“The Ohio community has been extremely supportive throughout the entire build and we have continuously received many inquiries from our neighbors wanting a chance to take a look behind the glass” explained John Ketler, General Manager. “Education is a key component of who we are and we wanted to ensure that our neighbors had a chance to see exactly how we grow; from seedling to harvest.”
The response to the NatureFresh™ Open House was both stunning and humbling. Within days of the registration going live, there was more interest than hours available in the day as well over 1000 people registered to tour the facility. The team had originally planned on the event lasting one day, however, had to extend the tour to two days in order to accommodate all those interested.
“For us, it’s more than just existing in Delta. We want to be an active partner in the community. It is important for us to show our neighbors how we grow and provide total transparency,” commented Peter Quiring, President and CEO. “We had school groups, senior homes, care facilities, farming clubs, and many families come out. It was great to be able to show everyone exactly where the produce they have sitting on their kitchen table comes from”. With interactive sessions the team was able to give individuals a firsthand understanding of greenhouse growing techniques such as the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) system & the growing medium.
The company operates on a mantra that was coined by Peter Quiring “We don’t just grow produce, we grow people”. In that spirit, NatureFresh™ partnered with JJ Safe House and Open Doors Delta to raise awareness and funds for the local charities. With produce being sold for $2 an item, approximately $2000 was raised in addition to over 3000 lbs of produce being donated to the charities to help support local families having a healthier and happier Thanksgiving.
“The feedback we received after the event was phenomenal,” said Ketler. “The community was amazed by everything from the scope and technology incorporated in the facility to the flavor of the tomatoes. Overall, we couldn’t have asked for a better event.”
Check out more photos here