Evaluation of leachate from selected biochar blend rates with commercial greenhouse media

Biochar has been proven to be beneficial to agricultural operations by capturing nutrients in the soil and providing these nutrients back to the crops. Before biochar is to be used successfully as a soilless greenhouse media enhancement, its blend rate must first be determined, and this is why Walker tapped into HESIC’s expertise to help investigate this innovation challenge.  

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Assessing the performance of a novel climate optimization software in commercial Ontario floral and cucumber greenhouses

Golden Acre Farms

The novel climate optimization software developed by 360 Energy Inc. utilizes the data generated from the climate control system that is currently installed within the greenhouse. A collaborative research project between HESIC and 360 Energy Inc. involved two participating commercial greenhouses that systematically evaluated this proprietary software. Read more to learn about the team’s solution.

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Evaluating a novel indoor compost product as an organic fertilizer to grow diverse crops in a greenhouse

Vcycene Trials - T1 T2 and T3

The objective of Phase 1 of this project was to evaluate the potential of the product of VCycene’s intelligent composting device to be classified as a mature compost, as per the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment‘s (CCME) Guidelines for Compost Quality. Niagara College’s Horticultural & Environmental Sciences Innovation Centre (HESIC) team generated, and subsequently evaluated, product from alpha versions of VCycene’s composting device.

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New Pao Tau is growing research-backed orchids for the masses

Blooming orchid in a flower pot close-up in natural light.

While orchids are commonly grown in bark-based substrates, New Pao Tau is taking an innovative approach by using newer substrates with better water holding and release capacity than the typical bark-based substrates. Vineland Research and Innovation was able to take on this research project to help Michael and the New Pao Tau team identify the substrate best suited for the consumer market and find a solution that would result in increased customer satisfaction.

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Greenhouse technologies support untapped local food source and crop improvements

Fiddleheads are a nutritious and delicious spring delicacy in Ontario, but they are only available for a few weeks each year. The young leaves of the ostrich fern (Matteuccia struthiopteris L. Todaro), fiddleheads are harvested from wild populations of ostrich ferns which limits availability, market growth, and research opportunities. Norcliff Farms Inc. turned to Controlled Environment Systems Research Facility (CESRF) to investigate.

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Phytotoxicity assessment of sodium for lettuce grown in NEREA®-based hydroponics

Niagara College’s (NC) Horticultural & Environmental Science Innovation Centre (HESIC) ran parallel crops of lettuce that were grown in a hydroponic Nutrient Film Technique (NFT) system in NEREA® and standard Oasis® rockwool at the NC greenhouse located in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, with the goal being to determine sodium concentration in both hydroponic solutions and the edible portion of lettuce.

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