Inside an Ontario vegetable greenhouse
Most of the vegetable greenhouses are centered in the Leamington and Niagara areas.
Earlier this spring I was able to tour one of these operations Flamborough area : Beverly Greenhouses, where brothers Jan and Dale VanderHout grow 22 acres of English cucumbers.
We were part of an annual food media tour hosted by Farm & Food Care.
During our visit, Jan fielded in-depth questions on everything from pest control, plant genetics and water use to the farm’s work force and how and where the cucumber crop is marketed.
Participants were particularly impressed by his operation’s innovative approaches to pest control – like using ornamental pepper plants as a food source for the minute pirate bugs (Orius) that help control thrips in the greenhouse.
Here are some photos of the day’s visit:
Ornamental pepper and other plants grow above the cucumber crop in the green house as a food source for the “good bugs” VanderHout has in his greenhouse to combat pests. The farm uses very little if any pesticides.
You can learn more about Ontario greenhouse veggies, as well as accessing recipes, by visiting www.ontariogreenhouse.com. You can also take your own albeit virtual tour of an Ontario greenhouse at www.farmissues.com/virtualTour/en/vegetables/index.html