If you have ever picked up some BC grown cucumbers, tomatoes, or peppers for your salad, there's a good chance that you chose something grown in one of BC's 70 greenhouses.
On Saturday May 23, I was invited to tour a few of those greenhouses for BC Veggie Day, where some of the farmers opened their doors to the public and let us have a sneak peek at what they do! One of the farms I visited was the Taves Family Farm in Abbotsford.
First, of course, I had to have some samples. Grape tomatoes, sweet bell peppers, and cukes are my family's favourite snacks!
Peppers, tomatoes, and even mini eggplant are grown in rows in the greenhouse, in soil covered with plastic to keep weeds from sprouting. This keeps the farmers from needing to use herbicides. Pesticides are also not needed, because the farmers use natural means (like other predatory bugs!) to keep unwanted bugs down.When we asked about GMOs, our tour guide said that there are no genetically modified plants available for farmers to buy to grow in greenhouses.
Veggies are picked and taken to the packer machine, where bags and boxes are over packed to account for shrinkage.From there, they are taken to local grocery stores and find their ways to your kitchen.
Greenhouse grown veggies are a big business in BC. Greenhouses employ over 3500 people, and bring in more than $699 million to BC's economy.What makes greenhouses so great is that not only do they allow farmers to bring us veggies during times of the year when it's too cold for them to grow outside, but the way the veggies are grown allows farmers to be able to produce many more veggies in a tiny amount of space. In a space the size of your bathtub, a greenhouse farmer can grow 150 lbs of tomatoes!If we wanted to grow those veggies outside, we'd need to have farmland about 11 times the size of Stanley Park, or 11550 acres. When you want fresh, tasty, well produced produce, look no further than right here in the Fraser Valley. If you're picking up a BC Greenhouse grown product, likely it was grown right here at home!
Get some recipes
Meet the growers
Follow BC Veggie Day on Twitter
Follow the Greenhouse Growers Association on Facebook
Disclosure: My family has loved and eaten greenhouse grown produce for years, so this was a natural fit! I was paid to write this post, but honestly-even if I hadn't been, I would've written it anyway. We're huge fans of BC Grown veggies.