Every aspect of our operation is designed and implemented with the environment in mind. We are proud to offer our customers earth friendly products that leave behind a quasi-neutral carbon footprint. Our plants and livelyhood depend on nature so we show it the respect it merits.
To power our greenhouses.
Solar panels installed throughout our facility ensure we can subsidize our power usage with clean energy.
Each panel generates energy as well as heat which is used to cut down on our natural gas usage when heating the greenhouses in the winter months.
Our ultimate goal is to one day be totally self-sufficient in terms of power generation in order for our operation to leave absolutely no carbon footprint.
Captured rain water
The only thing our plants drink.
All our plants are fed with 100% recycled rain water which is collected by a capture system which spans the entire surface area of our facility.
This system ensures that we do not use any well water and that our underground aquifers remain untapped and pristine.
The collected rainwater is stored in an underground reservoir which is pumped full of oxygen to insure that our plants drink only the cleanest and freshest water.
Only re-usable materials.
All of our packaging materials are made of 100% recycled paper and cardboard.
We offer bio-degradeable pots and planters that can be used in the home and garden.
None of our plastic upgrades contain BPAs or any type of harmful elements and are all made of recycled materials.
Keeps our plants 100% pesticide free.
Many of the plants that are sold at garden centers and grocery stores are treated with pesticides while they grow to eliminate common insects that feed on the young plants. This invariably leaves chemical residue on the leaves of these plants which remains well after they are bought. At Harster Greenhouses we use biological control agents to treat our plants naturally to ensure they are healthy and non-toxic. Biological control refers to the use of predator insects that eat the eggs and larvaes of the pests that affect all living potted plants and flowers, therefore eliminating the need to use pesticides.
These predators, also called beneficial agents (BA) or biological control agents (BCA) only feed on specific insects. Each pest has its own natural enemy and specific predator that we use to control the contingent of undesirable insects.
Monitoring at each stage of plant development allows our growers to detect problems early before they become widespread, so we can manage problems in a localized way with the use of biocontrols agents. Yellow sticky cards and weekly plant inspections help us to monitor insect populations, both good and bad, so we can determine what BCA is necessary and in which quantity.
Banker plants, such as pepper plants, are disseminated throughout the greenhouses, acting as “nests” for the BCA where they can multiply and live. This ensures that no insect, not even the good ones, remain on any of our plants.
Having pesticide free greenhouses is good for the plants that thrive best without chemical agents, for the people working there, and for the consumers who can be confident that they are not introducing any pesticides inside their homes.
For more information on Biological Control please view the following resources:
Government of British Columbia Forest Ministry guide to Biocontrol: http://www.for.gov.bc.ca/hra/plants/biocontrol/what.htm
Government of Alberta Biocontrol Resource: http://www1.agric.gov.ab.ca/$department/deptdocs.nsf/all/agdex3445/$file/641-1.pdf?OpenElement
Cornell University Biocontrol Guide: http://www.biocontrol.entomology.cornell.edu/what.html