A Fun Family Holiday


by Produce for Kids

When we think of the holiday season, our minds go straight to thoughts of freshly baked cookies, lights on every house, gifts, holiday music and festivities. This year, we want you to add tomatoes to your holiday plans! With their beautiful red color, tomatoes are perfect for adding flair to holiday recipes.

We’ve come up with some simple ways to have fun (and stay healthy) this holiday season. There’s something for everyone in this holiday series of recipes featuring the Garden Fresh Flavor® of Village Farms® tomatoes. Kids will enjoy trimming their tree with tomatoes with our spin on mini pizzas and they’ll light the way to a healthy meal as they place a tomato for Rudolph’s nose on a delicious tomato grilled cheese.

Adults strapped for time will love the surprisingly simple and delectable twist on savory finger foods. With only a few ingredients each there’s no need to check your grocery list twice! Known for being packed with vitamins C and K and lycopene tomatoes are a great way to support brain health. So relax and allow yourself the treat of extra family time this season.

Scroll all the way down to find out how you can enter to win a variety pack of Village Farms tomatoes delivered right to your doorstep!

Mini Christmas Tree Pizzas with True Rebel Mix® Tomatoes
Move over Christmas cookies, let kids get creative for the holiday season with these fun pizzas. Plus, sneak more veggies into your kid’s diet. True Rebel Mix® tomatoes pose as colorful lights/ornaments for decorating. Cue the classic holiday music!

Rudolph Grilled Cheese with Heavenly Villagio Marzano® Tomatoes
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer had a very shiny nose…and it’s a bright red tomato! The sweetness of the Heavenly Villagio Marzano® tomatoes dances like sugar plum fairies inside this Rudolph grilled cheese, paired with a homemade tomato soup, for a comforting and festive meal to eat while watching the classic movie.


Tomato, Feta & Pesto Puff Pastry with Sinfully Sweet Campari® and Fresh Basil
Sinfully Sweet Campari® tomatoes pair with pesto, basil and feta cheese to create this combination of red, white and green, bringing a colorful spin to any holiday party. Puff pastry is simple to use and the result is an elegant dish with little effort. Ugly Christmas sweaters optional.


Tomato, Goat Cheese & Caramelized Onion Mini Quiche with Cabernet Estate Reserve® Tomatoes
Be careful! Once you present these mini quiches featuring Cabernet Estate Reserve® tomatoes to holiday guests, they’ll disappear fast. The sweet, earthiness of the tomatoes paired with flavorful caramelized onions and the creaminess of goat cheese is an unbeatable combination.


Okay, now that you’re nice and hungry let’s talk about that chance to win! We’re partnering with Village Farms to give you TWO chances to win some really great prizes:
Chance #1 – Fill out the form below!
Chance #2 – Join us on Instagram December 20 – 22 for an Instagram giveaway. Be sure to follow Produce for Kids and Village Farms on Instagram for all the details.

This post and recipe were created exclusively for Village Farms and originally appeared on Produce for Kids


For the Good of the Earth


As seen in the December issue of BOSS Magazine

The bright red cherry tomato bursts with a pop as you sink your teeth into it, and for a few delightful seconds it’s still summertime—even though it’s winter. You take another bite to make sure you’re not imagining that freshness, and sure enough, it’s just as bright, tart, and sweet as the first. The taste takes you back to your childhood, when you’d steal tomatoes from a neighbor’s garden, helping yourself to another, and another…

As summer fades and the air grows colder you’ve become accustomed to the average pinkish-orange globes posing as tomatoes that start filling the shelves of the produce department. Thankfully, Village Farms has no interest in growing average produce, and their environmentally friendly growing methods allow for fresh, high quality produce year-round. In fact, nothing that the North American based company does is anywhere near average and that’s not just great for veggie lovers—it’s great for the planet, too.

As the premier greenhouse grower of tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers, and other crops in North America, Village Farms’ dedication to sustainability, technology, and innovation shows with every pristine vegetable picked. Launched in Pennsylvania in 1988, Village Farms has grown from a single 10-acre greenhouse operation to a vertically-integrated agricultural enterprise.

“On day one it wasn’t the plan,” admitted Mike DeGiglio, Village Farms’ President and CEO. “Our first crop was half peppers, half tomatoes, and our focus was on being a grower.”

When that first crop was rejected by a surly Northeastern produce broker for being “no good,” DeGiglio ignored the slight.
“We hired a sales guy the next day and never looked back.”

New Day, New Business Model
When the company began, all of the disciplines in traditional produce companies were separate.

“The grower is the grower, who went to a labor manager to pick the crop, then to a processor who graded and sorted it. Then that’s sent to a trucking company, then to a broker. That broker would send it to a retailer,” DeGiglio recounted. “We asked ourselves, ‘why can’t we do all of it?’” The answer was, “We can.” and today, Village Farms is an end-to-end operation.

“Today we have 270 skus and 35 tomato varieties,” he noted. “We slowly added more salespeople, distribution centers, and transportation. We became a vertically integrated producer. We have our own engineering, even though there are plenty of companies that build greenhouses.”

The company built a sophisticated greenhouse in West Texas, in part of the Chihuahuan Desert.  “It’s not quite a biosphere but pretty close. It’s 110 degrees all summer and only 20 degrees in winter,” he chuckled, a trace of awe in his voice. “Nothing grows there but tumbleweeds and lizards. We’re like an oasis—it blows people away.”

Today, the company owns and operates seven facilities in British Columbia and Texas, and provides operational and technical support and logistics services for more than an additional 150 acres of greenhouse production throughout Canada and Mexico.

The Greenhouse Difference
Greenhouse growing is far superior to conventional land farming, producing better crops with markedly less waste and dramatically less environmental impact.

“It’s a combination of food safety, quality of the product, shelf life of the product, and taste—it’s consistent, available 365 days a year, and not just seasonal,” DeGiglio explained.

Indoor growing is the premier method of sustainable production and allows Village farms to use integrated pest management as biological control, meaning they release good bugs to combat bad bugs instead of using chemical pesticides. “Of all agricultural products, proteins like beef and chicken, row crops, and fruits and vegetables, I think greenhouse growing, is by far the most sustainable type of agriculture there is, even over organic growing methods,” he said.

“When you are in a controlled environment greenhouse, utilizing the same resources an outdoor farmer would use like sunlight and water, you can do it in an environment that is much more efficient and productive,” he added.

These carefully monitored environments offer protection against elements typical farmers have no control over, like wind, rain, and extreme heat and cold.

“We can produce output that has 30 times more yield per acre than crops grown on farmland. A 100-acre greenhouse produces the equivalent of 3,000-acre farm. And you can locate a greenhouse close to anywhere depending on the technology you use.”

Earth First
Village Farms’ approach to sustainability abides by a commitment to leave the earth’s resources for future generations. “The way Village Farms fits that definition of sustainability is: one, we don’t use soil, so it takes a lot less land for the same amount of crops. Two, we don’t take any nutrients out of the soil. Three, we don’t leachate any of our solutions into the ground,” DeGiglio enumerated.

“It took 500,000 years for the first one billion human beings to be on the planet. There are now seven-plus billion of us. The demographics say that by 2050, there will be a 30 percent increase of the population of the planet. That’s 2.5 billion people. Whether that number is up or down by twenty percent doesn’t matter,” he posited. “How is agriculture going to feed that amount of people with the same amount of water? It has to come from efficiency and sustainability.”

The company chose growing regions in British Columbia and Texas based on the climate conditions most favorable to producing consistently superior quality crops. “You can’t move your farm to take advantage of a better climate,” he mused. “In Texas, we grow at the southernmost latitude a the highest elevation in the U.S. We are at a 5,000-foot elevation. We do that because of the warm days and cool nights.”
Natural gas is used to heat the greenhouse at night.

“The boilers designed for greenhouses over the past three decades are so efficient and clean, the carbon dioxide (CO2) that’s released is food grade. We capture all of it, and pump it into the greenhouse,” he revealed. “As you remember from ninth grade biology, plants take in CO2 and make oxygen. Not only do we not extract the CO2 into the atmosphere, we convert it into oxygen. That can’t be done outside.”

Village Farms produces only non-GMO crops, grown in an organic medium made of coconut husks. Crops are vine ripened and hand-picked at the exact right moment for the absolute best taste.

“A lot of field growers pick tomatoes when they’re green,” he said. “If a tomato doesn’t get to a certain level of maturity the ripening process never occurs. So they spray an ethylene gas on it so it turns an orangey pink. Bananas are shipped green, and when they’re ready to ship to the store they spray them with ethylene. Vine ripened taste is much better.”

The company’s agricultural engineers are working on extending product shelf life. “There’s all kinds of good things happening that drives a better tasting, safer product, and people can trust that brand,” he added.

Committing to the Cannabis Crop
Canada approved the use of medical marijuana in 2001, and pending legislation is expected to legalize it for recreational use in mid 2018. Village Farms recently entered into a partnership with Emerald Health Therapeutics, a bio-pharma company focused on the use of cannabinoids to treat disease.

“We are currently in the process of converting our smallest greenhouse footprint of 1.1 million square feet to cannabis in British Columbia. It’s a very new crop, and a lot of the early folks that got into it weren’t farmers, they were just folks who saw an opportunity. We thought our ability to grow any crop was a good fit,” he stated.

“We’ve done modeling, we talked to Health Canada, and we saw a great opportunity in conversions of our Canadian high-tech greenhouses as a lower cost model rather than building new ones because we feel that it will eventually become commoditized out, and when it does, in the end it’s the low-cost producer that survives. That’s always a prudent thing in agriculture.”

While practicality is at the heart of everything Village Farms does as a business, the people of Village Farms are really what makes the difference and our planet—and palates—are much better for it.

Click here to downlod a .pdf version of this article


Village Farms Donates Time on #GivingTuesday


On November 28 a team from Village Farms and Produce for Kids celebrated #GivingTuesday by volunteering their time at Second Harvest Food Bank in Orlando, Fla. #GivingTuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration.

“Being able to give back to our community alongside friends from the produce industry is so rewarding,” said Helen Aquino, Director of Brand Marketing and Communications. “We are so grateful for the ability to do our part in assisting in the fight against hunger.”

The teams spent the morning sorting produce that would go on to make more than 4,000 meals. Second Harvest Food Bank provides an especially important service in the Orlando area because 1 in 6 Central Floridians are food insecure and 1 in 4 kids in the area are at risk of going to bed hungry. Second Harvest supplies more than 550 local nonprofit feeding programs to help combat those statistics.

#GivingTuesday is celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) and has gained traction over the last six years amongst the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

About Village Farms
Village Farms is one of the largest producers, marketers, and distributors of premium-quality, greenhouse-grown fruits and vegetables in North America. The food our farmers grow, along with other greenhouse farmers under exclusive arrangements are all grown in environmentally friendly, soil-less, glass greenhouses. The Village Farms® brand of fruits and vegetables is marketed and distributed primarily to local retail grocers and dedicated fresh food distributors throughout the United States and Canada. Since its inception, Village Farms has been guided by sustainability principles that enable us to grow food 365 days a year that not only feeds the growing population but is healthier for people and the planet. Village Farms is Good for the Earth® and good for you.

See press release here.



Generation Next: It takes a Village to be successful, says Krysten DeGiglio


As seen in the November 27, 2017 issue of The Produce News
by Maggie Giuffrida
Growing up, Krysten DeGiglio was admittedly not a huge fan of tomatoes, but oh, how the times have changed now that the 30-year-old Holmdel, NJ, resident works as a regional sales manager for Village Farms — the oldest greenhouse grower in the United States, specializing in exclusive varieties of tomatoes, as well as cucumbers and peppers.

“I pop a Cherry No. 9 tomato like candy!” DeGiglio laughed. “The Heavenly Villagio Marzano is also one of my favorites. Although it’s great to snack on, I absolutely love to cook with it — and it is so versatile. If I’m trying to impress someone in the kitchen, it’s always my staple ingredient.”

A graduate of Fairfield University in Connecticut, DeGiglio earned her bachelor’s and master’s of business administration degrees in accounting. While in college, DeGiglio studied abroad in Florence, Italy, for one semester.

“This experience sparked my interested to learn about different cultures and travel,” she said.

After graduation, DeGiglio worked for Ernst & Young for four-and-a-half years, and then did a short stint with a pharmaceutical company before discovering her true passion for the produce industry.

“I was invited to attend the PMA Fresh Summit show in 2013,” DeGiglio told The Produce News. “It was the first time I was really exposed to the produce industry and I fell in love with it. Since then, I thought this is where my passion lies, this would make for a fulfilling career.”

But there wasn’t an immediate “in” for DeGiglio, despite the fact that her father, Michael DeGiglio, is co-founder and chief executive officer at Village Farms.

“Truly being a public company, there are no family ties here,” DeGiglio noted.

So she waited patiently, and in August of 2015, DeGiglio got a call from her father about an opening in the Village Farms sales department.

“There was a need to hire a Northeast sales manager,” she recalled. “Village Farms entered into an exclusive distribution agreement with Great Northern Hydroponics, a greenhouse grower with 70 acres of production capacity in Leamington, Ontario. This provided an opportunity to extend the company’s entire product line into the Northeast to new and existing customers, and gave Village Farms incentive to hire a millennial with a go-getter mentality.”

And just like that, DeGiglio knew she was the right person for the role. She interviewed with Bret Wiley, senior vice president of sales for the company, and a couple months later, DeGiglio was working her dream job.

“I will always remember what Bret told me before I joined the company,” she said. “He informed me that produce is one of the most challenging industries to work in and that I was going to need tough skin. Looking back over the last two years, I would have to say he was right.”

But those challenges haven’t come without their rewards.

“The most rewarding part for me is working for a company that I’m proud to represent. Village Farms is good for people and the planet,” she said. “I feel fortunate to be part of a team of experienced professionals. Many of my colleagues have worked in produce their entire careers. The knowledge they share is not something you can learn from a book — it’s invaluable.”

One of her greatest mentors, she noted, is her father, who without his help and guidance “this wouldn’t be possible.”

“I’ve never met someone who works so hard,” DeGiglio said. “He never gives up, he never stops, and he always follows through. Personally, I feel extremely fortunate to work for the company at the same time as my father. I get to observe what a great leader, friend, confidant and CEO he is to all at Village Farms.”

And being a part of that Village Farms family is something DeGiglio certainly does not take for granted either.

“Even though a lot of us work remotely, when we come together it truly feels like we’re a family, and that’s really unique,” she said. “It makes me want to keep working harder and harder.”

As far as obstacles she faces in her role as a sales manager, DeGiglio said those mostly revolve around fluctuating supply and demand, which can be difficult at times, but working with her team to identify and solve problems that arise is an essential part of the job.

“My position relies on all the other facets of this business, from production to transportation to marketing to sales. It’s a very integrated network, which is what I love so much about it,” she noted.

That sense of teamwork and camaraderie among her coworkers and clients is something DeGiglio plans to continue honing in on in the New Year.

“My goal is to take my relationships to the next level,” she said. “I want to become more of a consumer-focused specialist and help to integrate sales and marketing internally and externally, which in return will escalate the partnerships that we have.”

After all, it does take a Village.


Vote for Lorabella Blossom™


Village Farms’ Lorabella Blossom™ tomato has been selected as a finalist for the Inaugural Produce Business Innovation Award. This brand new award is based in part on an item’s ability to disrupt the marketplace and Village Farms’ newest exclusive variety is expected to do just that. This sunny orange tomato boasts a blissfully bright™ citrus essence, something the tomato category hasn’t seen yet. This unique tomato and its name have a special significance for our founder and CEO Michael DeGiglio, “I hold this variety close to my heart and I know you’ll find it just as sunny and delightful as I do.”


Discovered tucked away along the sundrenched beaches amidst the sparkling seas of Italy’s Amalfi Coast this tomato has an untraditional tomato flavor reminiscent of old world sensibilities. It is in an exceptional snacking tomato that is extremely versatile, making it great for grilling, roasting and sautéing and is part of Village Farms’ San Marzano family of products . It’s also packed with a special type of lycopene which is a powerful antioxidant that helps build strong bones and encourages a healthy heart. These tomatoes are also a good source of potassium and vitamins A and C.


