Premier's Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence


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2016 Regional Award Winner

 

Greenbelt Greenhouse Ltd., Gormley

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Minister Chris Ballard, Michael Curry and Ian Adamson

Minister Chris Ballard, Michael Curry and Ian Adamson

Microgreens are booming with popularity, however hand-harvesting these tiny plants can be time-consuming. That is why Greenbelt Greenhouse has explored ways to mechanize the process. Growers were able to modify a bandsaw originally designed for field-grown salads to be used on thicker-stemmed microgreen crops. For thinner-stalked microgreens, growers worked with a Toronto company to engineer a tabletop harvester with an oscillating blade. Now, 90 per cent of their greens can be mechanically harvested resulting in labour costs savings of 80 per cent per kilogram harvested. The chilling process has now been reduced to five minutes, resulting in increased shelf life for the greens. Thanks to greater efficiency, Greenbelt Greenhouse has doubled their production, giving more Ontarians a fresh alternative to imported salad greens.

 


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