Red Sun Farms Planting 30,000 Tomato Plants in New High-Tech Greenhouse
DUBLIN, VA – Red Sun Farms is making a big move in America by planting nearly 30,000 hydroponic tomato plants in a new high-tech greenhouse in Dublin, Virginia.
WDBJ7 reports that the greenhouse has nearly one million square feet of glass covering almost 20 acres of tomatoes.
John Secker, Red Sun Farm’s Master Grower, is working with a small crew to do the planting by hand. “Fifteen thousand today and fifteen thousand tomorrow,” he said to WDBJ7.
“It’s very technical. All the systems here are automated other than the plant care, that has to be done with people,” Secker added. “But all my irrigation, heating, ventilation we’ll have energy screens in the winter, tried to reduce our energy costs. That’s all automated.”
According to Red Sun, the tomato plants will supply customers in Virginia, North Carolina and Tennessee.
“I think what makes this so different is that you don’t typically see a high-tech greenhouse in the Mid-Atlantic states. It can be very hot, high humidity area. But the New River Valley is really unique in its growing climate,” Jay Abbot, Director of Operations for Red Sun Farms, told WDBJ7.
Red Sun signed an agreement with several local governments, town, cities and counties that it will hire up to 205 full-time workers. The company currently has less than 10 Latin American workers on the property to show the new local employees how to start the process.
In response to a question about genetically modified foods, Abbott added, “Beyond being certified organic, (Red Sun Farms) will also be certified for the entire greenhouse as a non-GMO greenhouse. We as a company do not use GMO seed.”
The first harvest should be ready around October of this year.