetic variation of indigenous natural enemies to improve the efficiency of biological control?
Feb. 20, 2015, Twinsburg, OH – The company management of Myers Lawn and Garden Group along with Wingate Partners V, L.P. have acquired the Lawn and Garden business from Myers Industries, Inc.
Feb. 5, 2016 — The e-GRO Alert “Bedding Plant Troubleshooting iBook” is now available as growers prepare for the upcoming season.
Join us on April 30, 2015 for our first webinar: Getting Lean in Greenhouse Horticulture. This will be a practical introduction to Lean techniques such as 5S and rapid improvement events that have brought measurable changes to many agri-businesses, including those in the greenhouse sector. The webinar will last one hour.
March 13, 2015, Guelph, Ont. – Farm safety is a very serious matter. As farmers, we’ve all been touched by on-farm injuries or deaths.
March 11, 2015, Kingsville, Ont. – For the sixth consecutive year, Mastronardi Produce has been recognized as one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies.
There is a future in flowers.
In an industry know for commitment to life-long learning, Robert Bierhuizen has always been an eager student.
March/April 2015 – While green roofs have become an increasingly popular approach to replacing the vegetation taken away by urban construction in southern Ontario, there remain challenges to making them sustainable.
For some greenhouse growers across Canada, the benefits of selling flowers or vegetables at farmers’ markets is clear. They’re reaping many benefits from the practice, and have learned what strategies and techniques give them the best results for the time and effort they invest. Because at least some greenhouse growers are finding success with this sales avenue, Greenhouse Canada has looked at whether more should consider the idea, as well as pitfalls to avoid in moving forward. We first went to Robert Chorney, executive director of Farmers’ Markets Ontario, and past-president at Farmers’ Markets Canada, for information on how Canada’s roughly 600 farmers’ markets are faring across the country. Briefly put, they’re definitely on a roll. “In 2008/2009, it was a $1 billion business with a $3 billion economic impact,” he notes, “and it’s been growing at five to seven per cent per year.” Chorney believes farmers’ markets have become more popular because they allow growers to gain the substantial benefits of direct sales and customer interaction. As well, more consumers want to know area farmers and are keen to buy locally produced food. Chorney notes that the term “farmers’ market” should only be used for markets where growers sell their harvest and “there is produce in abundance.” Some greenhouse operators — such as Salisbury Greenhouse in Sherwood Park, Alberta — host a farmers’ market on site. “It’s a full service, year-round market that occupies the parking lot from early May until around Thanksgiving, and moves indoors for the winter,” co-owner Rob Sproule explains. “We have up to 50 vendors with a huge array of products.” Sproule attributes the success of the nine-year-old market to the fact that it’s a separate entity, run by a dedicated group of people with expertise. “Salisbury Farmers’ Market operates independently of Salisbury Greenhouse,” he adds. “It’s provincially approved (there are many benefits to that) with its own board and management. Salisbury Greenhouse is the host. The farmers’ market’s independence allows them to operate as they would see fit, not how we see fit; we’re greenhouse operators and not market operators. That being said, of course we work closely together on issues from marketing to lighting.”The market attracts up to 500 people a week, many of whom Sproule believes would not come to Salisbury Greenhouse otherwise. But having the farmers’ market on site is not just about increasing foot traffic for this business. “The market’s brand is that of freshness, health and quality,” says Sproule.“It’s exactly the same as Salisbury’s brand promise, so our reputations help each other as both entities evolve. The people who shop at farmers’ markets are often young families interested in healthy lifestyles; in other words, they are our target demographic…Over time, the presence of the market has increased our new customer count, helped lower the average age of our customer, and played a role in increasing our sales overall,” he says. With the market running every Thursday evening, Salisbury Greenhouse typically kicks off weekend sales at that point. “In the middle of winter, when the greenhouse industry is getting very little traffic flow, it’s pretty awesome to fill up the parking lot every week,” Sproule adds. “I believe that our two businesses have achieved a mutually beneficial relationship that can serve as a model for other greenhouses to follow. For three quarters of the year we have the extra space, so let’s fill it up!” The owners of TERRA Greenhouses in Ontario think similarly. TERRA hosts its own “vendor market” at its Milton location in the winter only, because as their marketing director Bill Bown explains, the facility is full of TERRA products during the spring, summer, fall and Christmas. This is the third year for the “TERRA Home Winter Market,” and the selection of products has expanded with each anniversary. Beyond produce, there are many meat products for sale, as well as fermented tea, candles, bath products, maple syrup, baked goods, wine, smoked fish, spices, jewellery, kettle corn, kitchen products, condiments, artisan cheeses and much more.There are also a variety of food trucks operating on site. Bown says there are several reasons the TERRA Home Winter Markets work so well. “They are held in a large greenhouse environment providing an outdoor feel for the vendors and customers alike,” he notes. “We invest in advertising and marketing to support the market, and social media engagement is encouraged and supported.” To keep things fresh, they use a different theme