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We Know Our Sources: Nature Fresh Farms

NatureFresh Farms Tomatoes on Vines

Although the buds on the trees are yet to bloom, Heinen’s Produce Department has already blossomed with Midwest-grown produce at peak freshness. You may be wondering, “how does Heinen’s have fresh Midwest-grown produce when the temperature outside can barely reach 50°F?”

It’s all thanks to trusted greenhouse growers, like Nature Fresh Farms who grow tomatoes that likely make their into your weekly meals. Their expertise, sustainable practices and passion for growing, combined with our desire to bring our customers the best of the best in produce, allows Heinen’s to have fresh Midwest-grown tomatoes even when winter and spring decide to stick around a little longer than anticipated.

Beefsteak Tomatoes Growing on Vine

If we know anything about tomatoes, it’s that they come in many shapes and sizes, from perfectly snackable cherry tomatoes to plump beefsteak tomatoes perfect for topping burgers. Although Nature Fresh grows a wide assortment of produce, over the last several years they have helped us expand our selection of Midwest-grown tomatoes to include Tomatoes On-The-Vine, Red Beefsteak Tomatoes, Green Beefsteak Tomatoes, Red Cherry Tomatoes, Red Cherry Tomatoes On-The-Vine, Orange Cherry Tomatoes On-The-Vine, Orange Grape Tomatoes and Mixed Medley Tomatoes.

With a lineup like this, Nature Fresh is surely an expert in the greenhouse growing industry, but expertise comes with time, which Peter Quiring proved when he founded Nature Fresh Farms more than two decades ago. Before he founded Nature Fresh, Peter spent his days building greenhouses, but that all changed in 1999 when he built a greenhouse in Leamington, Ontario that he couldn’t seem to sell. So, instead of selling it, he decided to try growing in it. From that point, the seeds of Nature Fresh were planted.

Today, Nature Fresh is proving that keeping the greenhouse was the right decision. With hundreds of acres of greenhouse between Canada and Ohio, they have expanded in both company size and product variety, but it’s their commitment to growing high quality produce through sustainable practices that makes Nature Fresh tomatoes unlike any other.

NatureFresh Leamington Greenhouse Overhead Shot

Generally, the quality of greenhouse-grown products is very high because you can essentially create a perfect environment without worrying about potentially harmful environmental factors like rain, wind, snow and larger pests. However, the hands-on care that the Nature Fresh team gives to their crops is what truly sets them apart. The Nature Fresh team is in the crops every day, making sure the plants are getting exactly what they need to grow strong and healthy. This includes managing temperature, humidity levels, irrigation, shading, CO2 circulation and integrated pest management practices.

Hands on Growing at NatureFresh Farms

Although Nature Fresh Farms creates their own ideal environment inside of the greenhouse, they strongly believe in keeping the outside environment just as healthy by using every person on their team to implement sustainable practices throughout the growing, harvesting, packaging and purchasing process. It all starts with using a natural medium for growing and recycling excess water with a closed loop irrigation system, among other sustainable growing efforts. However, their ongoing introduction of environmentally sustainable packaging ensures that Nature Fresh Farms is fair to the environment from start-to-finish.

When it comes to produce, Nature Fresh and Heinen’s share a commitment to providing the best in taste and quality, but we also share a belief in improving the quality of surrounding communities by donating excess food to local food banks and rescue organizations. With roots in community, sustainability and quality, Nature Fresh is key in keeping Heinen’s Midwest-grown produce selection fresh year-round.

Cherry Tomatoes Growing in NatureFresh Greenhouse

By Heinen's Grocery Store
In 1929, Joe Heinen opened the doors of a small butcher shop on the east side of Cleveland, Ohio, aiming to establish himself as the city’s purveyor of quality meats. As customers came into Heinen’s new shop for their meat purchases, they began asking him to carry groceries as well. Joe added homemade peanut butter, pickles and donuts and by 1933, business had grown enough to include a line of produce and canned goods. Heinen’s Grocery Store was born.

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