New state-of-the-art greenhouse for MB
Left to right: Mark Kohan, CFO; Tera Johnson, Junior grower/ Crop scout; Lucky Deschauer, CEO; Cormac Foster, Project Engineer Vermillion Growers
For Dauphin, Manitoba, there’s a new year-round tomato greenhouse coming to town.
Vermillion Growers is planning to break new ground on a 30-acre, state-of-the-art glass greenhouse. The facility will grow tomatoes-on-the-vine for the Manitoba and Saskatchewan markets.
“This is the first of this size to be coming to Manitoba,” says Andrea Yury, marketing director at Vermillion Growers. “We are expected to break ground this June and in operation of the first 5 acres next year.”
What’s more, there are a number of innovative technologies planned for the greenhouse to conserve water and energy.
“We are planning to be as water efficient as possible,” says Cormac Foster, project engineer at Vermillion Growers. “To do this we are utilizing a double drain system that will capture both the condensate water that runs off the glass on the inside of the greenhouse as well as any rain/snow melt that accumulates on the exterior surface of the greenhouse.”
To help make the most of their energy, Vermillion has planned to install automation systems.
"We are using automation systems that will monitor and control the climate within the building to create the ideal environment for the plants while minimizing energy requirements.” days Foster. “We are using Obscura energy screens and climate screens to capture heat and limit light pollution. We are planning to use the Hinova Ventilation Jet System® that allows us to maintain an evenly distributed climate throughout the greenhouse.”
The greenhouse will be constructed in three phases over a five-year period. According to the Dauphin Herald, it’s estimated that the greenhouse will inject $50 million into the community and create the equivalent of 60 full-time jobs.
“It will provide growth, jobs and much more to the growing community of Dauphin,” says Yury.
There were a number of reasons for choosing Dauphin. According to Vermillion, the city is central to supply, distribution and transportation services along with a number of essential resources including clean water, consistent natural gas supplies, a growing labour force and close proximity to wholesalers. The climate there is ideal too.
“We have reliable weather patterns and on average there are 2268 hours of sunshine per year in Dauphin. It is easier to heat a greenhouse than to keep it cool. Therefore the dauphin climate is ideal for this type of greenhouse,” according to Vermillion’s release.
According to Foster, tomatoe plants need fewer hours of sunlight than most other crops, making it ideal for year-round growth in Dauphin.
“This is one of the simpler crops for us to start out with and learn the methods of greenhouse horticulture,” says Foster. “Once we become more experienced we will look at expanding to other produce but for now it is only TOV.”
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