How We Grow

OGVG growers utilize the latest advances in hydroponic technology, computerized climate control and integrated pest management in order to ensure that the vegetables you eat are safe, fresh and nutritious.

The controlled greenhouse environment enables producers to grow a uniform crop that minimizes waste and maximizes yield and quality. Ontario greenhouse tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers are grown in a nutrient-rich water solution, which enables higher yields. Greenhouse growing is efficient and allows Ontario greenhouse growers to yield up to 20 times more produce per acre compared with outdoor agriculture.
 

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Longer Growing Season and a Protected Environment

  • Where outdoor agriculture depends on on warmer seasons, greenhouses have a protected environment and utilize state-of-the-art technology to control temperature and humidity.
     

  • Greenhouse produce can be grown during all weather conditions including, cold temperatures, high winds, and heavy rain or drought periods.
     

  • This provides consistent availability throughout the year.   

Wider Variety of Produce

  • Because greenhouse produce is grown in a protective environment, fruits and vegetables normally restricted to certain climates, can be grown all over the world!

  • This also allows for the opportunity to grow new flavours, colours, and textures!

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Integrated Pest Management:

Protection from Pests

  • Outdoor agriculture is more susceptible to pest interference, like insects, rodents, disease and weeds.
      

  • The greenhouse structure, acts as a barrier for many pests and intruders.
     

  • Greenhouses use crop scouts (people whose job is to search the crop for early signs of pests and disease) to identify pests and diseases early allowing for early interventions and spot treatments, further reducing pesticide use in the greenhouse.

  • Hydroponic growing excludes the establishment of invasive plants or weeds in greenhouse crops. Therefore there is no need for herbicides. 
     

  • Greenhouse farms in Ontario practice Integrated Pest Management (IPM) where good bugs are deployed, such as lady bugs and beneficial mites, which protect greenhouse crops from plant-feeding pests.   
     

  • The end result is a consistently high-quality product with minimal chemical intervention.
     

  • The increased adoption of automation on greenhouse farms means that plants are grown under increasing precise conditions, providing the plant with the best environment to produce a consistent, safe and high-quality product.

Pollination

  • Plants that to be pollinated to produce fruit in greenhouses use one of mother nature’s best pollinators - the bumble bee. 
     

  • Hives are placed strategically throughout the greenhouse to ensure that the bees are able to efficiently pollinate plants.

 
 
 

Environmental Initiatives

  • High-tech greenhouses are at the forefront of innovation.  

 

  • Most greenhouse crop are watered and fertilized using drip irrigation. Excess water is then collected, treated to remove pathogens, topped up with nutrients and sent through the drip irrigation process again. 

  • Greenhouses are typically heated using either natural gas or wood to ensure the crop stays warm through the winter months.

  • Greenhouses are made taller to allow for a cushion of air to act as a temperature barrier at the top greenhouses.  This is the “greenhouse effect”. Any drastic swings in temperature outside the greenhouse will be buffered by this cushion allowing greenhouse temperatures to adjust gradually, not stressing the crops (which would damage the produce, causing food waste), and using less energy. 
     

  • Ontario greenhouses must follow strict environmental standards imposed by government organizations. 
     

These innovations and standards not only are good for the environment they are a testament to the quality of the product produced. 

 

© 2020 by Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers

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