Did you realize that Ontario is home to over 2,500 acres of greenhouses? Over 220 farming families are dedicating their time, love and efforts to providing us with great tasting, tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplants, peppers and strawberries (and more) 12 months of the year.
Ontario Greenhouse growers use some pretty innovative processing techniques which allow water and nutrients to be recycled within the greenhouse. Hydroponic technology, computerized climate control and integrated pest management (using good bugs to eat the bad bugs) are all utilized in order to ensure that the vegetables you eat are fresh and nutritious, all while taking care of the environment. Many growers also employ bumblebees to naturally pollinate tomatoes and pepper crops.
Know your Farmer
We wanted to get up close and personal with a Greenhouse Grower, so we reached out to DelFrescoPure® to find out a little more about their particular operations and niche products.
DelFrescoPure® prides itself on their ability to adapt to customer requests and consumer trends. We love that they grow baby bell peppers, baby eggplant and mini cucumbers, there is something so delightful about grabbing a pepper or cucumber as a quick snack. No cutting involved, they are a great addition to my lunch box!
They have made a recent addition to their grow schedule — greenhouse STRAWBERRIES! I can indulge, guilt-free, all winter long, knowing that these tasty little gems were grown within the province. No more California or Florida berries for me. Check out the sweet strawberry spread we did with them on page XX.
Being pioneers of the greenhouse industry, Carl Mastronardi’s family (he is their President and CEO,) have been at this for more than 60 years. His family’s commitment to freshness, taste and quality keeps DelFrescoPure® invested in the latest and most innovative technology in the industry. Carl is a firm believer that you must truly love what you do in order to succeed in any environment.
DelFrescoPure uses modern hydroponic techniques to recycle and purify their water through a high-tech water treatment process. They have a closed recycling system which results in virtually no contamination of lakes or any water streams, and since they do not use any soil to grow their crops, there is less runoff or degradation of soil. Outdoor farming uses more water, fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides and fungicides. Hydroponic growing means a stronger, more controlled environment.
Integrated Pest Management
DelFrescoPure® uses an array of beneficial insects to minimize or eliminate other harmful insects which drastically reduces the need to spray their crops. They also use bumblebees in their greenhouses to pollinate our plants, how cool is that?
If I’ve learned anything, it is that with greenhouses we are able to grow produce at exponential yields compared to traditional farming. This method of growing allows Ontario to grow in safe and all economic conditions in order to supply quality produce to our large population.
So, as the saying goes, “If you ate today, thank a farmer!” And we do!
Check out their beautiful website for a list of all the tasty, Ontario grown products they offer, plus some easy, delicious recipes!
Gillian Rees is the Editor for Love Local Food, and the Marketing Director for REES + STAGER INC and Real Food Creative. When she isn’t shopping local or cooking local food, reading with a cup of tea or binge-watching Gilmore Girls (with a cup of tea), she is usually playing with her foster kittens or asking her son to get off his phone and do something with his life already…