each year. For 2015, it’s “Urban Market.” As it is for Salisbury Greenhouse, for TERRA, their vendor market is definitely worth the effort. “Although it’s difficult to completely quantify traffic generation, we did have over 250 cars in our parking lot on a Saturday in January,” Bown says. “This is extremely good traffic for our industry in southern Ontario.” As Salisbury Greenhouse has found, TERRA’s market has brought TERRA a different customer who would not necessarily have responded to other marketing efforts or previously discovered the brand. “Exposing this customer to the environment we offer provides return visitors in our other seasons,” Bown says. He adds another bonus to their vendor market involves “working with other small business owners, farmers and producers to create an opportunity for them at a time of year traditionally void of market opportunities is a great way to stay connected to your customers and the communities in which they live.” Title Title Title Title Title Title View the embedded image gallery online at: http://www.greenhousecanada.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=latest&layout=latest&Itemid=1#sigProGalleria4fd3dea1cb SETTING UP SHOP AT THE MARKETGull Valley Greenhouses in Blackfalds, Alberta (see grower profile cover story in March/April 2014 issue) has no farmers’ market on site, but has done a lot of sales through the Old Strathcona Farmers’ Market in Edmonton (for close to 15 years) and the Calgary Farmers’ Market (10 years), in addition to wholesale marketing. Company owner Phil Tiemstra says having a stand at these markets provides his family with an “excellent” return. “It is wonderful to be paid a fair price for our produce and be able to pay our bills at the end of the day,” he notes. Gull Valley had a stand at the Old Strathcona market from its beginning, starting with a few varieties of tomatoes and adding many more over time, plus several types of hydroponic lettuce and fresh herbs, coloured sweet peppers and beans. Some of the spinoff benefits have been the opportunities to supply restaurants in Edmonton and Calgary.Doef’s Greenhouses in Lacombe, Alberta (see grower profile cover story in December 2013 issue) is another operator that has been selling at farmers’ markets — in this case, for over four decades. “We started by selling just our tomatoes and long English cucumbers at a small start-up market in Red Deer, which has since become one of the biggest markets in central Alberta,” business co-founder Helen Doef says. “We have, over the years, expanded our line to include everything that we grow in our greenhouse: tomatoes [vine, cocktail, cherry, yellow cherry, beef], cucumbers [long, English, mini English, salad], eggplant, sweet peppers, hot peppers, lettuce. We’ve added these various crops as customer demand has indicated,” she says. At the market, employees remind customers that their greenhouse-grown veggies are also available at many local grocery stores, and about other markets at which Doef’s produce can be found. The family loves the customer interaction provided by the farmers’ market sales. “There is a bond of trust between them and us — they know that they’re getting the freshest, tastiest, safest locally-grown product from our family farm,” she explains. Besides increased sales and enjoyment of customers, the family finds other aspects of value in their farmers’ market involvement. Doef notes it’s a very good avenue for trying out new crops and gauging interest in others whose popularity is declining. They’ve also learned over the years “that it’s always good to have at least one family member working at our booth on a market day,” Doef says. “Our customers like to see familiar faces…they’ve watched our children grow up behind the table and now ask regularly about our family…Customers love to see a friendly, familiar face behind the table and also expect someone who is familiar with growing practices.” Tiemstra also places importance on having a knowledgeable person present to answer questions. Overall, Doef notes although it’s rewarding, selling at farmers’ markets is also very time-consuming, and they’ve learned to not stretch themselves too thinly by attending too many markets in one week. Tiemstra agrees. “Marketing this way has a huge impact on our social life in that every Saturday during the production season is taken up with attending the market,” he says. “It usually means early to bed on Friday night and also early to bed on Saturday night to recover from the day.” While it has its challenges, it’s clear that selling greenhouse-grown produce in a market setting is working well for some in the industry across the country. And their success may indicate this to be a growing trend. Making your market stall stand outThere is a great deal of advice on the Internet about how to attract customers to a market stall, so do your research, but here is a roundup of basic tips. Your extra touches may also attract the attention of other sales avenues, such as restaurants. • Include a sign and perhaps a sandwich board in front explaining what’s fresh and new. And remember that witty quips or interesting facts about your operation are appreciated by customers! • Include pictures of the outside and inside of your greenhouse within your booth. They attract the eye, and will spark conversations. • Hand out recipe cards or a one-page newsletter with each purchase. • Include a sign-up sheet for follow-up calls (if you have run out of something, for example) or for your emailed newsletter. Have business cards on hand as well. • Display your product attractively and in package sizes that are most popular for the market clientele. • Wear a t-shirt or polo shirt with your logo on it. This is professional, and will also attract the eye of customers. • Take along a small cooking appliance to provide samples and attract more customers with the aroma of freshly sauteed veggies. Treena Hein is a freelance writer in Ontario.