Selected as one of 10 finalists by the judges at Produce Business the winner of the first ever Produce Business Innovation Award will be determined by a public voting contest which is happening now. The winner of the popular vote will be announced at the New York Produce Show being held December 11-14 where Village Farms will be attending (booth #244).

Voting is open until 5 p.m. PST on November 27, so please go vote for Lorabella Blossom™!

We are Better for the Story


Village Farms searches the world over to hand pick tomatoes that have the most exquisite flavor. Each one has an intriguing past and an even more captivating story. Take a peek over the walls and see our exclusive varieties, straight from the secret gardens!

Lorabella Blossom™lorabella-sized
Tucked away along the sundrenched beaches amidst the sparkling seas of Italy’s Amalfi Coast we discovered an exciting orange tomato. One crisp bite of the refreshingly vibrant Lorabella Blossom™ will surely intrigue you. With an untraditional tomato flavor reminiscent of old world sensibilities, this tomato blooms with a unique citrus floral essence. Creating a lingering pleasure on the palate growing more alluring with each bite sure to be a memorable taste experience. Lorabella Blossom™ is exclusive to Village Farms ‘San Marzano Family’ of products.

Heavenly Villagio Marzano®marzano-sized
An Authentic Mini San Marzano variety exclusive to Village Farms. The Heavenly Villagio Marzano® is a true Mini San Marzano whose genetics originated in a small town of the same name near Naples, Italy. The San Marzano was first grown in the rich volcanic soils shadowed by Mount Vesuvius 240 years ago. Today, this mini version is grown exclusively by Village Farms.

Cabernet Estate Reserve®cabernet-sized
The Cabernet Estate Reserve™ hails from the middle of the Mediterranean region. The rich dark color is distinctive. The Cabernet Estate Reserve™ provides an unforgettable eating experience with each mouthwatering bite. The flavor profile is especially sweet.

Cherry No. 9 Fall in Love Again®cherry-sized
The Cherry No. 9 hails from southern France. Outside the walled city of Avignon in France, within the fragrant region of Provence, we absolutely fell in love again with tomatoes when first trying this variety… you will too!

Sinfully Sweet Campari®campari-sized
Sinfully Sweet Campari® tomatoes are reminiscent of the flavorful tomatoes grown in backyard gardens across the globe. When first introduced to tomato lovers this variety broke the mold, offering a more compact alternative to TOVs or beefsteak varieties. Their perfectly proportioned old world flavor and juicy sweetness set a new precedent for overall tomato quality, one that we are happy to uphold today. Give in to delicious temptation – it’s only natural.

Village Farms is the North American leader of branded, finest quality, hydroponic greenhouse grown produce. Our great tasting fresh vine ripened tomato, bell pepper, and cucumber varieties are handpicked at the peak of flavor. At Village Farms we exceed customer expectations through our unparalleled consistency and commitment to quality, food safety, and environmentally sustainable growing principles.

Turn the Holidays Upside Down


by A Couple Cooks

It’s that time of year again, to gather and hold our loved ones dear. This Thanksgiving is even more special for Alex and me since we’ve got a new loved one to introduce to the holiday traditions: Eating breakfast to the sound of the NYC parade. The smell of slicing fresh celery for stuffing. A long table with white linen and the glasses only used for company. Now that our son Larson is part of the family, we’re hoping to mix up some of those traditions and create our own. Instead of a heavy traditional meal, we’re focusing on Thanksgiving recipes that are colorful, creative, delicious, and nourishing.


Perhaps you’re wondering about this recipe with fresh tomatoes in mid-November? Tomatoes are long gone by this time in Indiana, and I’ve already started dreaming about flipflops and a fresh summer Caprese salad. Typically, I wouldn’t be caught dead eating a fresh tomato this time of year. However, some new growing practices can extend the season of tomatoes while treading gently on the Earth. Alex and I support local growers as much as possible. At the same time we realize that to feed our world, we need diversity in food growing practices. We need sustainable, green-conscious companies all over the globe.


The tomatoes we used here are grown by Village Farms, who uses hydroponics in a greenhouse (growing in water), allowing the season to be extended. To us, Village Farms’ sustainable growing practices make their tomatoes a viable option for opting for fresh tomatoes in November. These growing methods result in ripe, juicy flavorful tomatoes–not the tasteless and mealy variety that is typically available in the fall and winter months. Village Farms’ growing methods use:

  • 86% less water compared to the average tomato grown outdoors.
  • 97% less land to grow the same amount of tomatoes grown outdoors.
  • Beneficial insects to control pests and stimulate healthy plant growth, instead of harmful chemicals

This cornbread recipe is a new one we’ve developed especially for Village Farms’ Sinfully Sweet Campari® tomatoes. The campari tomatoes are cocktail-sized, basically a large cherry tomato. Here we’ve used them in an upside down cornbread, where the cornbread is baked with sliced tomatoes on the bottom. It’s then inverted after baking to show a lovely tomato design. For our concept, we’ve added fresh sage leaves as another detail and flavor component. And at the end, we decided to top the cornbread with grated Parmesan cheese and broil it until crispy. (It was Alex’s idea, really: genius!) The colors are stunning, and it’s received rave reviews from all friends we’ve served it to. We hope you enjoy it this Thanksgiving season or anytime–and make sure to look for Village Farms tomatoes at your local grocery, they’re an extra special treat!

Get the Recipe: Crispy Tomato Sage Upside Down Cornbread


This post and recipe were created exclusively for Village Farms and originally appeared on A Couple Cooks.


Village Farms Director Roberta Cook named One of Produce Grower’s 10 People Who Are Influencing the Produce Industry


As seen in the October 2017 issue of Produce Grower
by Neil Moran

Dr. Roberta Cook
Director, Village Farms
A longtime academic economist now advises an industry-leading grower

roberta_cook-sizedAfter 31 years working at University of California, Davis, Dr. Roberta Cook remains as passionate about the produce industry as when she was still a graduate student at Michigan State University.

“In my career at UC Davis, I was tasked with looking at all the key supply and demand trends affecting markets for fresh produce in California,” says Cook, who held the position of extension economist in the Department of Agriculture and Resource Economics. She is now on the board of directors at Village Farms and Ocean Mist Farms.

Her research and consultations have allowed her to gain key insights into the trends affecting the product industry – information that should be valuable to both growers and retailers. Cook says consumers became very value-conscious during the recession and haven’t reverted to earlier buying practices, making competitive pricing even more important for retailers, which puts pressure on suppliers.

One of the biggest trends she sees affecting the industry, which will most likely continue for years to come is “channel blurring,” or the advent of more and more types of competing retail outlets for fresh produce, beyond the conventional supermarket of old.

“From Walmart Supercenters to club stores, dollar stores, convenience stores, drug stores, online sales and limited assortment stores, such as Aldi and Trader Joe’s, the proliferation of store formats is still expanding.” Cooks says.


Stay Smooth with a Luscious Cucumber Scrub


Cucumbers are packed with nutrients and hydration, which makes them a favorite ingredient in smoothies and salads to nourish you from the inside out but did you know that they’re also great for your skin?

Inspired to break the meal recipe mold and find some untraditional uses for our fresh produce we teamed up with Kristina LaRue, RD from Love & Zest to bring you this super simple and highly effective natural cucumber mint scrub.

It smells divine and packs some serious health benefits for your skin. Village Farms Luscious Seedless Long English® Cucumbers are 96% water, giving them a cooling quality and making them a wonderful way to help soothe and hydrate the skin. Plus, pureeing them along with their peel unlocks silica from which helps to firm and plump tired skin.

In addition to its hydrating water content these cucumbers are packed with vitamins A, C, and K which are antioxidants that are easily absorbed by your skin so they work hard to fight dark spots freckles. Cucumbers are also a source of several compounds that fight inflammation and aging.

The sugar in this particular scrub acts as a sweet way to exfoliate dry, rough patches like knees, elbows, or heels to leave your skin polished and soft. The coconut oil helps lock in moisture for intense hydration that lasts all day.

This is the perfect recipe to keep your skin soft and supple throughout the looming winter season. As the holidays approach this scrub is a great and affordable homemade gift for neighbors, friends, and co-workers as well!

Click here to see the full recipe!

This post and recipe were created exclusively for Village Farms by Love & Zest. Kristina LaRue, RD, CSSD is a board certified sports dietitian located in Orlando, Florida. Kristina is the author of the Love & Zest food and nutrition blog where she shares {mostly} healthy recipes with simple ingredients that are meant for real life.

Keep Things Fresh This Fall


by Kristina LaRue, RD, Love & Zest

I’m loving all the fall flavors in these vegetarian Harvest Grain Bowl. Cabernet Estate Reserve® tomatoes, quinoa, arugula, tomatoes, apples, roasted sweet potatoes, dried tart cherries and pumpkin seeds tossed together with an apple cider vinaigrette. Eating a hearty vegetarian meal like this grain bowl feels so nourishing, especially this time of year when food tends to be heavier comfort food. There’s something about enjoying the fall flavors in a healthy way, that’s super comforting to me.

The refined earthy flavors of the Cabernet Estate Reserve® tomatoes are reminiscent of a fine wine and make this the perfect addition to your fresh fall dishes. You may be thinking fresh tomatoes are only good as a summer snack…well, thanks to Village Farms sustainable growing practices you can enjoy tomatoes all year-round! And thankfully so, because the deeper richer pigments in produce are often higher in nutrients. The crimson brown color in the Cabernet Estate Reserve® tomatoes contributes beneficial flavonoids that helps with improving blood flow and proper brain function. And they are also packed with potassium!


This vegetarian Harvest Grain Bowl is so simple to prepare, especially if you like meal prep! Make up a batch of quinoa and roasted sweet potatoes in advance to save time in the kitchen. This also helps with healthy eating because you’ll have a meal at the ready when you’re hungry. Another quick tip for effortless quinoa prepping: buy it frozen or boil in the bag! So EASY.

Oh and can we just talk about this apple cider vinaigrette for a hot minute? I just love a good dressing and this one is made with apple butter so its apple flavor game is strong! Tangy and creamy, so yum! Prepare the apple cider vinaigrette in advance and store in a mason jar for quick convenience. I often make dressings straight in the mason jar too– add all ingredients, cap it and give it a good shake.


As we move into the fall months it becomes increasingly tempting to go for the comfort foods high in refined sugars and starch. But this fresh take on fall favorites will satisfy your cravings and energize you from the inside out. I hope you enjoy this vegetarian Harvest Grain Bowl as much as we do!

Click here to see the full recipe!

This post and recipe were created exclusively for Village Farms and originally appeared on Love & Zest. Kristina LaRue, RD, CSSD is a board certified sports dietitian located in Orlando, Florida. Kristina is the author of the Love & Zest food and nutrition blog where she shares {mostly} healthy recipes with simple ingredients that are meant for real life.


Village Farms Introducing Lorabella Blossom Tomato


As seen on The Produce News on September 28, 2017

by Keith Loria

As the fall season gets under way, the staff at Village Farms is excited about some great things happening in the months ahead, including gearing up for PMA Fresh Summit 2017 in New Orleans (booth No. 453), where it plans to feature its newest tomato variety, Lorabella Blossom.

“This is what we are calling a ‘blissfully bright’ tomato that we are introducing as part of our authentic San Marzano family of products,” said Helen L. Aquino, director of brand marketing and communication for the Heathrow, FL-based company. “It has the same shape and mouth appeal as our signature Heavenly Villagio Marzano, an authentic mini San Marzano variety.”

lorabella-blossom-package-photo-for-webThe Heavenly Villagio Marzano is the only authentic mini San Marzano tomato sold in North America that hails from the mother genetics of the San Marzano tomato originally grown in Italy and known the world over for its amazing flavor and sauce making qualities, according to the company.

“Not to be outdone, Lorabella Blossom is a cousin to this variety and maintains similar old world sensibilities in a unique flavor profile but with a twist all its own,” Aquino said. “Its vibrant bright orange color is so attractive and an unexpected color disruptor on shelf consumers will love seeing. We are calling it Lorabella Blossom because the flavor actually blooms in your mouth with a unique citrus floral essence. The fragrant floral notes and citrus essence are complimented by smooth earthy undertones to form a balanced harmony in flavor.”

She added that the product is versatile as well, allowing for easy snacking due to its one-bite size, or can be roasted in a chunky sauce or grilled on kebabs. And it also makes a refreshingly zesty salsa.

“We will be sampling it during Fresh Summit in a number of dishes for visitors to the booth to try,” Aquino said. “Village Farms’ brand ambassador, Kristina LaRue will be creating fun and surprising dishes during PMA with Lorabella Blossom, as well as our other exclusive specialty varieties.”

LaRue is a registered dietitian and will be on hand to give demonstrations throughout the show in Village Farms’ booth while sharing her take on fun healthy simple to prepare yet great tasting ideas for all of its products.

Village Farms is offering Lorabella Blossom in 10-ounce clamshells in limited volumes but will be gearing up into 2018 given the overwhelming interest by its customers.

Doug Kling, senior vice president and chief marketing officer of Village Farms, said there are plenty of new initiatives going on around the company geared toward stronger engagement with consumers regarding more targeted initiatives via social media, stronger localized support programs and new exclusive varieties.

“These programs are all targeted on meeting new demands for flavor, sustainability, and socially responsible activities, demanded and expected by millennials, Gen X, baby boomers and the broad range of consumers our industry covers including our retail partners,” he said. “In addition, we continue to expand our growing areas working with agro professionals at Village Farms with combined experiences of over 100 years in the greenhouse industry, focused on enhancing yields, and flavor in the most sustainable manner possible while providing state-of-the-art efficient methods of farming and driving positive outcomes for us and all our partners.”

Recently Village Farms was recognized as one of the fastest-growing companies in British Columbia for 2017. The list is compiled by Business in Vancouver, a weekly business news journal that ranks companies based on outstanding growth over the last five years and is intended to provide a representative sample of companies in the province whose entrepreneurial direction and focus are gaining highest traction through new opportunities being seeded.


Village Farms Employees Offer Irma Relief to Second Harvest Food Bank


In an effort to provide support post Hurricane Irma Village Farms employees volunteered their time at the local Second Harvest Food Bank in Orlando, Florida. Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida distributes tens of millions of meals per year through 550 local nonprofit feeding programs geared toward the most vulnerable people such as seniors and children. In addition, the Food Bank provides a vital emergency food supply for the community in time of need. Village Farms employees spent the morning sorting food donations slated for disaster victims residing in six counties in central Florida.

“Village Farms takes the business of growing food for people very seriously so having the opportunity to give back to our local Food Bank who makes it a business of feeding people in need was a real pleasure”, said Helen L. Aquino, Director Brand Marketing & Communication for Village Farms. “Our time spent here today really felt great and something we wish to partake in again very soon”.

For more information visit about Village Farms please visit our website at www.villagefarms.com.

About Village Farms
Village Farms is one of the largest producers, marketers, and distributors of premium-quality, greenhouse-grown fruits and vegetables in North America. The food our farmers grow, along with other greenhouse farmers under exclusive arrangements are all grown in environmentally friendly, soil-less, glass greenhouses. The Village Farms® brand of fruits and vegetables is marketed and distributed primarily to local retail grocers and dedicated fresh food distributors throughout the United States and Canada. Since its inception, Village Farms has been guided by sustainability principles that enable us to grow food 365 days a year that not only feeds the growing population but is healthier for people and the planet. Village Farms is Good for the Earth® and good for you.

See press release here.


Raise a Toast to Fall


by Kristina LaRue, RD, Love & Zest

It’s officially Fall, but depending on where you live it may not feel like it yet. (Thanks, Florida!) Here in FL, the weather we can count on is SUN AND HEAT. We will get an occasional “cold front” that will blow in during the fall/winter months and may last a few days, but the sun and warm temps are part of Florida living. So to truly feel the change of seasons we take little weekend vacations.

So today, I’m bringing you some savory toast combos to add veggies to breakfast… and you may think that these toast combos are stuck between the seasons, like we are here in Florida.

The savory comfort food aspects of cheese and herbs beg to be part of fall but the sweet citrus flavor of Village Farms Lorabella Blossom™ tomatoes might make you think that summer is never going to end. These toasts are simple to prepare and delicious any time of day, but I think they are an awesome start to the day because VEGGIES for breakfast = major WIN!

