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Intergrow Greenhouses plans for increased Northeast winter production

Intergrow Greenhouses Inc., based in Albion, NY, is planning to start construction on the fourth phase of expansion this spring, along with the addition of lights in the greenhouse for winter production.

The expansion will increase Intergrow’s total acreage to approximately 80 acres of greenhouse under glass in the Northeast region. The addition of lights in the greenhouse will allow Intergrow to supply its customers with premium, locally grown tomatoes 12 months of the year without the need to source from other regions or countries.

“The demand for year-round locally grown produce justified the substantial investment needed to grow tomatoes during the winter months in New York,” Kris Gibson, vice president of sales and marketing, said in a press release. “Warm weather and sunlight are in limited supply during the Northeast winters, but with the addition of lights we can now create optimal growing conditions year round. Our customers will be able to have locally grown tomatoes-on-the-vine and beefsteak tomatoes delivered within 24 hours of harvest providing the freshest tomatoes possible even in the middle of winter.”

The expansion and addition of lights is projected to be ready for harvest in 2014.

To complete the project, Intergrow will be installing approximately 9,000 light fixtures, vertical fans and double curtain systems to help regulate the temperature and humidity in the greenhouses.

The pack house facilities will also be upgraded with new automated systems to handle the increased production and acreage.

Intergrow Greenhouses Inc. is among the larger greenhouse tomato producers in the Northeast and is located in New York state along the shores of Lake Ontario. Founded in 1998, Intergrow ships across the Northeast and Midwest with its own fleet of reefer trailers, reducing food miles for retailers and distributors.

Intergrow’s operation is one of the most sustainable in the business. With an almost entirely closed irrigation system, the greenhouse uses rainwater to irrigate the plants and biomass fuel to heat the greenhouse that has a double curtain system, reducing heat demand to a minimum.