By Dave Harrison
July 7, 2017, Leamington, Ont. – The NatureFresh™ Farms’ mobile greenhouse tour is still on schedule despite some sizzling summer heat being experienced in the U.S. Midwest.
The tour has set up for nearly 50 events since mid-April, with consumers flocking to #GreenInTheCity events to learn more about how greenhouse vegetables are grown.
The mobile Greenhouse Education Centre (GEC) is a 38’ custom-built unit that is an exact snapshot of how NatureFresh™ Farms grows its vegetables in state of the art high tech greenhouses in Leamington and in Delta, Ohio.
Equipped with fruit-bearing plants and complimented by a live bumblebee eco-system, the GEC serves as an effective consumer education resource.
“We care about the future of fresh and all that it entails,” said Wowryk. “We need to collectively increase fresh produce consumption. NatureFresh™ can help do that with the GEC and by getting front and centre with consumers, we share our story to help inform them of the value of greenhouse vegetables.
“Knowing who grows what you buy is important, and understanding how its grown is just as important if not more.”
NATUREFRESH BRAND AMBASSADORS
Supporting the GEC this summer are five college students who serve as NatureFresh™ brand ambassadors at each event. The team is responsible for event day operations and interacting with retail partners to ensure their customers have the best possible experience.
With varied backgrounds ranging from agri-business to environmental science to marketing to biology, the team provides unique perspectives of the value of greenhouse grown vegetables.
“We are able to immediately impact consumers’ purchasing decisions at store level with the knowledge we share about how we grow greenhouse vegetables,” said Cole Burkholder, GEC team member and third year environmental science major from Ohio State University.
Agriculture is nothing new to Burkholder, whose family operates a farming operation of more than 500 acres of row crops in central Ohio.
EXPLAINING THE GREENHOUSE GROWING PROCESS
“The look on people’s faces when we explain the greenhouse growing process and they see the live plants with real fruit, it’s priceless, you kind of see that ‘a-ha’ moment in their eyes. We’ve even had customers show us their shopping carts when leaving to show us the tomatoes or bell peppers they have purchased because of our conversation. It’s a pretty good feeling.”
Now in it’s third year, the #GreenInTheCity Tour has completed more than 200 events to date across eastern North America connecting with consumers at retail stores, summer camps, schools and community fairs.