Family Owned and Operated for 36 Years
Great Lakes Greenhouses is the largest grower, shipper, and packer of hydroponic cucumbers in North America. We are a 118-acre state-of-the-art facility on one site. This allows us to provide year-round production to service all our customers needs. Our mandate is to produce the healthiest safest food.
At Great Lakes Greenhouses we pride ourselves on maintaining quality and excellence in everything we do. This stands especially true with food safety standards.
- All excess nutrient feed solution used in the growing process is collected through an intricate leach collection system, after which it is filtered, heat pasteurized, cooled, oxygen enriched and reintroduced into the irrigation stream with minimal loss.
- Our in-house plant raising nursery uses the most up to date flood floor technology. Our floors have a hybrid design combining the best features of both European as well as North American designs. This unique adaptation ensures the lowest water use in the industry while still providing the optimum water requirements for our seedlings.
- Ultraviolet sterilization technology is utilized when an ultra-high level of water sanitation is required. This process ensures a disease-free water source. This technology is utilized in our nursery where young seedlings are most sensitive to infection.
- An ultra-fine filtration process is applied to all water used to feed plants. Using the latest ozone treatment technology, it ensures water sources are the cleanest, safest fertigation water available.
- Efficiencies gained through our leach collection system less municipal water is required to operate our facility. This allows us to reduce the use of chlorinated water from municipal sources resulting in a decreased environmental impact.
- In 2014, we installed a triple poly roof system. Resulting in 15% energy reduction.
- In 2015, we began the installation of a cogeneration plant. This investment yielded a significant reduction in electricity cost while providing a year-round low-grade heat source.
- Latest expansions have utilized triple-poly, insulated gutter systems, and thermal energy screens.
- These adaptations have allowed us to produce year-round to satisfy customer demands while meeting carbon reduction goals.
- First greenhouses were single pane glass industry standard pre-late 80’s.
- Constructed curved glass structure early 90’s still single pane technology but with significant reduction in heat requirements due to the addition of vent seals and roof pane gaskets these adaptations greatly reduced heat loss through air infiltration.
- Late 90’s constructed double poly structures. This design reduced overall heat requirements by approximately 30% annually while providing a superior climate for cucumber cultivation.
- Early 2000 continued with traditional double poly with the addition of an all-aluminum insulated gutter and vent rail system (first of its kind) this addition yielded an additional 5% energy reduction.
- During this time frame we transitioned from traditional steam heat to hot water heating technology. This allowed us to invest in other equipment that required hot water as a heat sink.
- Early 2010, we began to investigate different types of heating boilers (made the move from light commercial to full on industrial type boilers).
- In 2013 we constructed a double poly structure with aluminum gutter system with the addition of an energy screen. This further reduced heat demand by 10%.
- In 2013 commissioned new heating boiler (industrial type) and began the installation of a condensing flue gas recovery system. This addition improved boiler efficiency of approximately 12%.
- In 2013 we began trials of triple poly sidewall system (first in industry)
- The above adaptations have lowered our carbon footprint significantly.
Great Lakes Greenhouses is fully committed to develop, grow, pack and thereby distribute safe food products in a highly hygienic environment. To achieve the above, Great Lakes Greenhouses ensures that the management and all personnel is fully dedicated to developing, implementing and continually improving our Food Safety Management System based on local and international applicable standards and codes of practice.
Storage & Shipping
Temperature and humidity controlled packing facilities and coolers ensure that our cucumbers remain fresh and crisp. Once harvested the cucumbers are immediately brought to the packing line where they are graded and packaged while starting the cool-down process. After they have been chilled to the ideal temperature they are loaded onto pre-cooled, refrigerated trucks where the storage temperature is maintained by an on-board cooling unit, monitored electronically for the duration of the trip. Each truck is inspected prior to loading to ensure it meets the food safety standards of cleanliness. Trucks which fail this inspection are refused.
It starts with certified seeds selected to grow in our on-site plant raising nursery. The nursery is washed twice a day to maintain a sanitary environment. Various environmentally safe measures are implemented to combat pests instead of pesticides. Parasitic wasps combat aphids throughout the greenhouse, while other beneficial insects are utilized to control pests. Our philosophy on combating disease is using safe preventative measures before it happens.