The days of Tomatoes, Peppers, and Cucumbers being seasonal items available only in the summertime are behind us. Year-round greenhouse vegetable production is now the norm in many countries, including both Canada and the USA. With year-round greenhouse facilities in both Leamington, ON and Delta, OH, Nature Fresh Farms is one of the many large-scale greenhouse operations growing fresh produce 365 days a year!
What steps does our team take to successfully grow high-quality produce 365 days a year? Why is growing vegetables in a greenhouse year-round so important for our food system? Let’s look at the strategy behind and benefits of our year-round greenhouse growing program.
How We Grow Year-Round
Growing vegetables in a greenhouse year-round requires a very specific growing environment that plants can flourish in no matter the season or weather.
One of the biggest barriers to growing year-round in greenhouses is the lack of sunlight during the winter months. In southern Ontario and northeastern Ohio, daylight hours are limited during the winter months, so in traditional greenhouse facilities located in these areas, harvesting can only begin in the springtime. However, supplemental lighting technology is now being used more frequently in North American greenhouse operations, allowing for vegetables to be produced in any season!
A successful year-round growing program is also supported by a controlled greenhouse environment. Temperature, humidity, watering, air flow, ventilation, and carbon dioxide (CO2) are just a handful of the many elements that we constantly monitor and adjust in order to create optimal growing conditions for our crops. With the help of greenhouse growing technology, seasons no longer have as great of an impact on a crop’s success or failure – now, climate control systems and state-of-the-art growing technology call the shots.
Pairing supplemental lighting technology with near-perfect growing conditions sets a year-round greenhouse growing program up for success. But why is all-year greenhouse production the goal?
Why Year-Round Greenhouse Growing is A Game Changer
There are many benefits of year-round greenhouse programs. From consistent availability, to 365-day freshness and nutrition, we believe fresh produce should always be in-season in order to benefit our customers.
A year-round greenhouse program’s main benefit is that fresh vegetables are available for consumers to enjoy in any season! Consuming produce year-round is always encouraged, but traditionally, produce seasonality can make this challenging.
With the introduction of year-round greenhouse programs, consumers are now able to visit their local grocery store 12 months out of the year and quickly find many fresh produce items that are grown close to home. Year-round availability gives our customers the option to eat fresh veggies and maintain a healthy lifestyle all year long!
While many fruits and veggies are now being grown in greenhouses, there are still many produce items grown in a traditional field setting that boast their best quality and flavor during certain seasons. Spring and summer are often considered the best seasons to enjoy fresh produce, but it’s important to remember that the winter months have many seasonal fruits and veggies, too! Discover 5 creative dishes featuring seasonal winter foods paired with fresh greenhouse-grown ingredients that are available 365 days a year.
With climate control systems and supplemental lighting technology on our side, year-round greenhouse programs produce food that is consistently fresh, flavorful, and of a high quality.
When a growing environment consistently provides crops with optimal climate conditions, the result is consistent final products. A product’s consistency is key for building brand trust and loyalty, making it imperative for members of the fresh produce community to find innovative ways to ensure consistency in products that are traditionally some of the most volatile.
Interested in learning more about how we ensure consistent quality and flavor in the products we grow? Visit our Sustainable Growing page to read more about our climate control systems and sustainable growing practices!
‘Winter’ and ‘freshness’ are two words that are not often linked, but year-round greenhouse growing programs are changing that perception. Now, some of the freshest vegetables are available for purchase in local grocery stores during the winter months, and it’s all thanks to greenhouse growing!
The availability of fresh produce 12 months a year is having a dramatic impact on the eating lifestyles of consumers. With fresh options now available 365 days a year, it’s easy to incorporate fresh ingredients in meal preparation all year long – sacrificing fresh flavor in the winter is no longer required.
Fresh ingredients have the power to elevate dishes to new levels of flavor. Visit our Recipes page and discover a wide variety of dishes that you can prepare with fresh ingredients as the focal point!
We believe healthy eating should always be an option, and the best way to achieve this is by ensuring healthy food is accessible 12 months a year. And with the help of year-round greenhouse programs, this has now become a reality.
During the winter, when it is traditionally more difficult to find in-season produce at local grocery stores, nutrition sometimes ends up being sacrificed for the convenience of processed foods. But with the introduction of year-round greenhouse growing programs, consumers now have the option to eat nutritious foods in any season. It’s comforting to know that, with the help of year-round greenhouse vegetable production, our customers and their families can live healthy lifestyles all year long!
Speaking of healthy lifestyles – check out some of our favorite healthy living resources:
- Building Healthy Eating Habits in Kids (with Help from the New Canada’s Food Guide)
- Tips for Overcoming the Barriers to Eating Vegetables & Fruit
- Dietitian-Approved Tips for Vegetarian Cooking
The Many Benefits of Growing Year-Round
The Nature Fresh Farms team firmly believes in offering our customers the fresh produce they love during every season. With a robust year-round growing program, we can bring fresh and flavorful food to people 365 days a year, making produce consumption and healthy lifestyle choices accessible year-round!