Westhof Bio, Germany, coaching and training

Westhof Bio is a 10 hectare organic greenhouse vegetable production company with greenhouses on two locations in Germany. The Westhof organic greenhouse company started in 2014 and is part of the larger Westhof bio group of companies including a total of more than a thousand hectares of organic open field produce.

The Westhof Bio organic greenhouse operation is about five years old and sought the expertise of The Conscious Farmer to upgrade the levels of performance across all aspects of the organic greenhouse operations. After just one season, the TCF guidance has led to improvements in the productivity and profitability of the organization.

Wholesum, Arizona (US) and Mexico, review and assessment

Wholesum Harvest is a family owned business growing vegetables. 30 years ago Wholesum stopped using synthetic chemicals. Today, Wholesum Harvest is a successful organic vegetable production company with 27 hectares of high-tech greenhouses, 90 hectares of plastic and shade houses and 135 hectares of open field spread over three locations in the US and Mexico.

Wholesum Harvest is continuously seeking opportunities for improvement and invited The Conscious Farmer to review and assess the status of the Wholesum Harvest organic greenhouse operations, with emphasis on plant nutrition, climate, pest and disease control. TCF developed and helped implementing integrated fertilization advice, an annual plan for preventative and curative biological crop protection and a practical hygiene protocol for the prevention and control of various viruses.

Höflergemüse, Nürnberg, Germany, new bio greenhouse

Höflergemüse is a vegetable farm in the Nürenberger Knoblauchsland. The company has been family-owned for 250 years. Until the 50’s of the last century, cattle breeding and agriculture were practised, as well as the cultivation of small quantities of vegetables. At that time the goods were sold exclusively at the fruit and vegetable market of the city of Nürenberg. From 1955 on, vegetable growing became more and more important. As a result, livestock farming and fodder cultivation were abandoned. In 1965 the first greenhouses were built.

Höflergemüse has now decided to build a 5 to 10-hectare expansion of the existing greenhouse operation and follow organic cultivation standards. The company sought external expertise in modern organic greenhouse cultivation in The Conscious Farmer.

Tuinderij Vahl, The Netherlands, coaching

“Tuinderij Vahl is a modern family business that specialises in the sustainable production of tomatoes, peppers and and cucumbers for the Dutch and European market. Their
commercial greenhouse vegetable production facility covers an area of 10,1 hectares of which now 2.5 hectare is organic. ”

The Conscious Farmer coaches the organic growers at Tuinderij Vahl to fine tune the organic operations covering pest control, climate control, production quality and cost control in particular.

Frutura, Austria, Evaluation

Frutura Obst & Gemüse has 230,000 m² of greenhouse production area using geothermal energy for heating.  Frutura are thus acting in line with global efforts to greatly reduce the consumption of fossil fuels due to global warming.

The aim of the TCF evaluation is to cover all important aspects of modern organic greenhouse horticulture, including but not limited to biological control, climate control, soil improvement and fertilisation, and labour and cost management. It is a comprehensive approach, simply because the many aspects are closely linked in an organic greenhouse.