In farming, risks are ever-present. An accident can change a life, poor business planning can slow growth, environmental changes can damage crops, and misunderstanding customers can stunt sales.
For many growers, producing the crop is only half the battle in sustaining the business.
March 2, 2015, TORONTO – With the growing popularity of the eat local movement, there is a resurgence in people growing their own fruits and vegetables mere steps away from their kitchen doors.
Feb. 27, 2015, Leamington, Ont. – With the start of the Canadian greenhouse season just a few weeks away, Nature Fresh™ Farms is putting the final touches on their new brand packaging with help from Sesame Workshop and the Produce Marketing Association’s (PMA) eat brighter™ movement.
Jan. 27, 2015, Montreal — For those off the gas grid, wood pellets offer a Canadian-made, carbon-neutral way to heat their operations.
Dec. 5, 2014, Guelph, Ont. — One of the biggest costs of running a farm is energy. Ontario farmers are increasingly concerned about the rising costs of energy required to operate their farm businesses. Energy costs are making Ontario farms less competitive domestically and in the global market.
Nov. 28, 2014, Toronto — Truly Green Farms has been named one of three Leaders In Innovation with this year’s Premier’s Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence program.
June 27, 2014, Surrey, B.C. — At the time of this writing, agricultural practitioners and land developers, together with oil and natural gas pipeline proponents and residents of B.C. are debating and defending (or not defending, as the case may be) the merits of “Bill 24 – 2014, Agricultural Land Commission Amendment Act.”
June 27, 2014, Leamington, Ont. — This past winter has been a tough one for Ontario greenhouse operators.
Jan. 1, 2014, Toronto — The Ontario government gave its greenhouse industry an early Christmas present. The gift was neatly wrapped up in the government’s Long Term Energy Plan, released Dec. 2.
Sept. 3, 2013, Leamington, Ont. – New Energy Farms is hosting a demonstration of leading technologies for the establishment of fuel, feed and fibre crops using CEEDS™ technology.
Eating tomatoes grown near a landfill site may not initially sound appetizing, but it could be the most eco-friendly way to enjoy local tomatoes all year round.
My wife and I were recently ordering food in a restaurant in Entebbe. Well, she was ordering in the “restaurant.”
Culinary students at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology are getting a lesson in what fresh fruits, veggies and herbs look like before they make it into the kitchen, courtesy of a tiny high-tech greenhouse.
An abundant supply of natural gas, combined with historically low prices, holds the key to a bright future for Canada - but only if challenges are overcome and opportunities seized.
March 23, 2015, Beit Dagan, Israel – The Lobularia Stream series from Danziger “Dan” Flower Farm has been awarded Plant of the Year 2015 distinction by the Saxony, Germany, trial station.
March 19, 2015, Leamington, Ont. – Nature Fresh has taken its “eat brighter™” message to local schools after a successful launch at the SEPC’s Southern Exposure event last month.
March 18, 2015, Leamington, Ont. – A Leamington medical marijuana producer is expanding.
March 12, 2015, Toronto – A number of industry experts will be leading gardening sessions at this year’s Canada Blooms, which runs March 13-22 at the Direct Energy Centre at Exhibition Place.
Feb. 25, 2015, Harrow, Ont. — Cara McCreary is the new greenhouse vegetable IPM specialist with OMAFRA.
Feb. 9, 2015, Berlin — Duijvestijn Tomaten from the Netherlands was named the world’s best tomato grower during the second edition of the Tomato Inspiration Event.
Feb. 6, 2015, Ottawa — Canada is again looking at imports of Dutch greenhouse bell peppers.
Feb. 6, 2015, Wageningen, the Netherlands — Work will start soon on Sweeper, an innovation-driven international research program for the development of the first generation, market-ready sweet pepper harvesting robot.
Feb. 2, 2015, Vancouver — Village Farms International, Inc. has signed a long-term exclusive seed agreement with Axia Vegetable Seeds, BV.
Jan. 28, 2015, Kelowna, B.C. — Kelowna is tweaking one of its zoning bylaws to prepare for an onslaught of applications for legal medical marijuana grow-ops.
