May 6, 2011

Westbrook Greenhouse Systems: Going With Glass

In May 2010, Paul Cavicchio Greenhouses of Sudbury, Mass., suffered a fire that destroyed about 85,000 square feet of double poly greenhouses along with the crop and all of the equipment that was inside. After the cleanup, Cavicchio decided to use this as an opportunity to change and upgrade that part of the facility. The Cavicchio team looked at current crop usage, maintenance, heating and irrigation and decided to replace the destroyed greenhouses with gutter-connected, curved glass greenhouses from Westbrook Greenhouse Systems. The new greenhouse has large panels of tempered glass with two continuous ridge vents on each peak for maximum natural ventilation. This greenhouse style is not new to Cavicchio. They have been operating 60,000 square feet of Westbrook curved glass houses as their propagation area since the late 1990s. For owner Paul Cavicchio and head grower Glenn Harrison, the choice was a simple one. The curved glass greenhouse […]

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May 3, 2011

The Thrill Of Building New

Floricultura CEO Kees Schoone comes from a long line of Dutch orchid growers, and he’s been a part of more greenhouse expansions in The Netherlands than he can remember. But Floricultura’s latest build, a 400,000-square-foot construction in Salinas, Calif., was a particularly refreshing project for Schoone–and for good reason. Schoone had no limitations in establishing a North American location. He wasn’t locked by land or forced to build around an existing facility. Instead, Schoone had an 80-acre property on which he could build and a wealth of ideas he could apply without any physical boundaries. “Building from scratch is the most fun. It really is sort of thrilling,” Schoone says. “You start with a fresh piece of paper and build exactly the way you want.” Coming To America Floricultura saw an opportunity in the United States because only a handful of young plant growers here specialize in orchids. Many of the […]

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March 16, 2011

Nexus Winner Takes Spring Trials As Prize

Nexus Corporation raised $1,230 American Red Cross disaster relief at last year’s OFA Short Course through its prize wheel, and it awarded one grand prize for a tradeshow attendee to visit the California Spring Trials. The prize happened to be won by Tom Mahoney of Mahoney’s Garden Centers in Massachusetts. Mahoney’s has both a growing operation and eight retail garden centers. To see other community-based projects that employees of Nexus have been involved in, visit Nexus online at and click on the section titled: “Things We Support.”

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February 22, 2011

Aquascape Green Roof Collapses

Heavy snows in the Chicago area caused the covered parking lot structure holding portions of Aquascape Inc.’s green roof to collapsed on February 13. The The company’s main warehouse sustained window damage in the collapse. According to the company, nearly 21 inches of snow had fallen in less than 24 hours accompanied by freezing temperatures, later followed by above freezing temperatures causing a quick thaw. An ice dam at the base is suspected to have backed the water up over the parking structure causing its collapse. The accident occurred on a Sunday, so no one was injured. “We are so lucky that no inventory was damaged,” added Roberto Cosme, Aquascape’s Warehouse Manager. “As soon as we are cleared to go back into the building, it should be business as usual.” The snow damage caused a temporary loss of power to the Aquascape headquarters, affecting the company’s phone, e-mail and Internet. […]

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February 16, 2011

Fire At Florida Orchid Grower

A fire swept through Sun Bulb Company, an orchid grower in Arcadia, Fla., on Sunday. A passerby alerted fire authorities before catastrophic damage was done to a production area and adjacent growing areas at the 55-year-old company’s main facility. Authorities indicate the cause of the fire was an electric malfunction in an industrial compressor used in the production area. No injuries were reported. Sun Bulb did sustain significant losses to plants and pottery, but the company continues to do business despite the incident. “Not a single scheduled shipment was missed on Monday, Feb. 14,” says Vice President Rod Hollingsworth. “All orders shipped as usual, and we do not expect this to negatively impact our production moving forward.” Sun Bulb’s other growing facilities in northern Desoto County and Apopka, Fla., have played instrumental roles in providing immediate backup supplies of orchids, ferns and other tropicals. Learn more about Sun Bulb Company […]

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January 13, 2011

Ecke Expanding In Guatemala

Ecke Ranch initiated a major expansion to its farms in Guatemala in December. Due to the success and expansion of products and the closer relationships with customers, Ecke Ranch is in need of additional offshore capacity and is building a new farm to support this demand. “Farm 3 adds new capacity to satisfy demand in several key crop areas.” says Steve Rinehart, chief operating officer. The initial phase will cover approximately 250,000 square feet. The new farm is adjacent to Farm 1 and allows for excellent efficiencies of scale and management functions. “We will have site growers on the new farm, but the overall management can be done from Farm 1, which capitalizes on the long and successful history of producing high quality products,” Rinehart says. Adds Andy Higgins, Ecke Ranch president: “Ecke believes further industry concentration necessitates the need for larger, fully-integrated offshore facilities capable of servicing the needs […]

