June Gardens set the stage for summer. Let our plants be the 'Opening Act'.
Growing is a privilege and with that comes responsibility. With that in mind, we at Sun Harvest, are always mindful of our impact on the environment as we manage both our greenhouse and field crops, while growing healthy, safe and affordable food to feed our community, and plants that can be the basis for beautiful and diverse landscapes.
Technology plays an important role in sustainability as it relates to pest control, water conservation and productivity of the crops we grow. We are always investigating new ways to grow a beautiful and tasty product all while protecting the capabilities of the land we farm. After all, it is our job to protect what we have so that there will be a next generation of passionate growers who can continue here at Sun Harvest.
People want to buy food and flowers that are grown with an awareness of how we fit within the greater ecology, and this is the basis of our sustainability program. We know that in nature, beneficial insects are key in keeping ecosystems healthy. Some insects eat other insects that are harmful to certain plants, while others such as bees, are responsible for pollinating and therefore providing for almost a third of the food we eat. Integrated pest management (IPM) is the focus of our pest control program here at Sun Harvest. Our IPM program centres on the most important insect – the bumblebee. We introduce bumblebees into the greenhouse to pollinate the tomatoes and are grateful for the hard work that they do. No we do not get honey from them, the tomatoes are reward enough!
We use crop-scouting techniques to monitor pest populations in the greenhouses and introduce beneficial insects (good bugs) in sufficient numbers that have been shown to reduce the numbers of harmful insects (bad bugs), so that we can provide you, our customer, with healthy plants and produce, without pesticides.
In our garden centre, we feature native plants and work to educate our customers about their important role in maintaining a diverse landscape for foraging pollinators.
All water for the hydroponic vegetables is recycled in a closed loop, which means we use less, while field veggies are irrigated (when necessary) using water from our pond which is sustained by capturing water from our greenhouse rooves.
Energy is a critical resource for any greenhouse operation, especially in our northern climate, as it is needed to heat and manipulate the inside environment for our crops to thrive. In order to minimize our energy use, we utilize energy curtains in our greenhouses. This system closes below our rooves at night for extra insulation, and reduces the volume of air inside the greenhouse that must be heated throughout the night. This significantly reduces our energy usage in the winter months, and simultaneously creates a more suitable environment for our plants!
We keep the land productive by rotating our row crops with mixed forages and all organic waste (tomato leaves ) from the greenhouses is added back to the soil in the form of a nutrient rich compost.
We are a proud participant in the local Food movement here in Kingston region and thank you for ‘buying local ‘. That very important choice builds sustainable communities.