Tag Archives: transplants

A Growing Demand at Woods Transplants

MarkWoodsWeb

Mark Woods in his Agra Tech transplant greenhouse

 

Woods Transplants in Gustine, CA was established in 2008 and currently the farm consists of 28 acres containing 54 greenhouses and totaling 400,000 square feet of greenhouse space. The farm produces primarily tomatoes and during the off-season, they grow kale, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, celery and peppers, Woods said and everything sold is in the form of transplants. The greenhouses featured at Woods Transplants are purchased from Agra Tech, Inc. of Pittsburg, CA—one of the largest commercial greenhouse manufacturers on the west coast.

Transplant house with benches and watering boom

Transplant house with benches and watering boom

 

Owner Mark Woods, 47, is a second-generation grower with almost 20 years in the transplant business, he explained. “I started working with my father (Ted Woods, the owner of California Transplants) when I was ten years old, so I grew up in this industry. I learned by doing and maybe that’s the best way. We’re in our 8th growing season now at Woods Transplants, so it’s been a good career and I enjoy the work. My father is 70 and he has no plans to retire and expect him to be doing this as long as he can.”

“We sell tomatoes to 35 different farmers that are mostly in California, with a handful in Mexico and Arizona,” Woods said. “Everything we sell is grown from seed; tomatoes make up roughly 90% of our business.”

TH35 DW

Transplants in Agra Tech Thermolator 35 greenhouse with drop wall and benches

Growing and selling cannery and fresh market tomato transplants is the mainstay at Woods Transplants. “We grow them for growers who can’t, for whatever reason,” Woods said. “We purchase the seeds and then germinate them and by the time we ship them, they’re strong, healthy and hearty. We start planting the tomatoes right after Christmas and then they grow until the end of May. Then the fresh market items that we grow will take us through August. Our crew starts out with 15 full-time people and then it expands to roughly 30 people as the volume increases.  Most of our tomatoes are eventually headed to the processing facilities, where they are primarily used for tomato paste, ketchup and those types of things.”

Woods buys the greenhouses from Agra Tech, Inc. and then Ag-Con Construction in San Jose, CA builds them. It’s a family affair, because John Pound (the owner of Agra Tech) sells Woods Transplants the structures and Ray Pound (John’s brother and the owner of Ag-Con) builds them for Mark and his father, the owner of California Transplants in Newman, CA.

Woods established a working relationship with Agra Tech early on by acquiring greenhouses from the manufacturer and tapping into Agra Tech’s knowledge and expertise. It’s a partnership that has gained momentum over the years, as both companies have expanded and changed with the technology.

“It has worked out well for both parties.” Woods said. “We work closely with Jim Bergantz, our Agra Tech sales rep and he handles everything well for us. We’re extremely happy working with Agra Tech and that’s why we’ve bought so many greenhouses from them. If we have questions or need something above and beyond from these people, they don’t hesitate to come through for us. Their customer service is exceptional across the board. We’ve worked with Agra Tech on so many greenhouses that we’ve got it down to a science by now.”

Agra Tech TH35 Woods

Transplants in Agra Tech Thermolator 35 greenhouse with drop wall and benches

Expansion may be in the future for Woods Transplants, but their current location is already packed with greenhouses. “We’re landlocked right now, but my sales people are telling me we can sell more transplants, so we need to get more land and build some more greenhouses.”

Written by Edmund Attanasio

Greenhouse Vegetable Growing

Whether you have a small operation or a larger one or are considering vegetable greenhouse cultivation for the first time, Agra Tech, Inc. has the equipment, the tools and the knowledge to make it a successful endeavor.  Within the last decade, commercial vegetable growing greenhouse operations have become more prevalent for a wide range of reasons. With more people on the planet, less farmland and fewer available resources, growing food in greenhouses will be increasingly necessary within the next 20 years.

By completely controlling the climate and growing environment, local vegetable farms are cropping up from Hawaii to New Hampshire–using modest-size greenhouses to produce high-quality vegetables. Many of these business models proudly wears the “local, organic and sustainable” badge and consumers flock to these regional artisan growers of everything from kale to peppers and all the way to exotic vegetables such as arugula and unusual culinary herbs.

People are willing to pay a little more for locally grown produce, because they value the green approach and appreciate the health advantages of fresher vegetables that don’t need to be shipped in via trucks from many miles away. As gas prices rise, local providers will become more and more popular, because their prices will trump the competition that has to truck in products from faraway. By using less water and creating less waste with a smaller carbon footprint, these local growers can turn crops more frequently and create profits more quickly than an outdoors in-ground farm. And by using sophisticated hydroponics in controlled environments, growers can produce high-quality products year round without interruption.

By partnering with the world’s leading manufacturers and distributors of vegetable growing systems, Agra Tech, Inc. has the equipment, knowledge and experience to set up vegetable growers for success. This section of our website will allow you to research the different methods and systems for growing vine and leafy vegetables. By producing more products while using less energy, labor and time, an Agra Tech greenhouse coupled with one of these systems, can provide a handsome return on investment.

