One of Rough Brothers’ favorite projects last year was a greenhouse expansion for Altman Plants at its new Giddings, Texas operation. According to Gary Baze of Rough Brothers, “It was a challenge adapting 18 acres’ worth of structure onto a single plot of land, complete with pond, elevation issues and water drainage concerns, all the while meeting both the environmental and material handling concerns of the business.”
Baze says the success of this project was the result of efforts by Matt Altman, Altman Plants’ COO, and Kenny Verbeek, Altman Plants’ Texas GM, who had thoroughly considered every contingency and had a clear vision of what the completed project would look like.
“Even though this was one of the largest single volume projects we provided in 2014, it was one of the easiest to implement, thanks in large part to the degree of pre-planning that went into the design,” Baze says. “There were virtually no issues with the installation process. Also, Altman’s, which erected the project with its own labor, mastered the art of greenhouse building, overcoming several weather-related obstacles to get the project up and running.
Baze notes the biggest takeaway from this venture is that, regardless of the size of the operation or the style of structure you are considering, a massive amount of pre-planning will save you money and hardship through the process. “Having good working relationships with industry experts who can help line you up with products and services are key factors to achieve your goals,” Baze says.
Another major project Rough was involved in this past year took place at Scissortail Farms in Tulsa County, Okla. Scissortail Farms contains scalable production greenhouses utilizing aeroponic technology to grow lettuces, leafy greens and herbs.
Tom Vezdos, vice president of Rough Brothers’ commercial division, says this project was a favorite because Rough was able to provide consultation, design and systems integration for an urban vegetable supplier. It supplied virtually all materials for the installation project, including the structure, diffused glazing, a propagation room, grow lights, carbon dioxide distribution, hot water boilers with radiant tube heating, evaporative cooling, roll-up curtains, ventilation, RoFlo benches, overhead irrigation and installation.
“We feel the market is looking for a local vegetable producer,” Vezdos says. “The hard part for our customers is to develop a profitable business to service this need.” And it’s a service, Vezdos says, that Rough Brothers was ready to tackle. “We feel we are providing a greenhouse and operating systems for the business to be successful and supply fresh produce to its markets for years,” he says.
Scissortail Farms is certainly proud of the effort; its website (ScissortailFarms.com) offers a virtual tour of the new facilities.