Great Northern Hydroponics – Strawberries

The Situation

Great Northern Hydroponics is a massive enterprise with a robust reputation in Canadian agriculture in Ontario, and greenhouse facilities spanning over 65 acres. Established in 1998, the business got its start producing hydroponic tomatoes year-round while integrating ag tech and sustainable practices— and all while covering the shipping, packaging, and distribution aspects of their product as well. Wishing to diversify, Great Northern set sights on transitioning away from solely hydroponic tomatoes to hydroponic strawberries. This would involve transforming some of the current hydroponic and greenhouse setup to cater towards strawberry production while still maintaining established building and business infrastructure.

The Solution

For one project, 20 acres of hydroponic greenhouse space was elected out of tomato production and into strawberry production. For another project, 15 acres were elected for the same purpose with a swing system added to help Great Northern achieve the highest plant density. To complete these projects, 114,000 meters of all new hydroponic gutter were installed to replace gutters better suited for hydroponic tomato cultivation. The specifications ideal for strawberry production were GT01-170 mm wide closed gutters throughout the spaces. All aspects of these Great Northern projects were geared in such a way to minimize any change in physical and business infrastructure, as well as to minimize any possible operation interruptions.

The Value

Great Northern’s projects were completed in June of 2022, allowing them to pivot revenue to all new markets (hydroponic strawberries) and thus increase the value and livelihood of their business, both for the immediate present and foreseeable future. This was all made possible through Growtec’s responsive team of tech-savvy professionals: both knowledgeable of how to up-level hydroponic production with the most advanced and latest technology, while being sensitive to any stalls in production during the time of transition.

Growtec has helped us convert a large percentage of our tomato cultivation into strawberries. Whether the conversion required a fixed gutter system, hoist system or swing system, Growtec was very accommodating in making sure our requests and desires were addressed.

Guido van het Hof
President and General Manager