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January 6, 2011

Rimol Greenhouse Systems Partners With American Hydroponics

Rimol Greenhouse Systems (RGS) and American Hydroponics (AmHydro) have entered a partnership to provide growers with design and implementation of greenhouses and hydroponic systems. “Given the unprecedented rise of the hydroponics industry and the fact that more and more people are recognizing the benefits of locally grown food, this partnership makes sense on so many different levels,” said Bob Rimol, founder of Rimol Greenhouse Systems. “We understand that by partnering, we can offer our customers the best possible blueprint and game plan to grow healthier and safer food for themselves and their neighbors.” RGS designs, manufactures and installs greenhouse structures and systems that control light, temperature (heating and cooling), CO2 and the overall environment. Even insect control is factored into the overall greenhouse design, which also takes into account the best crops to grow, budget and revenue expectations. American Hydroponics has been providing crop performance products and services for growers […]

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December 28, 2010

Metrolina Greenhouses Expansion Approved

Metrolina Greenhouses, a Top 100 Grower located in Huntersville, N.C., has received the town’s approval on a zoning change that will allow for a 1.5 million-square-foot expansion. The Charlotte Observer reports that on Dec. 20, the Huntersville Board of Commissioners unanimously approved rezoning about 133 acres to make the expansion possible. President Art Van Wingerden told the Observer recently that the company hopes to finish grading on the expansion by the end of 2011 and to start construction in 2011 or 2012, depending on market conditions. The expansion will add 35 jobs to Metrolina’s staff of 500 full-time workers, Van Wingerden told the Observer.

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December 13, 2010

Svensson Expands Marketing Team

Stella Thomas has joined Ludvig Svensson as marketing assistant. “In just a short time working with us on a project basis, Stella has successfully implemented a customer satisfaction survey, a webinar series, coordinated messaging and a newsletter,” says Kurt Parbst, president of Svensson’s North and South American subsidiary. “I look forward to further growth and enhancement in our communications with growers across the Americas.” In her role, Thomas will develop communications materials to help Svensson maintain and enhance its key position in the greenhouse industry. Her responsibilities include supporting all sales, marketing and trade show activities and coordinating with remote sales personnel. Thomas holds a bachelor’s of science in textile management with a concentration in brand management and marketing from North Caroline State University. For more information on Ludvig Svensson, visit

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November 30, 2010

Slideshow: Aris’s Greenhouse Construction

[imageviewer] Aris Horticulture’s construction of 239,580 square feet of new greenhouses is moving along quickly at its Keepsake Plants facility in Fort Myers, Fla. The construction is part of a consolidation of facilities between the company’s locations in Fort Myers and Parrish, Fla. “Replacing some older facilities allows the company to further take advantage of the southwest Florida growing environment, providing increased stock capacity for tropical hibiscus and mandevilla, and improving quality of azalea production,” says Gary Knipe, managing director. “The consolidation of orders between farms will make ordering and shipping of multiple products easier for our customers and more efficient for us.” The first plantings started in early November, only a few months after construction began. The target date for the new greenhouses to be fully operational is mid-January. Products grown at the Fort Myers facility includes azaleas, tropical hibiscus, mandevillas potted roses and rooted garden mums and asters.

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November 17, 2010

Emerald Coast Expands Perennial Propagation Space

[imageviewer] Emerald Coast Growers sees growth and the potential for more in the perennial young plant market. To meet that growth and potential, the operation is adding three new greenhouse blocks at two of its Florida locations. At headquarters in Pensacola, two new houses totaling about 15,000 square feet are dedicated to propagating some of the company’s hundreds of perennial varieties. The gas-heated, double-poly structures are equipped with mist irrigation and grow lights. As of early November, they were finished and being covered. The company’s largest facility is a 50-acre farm near Milton, Fla., where most grasses are field-grown and divided in greenhouses. Here, the third greenhouse will bring 20,000 square feet online with January as the target completion month. The greenhouses are XS Smith’s Criteria series. "[It’s] the perfect house for the Southeast, and the price is right,” says Paul Babikow, Emerald Coast co-owner. “For what we needed, these […]

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November 11, 2010

Orchid Grower Silver Vase Adds New Facility

[imageviewer] Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 Orchid and bromeliad producer Silver Vase has added a new facility in Central Florida. It has contracted to use Magic Tropicals’ facility in Apopka, Fla., to flower, pack and ship Silver Vase’s European varieties. “Demand for our beautiful and long-lasting products has far exceeded expectations, and we immediately went into action with a solution that allows us to seamlessly serve our customers’ increased needs and higher expectations while maintaining our signature level of service and quality,” says Silver Vase CEO Andrew Bartha. “Added to that, our customers will enjoy further time savings on shorter distribution distance, greater trucking options and larger plant availability, and will be able to pick up product at one of the great horticultural hubs of our country.” This arrangement allows Silver Vase to supply an additional 17,000 orchids and 4,000 bromeliads a week, along with its new line of […]

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