Wholesum, Amado, Ariz., announces that its greenhouse expansion will add 6 acres of 100% organic tomato production to the existing 18-acre facility. The new greenhouse will hold the latest technology for innovative and sustainable production.
With the first harvest anticipated in November, the new greenhouse will bring a projected 3.5 million additional pounds of U.S. organic TOV and beefsteak to market per year. Following the expansion, 100% of Wholesum’s beefsteak will be U.S. grown.
Wholesum opted for an Ultra-Clima concept greenhouse, which comes with an efficient heating and cooling system, allowing total control of climate conditions for optimal plant photosynthesis, along with energy efficient fans and the infrastructure to recirculate irrigation water. An advanced air pressure system aids with food safety and pest control. The implementation of a new full-vision system with infrared sensors to monitor plant growth provides deep insight into the conditions where organic varieties thrive.
“This expansion is very exciting for us at Wholesum. It keeps with our vision of creating an impact in the organic food industry through a sustainable business model that cares about its workers,” says Ricardo Crisantes, chief commercial officer. “We focus on social and environmental responsibility in every aspect of our operations, and this greenhouse is a reflection of those efforts.”
The new greenhouse will add 25 year-round jobs to the farm.
This expansion concludes Phase II of Wholesum’s multi-phased growth strategy. The first phase of construction began in 2011 as a 12-acre facility housing organic beefsteak and TOV, bringing 60 jobs to the Santa Cruz County. The first part of Phase II construction took place in 2014, leaving the facility as an 18-acre operation, with the second part of construction set to continue in the summer of 2019. Third and fourth construction phases are in the works for the future.