This summer I have gladly been selected to be a part of The Greenhouse Education Center (GEC) as a team member of NatureFresh™ Farms; something I like to call the #GrowToPeople experience. Proudly growing up in the Tomato Capital of Canada, Leamington Ontario, made being selected beyond a dream come true! Seeing greenhouses and hearing the agricultural buzz has always been a norm for my life, but actually getting the opportunity to tour NatureFresh™’s remarkable greenhouse phases left me speechless. Learning everything there is to know about growing quality produce from the professionals at NatureFresh™ was an extremely honorable experience. I have learned things beyond my imagination, such as we don’t grow our produce in soils, we grow in recyclable coconut husks, which are incredibly rich in nutrients. I even learned we use bumble bees to pollinate our plants because they are more effective than honey bees and much less aggressive. There are so many interesting things to learn and they had and still have my full attention.
The best part for me as #TheRookie at NatureFresh™ is how welcoming the people at NatureFresh™ Farms truly are. From the moment I stepped in the doors I felt immediately welcomed from all employees across NatureFresh™. The first person I had the chance to meet after I was hired was Kara Badder, she is the Marketing Project Manager at NatureFresh™. It was my first day and we were already having laughs deciding whether or not to make the next GEC shirt pink camouflage. P.s. I LOVE NATUREFRESH™ GEAR! Still not sure how I would look in pink, but there’s only one way to find out. Kara’s friendliness made it much easier being #TheRookie. The next person I met was Herman Fehr the Retail Marketing Coordinator. Herman immediately took me under his wing teaching me just about everything he has to offer, and I can safely say his support is a key reason why my first GEC experience has been so enjoyable. Herman took me all over the company locations giving me the NatureFresh™ 101 tour. During this tour, I also had the chance to get to know Chris Veillon, Director of Marketing. He seems to always know exactly what to say. The day before my first trip I was mildly nervous and Chris gave me the “pre-game” speech that I needed to remind me I have a great team to support me on my first day! Chris is a great Marketing Director but he should also consider joining a comedy club, he’s always finding ways to brighten the mood of everyone around him. Chris made sure to start off our first conversation with “Hey Mitch, you know how to pick a tie”. Note to self #TiesMatter. I even had to change to meet Mr. Peter Quiring the President & Owner of NatureFresh™ Farms #TheBigCheese, and once again I received a warm NatureFresh™ Farm’s welcome. The people at NatureFresh™ have really made me realize I’m in good hands. I am driven to bring everything I can offer to better the NatureFresh™ team! #GrowToPeople2k17
My next step as #TheRookie was to take on my first event as a Greenhouse Education Center Team Member. I vividly remember eating a full bowl of TOMZ Red Cherry tomatoes that morning for breakfast, I was so excited! #TOMZMindset. The GEC team and I were off to the city of Etobicoke, Ontario where I now could share with hundreds of people all the things NatureFresh™ employees taught me about greenhouse education. It was amazing to see hundreds of people from all ages showing extreme interest in our mobile greenhouse, and moreover how many people were interested in learning about how we grow at NatureFresh™ Farms. Being able to thoroughly answer the curious questions asked by people made me feel like I was giving back to NatureFresh™ for the hard work they put forth in preparing me for this big day. It also felt great to be able to share with people where their food comes from and how it is grown. It’s safe to say I had a BLAST that day! #TheRookie took his first step in the right direction to an unforgettable summer.
The next day in Mississauga I took my first swing at sampling some of our TOMZ cherry tomatoes (The same huge bowl of TOMZ Red Cherry I had for breakfast). I was proud to tell consumers this was grown with care in my hometown of Leamington, Ontario. People were blown away that we came all the way from Leamington bringing real employees to share the flavorful taste of Ontario grown produce. One thing is for sure they were more than happy we came, and I wish words could describe some of the looks on people’s faces after softly biting into a TOMZ Cherry Tomato. One word to give you an idea is #Speechless, I usually responded saying “that’s my same reaction every morning after I eat breakfast”.
My name is Mitch Monaco, I am #TheRookie, and I have never been more thrilled to be part of an organization that expresses this much passion, respect and willingness to better the future. #GreenInTheCity here we come!