We likely all need more veg in our lives. It’s recommended that we eat 3 cups of vegetables per day but for protective benefits and longevity this 3 cups of veg should be a minimum. So I try to start my day off with a cup by adding greens to my morning smoothie or topping my toast or breakfast bowl with tomatoes!

Village Farms Lorabella Blossom tomatoes are unique in nutrition because they are ORANGE! Orange tomatoes are rich in beta carotene and contain a special type of antioxidant lycopene that is thought to be better absorbed by the body. These tomatoes are also a great source of potassium and Vitamins A and C.

4 Savory Toast Combos to Add Veggies to Breakfast

Cinnamon raisin bread, ricotta cheese, Village Farms Lorabella Blossom™ Tomatoes, pumpkin seeds, raisins, honey, freshly cracked pepper


I’m pretty obsessed with this toast combo– sweet and savory with a dose of protein is so my style. It may be surprising to note but ricotta cheese is super high in protein, a ½ cup contains 14 grams of protein. The citrusy flavors of Lorabella Blossom tomatoes pairs well with savory ricotta cheese and the sweet notes of raisins and honey.

Sourdough bread, apple butter, arugula, Village Farms Lorabella Blossom™ Tomatoes, poached egg, crumbled bacon, freshly cracked pepper


Okay– so this combo is tied for my favvvvv breakfast toast because APPLE BUTTER, and BACON, and POACHED EGGS. I love the texture and spiciness that arugula adds as well as the fresh taste you get from a burst of tomatoes in every bite.

Hearty seed bread, smashed avocado, Village Farms Cabernet Estate Reserve® Tomatoes, Village Farms Long English Cucumber, kalamata olives, feta cheese, red pepper flakes


If you love AVOCADO and Greek food this toast is for you. I’m not normally an olive person but you gotta add them to this toast combo. It’s loaded with veg and it super savory. Feta cheese with spicy red pepper flakes FTW.

Whole grain bread, smashed burrata, Village Farms Cabernet Estate Reserve® Tomatoes, fresh basil, balsamic reduction, freshly cracked pepper


This classic has been elevated with smashed burrata, a creamy type of mozzarella cheese. Ya’ll have to try this combo! I can’t get over the FLAVA of creamy burrata, savory tomatoes and the fresh taste of basil with tangy balsamic drizzle. Ohh my.

So raise a toast to fall with these savory breakfast toast recipes and get a healthy dose of veggies for breakfast.

Click here to see all four recipes!

This post and recipe were created exclusively for Village Farms and originally appeared on Love & Zest. Kristina LaRue, RD, CSSD is a board certified sports dietitian located in Orlando, Florida. Kristina is the author of the Love & Zest food and nutrition blog where she shares {mostly} healthy recipes with simple ingredients that are meant for real life.


Village Farms Recognized by Business In Vancouver as Fastest Growing Company


Business in Vancouver has recognized Village Farms as one of the fastest growing companies in British Columbia for 2017.  The list is compiled by Business in Vancouver, a weekly business news journal who ranks companies based on outstanding growth over the last five years. Business in Vancouver’s annual list of the fastest growing companies in British Columbia includes a wide range of entrepreneurs across many business sectors.  The list is intended to provide a representative sample of companies in the province whose entrepreneurial direction and focus are gaining highest traction through new opportunities being seeded.

About Village Farms

Village Farms is one of the largest producers, marketers, and distributors of premium-quality, greenhouse-grown fruits and vegetables in North America.  The food our farmers grow, along with other greenhouse farmers under exclusive arrangements are all grown in environmentally friendly, soil-less, glass greenhouses.  The Village Farms® brand of fruits and vegetables is marketed and distributed primarily to local retail grocers and dedicated fresh food distributors throughout the United States and Canada.  Since its inception, Village Farms has been guided by sustainability principles that enable us to grow food 365 days a year that not only feeds the growing population but is healthier for people and the planet.  Village Farms is Good for the Earth® and good for you.

See press release here.



Village Farms Donates to Relief Efforts for Victims of Hurricane Harvey


A vast expanse of 600 miles separates Village Farms’ greenhouse in Marfa, Texas from Houston but the distance to the heart is much closer.  Bright and early this morning a Village Farms tractor trailer hit the road to bridge the span of this great distance loaded with fresh produce for the Houston Food Bank.  Village Farms’ employees pitched in yesterday, Labor Day, a national holiday, to help pack the ten thousand plus pounds of fresh tomatoes slated for Hurricane Harvey relief efforts.

“Texas is a big state and many of us here at Village Farms have loved ones in Houston and the surrounding East Texas areas impacted by this storm, our hearts go out to them and so this is the least we can do to show we care”, said Jan Korteland, Regional Facility Manager of Village Farms in West Texas.

Village Farms is the largest greenhouse grower of locally grown fresh produce in Texas.  Village Farms’ hand-picked vine ripened sustainably grown greenhouse tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers are sold in major retailers all over the state.  Village Farms is hoping its donation to the Houston Food Bank will help keep Texas strong.

About Village Farms

Village Farms is one of the largest producers, marketers, and distributors of premium-quality, greenhouse-grown fruits and vegetables in North America.  The food our farmers grow, along with other greenhouse farmers under exclusive arrangements are all grown in environmentally friendly, soil-less, glass greenhouses.  The Village Farms® brand of fruits and vegetables is marketed and distributed primarily to local retail grocers and dedicated fresh food distributors throughout the United States and Canada.  Since its inception, Village Farms has been guided by sustainability principles that enable us to grow food 365 days a year that not only feeds the growing population but is healthier for people and the planet.  Village Farms is Good for the Earth® and good for you.

See press release here.


Launch Into Your Lunchbox


by Kristina LaRue, RD, Love & Zest

My nearly 22 month old baby boy starts school today! This is a big milestone (and tear jerker) as a first time parent. I’m so excited about this school year and the fun that little man is going to have…class parties, art, science experiments, and lots of play (can we all go back to preschool?)… but if I’m honest, I’m a little nervous about some stuff too.

Will he throw temper tantrums at school like he does at home? Will he adapt to drinking from a cup instead of his sippy cup that he carries everywhere? Will he last until snack time at 11 a.m. without a hunger strike? My kid gets fed whenever he’s hungry which is often at 10 a.m. Guess I’m going to have to encourage a good snack and hydration in the car ride on the way to school.

Ahhh, so many things to worry about!

He will be attending class for 3 hours two days a week, but we have the option of keeping him there two more hours for “lunch bunch”. And as a working mom, I’m sure we will be utilizing those bonus hours. So I guess that means we are entering the lunch box scene! Parents are up against a lot when it comes to their children choosing healthier foods. Between advertising, availability in school cafeterias, and the general influence of peers, parents have a lot to attempt to stand against. Luckily, there are many tips, tricks, and creative ideas to help with packing healthier options for our children, starting with the produce we choose. Village Farms assortment of fresh and delicious tomatoes and cucumbers have made things a little easier in the search for lunchbox inspiration. Here are some tips and tricks along with three out of this world lunchbox pairings.

Balance new healthy foods with their favorites – One trick I learned pretty early on when attempting to get my little one to try new fruits and vegetables over the sweet and salty processed snacks, was to pair the healthier or more challenging options alongside some of his favorite foods (enter mini chocolate chip cookies and salty crackers). If you’re trying to get your kids to enjoy the healthier options, keep offering the ones they love but in a smaller portion alongside larger portions of the healthier option. Balance is key.

Scrumptious Mini® Cucumber Roll Ups


Have some fun – Fun doesn’t only have to pertain to your kid’s lunch box design; it can also include their food. Just like adults, kids eat with their eyes so something as simple as switching up the shapes of food might make it more appealing to them. Also, color can be enticing. When you and I eat a sandwich with lettuce and tomato, we know the lettuce is green and the tomato is red, but if we display that for children the colors can draw them in. For instance, these cucumber pinwheels showcase the bright green cucumber swirled throughout – definitely more interesting and appealing to inquiring minds.

Heavenly Villagio Marzano® – BLT Kabobs


Add a dip – Another trick to try to increase children’s healthier food choices and persuade them to lean more towards fruits and vegetables would be to add a dip of some kind. Try a veggie dip or a hummus (I added a little bit of hummus to go with the carrot and cucumber sticks). Children enjoy dipping and honestly, I don’t know many adults who don’t also enjoy dipping. In fact, according to a study in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, dipping increases children’s vegetable consumption by as much as 80%!

True Rebel Mix® – Ham & Cheese Pinwheels


Just keep swimming! Perseverance is important! Don’t get completely discouraged and throw in the towel too early if your little ones return home with some of the healthier items still inside their lunchboxes. It’s all about exposure and even if they don’t eat their fruits and veggies every single time, the more their taste buds mature, the more likely they will be to develop a taste and liking for them. So, keep offering these healthy choices. It’s not in vain, I promise.

After weeks and weeks of assembling lunches it’s easy to understand that a creative roadblock might hit. I’ve prepared several ideas for lunches that are quick to assemble, nutritionally balanced, and incorporate kid favorites alongside foods that may be new to them.

Click here to see all three recipes!

This post and recipe were created exclusively for Village Farms and originally appeared on Love & Zest. Kristina LaRue, RD, CSSD is a board certified sports dietitian located in Orlando, Florida. Kristina is the author of the Love & Zest food and nutrition blog where she shares {mostly} healthy recipes with simple ingredients that are meant for real life.


Dive into health with Cucumbers


Let cucumbers fuel you this summer 

The cucumber may just be one of the most underappreciated vegetables in the produce department. Lying in the shadow of kale and avocado lately the unassuming cucumber actually has a lot to offer when it comes to health and hydration.

At Village farms we think it’s time to start giving credit where credit is due. Our Luscious Seedless Long English® and Scrumptious Mini® Cucumbers are loaded with essential nutrients and we’re here to help you make a splash with inspiration on how to feature cucumbers on your summer menu.

Crisp Cucumber Melon Salad 


Did you know that cucumbers contain multiple B vitamins, including vitamin B1, vitamin B5, and vitamin B7 (biotin)? B vitamins are known to help ease feelings of anxiety and buffer some of the damaging effects of stress. Seriously, who couldn’t use a little help with that?

Cucumbers are rich in two of the most basic elements needed for healthy digestion: water and fiber. In fact cucumbers are 95% water, making them are a great way to stay hydrated as well. Adding cucumbers to your smoothies or salads can help you meet the ideal of amount of fiber your body needs.

Refreshing Cucumber Smoothie


Vitamins K and C are also found in cucumbers, these help to promote a healthy heart and skin. These attributes and more are why you should make cucumbers part of your daily routine this summer (and always).

Not sure how to incorporate more cucumbers? Check out this fantastic line-up of cucumber recipes:

Cucumber Margarita
Cucumber Mint Popsicle
Tuna-stuffed Mini Cucumber Canoes
Cucumber Crudite with Roasted Campari Tomato Hummus
Cucumber, Mint, & Apple Smoothie





Serve a Slice of Sunshine


by Lindsay Freedman, The Toasted Pine Nut

When I think of summer food and treats one of the first things that pop into my head are tomatoes. Growing up in Jersey, summer was the signal that the most delicious tomatoes are about to descend upon us. Thanks to Village Farms we don’t have to wait for the typical tomato season anymore. Their delicious tomatoes are available year-round thanks to their sustainable growing practices.


Whether you’re slicing them for sandwiches, or throwing them in salads, there’s nothing quite like those juicy and sweet little bursts of yumminess. Even my kids pop them as snacks which always makes me smile.

Since summer is upon us, I thought making a fun tomato tart would be perfect for any family brunch or backyard barbeque! You can even make these into little tarts or play around with different shapes and sizes!

Recipe: Lorabella Blossom™ Fresh Summer Tomato Tart

I’m pretty psyched because Village Farms came out with a new tomato variety that I knew would make this tart even more sweet and special. Their Lorabella Blossom™ tomatoes are so perfectly sized and sweet. I’m telling you guys, these tomatoes are like dessert!

They are my favorite tomatoes yet! I always go for grape tomatoes because of their size and sweetness, and I love the Lorabella Blossom™ color and flavor! Something that makes them extra special is that they actually aren’t a grape tomato, but rather a cousin to the mini San Marzano tomato. San Marzano tomatoes are known the world over for their superior flavor and cooking quality.

There’s more than meets the eye when it comes to the vibrant color of these little morsels. These orange tomatoes are known to contain a special type of lycopene that is more easily absorbed by the body. So let’s make a deliciously sweet summery tomato tart!

This post and recipe were created exclusively for Village Farms and originally appeared on The Toasted Pine Nut

Step Up Your Grill Game


Ahhh, The Fourth of July, a time when America celebrates its independence from the British Empire, and this year a time for you to break away from the same old grilling habits. Sure, they say there’s nothing more American than hamburgers and hot dogs but isn’t the most American thing of all the right to reinvent yourself? Wow your block party with grilled tomatoes this year, yes – we said tomatoes.

Our exclusive tomato varieties are good for so much more than salads and sandwiches. Did you know that their flavor actually develops more when cooked?


A definite party pleaser and an easy and quick way to make sure everyone gets what they want is by setting up a build-your-own shish kabob bar. The possibilities are endless and your guests won’t know what was more fun, building them or eating them. This is a great way to accommodate any vegetarians as well. Mix and match the exceptional flavors of Village Farms Heavenly Villagio Marzano®, Cabernet Estate Reserve®, Cherry No. 9 Fall in Love Again®, Lorabella Blossom™, and True Rebel Mix® tomatoes for a beautiful presentation and a winning flavor combination every time.

Get the Recipe Here


This year the fireworks won’t just be in the sky but on your taste buds too!

For more great ideas on how to grill and roast tomatoes check out this video:







Make Your Summer Pop


by Kristina LaRue, RD, Love & Zest

Are you ready for this?

If you’re looking for more YUMMY ways to sneak in a little extra veg into your (or the fam’s) diet, look no further than making a batch (or all 4) of these savory fruit and veggie popsicles.

These whole food fruit and veggie pops will blow your mind because they are made with tomatoes and cucumbers from Village Farms! These veggies add a wonderful savory element to the pops and the fruit keeps them on the sweet side of life.

And we can’t forget about the nutrition boost that tomatoes and cucumbers add to these popsicles. Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, vitamin C, and folate. Deep red tomatoes have long been known for their high concentrations of lycopene, however don’t discount the orange varieties! New research suggests lycopene in beta-carotene rich orange tomatoes may be even better absorbed by the body.

Cucumbers consisting of mostly water, help to rehydrate and replenish electrolytes like potassium. Cucumbers are also a good source of Vitamin K, a nutrient that nourishes the health of the bone; reducing the risk of fractures. Cucumbers also have antioxidant properties, thanks to phytonutrients lignans, flavonoids, and cucurbitacins.

So now you want to add more tomatoes and cucumbers to your diet, right? We’re bringing you savory fruit and veggie popsicles 4 ways so you can have frozen savory popsicle goodness for days. Because that’s just what you need to cool off from the summer heat, or after a good sweat. Popsicles make a tasty way to hydrate too, perfect for the kiddos that can’t seem to drink enough water.

Now for the flavor lineup:

Strawberry Basil Popsicles, a sweet snack made with strawberries, basil, and Village Farms Cherry No. 9 Fall in Love Again® tomatoes
Peaches n Cream Popsicles, a creamy blend of peaches, coconut milk, honey and Village Farms Lorabella Blossom™ tomatoes.
Cucumber Melon Popsicles, a refreshing mix of honeydew melon, fresh mint, and Village Farms Scrumptious Mini® cucumbers.
Blueberry Tea Popsicles, a tangy and caffeinated treat with wild blueberries, brewed tea, lemons, honey and Village Farms Cabernet Estate Reserve® tomatoes.
We’ve got the bases covered with these savory fruit and veggie pops to fit any taste preference… sweet and earthy, smooth and creamy, cool and fresh, tangy and err caffeinated (or decaf if that’s your style),

Not only are these Savory Fruit and Veggie Popsicles tasty, but they are very easy to create at home, all you need is a blender and popsicle molds (or ice cube trays/ dixie cups + popsicle sticks).

