Greenhouse produce in fundraising spotlight
(l to r) Back row: Ray Mastronardi (Del Fresco Produce), Kurvin Soobrayen (AMCO Produce), Caitlyne Johns (Double Diamond), Fernanda Albuquerque (Mucci Farms), Gabrielle Policella (Pure Hothouse Foods), Sam Jones (Mastronardi Produce), Matt Quiring & Benny Teichroeb (Nature Fresh Farms) Front row: Jordan Kniaziew (Orangeline Farms) and Mark Figueiredo (Mastronardi Produce) Missing from Picture: Jimmy Coppola (Topline Farms).
June 20, 2017, Leamington, Ont. – This past weekend during the Leamington Fair, REACH International hosted its 10th annual greenhouse competitions in “The Hottest Tomato,” “The Perfect Pepper” and “The Coolest Cucumber” categories.
Ontario growers and marketers entered their premium produce into the competitions which celebrate Essex County as being host to the largest greenhouse industry in North America.
You wouldn’t naturally associate greenhouses with international child sponsorships but that’s exactly what’s happened. REACH International, the Canadian registered child-sponsorship charity, run completely by local volunteers, has been hosting an annual event that both celebrates the region’s greenhouse fame while sponsoring some of the poorest children and families in the world.
Special thanks to Red Sun Farms for their Farm Level sponsorship. The net proceeds from this event will be used for the charity’s main project in Uganda.
Loyalty Awards were given to Mucci Farms, St. Clair College, Mastronardi Produce, Westmoreland/Topline Farms and Pure Hothouse Foods for supporting the competition every year for the last 10 years. A clean water source will be built in Uganda in the upcoming year displaying their names.
OMAFRA greenhouse vegetable specialist Shalin Khosla received an appreciation award for his work as head judge. He developed the judging criteria has volunteered his time every year since 2007.
Mastronardi Produce was presented with an award for the Most Awarded Contestant of the Greenhouse Competitions. With 56 awards from 2007 to 2016, Mastronardi Produce has won 33 per cent of all the awards in the last 10 years.
This year's category winners include:
• English cucumbers – Double Diamond.
• Mini cucumbers – Pure Hothouse Foods.
• Cocktail cucumbers – Westmoreland/Topline Produce.
• Kids Choice – Mastronardi Produce. • People’s Choice – AMCO Produce.
• Best Overall – Westmoreland/Topline Produce (cocktail).
• Beefsteak – Nature Fresh Farms.
• Cluster/TOVS – Mucci Farms.
• Roma – Pure Hothouse.
• Cocktail – Nature Fresh Farms.
• Specialty – Mastronardi Produce.
• Bite Size – Nature Fresh Farms.
• Kids Choice – Mastronardi Produce.
• People’s Choice – Mastronardi Produce.
• Overall Best Tomato – Nature Fresh Farms.
• Red Bell – Mastronardi Produce.
• Yellow Bell – Nature Fresh Farms.
• Orange Bell – Del Fresco Produce.
• Specialty Mini – Del Fresco Produce.
• Specialty Bell – Mastronardi Produce.
• Specialty Long – Orangeline Farms.
• Specialty Hot – Orangeline Farms.
• Hottest Pepper – AMCO Produce.
• Kids’ Choice – Double Diamond (Orange Shepherd).
• People’s Choice – Orangeline Farms.
• Overall Best Pepper – Del Fresco Produce.
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