Suntech Greenhouses Growing Methods

Growing Methods

Hydroponic is a method of growing plants without the use of soil. In 1999, we began our operation growing tomatoes hydroponically in water-filled troughs, letting our plant roots dangle in nutrient rich water. In January of 2004, we switched our growing method to raised troughs in a drip irrigation system and 100% natural coconut coir slabs. Contrary to soil, coconut does not rob the plants from their nutrients and has a perfect air-to-water ratio so the roots never drown out. In addition, there is significant reduction in soil-born pest and the need for pesticides to rid them. Excess water and nutrients gets recycled through the system and fed right back to the plants. Switching to raised troughs has provided us with better air circulation, which has improved the greenhouse climate, thus eliminating high humidity dead spots around the plants.

To pollinate our plants, we introduce bumblebees to the greenhouse. We keep the number of bees in balance with the number of open flowers. This results in improved fruit quality as well as labour efficiency.

All work involved in our vegetable production is done manually. Our plants are clipped onto a string, suspended from overhead supports on a weekly basis. Plants are watched closely and pruned as needed to ensure the proper growth of each individual plant. During harvesting, the produce is hand-picked daily, machine sorted by weight, then hand packed for delivery to the retailer.

In January of 2015, SunTech greenhouses made a drastic upgrade. With the disadvantages of farming in a cold climate country where the sun is less bright and the days are short, we installed a supplementary light system throughout our greenhouses. Winter growing is now possible at SunTech! This new LED system provides the Ottawa/Gatineau region an alternative to foreign grown produce and an opportunity to eat healthy, local food all year-round.

Environmently friendly practices:

Hydroponics greenhouse farming has rapidly become the method of choice for sustainable farming for several reasons:

  • It uses up to 90% less water than traditional farming.

  • Does not need the use of heavy machinery such as combines and tractors
  • No soil-born pests, reducing the uses of pesticides
  • No weed pulling or strain on workers' backs or knees
  • No presence of soil to dirty hands, clothes or boots
  • As the system is unaffected by climate change, it is suitable for any location: Underground, remote deserts, arctics or even outer space! Permitting farming proximity and enabling local production. This reduces the distance traveled between the farm to the consumer, as well as the carbon footprint, while providing healthier produce and supporting the local economy.
  • For a full tour of our greenhouses, please feel free to contact us by phone (613-692-3388) or by email at suntech@magma.ca
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