Cheers to more Savory Fruit and Veggie Popsicles! Which flavor do you want to try first?

This post and recipe were created exclusively for Village Farms and originally appeared on Love & Zest. Kristina LaRue, RD, CSSD is a board certified sports dietitian located in Orlando, Florida. Kristina is the author of the Love & Zest food and nutrition blog where she shares {mostly} healthy recipes with simple ingredients that are meant for real life.

Village Farms to place cannabis crops in Delta greenhouses


As seen on HortiDaily on June 7villagefarmsemerald

Village Farms is getting into cannabis production. The company made an official announcement of a new joint venture agreement with Emerald Health Therapeutics, which will convert an initial 25 acres of their Ladner, B.C. greenhouse facility into a state of the art glasshouse for the annual production of 75,000 kilograms medical, and if permitted by applicable law, non-therapeutic cannabis for the adult-use market.

Village Farms, currently one of North America’s largest growers of greenhouse produce, says that the launch of the joint venture is a transformational opportunity to grow ‘a substantially more profitable agricultural product’. “Based on our conservative market pricing forecasts and yield projections, conversion of our Canadian greenhouse facilities to cannabis production could generate revenue of 10 to 15 times that of our current Canadian vegetable production with EBITDA margins potentially expanding to more than 50% compared with our current Canadian vegetable margins”, Village Farms CEO Mike DeGiglio said.


Village Farms CEO Mike DeGiglio speaking in April 2016 at the Indoor Ag-Con.

B.C.-based Emerald Health Therapeutics holds a license to cultivate and sell medical cannabis flower and oils out of its facility located in Victoria. By teaming up with Village Farms, the joint venture aims to become the lowest-cost, highest-quality cannabis producer in Canada, with a targeted production cost of less than 1.00 Canadian dollar per gram.

The transformation of the 25 acres in Ladner is the first step of the new partnership. The potential conversion of all of Village Farms’ Delta, BC greenhouse operations, if the applicable options were exercised, would conservatively be expected to yield approximately 300,000 kg of cannabis annually. Village Farms and Emerald believe this has the potential to fill a substantial portion of the potential Canadian production gap for both medical and non-therapeutic adult-use cannabis.

Village Farms’ move into the cannabis space does not come as a complete surprise. In February last year, CEO Mike DeGiglio already expressed interest in this new ‘cash crop’ during a television interview with thestreet.com. “We will be building greenhouses, expanding our distribution model where we market for our partners who grow and we will also look at alternative crops,” he then said.


DeGiglio now added that aside from their latest cannabis venture, Village Farms will remain committed to its existing greenhouse produce business and that the company does not expect that the cultivation of cannabis will have a material impact on its existing produce production and distribution business. “We remain steadfastly committed to our existing produce business. We will continue to provide our customers with the premium-quality products they have come to know and expect throughout our 30-year history,” DeGiglio said. “In fact, the favourable economics of cannabis production are expected to provide Village Farms with the financial strength and resources necessary to further expand and solidify our industry-leading position. We fully expect to continue to expand capacity in our produce business to meet customer demand by exploring consolidation opportunities, as we have successfully done in the past, and through organic initiatives at our U.S. operations.”

The Village Farms locations in Ladner are state of the art glasshouses that use specially developed technologies to use methane gas from a local landfill to generate heat and electricity to grow tomato crops.

Click here for Village Farms press release “Village Farms International and Emerald Health form Joint Venture for Large-Scale Greenhouse Cannabis Production”

Village Farms Celebrates Local During BC Greenhouse Veggie Days


DELTA, BC – Village Farms is celebrating local this week by participating in BC Greenhouse Veggie Days as a member of the BC Greenhouse Growers’ Association. BC Greenhouse Veggie Days was created to promote buying local, fresh, nutritious veggies provided by the greenhouse sector.

The event runs from Friday, May 26 – Saturday, June 3. During that time shoppers will see products stickered with the BC Greenhouse Veggie Days logo and point of sale materials highlighting local produce at 140 participating Real Canadian Superstore, Overwaitea and independent store locations throughout British Columbia, Canada.

The event culminates with in-store visits by greenhouse farmers for most of the day on June 3 at the participating retailers.  Village Farms will also be sampling exclusive varieties of tomatoes and provide giveaways for participants of the event.  “We are excited to be participating in BC Veggie Days again this year.  It is a wonderful program that provides greater awareness of the greenhouse sector and gives consumers the chance to talk to our farmers about Village Farms sustainable growing methods,” said Helen L. Aquino, Director of Brand Marketing & Communication for Village Farms.”

Set the Scene for Summer


by Zest My Lemon

Memorial Day is an American holiday observed on the last Monday of May. It honors the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. Formerly known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971.

To many it’s also considered the unofficial start of summer. A time to enjoy the outdoors with friends and family when grilling season finally comes back into play. A time when seasonal produce starts growing strong and the farmers markets are far from scarce. There’s nothing like serving up refreshing summer salads filled with fresh flavors alone or as a side dish to complement any BBQ.


My love for Village Farms tomatoes is real. There are so many different vibrant and delicious types to choose from you just can’t go wrong. With just the right amount of sweet and savory to level out my taste buds they are extremely versatile and filled with many health benefits. They are rich in lycopene and full of other essential nutrients and antioxidants. So really what’s not to love? What even better….you aren’t limited to seasonality. Village Farms grows in sustainable greenhouses so you can have the taste of summer all year-round.

A few tips for choosing tomatoes – I make sure they are firm and deeply colored with a sweet earthy smell. I store them at room temperature for the optimum flavor and lay the larger tomatoes stem side down to keep them fresher longer. I let them ripen so they are slightly soft, juicy and bursting with flavor in my dishes. One of my all-time favorite tomato pairings and a wildly popular meal addition these days is avocado. The sweetness of the tomato mixed with the creaminess of the avocado creates a medley of goodness.

Recipe: True Rebel Mix® Tomacado Summer Salad


Village Farms True Rebel Mix® tomatoes are just right for this recipe because they contain a mix of 4 to 6 exclusive varieties each with a distinct shape and flavor and they create a beautiful and colorful presentation. They are hand-picked at the peak of flavor so each one is simply perfect.

This Grilled Corn, Tomato & Avocado salad with hemp seeds screams everything summer and is filled with refreshing flavors. The smokiness of the grilled corn, the citrusy burst of the lime, the fresh cool flavor of the cilantro and the nuttiness of the hemp seeds combined with the sweet tomato and creaminess of the avocado create a luscious burst of mouthwatering goodness. So grab a bowl and head to the pool – summer has officially arrived!

This post and recipe were created exclusively for Village Farms and originally appeared on Zest My Lemon.

Fiesta Like There’s No Mañana


by Diana Pittet

Cinco de Mayo is not what you think it is.

The Fifth of May does not mark Mexican independence from Spanish control. That’s Diecisés de Septiembre, or the Sixteenth of September. Nor is the day celebrated throughout Mexico. Only the State of Puebla considers it a holiday.

So what exactly is Cinco de Mayo?

On May 5, 1862 (52 years after September 16, 1810), the Mexican Army did the extraordinary. Numbering only 2,000, Mexican troops defeated the French–6,000 men strong—at the Battle of Puebla.  Under the leadership of Napoleon III, the French army was strategizing the occupation of Mexico to establish a Latin empire there. Although Mexico’s victory at Puebla did not stop its eventual occupation by the French in 1863, it did foster a sense of national unity, strength, and patriotism. This is the reason it is celebrated every year in Puebla.

North of the border and elsewhere in the world, Cinco de Mayo has transformed into a celebration of Mexican culture, cuisine, and drink. Nothing wrong with that! What better way to commemorate this than with two Mexican classics–salsa and tequila. These two recipes center around Village Farms produce, and rightly so. Village Farm tomatoes and cucumbers capture the vibrant, in-season flavors of Mexico’s extraordinary cuisine.

Recipe: Sinfully Sweet Campari® Fresh Tomato Salsa

Recipe: Luscious Long English® Cucumber Margarita

Special thanks to Diana Pittet who is a Cheesemonger at The Cheese Cave, Little Silver, N.J. Diana also serves as Vice Chair, NYWCA Renewing Members, Co-Founder of the Night Owl Hospitality & AP Whisky Club, and a Writer, Consultant & Tour Guide for Food & Drink.

Earth Day is Every Day


by A Couple Cooks

Alex and I were born in the 1980’s; we were those 8-year-olds who planted trees for Earth Day and worried about alternative fuel sources. But it wasn’t until adulthood that we realized that the food we eat can also affect the Earth–in both positive and negative ways. Today we’re foodies who typically wouldn’t be caught dead making a dish with out of season, non-local tomatoes. We stand in support of our local farmers and against out-of-season, tasteless big-box store tomatoes. However, at the same time: we realize that in order to feed our world, we need diversity in food growing practices. As idealistic as it sounds, we’re not going to feed the world with 100% local veggie farmers.


It’s estimated that by 2050 we’ll have an additional 2 billion people in this world, and to feed them we’ll need to double the amount of crops we grow. To make that happen, Alex and I believe that organizations of all kinds are going to have to lean and green up their growing practices: from small and local farmers to large and national businesses.

Recipe: Heavenly Villagio Marzano® Chickpea Fattoush Nourish Bowl


To celebrate Earth Day this year, we’ve teamed up with Village Farms to create a recipe with their greenhouse-grown tomatoes. Yes, we’re all about local, soil-grown summer tomatoes. At the same time, growing tomatoes using hydroponics (growing in water) in a greenhouse allows for the season to be extended. And using sustainable growing practices and avoiding chemicals makes Village Farms a viable option for fresh produce year round. A couple points that stuck out to us about Village Farms’ practices:

  • They use 86% less water compared to the average tomato grown outdoors.
  • They use 97% less land to grow the same amount of tomatoes grown outdoors.
  • Beneficial insects to control pests and stimulate healthy plant growth, instead of harmful chemicals.
  • These growing methods result in ripe, juicy flavorful tomatoes (not tasteless and mealy)

To celebrate Earth Day, we’ve created this chickpea fattoush bowl featuring Heavenly Villagio Marzano®. Fattoush is a Lebanese salad that’s a mix of herbs, cucumber, tomatoes, and crispy pita pieces, brightened with the flavor of sumac, a traditional spice. This recipe is a nourish bowl inspired by the concept of fattoush; we’ve added spiced chickpeas to make it more filling. Since sumac is a unique spice, we’ve used lemon zest here to mimic its tart flavor–but if you prefer to be authentic, you can find it online! We tried it with both sumac and lemon zest, and enjoyed it both ways. We hope you’ll enjoy the recipe — and would love to hear your thoughts on feeding the world!

This post and recipe were created exclusively for Village Farms and originally appeared on A Couple Cooks.


Spring has Sprung: Reawaken Your Taste Buds


by Diana Pittet

Spring is the season of hope and promises, when the earth, held for too long in the fallow grip of winter, finally reawakens. In the glow of pleasantly warm sunshine, green shoots come forth from the ground and trees, and farms are alive with the birth of animals. It’s also the season when heavy comfort foods lose their appeal and meals become lighter and fresher, just like springtime days themselves.

What’s to come in this blog are two recipes that combine eggs and tomatoes. At the start, it should be said that the tomato probably isn’t the first vegetable that comes to mind when one thinks of spring. Leeks, asparagus, ramps, new potatoes, and baby artichokes are more like it. Two things about that: 1) tomatoes are always delightfully in season thanks to Village Farms and their innovative growing techniques and 2) spring is also the time for fresh thinking, so rethink tomatoes! They’re delicious at this hopeful time of year, adding brightness, both in color and taste, to your meals.

Recipe: True Rebel Mix® Tomato and Egg Bake


The first recipe, colorful True Rebel Mix® Tomato and Egg Bake, couldn’t be simpler, requiring just one dish for preparation and cooking. This might be just what you need if you’ve exhausted yourself after hosting and feeding family and friends for the holiday, or you’ve spent hours in the garden getting it ready for summer. For this dish, I chose True Rebel Mix® because the assortment reminds me of the brilliant colors of dyed eggs in an Easter basket. Baking the tomatoes at high heat preserves their various colors and shapes, and tossing in fresh herbs balances their sweetness and pumps up the vibrancy. So easy to make, this could become your go-to dish for any day of the week, any season.

Recipe: Sinfully Sweet Campari® Tomato, Asparagus, and Leek Strata


The other recipe, Sinfully Sweet Campari® Tomato, Asparagus, and Leek Strata, is a bit more involved, but it too offers convenience. Since it can be assembled hours in advance–preferably so–you can make it the day or night before and then serve it at brunch. This means there’s no need to wake up extra early to prepare it. Just pop it in the oven. To highlight the springtime nature of the strata–basically a savory bread pudding–I’ve included asparagus and leeks along with the Sinfully Sweet Campari® tomatoes whose sweet-tartness help cut through the richness of eggs, milk and cheese. Come summer you can still make a strata; keep the tomatoes and swap out the other veggies for zucchini. In the fall, try roasted butternut squash; and in the depths of winter, kale.

Happy Spring!

Special thanks to Diana Pittet who serves as Vice Chair, NYWCA Renewing Members, Co-Founder of the Night Owl Hospitality & AP Whisky Club, and a Writer, Consultant & Tour Guide for Food & Drink

Your Health is in Your Hands


by Kristina LaRue, RD, Love & Zest

Are you ready for some more breakfast eatin’!? Get excited because these Skillet Breakfast Tacos with Chorizo and Village Farms Cabernet Estate Reserve® Tomatoes are da bomb dot com. Like literally flavor explosion in every bite. This recipe is one of those can’t stop, won’t stop type of breakfast recipes. Seconds? Yes, please!

We are Mexican food all day err day type of people. It doesn’t have to be Tuesday for taco night (or breakfast) at our house! You know what I mean? Please tell me you are a taco loving person too. Because SKILLET BREAKFAST TACOS with Chorizo and Tomatoes, are on repeat over at our casa.

Recipe: Sauteéd Tomato & Chorizo Skillet Breakfast Tacos 


I love creating simple easy-to-make recipes that are fit for active lifestyles…because let’s be honest. Nobody’s got time for complicated meal preppin…not even this “I cook for my job” food blogger. Some people think we eat all gourmet all.the.time because the images on the site look all fancy and stuff… so I felt like I should deliver this PSA today.

While pretty pictures are my day job, perfectly planned gourmet meals are the farthest from reality in our house. Just go ask my husband. I look up to all of you moms that have it together enough to crank out family meals seated at the table day after day with all the food groups. #momgoals

Truth be told, I’m an instant pot newbie, sheet pan dinner, and simple skillet lovin kind of gal. Anything to get me out of doing ALL THE DISHES. So now you know why I make you thinks like easy breakfast tacos MADE IN THE SKILLET, because real people like me gotta put breakfast and dinner on the table errr up for grabs too. We eat standing up or on the couch most days.


This recipe was developed in partnership with Village Farms who have the most flavorful tomatoes your mouth has ever tasted. Remember those Shrimp and Cherry Tomato Cheesy Cauliflower Grits that you all swooned over last week using their tomatoes?? For reals, get your hands on Village Farms tomatoes ASAP.

I was inspired to create this Skillet Breakfast Taco recipe with their Cabernet Estate Reserve® Tomatoes because they have this beautiful crimson brown color and taste warm and bold, yet sweet and oh-so-fresh all at the same time. It’s a really fun tomato to eat, especially in a savory breakfast.

These tomatoes are more than gorgeous, as their unique crimson brown color contributes beneficial flavonoids that helps with improving blood flow and proper brain function. A cup of cherry tomatoes contains 350mg of potassium; a nutrient important for blood vessel health. Potassium is considered a shortfall nutrient in the diet. In fact, most people are only consuming half of the potassium they need for healthy blood pressure and bone health.

And remember tomatoes are even more nutritious when cooked because heat increases their lycopene concentration and makes it easier for the body to absorb … so into the skillet they go.

Skillet Breakfast Tacos are one of those brinner (breakfast for dinner) type of recipes… because they are hearty and flavorful enough to eat at the end or beginning of your day. Leftovers, I’m talking about you! If you’re of the meal prepping type and need breakfast in a hurry (who doesn’t??), this recipe is for you.

