Our Story (Image)

About Us

Our Story

Our Story

OUR HISTORY

OUR HISTORY

It started with a personal interest in the magic of healthy flavourful foods, a desire to work in a warm and sunny greenhouse, a compulsion to promote ecological growing practices, and an aspiration to more efficiently grow better food. All this drew Ian Adamson to start experimenting with Microgreens in 1998. By 2004 he felt confident enough to start selling some of his Microgreens. Chef Brad Long was exceptionally supportive by giving him advice and support for enhancing quality and consistency. Ian determined that a state-of-the art glass greenhouse would be the best way to reliably and inexpensively provide the best tasting Microgreens.

In 2010 Ian realized his vision of opening Greenbelt Microgreens. Making use of his considerable experience, he immediately commenced producing and distributing Certified Organic Microgreens. With reliable help from his dedicated staff, they dependably supply many quality retailers and acclaimed chefs directly from Toronto’s Greenbelt. These customers in turn provide incredibly fresh Microgreens for the region’s most discriminating consumers.

 

Our Staff (Image)

Our greenhouse is a busy, yet safe workplace for year-round near-urban agricultural employment

Our Staff

Jen smiling at the camera, while working in the greenhouse.
Jen has been with us since day one

Our Staff

We take pride in valuing our staff that works so hard for you.

  • All our staff live nearby
  • They are all paid a fair wage and receive a variety of benefits
  • They of course always work in a safe and toxin-free space
  • They have all been thoroughly trained in Food Safety protocols
  • We always have certified Red Cross First Aid practitioners on staff
  • And they are provided appealing year-round agricultural work

The Result: Our staff takes great pride in the quality food they produce for you.

Energy Conservation (Image)

Ceiling curtains reduce winter heating fuel by 35%; and summer cooling energy by 60%

ENERGY CONSERVATION

ENERGY CONSERVATION

Our state-of-the-art glass greenhouse has many energy-saving features:

  • Ceiling curtains automatically close in the evenings to prevent warm air from escaping. This ecologically reduces heating energy by over 35%.
  • These same curtains close on hot sunny days to reduce excessive greenhouse heat-buildup. This naturally improves plant quality and consistency by reducing the temperature to 5°C below ambient.
  • The glass roof automatically opens on sunny days to let hot air naturally escape. This ecologically reduces ventilation energy by over 60%.
  • A dedicated computer constantly monitors over-twenty greenhouse parameters and promptly takes steps to minimize energy consumption and maintain ideal growing conditions.
  • Our rainwater cistern not only preserves clean soft water, it also requires much less energy to pump from than a deep water well.

Operating in the nearby Toronto Greenbelt means:

  • We have access to natural gas that significantly reduces harmful greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Being a mere 30-minutes from downtown, our deliveries require less fuel.

Water Conservation (Image)

We capture pure rainwater from the greenhouse roof; then protect it by bubbling in fresh air from the windmill

WATER CONSERVATION

WATER CONSERVATION

Hand Watering

  • Hand-watering minimizes wasted water.
  • Our organic soil prevents runoff by absorbing and maintaining the water until the plants utilize it.
  • We have eliminated all nutrient laden runoff that unfortunately contaminates waterways near many conventional greenhouses.

Rainwater

  • We conserve groundwater by storing rainwater from our greenhouse roofs in a large underground cistern.
  • It is free of the hardness and salts absorbed by groundwater.
  • Freshness is maintained with air bubbled in from our windmill.
  • Gardeners know that pure rainwater is the preferred irrigation water.

Wash-Water

  • Microgreens are washed in naturally pure water from our deep well.
  • From regular testing we know it has never been contaminated.
  • So there is no need to treat it with chlorine, which would not only leave an unpleasant odor, it would also shorten the shelf-life of tender greens.
  • And then this chlorine would pollute downstream waterways.

Sanitizing

  • As an added precaution, we methodically rinse our leaves with a blend of perfectly safe (but more expensive) hydrogen peroxide and vinegar.
  • A mere 45 seconds contact with this natural sanitizer destroys pathogens; then it is completely rinsed away leaving no annoying smell. 
  • This gentle sanitization technique also prolongs the shelf-life of our microgreens.
  • In our drainage system, this ecological sanitizer promptly breaks down to ordinary water and oxygen.

The 3 R’s

View of microgreens and other various plants in the Stop Greenhouse
The Stop Community Food Centre Greenhouse

The 3 R’s

Reducing
Energy, water, materials and packaging are considered in all our decisions. 

Reusing
Growing trays (rather than sending them to landfills) provides many months of reuse. When there is more reusable soil-media than we require, it is further reused by donating this valuable resource to the important non-profit food organizations we support:

Recycling is the reason we only use recyclable PET1 100% post-consumer recycled (PCR) packaging containers. (Note that we do not use “compostable” cornstarch containers because they are 1) made from GMO corn and 2) they must be composted in the presence of sunlight (which is totally impractical).

Triple Bottom Line (Image)

Triple Bottom Line

Triple Bottom Line

People
Providing healthy food from a healthy environment and sharing our practices with employees and customers is a Social Responsibility.

Planet
Thoughtful use of our natural resources while producing minimal pollution from waste materials is Environmental Stewardship.

Profit
Research and development along with production efficiencies and full-cost accounting lead to Economic Prosperity.