US (TX): Nocona greenhouse blossoming with potential

Color has begun to peek through the glass of the new state-of-the-art Colorchids greenhouse recently completed in Nocona, as plants have arrived and are being shipped out.

The 63,000-square-foot greenhouse is part of an expansion by Colorchids which was created 10 years ago by Ben Van Wingerden. It was no surprise he chose this type of farming.  He grew up in the industry where his father built greenhouses for a living in Virginia. After college he began looking for a product where he could use his marketing skills. He recalls it looked like a lot could be done with orchids.

“I was attracted to this product, which is how I came to select the crop. Nowadays you build the greenhouse around the crop you want to grow. It’s really modern farming, but instead of corn we grow orchids indoors,” explains Van Wingerden.

The young entrepreneur says he started out with an idea for a national brand with local supply. “It’s something we believe in because for us everything is so spread out. Our goal is to serve local markets versus having one giant greenhouse shipping them all over. Freight will always be a problem and a big cost getting yourself to market,” explained Van Wingerden. 

One year ago the company reached an agreement with the City of Nocona to lease-purchase 50 acres where the greenhouse now sits. Nocona solicited bids for the larger section of the tract of land that was given to the city by Cecil R. Fenoglio, who initially gave the land to allow the city a location to drill an emergency back-up water well during the big drought 10 years ago.  

Read more at Times Record News (Barbara Green)

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