Prep the skillet breakfast taco mixture in advance and stuff it in the taco in the morning right before you stuff it in your mouth as you’re running out the door. See what I did there, I’ve made you the ultimate breakfast on the go.

So go ahead and do yourself a favor…get your skillet breakfast taco on!

This post and recipe were created exclusively for Village Farms and originally appeared on Love & Zest. Kristina LaRue, RD, CSSD is a board certified sports dietitian located in Orlando, Florida. Kristina is the author of the Love & Zest food and nutrition blog where she shares {mostly} healthy recipes with simple ingredients that are meant for real life.

Wake Up to Something Savory


by Kristina LaRue, RD, Love & Zest

You guys, breakfast. It is the most important meal to me because breakfast food is my jam… in case you were wondering. And while I love me some pancakes and waffles and smoothies… savory breakfast foods like eggs and bacon and shrimp and cheesy cauliflower grits with tomatoes are like EVEN BETTA.

I think I’m drawn to these savory style breakfasts because they are protein and veggie packed. Those two ingredients are the key to a healthy and balanced diet. Most people don’t get in a enough protein or veggies at breakfast time, so Shrimp and Cherry Tomatoes over Cheesy Cauliflower Grits to the rescue!!

This month is National Nutrition Month, so as an RD I’m bringing you this bowl of chedda grits to celebrate this nutrition holiday because who doesn’t love cheesy cheddar grits?

Speaking of nutrition, I’ve teamed up with Village Farms, the leading producer of greenhouse grown tomatoes that are naturally GMO free. I’m so passionate about this company and their products that I’m proud to partner with them to bring you some breakfast tomato goodness this month. So get excited.

Recipe: Shrimp and Cherry No. 9 Fall in Love Again Tomatoes over Cheesy Cauliflower Grits


I kid you not, their tomatoes will make your life. The Village Farms Cherry No. 9 Fall In Love Again tomato is one of the sweetest cherry tomatoes on the market! I love snacking on these babies right out of the container but they are perfect for grilling, roasting, and sauteing because their flavor develops even more when cooked. The taste cannot be beat in my book. Have you tried them?

At only 20 calories and 4 grams of carbohydrate for 6 cherry tomatoes, they pack a big nutritional punch when looking at their antioxidant profile. Tomatoes are rich carotenoids which have been shown to inactivate free radicals, slow the development of atherosclerosis (plaque build up in the arteries), and even protect against cancer. Lycopene, a carotenoid that’s plentiful in tomatoes, has been linked to a lower stroke risk. That sounds like a mighty feat for the tiny tomato, but they’ve proved to get the job done!

Oh and turn up the heat! Cooking the tomato provides big benefits because it unlocks the nutrition. In fact, heat through cooking increases the lycopene concentration and makes it easier for the body to absorb. All the more reason to dig into this bowl of Shrimp and Cherry Tomatoes over Cheesy Cauliflower Grits!

This post and recipe were created exclusively for Village Farms and originally appeared on Love & Zest. Kristina LaRue, RD, CSSD is a board certified sports dietitian located in Orlando, Florida. Kristina is the author of the Love & Zest food and nutrition blog where she shares {mostly} healthy recipes with simple ingredients that are meant for real life.

Dazzle Your Sweetheart with a Delicious Date Night In


Did you know that the French long thought the tomato to be an aphrodisiac and nicknamed it the “pomme d’amour”, or the “love apple”? While we can’t say if that is scientifically true, we do think the French know a thing or two about romance. Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and if you really want to dazzle your sweetheart give each other the gift of time – a delicious date night in is just the ticket!heart

This year reconnect with your special someone in the kitchen. There’s no place like home for an intimate evening. So put on some music and settle in for a relaxing evening.

Meet Alex and Diana, this young couple has been together for 15 years and with a budding family they crave late nights where they can just focus on each other without any interruptions. This Valentine’s Day they decided to surprise each other with easy, quick and budget-friendly dishes using Village Farms tomatoes.


Diana created a first course Sinfully Sweet Campari® caprese salad that gives you a juicy way to start the evening. The richness of the fresh mozzarella whets your appetite and a tantalizing homemade balsamic drizzle with honey makes it extra special.


Alex was inspired to use an Italian flavor he knows Diana loves but transformed it into an enticing flatbread. In this case chicken cacciatore showcasing Heavenly Villagio Marzano® tomatoes was perfect. He was able to reinvigorate some leftover roasted chicken by quickly sautéing it with olive oil herbs and onions, a trick sure to impress!

Cooking with and for the ones you love is all about enjoying the experience and the time spent together. So light some candles, turn down the lights, and turn up the romance to make your Valentine’s Day (or any day) sweet and heavenly with a little help from Village Farms.

Get these recipes created exclusively for Village Farms:
Caprese Salad by Everyday Salads
Chicken Cacciatore Flatbread by Meal Prep Mondays

Village Farms – Year of Empowering the Chef Within


It may be the year of the fire rooster according to the Chinese New Year calendar but here at Village Farms 2017 is the year to “Empower the Chef Within”.  The fire rooster moves at high speeds and has a sharp focus and drive, always determined to reach its goals and we want the same for you! You may not think of yourself as a chef, you may not even really cook, but one thing’s for certain – we all have to eat. There are countless reasons we find ourselves leaning on take-out, meal kits, or frozen dinners to satisfy our hunger. As our society has transitioned into such a fast-paced environment a more eat-to-live versus live-to-eat mindset has emerged. The traditional family dinner and the preparation that go along with it have suffered, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

This year we’ll be providing you with the tools to get back to the dinner (or lunch, or breakfast table) using our fresh, healthy products in a way that is approachable and best fits your lifestyle. Whether you’re looking to eat healthy, cook on a budget or spend less time in the kitchen we’ve got you covered and more this year. Being a chef doesn’t have to mean weeks of training, hours of slaving over a stove or piles of dishes, it’s about creating meals we enjoy. Fresh, healthy, homemade meals are just around the corner and we’re here to help.


Tomato Tips:

Choosing – Look for bright colors, the green star (calyx) where the vine is attached to the tomato (if it’s on the vine) should be green and supple, not brown, shriveled or dry.


Storing – Tomatoes should be stored at room temperature for optimum flavor and texture. If it’s absolutely necessary they can be put in the refrigerator, however we recommend allowing them to come back to room temperature before enjoying them.

Prepping – When it comes to cutting your tomatoes, it’s all about deciding ahead of time what their final use will be. For larger beefsteak tomatoes, like what’s typically used on sandwiches you may want slices, so place the tomato on its side and simply make them as thick as you’d like. For a hearty tomato salad slicing the tomatoes in half first and placing them flat side down on the cutting board will give you a more stable tomato to cut into wedges or quarters.

For smaller varieties like Campari, cherry, and grape tomatoes if you cut them in half at the stem you’ll get tomatoes that hold their pulp and juices better whereas if you cut them into quarters you’re allowing those juices to disseminate, which is great for salsas and bruschetta.

Our mini San Marzano tomato has a unique oblong shape, often leaving people wondering just how to cut it. Slicing them long-ways once or twice works great for adding them as a pizza topping or if you want them to hold up a little better in the oven. Cutting them into coins (as shown in the video) is a great option for salads or thicker sauces!


Now put some of these skills to the test, check out our recipe page and Empower the Chef Within!




Village Farms Named to 2017 OTCQX Best 50


 Vancouver, B.C., February 2, 2017 – Village Farms International Inc. (Village Farms) (VFF.TSX) (OTCQX:VFFIF),  is pleased to announce it has been named to the 2017 OTCQX® Best 50, a ranking of top performing companies traded on the OTCQX Best Market last year.


otcqx-logoThe OTCQX Best 50 is an annual ranking of the top 50 U.S. and international companies traded on the OTCQX market.  The ranking is calculated based on an equal weighting of one-year total return and average daily dollar volume growth in the previous calendar year.  Companies in the 2017 OTCQX Best 50 were ranked based on their performance in 2016.

Michael A. DeGiglio, President & CEO of Village Farms had this to say upon receiving the award, “It is uncommon enough for a high tech agriculturally driven consumer products company to be publicly traded while at the same time excelling to rank as one of the top performing companies traded on OTCQX. Village Farms wishes to acknowledge with great appreciation the support of the OTCQX market for this award.  We are motivated to continue to drive greater profitability and growth in revenue fueled by the re-energized business climate of 2017 as we continue to diversify our product line applications across broader international consumer markets.”

For the complete 2017 OTCQX Best 50 ranking, visit http://web.otcmarkets.com/otcqx-best-50/

The OTCQX Best Market offers transparent and efficient trading of established, investor-focused U.S. and global companies. To qualify for the OTCQX market, companies must meet high financial standards, follow best practice corporate governance, demonstrate compliance with U.S. securities laws and have a professional third-party sponsor introduction. The companies found on OTCQX are distinguished by the integrity of their operations and diligence with which they convey their qualifications.

See press release here.


Make this Game Epic


by Lori Yates, Foxes Love Lemons

Big news – my town finally has a butcher shop! This was all kinds of exciting to me, because being able to call them up and order exactly the cut of meat I’d like is ever so much more exciting than relying on the local grocery store to just sell me whatever happens to be available. One of my very first special orders at the new butcher shop was five pounds of pork belly. That big ol’ hunk of beautiful meat was destined for these Pork Belly & Tomato Jam Sliders.

I placed my order and then anxiously awaited the pick-up date. Not even a little snowstorm could keep me from the butcher shop that morning. I brought the lovingly-wrapped pork belly home and roasted it low and slow for hours, until it was super tender and just begging to be sliced up for sandwiches.


Recipe: Pork Belly & Tomato Jam Sliders



While the pork belly was roasting away in the oven, I used my stovetop space to whip up a tomato jam using Village Farms heavenly villagio marzano® tomatoes. These juicy bite-sized tomatoes have an incredibly sweet flavor, making them ideal for jamming (that’s the correct verb for “the act of making jam,” right? Let’s go with it). The jam is as simple as combining a few pounds of tomatoes with some brown sugar, sherry vinegar, ginger, cumin, allspice and red pepper flakes, and then letting it simmer for an hour or so until it . . . looks like jam.

The irony of this story is, of course, that the sweet and savory, intensely tomato-flavored jam was so heavenly that IT ended up being the star of the show. Heck, that tomato jam could make a piece of cardboard taste as decadent as pork belly. So, after years and years of waiting for a butcher shop, it turns out that a few bags of tomatoes were the star of the day. Life’s funny like that, isn’t it?

P.S. If you have any leftover jam, dunk a grilled cheese sandwich into it. Trust me.

This post originally appeared on Foxes Love Lemons.

Toasted Ravioli Nachos for the Big Game


by Lori Yates, Foxes Love Lemons

OK, so before I even talk to you guys about this recipe, please know that my husband is trying to make the word “ravilachos” happen. He doesn’t think “ravioli nachos” is catchy enough, and he just really, really wants everybody to call these “ravilachos.” Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way . . .

Why did I create ravilachos? THERE I SAID IT. I knew that Epic Game Day MUST have nachos. But, I was having trouble thinking of a creative topping idea. So, what if I swapped the chips for . . . something else? I’ve seen breakfast nachos made with waffles, so people have already branched out from the typical tortilla chips. I slept on it, and when I woke up in the morning, the words “toasted ravioli nachos” were dancing on my brain.

I wasn’t sure how well the ravioli would stand up as the “chip”, but Jeff convinced me to give it a try for dinner one night (twist my arm), and it actually worked really well. You COULD eat these with a fork, but you can also totally eat them with your fingers, too. As long as you get the ravioli nice and toasty before assembling the nachos, they’re sturdy enough to hold up to all the toppings!

Recipe: Toasted Ravioli Nachos


Speaking of the toppings, the gang’s all here. All the nachos fixings you could need or want, because I like my nachos LOADED. The meat is inside the ravioli (I used beef-filled toasted ravioli), but you could also use cheese ravioli to make these vegetarian. I’ll be honest and tell you that the black beans kind of roll around a bit, so if you’re set on eating these with your fingers, I would substitute refried beans.

If you ask me, a pan of nachos simply isn’t complete without a generous sprinkling of juicy tomatoes. These campari tomatoes add moisture to the dish (as the breading on the raviolis can be dry), and they add a nice hit of sweet acidity, too. Here, I used Village Farms sinfully sweet campari® tomatoes. They’re a little bit larger than a cherry tomato, but not huge – the perfect size for chopping up for nachos. They’re great in salads, on sandwiches, for making marinara sauce, and oh, FOR RAVILACHOS. Alright, maybe it is sort of catchy.


This post originally appeared on Foxes Love Lemons.


Cucumbers are Your Resolution Solution


Let these cucumber smoothies gratify those post-holiday sweet and savory cravings

img_0740With all those sugary stocking stuffers and salty leftovers hanging around you may be finding it difficult to kick start those health-related New Year’s resolutions but Village Farms has the answer. You don’t have to give up that sweet and savory balance you love – just channel it in a different direction. Our Sweet Apple and Mint and Savory Breakfast Smoothie are two variations of craveable cucumber smoothies that can start your day right and keep you on track when snack time rolls around.

2015-05-20-15-40-16Talk about convenience, these recipes only dirty up one dish and are something the whole family can enjoy, you can even get the kids involved when you’re combining ingredients – because, let’s face it, if they help you make it they’re more likely to eat it!

The cucumber, apple and mint recipe swaps processed sugars for whole fruits like apples, pears, Mini Cucumbersor bananas. They sneak in some nutrient rich spinach and kale too. Looking more to skip the salt but keep the flavor? The cucumber and bell pepper recipe uses fresh ginger to provide a kick and parsley and lime juice to provide that rich, savory flavor.

Village Farms’ Luscious Seedless Long English® and Scrumptious produce-luscious-seedless-long-englishMini® Cucumbers are loaded with essential nutrients like vitamins K and C and promote a healthy heart and skin. At 95% water they are a great way to stay hydrated as well. These attributes and more make cucumbers a great vegetable to help you start the New Year on the right


Village Farms Unveils Online Pairing Guide for Fresh Tomatoes and Cheeses

ANUK Blog Photo


As seen on AndNowUKnow® on December 26 

Village Farms Unveils Online Pairing Guide for Fresh Tomatoes and Cheeses

DELTA, BC & MARFA, TX – Consumers looking for exciting snack options as the climax of the holiday Mini San Marzano Cheeseseason draws nearer should take note; Village Farms bite-size tomato varieties pair perfectly with a variety of cheeses, and offer a clever twist when swapped in for a cheeseboard’s traditional bunch of grapes.

The company is offering a new pairing guide on their website, offering easy solutions for holiday meal-making and entertaining-
solutions pairing the sweetness and acidity of tomatoes with the richness of dairy.

“Our selection of exclusive varieties stems from a passion for tomatoes, and a close collaboration with our global seed providers. Together we look at fruit that will have debi_street_village_farms_vp_innovation_variety_developementthat wow factor in what I call a ‘taste experience’,” said Debi Street, Vice President of Variety Development and Innovation for Village Farms. “Fruit that passes the test provides flavor that is distinctive, mouth-watering, and delicious. Our Heavenly Villagio Marzano®, Cherry No. 9 Fall in Love Again®, True Rebel Mix®, and Cabernet Estate Reserve® varieties all possess these appetizing attributes and they pair perfectly with creative culinary offerings.”

Produce departments feeling left in the lurch by shoppers gravitating toward festive baked treats can use the company’s cheese and tomato guide to capitalize on unique cross-promotional sales opportunities this season. The guide offers a fresh take chno9anukblogon a traditional holiday fare.

And in a season that encourages overindulging, fresh tomatoes can be a welcome addition to any holiday spread—no cooking, prepping, or premeditation required—and are an excellent way to get a head start on New Year’s resolutions.

Village Farms’ quick and easy pairing guide is available through the What’s Fresh section of the company’s website, and offers tips to further enhance cheese and tomato platters with charcuterie, crackers, and more.

For more on unique ways to drive sales in the produce department, stay tuned to AndNowUKnow.


Happy Christmas, Texas-Style


Heavenly Villagio Marzano® Tomato Galette

by Chef Impersonator

So I realize you don’t know me, but I’m really not a baker. Really. I’m a huge cook, but I really don’t bake. Not pies. Not cakes. Not cookies. Not tarts. Not breads. Nothing.