The types of vegetables you grow will dictate what growing systems to incorporate into your greenhouse. From sophisticated to basic, ideally growing systems should be identified prior to purchasing your greenhouse, so that you can buy one that is right for your operation.

With Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA), you can produce vegetables year-round; produce vegetables that are consistently high-quality; enjoy a high level of versatility to change your crops to meet the demands of changing marketplaces; and do it green, efficiently and in a sustainable manner.

In addition to the greenhouse, ATI can also help its clients to purchase the following:

  • Greenhouses of all sizes
  • Energy retention equipment, including shade curtains
  • Irrigation systems, including hydroponics
  • Turnkey solutions
  • Customized growing systems
  • Heating, cooling & ventilation systems
  • Grow lights
  • Electrical accessories
  • System integration products

NFT Hydroponics

Let the Water Do All the Work

By not using soil, hydroponics irrigation methods in conjunction with a greenhouse can allow you to completely control your environment and grow more vegetables than using conventional techniques. For maximum production per square foot while using a minimum of moving parts, NFT hydroponics is the optimum way to grow leafy vegetables. It also allows you to grow them literally anywhere—from rooftops to deserts and all of the way to very cold climates.

To grow leafy vegetables such as lettuce and herbs, the Nutrient Film Technique (N.F.T.) style of hydroponics is normally integrated into a greenhouse environment. It’s a closed system in which water, minerals and oxygen are re-circulated over the plant’s roots, eliminating evapo-transpiration and the unnecessary waste of precious resources. Because the plants get everything they need all the time ,the energy they would normally spend searching for minerals in the soil is used to grow bigger vegetables with NFT hydroponics.  Basil, cilantro, parsley, brussel sprouts, arugula, watercress, fancy lettuce, head lettuce, bak choy and even mazuna will grow 20-30% faster using hydroponics, allowing you to turn crops more often than using conventional in-ground non-greenhouse farming. (Estimating approximately 20-26 turns annually)

Agra Tech works closely in conjunction with American Hydroponics, (www.AmHydro.com) since 1984, a company that designs and manufactures manual systems that provide top returns on investments for growers from 60 feet to two acres. Agra Tech also works with Hort Americas (www.hortamericas.com) that sells automatic systems that are ideal for two acres and more. Both companies are experts in hydroponics and know how to produce high-quality vegetables to make healthy profits.

Vine Hydroponics Greenhouse Systems

Do It Bucket-Style

By using the ageless Dutch Bucket hydroponic system, indoor or greenhouse farmers can grow high-quality vine vegetables that are larger and healthier than those grown outdoors in soil.  For peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, strawberries and other vine plants, recirculating vine crop systems will produce more vegetables while using fewer resources and re-using both nutrients and water.

A closed Dutch Bucket system (AmHydro’s 210 VC System) involves 10 Bato Buckets, freestanding galvanized steel table frames to hold buckets; a commercial Truncheon Conductivity Meter for measuring and monitoring nutrient levels; plumbing; growing medium; an ABS reservoir and all associated accessories. By accessing our vast knowledge and extensive experience, ATI and its vendor partners can have you up and producing vine vegetables in a very short time. And by using world-class techniques for growing, marketing and distributing your products, ATI can help you to realize profits and making growing vegetables a sideline or a full-fledged career, if you desire.

Transplant Greenhouse Growing

For Healthier, Sturdier Transplants

When compared to field-grown transplants, greenhouse transplants can be grown faster, while producing plants that are superior and more uniform. By carefully controlling their environment, transplants grown in greenhouses can be held longer and harvested when you choose. Because containerized plants are less crowded and healthier overall, greenhouse transplants will normally be stockier and stronger.

In addition, greenhouse grown containerized transplants provide an ideal method for  establishing vegetable plants that possess a media-enclosed root ball, which retains moisture and root integrity at transplanting, and thereby reducing transplant shock. Transplants grown this way customarily result in enhanced stands and earlier harvests. This leads to increased profits and eliminates added production costs, because the chances of losing crops due to frosts or other factors are greatly reduced, meaning you won’t have to undertake costly re-planting.

Before deciding whether you should grow vegetable transplants, give us a call and we will advise you, based on several factors, such as the size of your overall operation; the investment of time and money; and the vegetable transplants you want to grow.

In-Ground Greenhouse Growing

Conventional Meets Innovative

Depending on your layout and space requirements, in-ground vegetable growing might be the best solution for you. You can produce exceptional vegetables faster in a CEA setup based on in-ground growing, the way nature intended to grow them. In-ground greenhouse growing requires a smaller initial investment and allows growers the flexibility to extend the growing season by manipulating the weather conditions.

Growers performing in-ground greenhouse cultivation can protect their crops against frost, wind, hail and/or excessive exposure to the sun. Greenhouses can start simply by providing cover for the crops, all the way to more complex systems offering full climate control. This technique also offers growers a high level of adaptability, because they can convert their systems to incorporate hydroponics seamlessly in the future.

By: Ed Attanasio