Tomaté!’s greenhouses provide thousands of square feet of growing area, with over a million pounds of various types of tomatoes produced every year, and several thousand plants varieties, in order to provide a colourful, tasty and diversified offer.
Integrated farming : agricultural (farming) common sense
What does integrated farming and integrated pest control have in common? Let’s take a moment to break it down together. Integrated farming is an agricultural technique focused on prevention. We can lessen the impact of agricultural activities on the environment and on people’s health by limiting the use of pesticides upstream. We protect our plants from disease and harmful invaders by collaborating with an agronomist who inspects our plants on a regular basis to guarantee that they are not lacking.
Integrated Pest Control (IPC) is the idea of being inspired by nature by introducing, for example, helpful insects to eradicate those who are harmful to the tomato. Pampering our plants with numerous attentions and small daily care allows us to produce healthy tomatoes. As a result, delectable, nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables are grown. It goes without saying that these concepts not only rhyme with Tomaté! but they are, also, an essential part of the quality we want to share with you.
Life cycle of our tomatoes
The life cycle of our tomatoes begins with seed sowing and the grafting stage. To a solid tomato plant root system, known as a rootstock, we combine the aerial system of the tomato plant which variety we wish to produce, known as the scion. When combined, they form a single plant, more resistant to its environment and capable of creating high-quality fruits.
Our little plants are already 52 days old when we replant them in the greenhouse to complete their growth. The process of keeping the plants begins at this point – it is a constant and long-term task. Our crew is working hard from integrated pest control and daily plant inspection to temperature and watering cycle adjustments to provide ideal growing condition for the plants.
This step also includes cutting off the side shoot – secondary branches – and pruning the flowers and leaves to determine which flowers have the best chance of producing a quality tomato without major flaws, and to encourage their growth. This sorting process puts all of the odds in our favour for the plants to produce the most tomatoes possible, but most importantly, produce the healthiest, most attractive and most flavourful tomatoes.
Our greenhouses are lovely and vibrant at this time of year, full of ripe and exquisite tomatoes. It’s time to pick! This stage lasts several months depending on the growth cycles of the plants, and everyone gets involved.
When the tomatoes are picked, they are sorted. Grade 1 tomatoes – the most beautiful and succulent – are sent to be inspected and weighed before being packed into our cardboard trays (which can be composted or recycled). During this time, we collect, and pack tomatoes every day, except on Sundays, to maintain freshness and flavour.
Trays are then delivered to our retailers, who subsequently deliver them to your local grocery store, marketplace or market stalls, and eventually end up on your plates, brightening up your meals! Our grade 2 tomatoes, which are too damaged to eat, are composted and utilized in the fields behind our greenhouses.
The cycle begins all over again. It’s time to clean and empty the greenhouses to prepare them for next year’s plants. It is also time for us to choose fresh seeds to boost our varieties.