But this is one recipe that even us non-bakers can make. And it’s so darn delicious and so darn simple that you’re going to make it all the time. My Heavenly Village Marzano® Tomato Galette uses, and I say this with no shame whatsoever, a store-bought Pillsbury Pie Crust, some caramelized onions, shredded white cheddar and my very favorite little tomato, the Heavenly Villagio Marzano®. (If you happen to be a baker, and more props to you if you are, go ahead and make your own crust you big showoff!)


I don’t know how they do it at Village Farms, but I promise you these mini san marzano tomatoes are the best little tomatoes you’ll ever eat. I use them for everything. And when it’s arranged on the top of this open rustic galette (or tart), it’s not only beautiful, it’s like heaven in your mouth. (does that even make sense?) You get what I mean. These tomatoes are amazing!

Galette: a fancy French word for tart – use it and impress your friends. wink. wink.

Once you’ve caramelized your onions, the rest is fast and easy. Bring the dough to room temperature, drain the onions, and place onions, shredded white cheddar and those lovely sliced mini san marzano tomatoes inside the crust in that order. Fold up the edges and bake. It’s pretty small, about the size of a personal pan pizza, so you won’t feed an army on this. But it’s perfect to share with the one you love with a nice salad on the side on Christmas Eve.

Merry Christmas!


Recipe – Heavenly Villagio Marzano® Tomato Galette

Recipe and photography by Nancy Farrar


Cheese and Tomato Pairings for the Perfect Party


Do something different this holiday: Follow this guide for the perfect cheese and tomato pairings

by Diana Pittet

Nothing signals a special holiday gathering like a cheese platter. Put one on the table and watch the crowd, drink in hand, gather around for a generous slice from a wedge of cheese.

This festive season, instead of garnishing your cheese board with a typical bunch of grapes, surprise, delight, and nourish your guests with some pop-them-in-your-mouth tomatoes.

Swapping grapes for any variety of Village Farms tomatoes may seem unconventional, but it’s not as strange as you may think. Remember: tomatoes are fruits, after all, and they are wonderful companions to cheese, their sweet acidity playing off the richness of the dairy. In a season of regretful overindulging, tomatoes will be a welcome relief for your guests. And it’s super easy for you as the host – no cooking or prepping needed.

Here are some tips for creating your own winning tomato and cheese platters during the winter holidays or scroll down for some pre-set pairings:

Cheese Platter Principles

Variety is key. Just as True Rebel Mix™ is an appealing assortment of colors, flavors, shapes and sizes, so too should your cheese platter. Mix it up with different milk types (cow, sheep, goat, water buffalo); textures (soft; creamy; firm; hard); and styles (fresh–chevre or mozzarella; bloomy rind–think brie; stinky, Cheddar; alpine–Gruyere is an example; blue; etc.). Simply arrange them on a plate and place a bowl of True Rebel Mix™ in the center.

White Cheeses with Red Tomatoes

Pairing Principles

The pairings can be more deliberate than just putting out a mix of cheeses and tomatoes. Select the perfect cheese for a specific Village Farms tomato, just as people pour a particular wine to complement a singular cheese. Rarely are there wrong combinations for a pairing, but there are certainly more successful ones.

Here are three guidelines to steer you in the right direction:

1. Pair like with like. For example, a sweet tomato with a cheese with sweet notes, such as an aged Gouda
2. Pair contrasting flavors, like a salty cheese with a sweet tomato, (think pretzels with chocolate)
3. Pair geographical partners, like a tomato of southern Italian origins with a cheese from that region

Specific Pairings

I used a combination of the three principles for the following tomato pairings.

Cherry No. 9 Fall in Love Again® & Goat Cheese

When I think of Provence, the southern region of France from where this petite round tomato hails, I think of goat’s milk cheese. For this reason I suggest a fresh goat’s milk cheese–called chevre–or a semi-aged one, such as French bucheron, a goat’s milk brie, or Bannon, for these visually cheerful fruits. This coupling makes gustatory sense, too, as the lemony brightness of the cheese is nicely complemented by the intense sweetness of the cherry tomatoes. For something special, select a goat’s milk cheese mixed or rubbed with Provencal herbs, such as lavender, rosemary, or thyme.

Heavenly Villagio Marzano® & Italian Cheese

What makes more sense that pairing an Italian tomato with Italian cheese? There are so many directions that you can go in to make bella figura: A bowl of fresh ricotta drizzled with olive oil and fresh herbs; a hunk of Parmigiano Reggiano to chip at; a luscious burrata with a sprinkle of olive oil and black pepper; a wedge of Gorgonzola–any or all served with an accompanying bowl of these heavenly mini san marzano tomatoes. With a little prep, you could skewer the mini tomatoes with cherry-sized balls of mozzarella, for your guests’ ease and delight.

Cabernet Estate Reserve™ & Sheep’s Milk Cheese

There is no single type of cheese that dominates the middle of the Mediterranean region where the distinctively dark Cabernet Estate Reserve™ was born, but there are indeed quite a variety of sheep’s milk cheeses, each style of which will pair beautifully with the deep flavor of the tomatoes. There are flocks of options: Manchego or Idiazabal from Spain, P’tit Basque or Abbaye de Belloc from France, Pecorino Toscano or Moliterno from Italy; Feta or Halloumi from Greece; Paksi Sir from Croatia–just to name a few. To be especially luxurious at the holidays, be extravagant and offer a sheep’s milk cheese studded with truffles, such as Cacio di Bosco al Tartufo.

Special thanks to Diana Pittet who is a Cheesemonger at The Cheese Cave, Little Silver, N.J. Diana also serves as Vice Chair, NYWCA Renewing Members, Co-Founder of the Night Owl Hospitality & AP Whisky Club, and a Writer, Consultant & Tour Guide for Food & Drink


An old-fashioned Texas Christmas

Cherry No. 9 Thumbprint Cookies

Thumbprint Cookies with Cherry No. 9 Fall in Love Again® Pepper Jelly Jam

by Chef Impersonator

This Texas Christmas recipe combines not one, but two of my favorite food traditions – my grandmother’s Christmas thumbprint cookie recipe, and a filling made with Village Farms Cherry No. 9 Fall in Love Again® tomatoes, mixed with Texas red pepper jelly.

Texans love their hot, spicy jams and jellies! Red pepper jelly isn’t quite as hot as a jalapeño jelly, and blends perfectly with the red, juicy cherry tomatoes. It’s also a break from the traditional super-sweet raspberry jam filling you typically see in thumbprint cookies. The cherry tomatoes are perfect because of their bright red color and their smooth, sweet flavor. The filling is savory, spicy and sweet all at the same time. All you do is combine the cherry tomatoes with red pepper jelly and a bit of sugar and you’re done!

Cherry No. 9 Thumbprint Cookies

Cherry No. 9 Thumbprint Cookies

The cookie dough recipe is so simple even I can make it. I’m not a baker, but this dough takes about 5 minutes, which makes it perfect at this busy holiday time. Be sure to freeze the formed cookies for 15 minutes BEFORE baking. It keeps them from losing their shape in the oven. You fill them with the luscious cherry no. 9 pepper jelly jam when they come out of the oven.

Cherry No. 9 Thumbprint Cookies

Recipe – Thumbprint Cookies with Cherry No. 9 Fall in Love Again® Pepper Jelly Jam

Recipe and photography by Nancy Farrar


A very Texas Christmas

Cabernet Estate Reserve Tamales

A Village Farms Texas Christmas: Hot Damn, Tamales! with Cabernet Estate Reserve Tomato™ Chili Sauce

by Chef Impersonator

I moved to Texas right out of college, and it’s been home now for over 30 years. And as they say:

“I’m not from Texas, but I got here as fast as I could.” 

That old adage is totally true. It’s just a place you want to be. The people, the places, the pride and the food are all what make this state the place I’m proud to call home.

There are lots and lots of food traditions in this great state, but none is stronger and more deeply rooted than making and eating tamales at Christmas. The word tamale actually means “wrapped food” and is found in recorded Mayan history as far back as 5000 BC. The process of making tamales is an all day affair, and that would be the reason why I don’t actually make them.

Now I love to cook and I’ll cook all day long, but why do all that work when there are so many places all over Texas that put every ounce of love they have into making their own tamales? So I buy mine from my friends at Hot Damn, Tamales! in Fort Worth, Texas and I make these little packets of deliciousness my own with the sauces I create to go with them. Hot Damn, Tamales! will ship anywhere in the U.S., so you have no excuse not to get some.

Cabernet Estate Reserve Tamales

This first recipe is a tomato chili sauce I created that combines Village Farms Cabernet Estate Reserve™ tomatoes with mild, fragrant, dried Pasilla chiles. When rehydrated and popped in the Ninja Blender or food processor with some onion, beef stock and spices, you get a tomatoey, smoky sauce that’s just perfect with most any kind of tamale you can buy. I chose the Angus Beef Tamales from Hot Damn, Tamales!, but any flavor would be perfect with this delicious tomato sauce. I chose the Cabernet Estate Reserve™ tomatoes for their beautiful deep cabernet color and rich flavor. When combined with the chiles, they’re just amazing.

Cabernet Estate Reserve Tamales

If you’ve never used Pasilla chiles, never fear. Just slice them open, remove the stems and seeds and soak in beef or chicken stock for 30 minutes. Pop them into the Ninja Blender with the other ingredients, and voila — the perfect sauce to go with your holiday tamales.

Recipe – Hot Damn, Tamales! with Cabernet Estate Reserve™ Tomato Chili Sauce

Recipe and photography by Nancy Farrar

Roasted Campari Bloody Mary

Roasted Campari Bloody Mary

by Lori Yates, Foxes Love Lemons

Well guys, it’s here. We’ve reached the end of #FLLEpicThanksgiving, at least for this year. I’ve walked you through all of the components needed to make this year’s holiday dinner the best one ever. Except, what do you do before dinner? While heavy appetizers or too-strong drinks are a bad idea, you do need to offer something to keep the vultures out of the kitchen while you finish up dinner.

In my opinion, bloody marys are the perfect thing to fill that void. They can be relatively tame in alcohol (*depending on how you roll), and their garnishes can double as simple appetizer offerings. And I think that the savory flavor really whets people’s appetites for the amazing meal that is going to be served a little later on. You can even kind of think of it as a cold soup course, am I right?


While it’s easy to turn to a bottled bloody mary mix, those have never been my favorite. I’ve tried lots of varieties, and they just don’t do it for me. So instead, I make my own custom mix to my exact specifications. And it’s super easy to make a mix that fits YOUR exacting standards as well. Family full of horseradish lovers? Do that! Add some more! Some don’t like it hot? Just omit the hot sauce. Your call!

The one non-negotiable is starting with a big batch of roasted tomatoes. I reached for several packages of Village Farms Sinfully Sweet Campari® Tomatoes. These cocktail-sized tomatoes have the perfect balance of mouthwatering sweetness and acidity. They’re fantastic in salads and for making simple tomato sauces. And oh yeah, perfect for bloody marys!


Recipe – Roasted Campari Bloody Marys

Simply cut these campari tomatoes in half and divide between a couple of baking pans. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper, then roast until the skins are all puckered and shriveled. Removing the tomato skins sounds tedious, but I assure you it’s not. After 45 minutes in the oven, the tomatoes are practically begging you to remove their skins. The skins get so shriveled that they kind of just hang off the tomatoes. All you need to do is gently pinch and remove them. It’s kind of fun actually! And if there’s a few little pieces of skin that you can’t pry off, don’t even worry about it. These tomatoes are going into your blender anyway.

Throw those roasted beauties into a blender, and you’re well on your way to the best bloody of your life. Add the various spices and seasonings to suit your own taste, and then use your big pitcher of delicious homemade bloody mary mix to keep those guests satiated and occupied while you finish up dinner!

This post originally appeared on Foxes Love Lemons.


Sauce Up Mealtime


Sauces. Maybe one of the hardest things to master in the kitchen, and probably one of my favorite things to make. Making sauces with these tomatoes is fantastically easy, because one of the key things to making a great sauce is to use the best possible ingredients to begin with, and another is to do as little with it as possible. I’m a huge fan of keeping it light and simple whenever possible.

Cherry No. 9 Tomatoes

Tomato sauce at home, or in a restaurant, is the perfect outlet for all the tomatoes ripening around your kitchen when you’ve been a little too ambitious about how many you’re going to go through this week, lol. You can let them safely get as ripe as possible, and when you feel like they’re as soft and juicy and fragrant as they’re going to get, into the pot they go. I like to either sweat them clean in a pot with some onion, olive oil, thyme, oregano and chili flakes, or roast them to dry them out a bit and deepen the darker tones of the sauce. If I have a party coming up and they’re small tomatoes, I’ll throw them in a slow oven and dry them right out for oven dried tomatoes for antipasti.

San Marzano Tomatoes

What I particularly love about the mini san marzano tomatoes when it comes to making sauce is how robust and meaty they are. I like to emphasize this as much as possible by adding the chopped mini san marzanos to the cooking process in stages so you still end up with some big meaty pieces, and the ones you add near the end don’t get cooked all the way out so you get rich, chunky texture.

Recipe – Chunky Heavenly San Marzano Sauce

Eggplant Melanzana

Eggplant Melanzana becomes a hearty vegetarian dish when we’ve used the chunky mini san marzano sauce as the base — this makes a great appetizer on its own, or for that matter I’ll often use this as the base for a dinner and top it with grilled chicken or sea bass. I went from not being a fan of eggplant to becoming a full-on convert and huge supporter of the eggplant after traveling in Sicily for a while. I was amazed by how such a dark, imposing vegetable could end up being such a light, refreshing hot weather treat.

One of the keys to dealing with eggplant is to salt and press it ahead of time, even if its only 30–45 minutes, it helps to extract some of the bitterness of the eggplant.

Eggplant Slice

One of the other big things, in particular when you’re making Eggplant Melanzana, is to be sure the eggplant is well cooked & tender prior to the breading stage —

Grilled Eggplant Slices

this will ensure that once it’s cooked again, even for the short time it takes to brown up the crust, it will come out soft and creamy in the middle — an undercooked eggplant is a huge, unappetizing miss, lol.

Eggplant Melanzana

Recipe – Eggplant Melanzana with Chunky Heavenly San Marzano Sauce

The other end of the spectrum is roasting and reducing and hyper-concentrating all those great sugars into an awesome roasted mini san marzano tomato paste.

Roasted San Marzano Tomatoes

San Marzano Puree

San Marzano Puree

Recipe – Heavenly San Marzano Tomato Paste

I’ve talked about it before, but I typically freeze them in ice cube trays, then I’ve always got a little block of intense tomato goodness around in the freezer to add to whatever needs it in the moment…

Zucchini Spaghettini

In this gluten free “faux spaghetti” made from spun zucchini, I use the roasted mini san marzano tomato paste to flavour ricotta for a rich roast tomato finish, and a tart garlicky Cherry No. 9 tomato coulis to dress the noodles. The noodle itself is just raw zucchini done on a spiral cutter,Zucchini Spaghetti

so I either just cook it super lightly in the tomato sauce before serving, or else I’ve been more often than not serving it cold “thai beef salad” style — I whisk a bit of olive oil into the chilled tomato sauce and dress the “zucchini noodles” with it like a vinaigrette, leave it in the fridge overnight to marinate, and serve it as a chilled salad with some fresh lime and toasted pumpkin seeds — super light & fresh.

Zucchini Spaghetti with Sauce

Zucchini Spaghettini

Recipe – Cherry Tomato Crudo Sauce

Recipe – Zucchini “Spaghettini” with Cherry Tomato Crudo Sauce

When I’m dealing with a lighter dish, thinner noodles, seafood, etc., and I’d like a more delicate sauce, I like to make a smooth velvety coulis with lightly roasted Cabernet Estate Reserve™ tomatoes. Great sweetness and a very complex but soft complimentary acidity in the background means this sauce will be subtle but still hold its own with robust flavours.

Cabernet Estate Reserve Tomatoes

The natural sweetness in these seared sea scallops play nicely with the sweetness of the Cabernet tomato coulis, but the sauce also has enough body and acidity in it to balance out the salty pancetta crisps.

