Growing for our worldAt NatureFresh™, we are always on the hunt for ways to do better, both for our farm and for our planet, and we believe that making our growing environment as sustainable as possible is one of the best ways to ensure our future is fresh. By using important resources in a sustainable way, and by being innovative with new technologies, we can better ensure that our environment is preserved for future generations.
We want to change the way people eat.
Plants are grown in Ground-up coconut husks
At NatureFresh™ Farms, we start our growing process with only verified non-GMO seeds.
To learn more about the Non-GMO Project, visit https://www.nongmoproject.org/.
We practice vertical growing in our greenhouses – this farming practice allows us to yield more fruit in a smaller space. To grow vertically, we wind string around the stalks of our plants to increase stability and sustain the plant’s growth. We also use plant supports to stop the plant stems from bending as fruits mature and gain weight.
With vertical growing some of our plants can grow over 50 feet long!
All our plants are grown in coconut fiber, which is made from ground-up coconut husks. Along with retaining nutrient water well, coco fiber also drains excess nutrient water very easily. This means that coco fiber provides our plants’ roots with a balanced growing environment and greater stability.
Nutrient water is pumped through our irrigation system and delivered directly to our plants’ roots systems using drippers. Excess water is then collected, fertilized, sterilized, and recirculated back into the system. This means that we irrigate with a 100% closed-loop system!
How We Heat
To heat our greenhouses, we boil water in large bio-mass hot water boilers and pump it through our heating rails. These rails are located between every row along the greenhouse floor. Every year we burn approximately 15,000 tons of waste wood in our bio-mass boilers – this product would have been thrown into a landfill and not used productively.
Fun fact – the heating rails double as rails for our picking carts!
Since we grow indoors, we can completely control growing conditions for our plants. We use a state-of-the-art climate control system called PRIVA that is programmed and managed by our expert growers to ensure our plants always have optimal growing conditions. This system controls the temperature, humidity, watering, air flow, ventilation, and carbon dioxide (CO2) release within our greenhouses.
We also use energy screens in our greenhouses to provide greater insulation and reduce heat loss. This allows us to keep heat inside our facilities which in turn reduces our need to create more heat and run our boilers more frequently.
Technology used to trace the journey of every fruit through our operation helps us ensure product quality, consistency, and care. By assigning unique barcodes to every area of the greenhouse, we can identify exactly when and where we pick our produce.
We use an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) system to create a balanced environment in our greenhouses. This system uses a combination of many proactive methods, including good bugs and sticky cards, to keep pests at bay. By creating an environment full of bio-diversity, we reduce our need to use pesticides.
Open field crops are pollinated by wind, but in the greenhouse, this is not an option. This is why we use Bumble Bees in our greenhouses – to pollinate our plants! Bumble Bees are not aggressive, and they are also efficient pollinators because of their fuzzy bodies. Across all our greenhouses, we use over 375,000 Bumble Bees!
Ensuring we handle your food with care is a top priority at NatureFresh™. We believe that it is the responsibility of every NatureFresh™ team member, no matter their position, to guarantee the food safety of all products that our farm produces and handles. With a strong commitment to food safety, you know that any NatureFresh™ product is a trustworthy product.
Reducing Food Miles
Our greenhouses are in Leamington, ON and Delta, OH, two locations that are strategically located near many of our customers. Reduced food miles mean less of a carbon footprint from the trucks that deliver your food. With reduced food miles from our farm to your table, you will be sure to get the freshest produce year-round!
We not only grow green – we also pack green! We use 100% recyclable clamshells, corrugated boxes, and RPCs to pack our produce, and we are constantly looking for ways to cut down on plastic waste through innovative packaging design.