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Canada: Van Belle Nursery adds a 5 acre greenhouse

Van Belle Nursery is currently expanding their greenhouse and shipping space to accommodate their larger production goals. The skeleton of the 5 acre sized greenhouse has just been installed and they are planning to plant their first perennials and annuals in February 2016. When the greenhouse is finished, the total acreage under cover of Van Belle Nursery will be 14 acres. This is explained by Dave Van Belle, owner of the company.

Source: Twitter Curtis Friesen

Apex Greenhouse
The greenhouse is a Westbrook Apex Greenhouse. "We decided for this type of greenhouse because we have to deal with a lot of wind and snow here in Abbotsford, BC. As Westbrook has an excellent reputation for handling these difficult environmental conditions, we have chosen them as our greenhouse supplier," says Van Belle. It is a high greenhouse; 21 feet to the gutter. "We went to 21 feet to benefit from the moderating temperature effects of a high greenhouse. Besides that, it also gives us maximum crop flexibility for the future." The vents are at the peak and will be controlled by Argus. Furthermore, the water capture from rainfall and irrigation will be stored and treated in above ground water tanks on the site. "The water capture will be 99 percent," says Van Belle.

First crops in February
Van Belle Nursery owns four growing sites with a total size of 100 acres. This greenhouse will be for the Retail Ready division of Van Belle Nursery. This division supplies retailers in Western Canada with trees, shrubs, perennials and annuals. The first crops will be put there in November, and the first crops to be planted inside will be in February. “The primary crops initially will be our perennial and annuals such as dahlias, lilies and so on," he says. In spring fifteen semi-trucks are shipped daily. "It’s our first gutter connect greenhouse for this division, and integrating the shipping area into the greenhouse should give us some efficiencies for production and shipping." Key to the greenhouse is the 2acre shipping area. Everything from the Retail Ready division will ship from the new site next spring. There will be 9 docks in total at this site, to allow for future growth. "Since we currently ship everything from 3 docks, this expansion will really help us. We used to help us get the layout right so we will be able to continue shipping on time."

When the new site is complete, the YoungPlant division will enjoy more room as well," says Van Belle. This division propagates mostly cold hardy shrubs, vines and hydrangeas for shipment to other growers across North America. Van Belle Nursery YoungPlants offers mostly protected plants from Proven Winners, Ball Ornamentals, as well as their own brand, Bloomin Easy. "We have been enjoying good growth in this division as well, and having extra room available is needed."
"Our growth has been strong the last few years and we are grateful for excellent partners in this industry, as well as our committed and fun-loving staff," concludes Van Belle.

For more information:
Van Belle Nursery
Dave Van Belle
F: 604-853-6282