Recipe – Cabernet Estate Reserve™ Tomato Coulis

Cabernet Tomato Coulis

Cabernet Tomato Coulis

Recipe – Diver Scallops with Cabernet Estate Reserve™ Tomato Coulis

It’s a nice light sauce for pretty much any fish, great for grilled chicken, and lately I’ve been using it as a sauce to finished sautéed green beans, kale, mustard greens, radicchio, etc. — great complimentary sauce for green vegetables or specifically braised or raw bitter greens.

At the end of the day, I just make it a habit to keep a ready stock of a few different tomato sauces on hand in the freezer, all for different reasons & applications, and you get to see which tomatoes behave the best for you for each different method. Tons of fun, you know exactly what’s in your sauce, and it makes on the fly dinners a touch easier too…

Village Farms Growing Market Share – Featured in Fortune Magazine



World-renowned author C.S. Lewis once said, “Integrity is doing the right thing even when no one is watching.” Village Farms has been obeying this principle since our founding in 1987, and while people may not have been watching at first, they are starting to take notice. Fortune magazine featured Village Farms in their latest edition. Read the article below to learn more about what makes us the right choice.


As seen in the September 1 issue and upcoming December 15 issue of FORTUNE

Growing Market Share Through Sustainable Growing

A commitment to values has deep roots at Village Farms. 
There was a time when greenhouse-grown tomatoes meant very little to North American consumers. That began to change in the late 1980s, when the greenhouse industry, originally developed in the Netherlands, began in earnest on this continent.
Since then, the volume of greenhouse tomatoes sold at retail nationally has skyrocketed from less than 1% of the market to 68%, says Michael A. DeGiglio, co-founder, president, and CEO of Village Farms, the only one of the first three original U.S. greenhouse companies still producing today, and the only public greenhouse company in the world traded on the TSX and OTCQX.
The company, whose U.S. headquarters is in Heathrow, Fla., has grown its market share with a commitment to conservation and sustainability. It grows produce, including cucumbers, peppers, and eggplants, hydroponically, in 240 acres of greenhouses and by partner greenhouse growers. Village Farms’ greenhouses use 86% less water than a field grower and produce 20 to 30 times more yield per acre.
“Farmland is a finite resource the world over,” DeGiglio says. “And there’s only so much of it that’s fertile and in the right climate that is suitable for agriculture and producing food.”

Marfa, TX Greenhouse

At Village Farms, freshwater, a limited resource, is recycled and purified up to five times, and there are no contaminants leached from field runoff—important for food safety reasons. Village Farms grows non-GMO produce using integrated pest management, not pesticides, to control insects. And because the food grows hydroponically, there are no weeds or need for herbicides.
“We’ve been founded on these sustainable principles,” DeGiglio says. “And sustainable agriculture is far more encompassing than organic growing when considering environmental impact.”
Humane labor practices are also important to Village Farms, often one of the largest employers in the areas where it produces, such as West Texas and British Columbia.
“Our people aren’t running from field to field, crop to crop,” says Douglas Kling, a Village Farms SVP and CMO. “They have a home in Village Farms, there are benefits, we pay very good wages for farming, and in our view, that’s very responsible socially.”
In the past, greenhouses have been somewhat limited by location due to external climate growing conditions, meaning they’re typically located far from most consumers. But Village Farms is using technology and building greenhouses capable of creating the climate needed for growing, even in harsh environments, says Stephen C. Ruffini, CFO and a company director. “The future of greenhouse development is to locate them near high-consumption areas, no matter how severe the weather,” he adds. That’s changing the world of farming.
It’s also changing the world at large: Village Farms’ sustainable technologies and responsible business practices are not only growing the company’s bottom line but also helping to save the planet’s natural resources. No wonder the company slogan is “Good for the Earth.”

Download article


Savory Summer Recipes


Grilling season is here and we have delicious meal ideas for you with our wonderful exclusive tomato varieties that change outdoor dining and entertaining from blah burgers to healthy foodie fun. Try all of our great varieties such as Sinfully Sweet Campari®, Cabernet Estate Reserve™, Cherry no. 9 Fall in Love Again®, and Heavenly Villagio Marzano®. At Village Farms, we want you to know tomatoes are for much more than a salad
or sandwich.

Try these tasty recipe ideas created for us by our corporate Chef Darren Brown. Let us know how you like them!

Stuffed Campari

grilled ratatouille stuffed mini campari tomatoes

Roasted Cherry and Cabernet Tomatoes with Burrata

roasted cherry and cabernet tomatoes with burrata and basil

Heavenly San Marzano Paste

heavenly san marzano tomato paste

Grilled Tri-color Peppers

grilled tri-color peppers


Village Farms has a handle on healthy snacking

VF LoveHandles Bags

Our Love Handles series is packed for convenience in lovable grab ‘n go bags. Enjoy a healthy snack or meal with our exclusive varieties.

Meet the Love Handles series:


heavenly villagio marzano®

The sweet taste of heaven on earth.™

Village Farms’ Heavenly Villagio Marzano® is a true Mini San Marzano whose genetics originated in a small town of the same name near Naples, Italy. The San Marzano was first grown in the rich volcanic soils shadowed by Mount Vesuvius 240 years ago. Today, this mini version is grown exclusively by Village Farms.

Mini yet hearty, the Heavenly Villagio Marzano® is perfectly balanced with sweetness and acidity. A juicy, tantalizing eating experience. This Mini San Marzano is an heirloom-type variety of plum tomato that is distinctive in flavor! Its appearance is unique: thin and somewhat pear-shaped. It has a thick wall, making for a nice crunchy texture and bite. Naturally luscious and exquisite, the Heavenly Villagio Marzano® is remarkably sweet.

Serving Suggestions
The San Marzano tomato is known by chefs the world over as the premier sauce tomato, and our mini version is equally great to cook with, too. Try our heavenly villagio marzano® salad recipe.

Heart-healthy snacking, rich in vitamins A & K. This juicy bite-size morsel benefits eyesight and strengthens bones, while the heart-healthy lycopene increases when cooked.


cherry no. 9 fall in love again®

Exclusive to Village Farms, the Cherry No. 9 hails from southern France. Outside the walled city of Avignon in France, within the fragrant region of Provence, we absolutely fell in love again with tomatoes when first trying this variety… you will too!

Juicy round cherry tomatoes with an intense sweet flavor and a very high brix. Smooth and sweet, its flavor is intoxicating, compelling anyone who eats one to eat another and another! As if taste wasn’t enough, its vibrant red color makes the Cherry No. 9 even lovelier.

Serving Suggestions
Wonderful fresh or roasted, enjoy the Cherry No. 9 Fall in Love Again® alone or in a delicious dish. Try our cherry tomato, tofu, and edamame salad recipe.

Loaded with vitamin C, beta-carotene, and riboflavin, this tomato is a healthy choice and natural immune booster.


cabernet estate reserve™

Exclusive to Village Farms, the Cabernet Estate Reserve™ hails from the middle of the Mediterranean region. The rich dark color is distinctive. The Cabernet Estate Reserve™ provides an unforgettable eating experience with each mouth-watering bite. The flavor profile is especially sweet.

The superb crisp fruity taste has a flavor all its own! The Cabernet Estate Reserve™ is smooth and fragrant, which creates a striking presentation.

Serving Suggestions
The Cabernet Estate Reserve™ will “wow” any dish. Try our pasta alla norma recipe.

A healthy dose of vitamins and minerals such as B6. Vitamin B6 helps the body metabolize protein and reduce the risk of heart disease. Low in calories and rich in fiber, these exquisite tomatoes are a healthy snacking alternative.


true rebel mix®
A revolution in flavor™

Village Farms’ True Rebel Mix® is a radical pack of four to six different flavorful, plump varieties including the Mini San Marzano, Cabernet Estate Reserve™, and Cherry No. 9 along with fruit from our secret gardens!

Each tomato has a distinctive taste, shape, size, and color. The goal of our True Rebel Mix® is to provide consumers with a rainbow of brilliant colors ranging from yellow to orange, red, green, and brown with amazing flavors.

Serving Suggestions
Break away from the norm in your culinary creations by mixing the various varieties that make up the True Rebel Mix® into your salads and dishes. Try our rebel tomato tart recipe.

A healthy choice full of essential nutrients and antioxidants. Rich in lycopene and other essential nutrients and antioxidants, this mix is as healthy as it is revolutionary.


CEO Michael DeGiglio interviewed in OTCQX video series

Michael DeGiglio Interview

New York, May 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ – Village Farms International (TSX: VFF; OTCQX: VFFIF), CEO Michael DeGiglio was interviewed by OTC Markets Group (OTCQX: OTCM) in its OTCQX® Video Series. The series features one-on-one interviews with senior executives of OTCQX companies as they showcase their businesses and investment profiles.

In the interview, Michael DeGiglio discusses:

  • Village Farms’ environmentally friendly and highly sustainable agricultural growing methods
  • The growth in the Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) industry due to production processes that are more responsible compared to traditional agriculture farming methods
  • Business outlook given the need to address finite resources, such as farmland and water
    Village Farm’s decision to upgrade to the OTCQX Best Market to provide easier access to its U.S. shareholders
  • To watch the complete interview, visit OTC Markets Group’s YouTube page at https://youtu.be/sjesnAiEK-M

    Village Farms is one of the largest producers, marketers and distributors of premium-quality, greenhouse-grown fruits and vegetables in North America. The food its farmers grow, along with other greenhouse farmers under exclusive arrangements, are all grown in environmentally friendly, soil-less, glass greenhouses. The Village Farms® brand of fruits and vegetables is marketed and distributed primarily to local retail grocers and dedicated fresh food distributors throughout the United States and Canada.

    About OTC Markets Group Inc.

    OTC Markets Group Inc. (OTCQX: OTCM) operates the OTCQX® Best Market, the OTCQB® Venture Market, and the Pink® Open Market for 10,000 U.S. and global securities. Through OTC Link® ATS, we connect a diverse network of broker-dealers that provide liquidity and execution services. We enable investors to easily trade through the broker of their choice and empower companies to improve the quality of information available for investors. To learn more about how we create better informed and more efficient markets, visit www.otcmarkets.com.

    OTC Link ATS is operated by OTC Link LLC, member FINRA/SIPC and SEC regulated ATS.
    Subscribe to the OTC Markets RSS Feed

    The information contained in this press release and in the video to which it refers is provided “as is” for educational and informational purposes only, and should not serve as the basis for any trading or investing decisions. OTC Markets Group makes no representations and disclaims all express, implied and statutory warranties of any kind to any viewer or third party. Neither OTC Markets Group nor any of its affiliates makes any endorsement of any particular company, security, product or financial strategy, and nothing contained in this video should be construed as investment advice. Investors should undertake their own diligence and carefully evaluate companies before investing.


    Village Farms, Solar City, MP2 Announce Monahans Solar Project


    Solar Project Announcement – April 2016

    Monahans, TX, April 5, 2016 – Village Farms L.P. (“Village Farms”) the U.S. operating subsidiary of Village Farms International, Inc. (TSX:VFF) (OTCQX:VFFIF), SolarCity and MP2 Energy have agreed to build a 2 megawatt solar array adjacent to Village Farm’s 30 acre Permian Basin Division greenhouse in Monahans, Texas. The solar system is expected to provide the facility with nearly all of its daytime electricity needs and generate more than 82 million kilowatt-hours of power over the life of the system.

    Through a power purchase agreement, Village Farms will pay SolarCity for the electricity the solar installation generates. The project allows Village Farms to fix its daytime electricity costs at a low rate, comparable to its current electricity rate, and avoid future increases in energy, demand, or congestion charges. SolarCity will fund, design, engineer, build and maintain the installation. Legend Energy Advisors, a full-service energy consulting firm that assists with a range of supply and demand side energy services, also played a key role in the project that not only meets the load needs of Village Farms but also makes the system economically viable even in the often-volatile Texas energy market.

    The project will take advantage of net metering, which allows any solar power generation in excess of the greenhouse’s needs to be sold back to MP2 Energy, Village Farms’ power supplier. MP2 Energy will then credit Village Farms for the excess energy, and supply the remaining power to the site. The long term of the power purchase agreement and power supply, backed by SolarCity’s performance guarantee, will lock in low rates and protect Village Farms from future increases. The solar array system is also a notable new source of renewable power in Texas. Despite the state’s status as one of the largest energy producers in the nation, additional energy capacity infrastructure is needed as demand continues to increase, and renewable energy facilities are expected to play a key role in providing new sources of power.

    Michael DeGiglio, Chief Executive Officer of Village Farms, stated: “We are excited to announce our next renewable energy development, which not only enhances one of our strategic priorities in supporting our core sustainable growing practices, but also locks in our daytime electricity costs at our Permian Basin facility, one of the world’s most advanced hi-tech greenhouses, for the next 20 years.”

    He went on to say “I don’t know of any other controlled environmental growing facility globally whose electrical supply is provided from solar energy during the day and substantively from wind power during
    the night. It is also a progressive and great addition to our other renewable energy projects such as our British Columbia methane 7 Mw co-generation facility running at our VF Clean Energy powerhouse, as well as the Quadrogen fuel cell project which will produce hydrogen, CO2, heat and electricity, once the project is completed. Growing fresh produce that is safe and great tasting, while using efficient and renewable energy and less water is what we do at Village Farms and we are proud to be Good for the Earth.”

    “We are very excited to be one of the initial commercial projects for SolarCity in the state of Texas.”

    About Village Farms
    Village Farms is one of the largest producers, marketers and distributors of premium-quality, greenhouse-grown tomatoes, bell peppers and cucumbers in North America. This premium product as well as premium product produced under exclusive arrangements with other greenhouse producers is grown in sophisticated, highly efficient and intensive agricultural greenhouse facilities located in Texas and British Columbia. Product is marketed and distributed under the Village Farms® brand primarily to retail grocers and dedicated fresh food distributors throughout the United States and Canada. Since its inception, Village Farms has been guided by friendly growing methods, growing produce vegetables 365 days a year from its facilities that are healthier for people and the planet. Village Farms is Good for the Earth®.

    About MP2 Energy
    MP2 Energy is a full service power company, serving approximately 900MW to customers in Texas, Illinois, Pennsylvania and Ohio. The top-tier company integrates capabilities across its core services from plant development, plant management, demand response and retail electric supply to the end-use customer. The company handles all aspects of power markets, such as asset management, commodity hedging, solar installation and offtake, wind and distributed generation. MP2 is a member of the 2014 Aggie 100, which honors the world’s fastest-growing companies headed by Texas A&M graduates. For more information visit www.mp2energy.com.

    About Legend Energy Advisors
    Legend Energy Advisors is a full-service energy consulting firm with services ranging from electricity and natural gas procurement to implementing complex demand side solutions. The company has extensive experience in the energy markets helping clients reduce commodity price risk and capitalize on demand side opportunities. Successful projects include pipeline installations, generation asset management, power quality improvement, lighting upgrades, solar energy installation, real-time data monitoring and reporting, and a host of billing, tariff, and regulatory services. Legend is committed to understanding each customer’s unique challenges, and working with them to design customized energy solutions which create demonstrable value. For more information visit www.LegendEA.com.
    About SolarCity
    SolarCity® (NASDAQ: SCTY) provides clean energy. The company has disrupted the century-old energy industry by providing renewable electricity directly to homeowners, businesses and government organizations for less than they spend on utility bills. SolarCity gives customers control of their energy costs to protect them from rising rates. The company makes solar energy easy by taking care of everything from design and permitting to monitoring and maintenance. Visit the company online at www.solarcity.com and follow the company on Facebook & Twitter.

    About Quadrogen
    Quadrogen Power Systems, Inc. designs, builds and installs high performance biogas clean-up and upgrading solutions capable of purifying renewable fuels from any source. The clean-up and upgrading technologies are modular and scalable to cost effectively purify landfill gas, digester gas, or syngas. The company is headquartered in Vancouver, Canada with offices in California, USA and Pune, India. More information is available at wwww.quadrogen.com.