February 2015 – As key accounts manager at Emerald Coast Growers, a wholesale propagator in Florida, Pamela Straub is comfortable with the business side of the plant business. But she has deep roots in the artistic side, too, and it shows in her combination planters.Straub studied art history in college, with a background in landscape design. “I’ve designed landscapes, courtyards, and storefronts,” she says. “I’ve also worked in the graphics field, as an account executive.” Besides school and work experience, she adds, “I’ve always been interested in fine art. Pre-children, I would spend hours scouring art and design books, blogs, and magazines.”The stock container recipe, “thrillers, fillers and spillers” is not Straub’s preferred approach. “It works, of course; that’s why it’s used so often. But I like to challenge conventional design – challenge the eye with something unexpected, challenge what the majority defines as beautiful.” How is that done?“I love texture and contrasting forms,” Straub says. One class of plants gives you both: grasses. “Grasses in containers is a go-to for me,” she says. “It’s not a new concept, but you still don’t see them used often, or in different, interesting ways.”One challenge retailers face is how to merchandise grasses effectively. Display gardens are the ideal way to inspire gardeners with take-home ideas; but it’s hard to find the room, and maintenance can be costly and time-consuming. NO NEED TO “LUMP” ALL THE GRASSES TOGETHERA frequent default is to lump all grasses together on a bench or two somewhere near the alphabetically arranged perennials – the dreaded “ghetto-izing” that garden centre gurus rail against. And “few displays are duller than a grass ghetto,” Straub says. “Grasses show best when interspersed among other plants. Containers to the rescue! Complements, contrast and inspiration in a compact space.”Designing for retail settings rather than residential or corporate clients is a disciplined art. Obviously, the best combos incorporate products the garden centre sells. Naturally, you assign design to your most creative staffer, but their wilder impulses may require curbing. If customers can’t find it in inventory and cart it to the cash register, it doesn’t belong in the pot. Working in wholesale, Straub’s creative outlet is the summer trade show circuit. The company’s booths always feature her lush mixed containers, starring (naturally) ECG’s ornamental grasses and perennials. Increasingly, customers seek native grasses like Panicum, Nassella and Isolepis.“I’m always thinking about the targeted market,” she says. Magazine editors and customers often stop to admire, photograph and presumably clone her creations, so “you have to be concerned with cultural needs and requirements just as much as aesthetics.” “A CROWDED CONTAINER WON’T LAST”In the booth, a combination only has to look great for three days. On an endcap or a customer’s patio, more longevity is called for. “Plant health is important, too,” says Straub. “A crowded container won’t last.”She likes to work in bold strokes. Her large, vividly coloured containers often feature the Pantone colour of the year. The 2015 choice, Marsala, is named for the red dessert wine it resembles. She feels it will work well with plants, perhaps pairing nicely with rich greens, and “it’s very close to the colours of some grass plumes and the fall foliage of many grasses,” particularly Panicum.DRAWN TO SUBTLE SHADES AND COOLER TONES“My POV is forever changing,” says the designer. “I love all colour! But I’m drawn to subtle shades and cooler tones – blues, whites, greens. I don’t fall in love with a pastel palette, but I can design with it. It depends on what/who I’m designing for.” Again, the targeted market is the determinant.She brings her training, design instincts and graphics sense to bear all year long, but especially at showtime. “My favourite ‘commission,’ ever,” she says, “is mixed containers.”John Friel is the marketing manager of Emerald Coast Growers. Visit their website at www.ecgrowers.com.PAMELA’S TIPS Pick the container first, then select plants that suit it. Keep containers in proportion with their contents. “Generally, your tallest plant shouldn’t be more than twice the height of its container.” Pay attention to more than just flower colour! “I try to keep all the foliage different for more eye appeal – not just blooms. That’s vital at trade shows, where low light and cold, dry air make flowers close or abort. The foliage must hold interest.” Use a free-draining potting medium. “I like bark and soilless peat mixes.” Containers, even large ones, needn’t cost a fortune. Taken care of between uses – don’t let ceramic pots freeze, keep plastics out of the sun – they’re reusable. With plastic and fiberglass, “A coat of paint is as good as a new pot.” For reliable results, build containers with finished or pre-finished larger pots. “I begin with our plugs. Depending on variety or application, I pot them in quarts, or all the way up to a three-gallon. This also gives me hands-on experience growing our products.” For more on perennials, visit the “Crops” section at greenhousecanada.com.
Jan. 19, 2015, Leamington, Ont. — Ontario greenhouse cucumbers are now on retail shelves.
Aqua Pad in Tray system proving popularMarch 2015 – The “Aqua Pad in Tray” is a…
Stärke’s Mini Forklift loves tight spacesMarch 2015 – This compact, flexible and durable forklift with…
WEBINAR: Getting LEAN in Greenhouse HorticultureJoin us on April 30, 2015 for our first webinar:…
Starke expands product line with pallet vehiclesMarch 2015 – Stärke’s goal is to offer a full…
CPMA Convention/Trade ShowWed Apr 15, 2015
Greenhouse Canada Grower DayMon Jun 22, 2015 @ 8:00am -