    Forward Looking Statements
    This press release contains certain “forward looking statements”. These statements relate to future events or future performance and reflect the various party’s expectations, results of operations, performance, business prospects, opportunities, industry performance and trends. These forward looking statements reflect the party’s current internal projections, expectations or beliefs and are based on information currently available. In some cases, forward looking statements can be identified by terminology such as “may”, “will”, “should”, “expect”, “plan”, “anticipate”, “believe”,
    “estimate”, “predict” , “potential”, “continue” or the negative of these terms or other comparable terminology. A number of factors could cause actual events or results to differ materially from the results discussed in the forward looking statements. In evaluating these statements, you should specifically consider various factors, including, but not limited to, such risks and uncertainties as availability of resource, regulatory requirements and all of the other “Risk Factors” set out in the Village Farms annual information form and management’s discussion and analysis for the year ended December 31, 2015, which is available electronically at www.sedar.com. Actual results may differ materially from any forward looking statement. Although the parties believe that the forward looking statements contained in this press release are based upon reasonable assumptions, you cannot be assured that actual results will be consistent with these forward looking statements. These forward looking statements are made as of the date of this press release, and other than as specifically required by applicable law, the parties assume no obligation to update or revise them to reflect new events or circumstances.

    For further information
    Stephen C. Ruffini, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Village Farms International, Inc., (407) 936-1190 ext 340.


    Saluting our Heritage with Paisano recipes

    Village Farms Heritage

    2015-05-19_11.41.08In celebration of Village Farms journey over the last 25 years, we salute the company’s heritage that began in Italy just as our exclusive and authentic Heavenly Villagio Marzano® tomatoes. The founder’s father, Fred DeGiglio who was born and raised on the same soil that cultivated the famous San Marzano variety, is commemorated with an exclusive recipe he created along with our corporate chef Darren Brown. Please enjoy these special ‘Paisano’ recipes Fred has passed on to us to savory with our loved ones. These simple countrymen recipes were created to share with friends and family and made all the better complimented by a great Italian red. Mangia!

    The journey of Village Farms is depicted in the above painting of a classical village landscape in Italy. This special painting was created especially for Village Farms by the renowned artist Shirley Chapman

    Freddy’s Pomodori al Forno


    Freddy’s “Paesano” Potatoes


    Freddy’s Mini San Marzano “Crudaiola”


    Freddy’s Spaghetti with Broccoli Rabe




    Ease of Trading Expands for Village Farms Shares


    Vancouver, B.C., August 3, 2015 – Village Farms International Inc. (Village Farms) (VFF.TSX) (OTCQX:VFFIF), a progressive vertically integrated food company focused on growing, marketing, and distributing its branded fruits and vegetables to retailers throughout the United States and Canada, has been approved to trade on the OTCQX® Best Market in the United States under the symbol “VFFIF”. Village Farms will continue to trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol “VFF”.

    Trading on OTCQX is designed to provide existing and future U.S. based shareholders with ease of trading Village Farms’ shares and convenient access to its news and financial disclosures. U.S. investors can find current financial disclosure and Real-Time Level 2 quotes for Village Farms on www.otcmarkets.com.
    Michael A. DeGiglio, President & CEO of Village Farms, stated “While our operations are evenly split between the U.S. and Canada our sales are predominantly in the U.S. and over the years we continue to receive requests from U.S. individuals and institutions to purchase shares in Village Farms. In response to these requests and to increase our investor base the OTCQX market provides the solution. Village Farms was founded in the U.S. in 1987, so we are proud to be traded on a premium U.S. market.”
    J.P. Galda & Co. serves as Village Farms’ Principal American Liaison (“PAL”) on OTCQX, responsible for providing professional guidance on OTCQX requirements and U.S. securities laws.

    In addition, Village Farms announced that its financial information will be made available via S&P Capital IQ’s Market Access Program, an information distribution service that enables subscribing publicly traded companies to have their company information disseminated to users of S&P Capital IQ’s MarketScope Advisor. MarketScope Advisor is an Internet-based research engine used by more than 100,000 investment advisors. As part of the program, a full description of Village Farms will also be published in the Daily News section of Standard Corporation Records, a recognized securities manual for secondary trading in up to 38 states under their Blue Sky Laws. S&P Capital IQ Corporation Records is available in print, CD-ROM, and via the web at www.netadvantage.standardandpoors.com as well as through numerous electronic vendors.

    About Village Farms
    Village Farms is one of the largest producers, marketers, and distributors of premium-quality, greenhouse-grown fruits and vegetables in North America. The food our farmers grow, along with other greenhouse farmers under exclusive arrangements are all grown in environmentally friendly, soil-less, glass greenhouses. The Village Farms® brand of fruits and vegetables is marketed and distributed primarily to local retail grocers and dedicated fresh food distributors throughout the United States and Canada. Since its inception, Village Farms has been guided by sustainability principles that enable us to grow food 365 days a year that not only feeds the growing population but is healthier for people and the planet. Natural resource efficiencies such as water conservation and renewable energy optimizing cogeneration are all part of our clean technology model of farming. Village Farms is Good for the Earth® and good for you.

    About S&P Capital IQ
    S&P Capital IQ, a part of McGraw Hill Financial, is a leading provider of multi-asset class and real time data, research and analytics to institutional investors, investment and commercial banks, investment advisors and wealth managers, corporations and universities around the world. Evaluated pricing is prepared by Standard & Poor’s Securities Evaluations, Inc., a part of S&P Capital IQ and a registered investment adviser with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. In the United States, research reports are prepared by Standard & Poor’s Investment Advisory Services LLC, a part of S&P Capital IQ and a registered investment adviser with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. S&P Capital IQ provides a broad suite of capabilities designed to help track performance, generate alpha, and identify new trading and investment ideas, and perform risk analysis and mitigation strategies. Through leading desktop solutions such as the S&P Capital IQ, Global Credit Portal and MarketScope Advisor desktops; enterprise solutions such as S&P Capital IQ Valuations; and research offerings, including Leveraged Commentary & Data, Global Markets Intelligence, and company and funds research, S&P Capital IQ sharpens financial intelligence into the wisdom today’s investors need. For more information visit: www.spcapitaliq.com

    For further information

    Stephen C. Ruffini, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Village Farms International, Inc., (407) 936-1190 ext 340.

    S&P Capital IQ
    Equity Research Operations, 212-438-4050


    Urban Ag News


    by Urban Ag News

    Mike DeGiglio, president and chief executive officer at Village Farms International, spoke with Urban Ag News about his company’s approach to technology and how it’s using it to be more efficient and profitable.

    When was Village Farms started and how has it expanded in size?

    I started Village Farms in 1987 with 10 acres of greenhouses in Pennsylvania and we developed and operated greenhouses in New York and Virginia. In 1996 the company started building 120 acres in southwest Texas. In 2006 Village Farms acquired the largest greenhouse company in Canada located in British Columbia. The facility was about 140 acres. Some of the small greenhouses were sold so today there are 110 acres. In 2012 a new 30-acre facility was built in Monahan, Texas. Today there are 240 acres of glass greenhouses in the U.S. and Canada. Village Farms also markets product from many other growers in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

    How has the use of technology evolved at Village Farms?

    For the first 20 or so years, Village Farms worked off of existing European technology that was mostly used in Dutch greenhouses. Holland was considered the Mecca of greenhouse technology. And most companies worldwide looked to the Dutch when it came to higher technology. But that changed. It changed as greenhouses internationally began to quantify the tools to work in a wide variation of climates. The Dutch technology was geared more for the climate in Holland, where it never really gets hot. It’s a temperate climate with low light levels. Village Farms eventually saw the need to develop its own technology. That is easier said than done. If a company is going to spend millions of dollars on R&D, it has to be big enough to sustain it. Even though Village Farms is successful in this endeavor, it was only achieved after 25 years in business and it could afford the costs once critical mass had been achieved to allow further expansion to build projects that cost millions of dollars. For someone just starting out that is extremely hard to do. Most greenhouse growers use existing technology. Village Farms didn’t go that way. It developed its own. The company wanted to be able to have the intellectual property in creating greenhouse growing environments that can mimic the exact climate it wanted based on the crops it would grow and then locate those in areas it wanted to be in for market reasons. If this was left up to a technology company, it might not necessarily be focused on that. Village Farms is unique in that it developed its own technology as compared to most other companies that work with existing technology.

    In what technology areas has Village Farms invested?

    Most of Village Farms’ technology is in software design to control the internal environment of the greenhouse. The company has done a lot with growing technology, both on the production and packing lines. When it comes to growing media, irrigation systems, etc., the company looked at these various components, but production is not where it spent most of its money. The bulk of the money was spent to create a greenhouse climate that is workable regardless of where the footprint is. Our goal was to create the software to be able to run a very sophisticated greenhouse that could have conditions very conducive to plant growth regardless of what it is doing outside. If you can accomplish that, then you can put the greenhouses not where it is best for the plants, but where it is best for the market to lower freight costs and increase access to labor. You can be more sustainable and you can increase product shelf life and product quality.


    What are some of the other areas of technology in which Village Farms is looking to invest?

    Additional technology for the company could come on the energy side and supplementing carbon dioxide. If we can reduce energy costs, we would be much more sustainable. Village Farms has invested with Quadrogen Power Systems, FuelCell Energy and the National Research Council of Canada to build a pilot project for fuel cell technology for our greenhouse in British Columbia. Also, our new Permian Basin facility derives all of its electrical needs exclusively from wind power. A second area we are looking at is cleaning up landfill methane gas. Village Farms acquired Maxim Power, a co-generation facility adjacent to our greenhouse facility in British Columbia. The next phase, which we are working on with the Canadian government, Hallbar Consulting and the Swedish Institute of Agricultural and Environmental Engineering, is to fund a study on the capturing carbon dioxide from landfill gas. There are hundreds of thousands of metric tons of carbon dioxide flowing out of landfills every day. Our goal is to find the technology to clean the carbon dioxide so that we can use it in our growing processes. If we can use the potential of the carbon dioxide sequestered in the landfill, clean it and then use it in the growing process, we will reduce our costs and help clean the environment. The benefit is to lower our production costs. We won’t have to burn natural gas to produce carbon dioxide and we won’t have to buy carbon dioxide. We will also be reducing the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere.


    What advice would you offer U.S. greenhouse growers of edible crops when it comes to making technology investments in their companies?

    I would have to ask what is the crop and how do you compete? If you have the right crop, then I would ask what are the big issues? There currently is a big labor shortage in agriculture. Using technology to mitigate labor shortage issues, then I think a grower can move forward. As more crops are being looked at for indoor production, for example berries, then you know you are going to have to have production systems that can mitigate labor even to the point of incorporating some robotics. The use of robotics may also expand to packaging and shipping as well as harvesting and other tasks in the greenhouse. Technology could play a role in berry picking in the greenhouse and in the field. Last year growers left a lot of berries in the field because of the shortage of labor. The use of migrant labor to go from berry farm to berry farm, which is seasonal outdoors, is becoming much more difficult.

    What crops are Village Farms now producing and do you expect that to change much over the next five years?

    We are always looking at different varieties of our core products, including tomatoes, cucumbers and eggplant, of which we have multiple colors. We are always looking at unique varieties of our core products. We launched our unique and exclusive Heavenly Villagio Marzano® tomato variety about two years ago. We have a whole pipeline of new varieties. We continue to diversify. Berries are definitely on our radar screen. Nutraceuticals and some unique medicinals have a future. Some of the nutraceuticals are plants that have a medicinal benefit. Some of these will have to be produced in conjunction with the pharmaceutical companies. For a pharmaceutical company to sell something it has to be patentable or else it won’t be interested. We are always looking for unique, higher value products that are difficult to grow in the field due to climate or labor or not being available year round. Our focus is on increasing value for our customers by not compromising on food safety, using IPM, and consistent quality that help us provide the best products for consumers.


    What do you think about the increased interest in vertical farming?

    Vertical farming is still in the R&D phase. There is a PR value. The capital and operating costs are huge. It’s limited on the size so how do you reach critical mass? It’s not large scale agriculture. Village Farms does everything on an investment basis. We really understand our costs. Our greenhouses cost nearly $2 million an acre. A lot of these vertical farm operations can’t grow long term crops, at least not now. Vertical farms have a place for crops like leafy greens. Any crop that can be turned quickly in 28-30 days like leafy greens could potentially be grown in a vertical farm. Looking at the lettuce industry, most of the product is grown and shipped from California to the East Coast. If those crops can be grown regionally or locally and bagged here instead, the carbon footprint for shipping the product is reduced or eliminated. On the other hand, you have to be cost effective. How are these vertical farms going to compete with field-grown product long term? You can always find niche markets where people are willing to pay a premium for locally produced. When you make those kinds of large investments you have to be sure it is sustainable. And more importantly, that the profit is sustainable in the long term. Growing food for human consumption carries a huge responsibility along with it, this is something we have never taken lightly, and is the key driver in how we do business and measure efficiency.

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    David Kuack is a freelance technical writer in Fort Worth, Texas; dkuack@gmail.com.



    Study explores capture of clean carbon dioxide from landfill gases


    A Village Farms employee at the company’s Ladner greenhouse, which burns methane gas from the Vancouver landfill to generate heat and electricity.
    Photograph by: Arlen Redekop , Vancouver Sun

    Local greenhouse grower Village Farms is hoping to extract clean carbon dioxide — as well as heat and electricity — from the landfill gases it burns.

    The Delta-based grower has been burning methane gas from Vancouver’s landfill to generate heat and electricity for 12 years at the firm’s Ladner facility under an agreement with the City of Vancouver and BC Hydro, according to the firm’s development director Jonathan Bos. But because landfill gas is chemically inconsistent and contains contaminants, the CO2 generated by the process isn’t clean enough to be used in greenhouses and is released in exhaust.

    Cogeneration using natural gas is widely regarded as a clean source of carbon dioxide and energy, said Bos. “But landfill gas is a completely different animal.”

    Bos hopes a new $300,000 feasibility study — by Hallbar Consulting and the Swedish Institute of Agricultural and Environmental Engineering and funded by the Innovation Agriculture Foundation of B.C. and several industry partners — will change that, helping end the waste of a rich but untapped source of CO2.

    “Landfill gas is more than 50 per cent CO2 before we burn it, so it really is a wasted resource,” said Bos.

    A breakthrough that allows clean carbon dioxide to be recovered from landfill gas would be a double win, enabling the industry to extract maximum value from a waste-stream resource and potentially improving air quality in the Fraser Valley, where the greenhouse growers are concentrated.

    “The people of Greater Vancouver and our own families are real stakeholders in this process,” said Bos. “We have the potential to make a long-term positive impact on emissions.”

    British Columbia’s greenhouse growers are voracious consumers of carbon dioxide, a gas that is essential to plant growth and which can boost yields by up to 30 per cent when piped into greenhouses, according to a recently published government discussion paper. Greenhouses maintain CO2 levels of 800 parts per million or more, roughly double the amount that occurs in our atmosphere.

    Most greenhouse growers in B.C. — including Village Farms — obtain carbon dioxide by burning natural gas, according to Linda Delli Santi, executive director of the B.C. Greenhouse Growers’ Association, a funding partner in the project.

    Greenhouses use the heat created by the process to maintain optimal temperatures inside the greenhouses and a handful also generate electricity, which can be sold onto the power grid.

    Landfill gas, which contains methane, can be recovered for use as a fuel or it must be flared to prevent it escaping into the atmosphere. Methane is extremely harmful to the ozone layer in earth’s upper atmosphere and is a potent greenhouse gas.

    Flaring, however, releases carbon dioxide and, while it is less harmful than methane, it is also believed to fuel global warming.

    “Landfill gas is an ugly, corrosive fuel and that creates all kinds of problems,” said Bos. “But there is an appetite for the CO2, a fuel source and an environmental benefit to finding a solution.”

    The region’s greenhouses as well as funding partners such as Air Liquide and the B.C. Food and Beverage Association are potential customers for a clean, cheap source of carbon dioxide, Bos said.

    “What we hope is to identify a process to collect (carbon dioxide) from landfill gas combustion that will be safe for people and safe for plants,” he said.

    The consultants will spend the better part of the next year scouring the world for technologies and processes that can be adapted to the needs of the industry.


    Read more: http://www.vancouversun.com/technology/Study+explores+capture+clean+carbon+dioxide+from+landfill+gases/11069982/story.html#ixzz3bw7wl2WM