Heidi's Story

'Great Seed and Great Insights: The Key to Growing Exceptional Produce'

Water and sunlight aren’t the only ingredients necessary to grow delicious and visually appealing produce. The process starts with high-quality seed and yields the best crops when the supplier shares its cultivation insights. Rijk Zwaan USA’s work with Bakerview Greenhouses Inc. is an excellent example of how collaboration between a leading seed provider and an experienced grower can deliver exceptional results.

Mastering the Impact of Climate on Crop Quality


Heidi Balla, grower at Bakerview Greenhouses Inc. is passionate about finding ever-better ways to grow the nutritious food needed to support the world’s rapidly expanding population. In particular, she is focused on Dutch-style Venlo greenhouses and how the conditions maintained within them affect crop quality. “After eight years in the industry, I am still fascinated by the greenhouse and all that climate control encompasses,” she says.


Pepper Production: The “Delicious” is in the Details


One of the challenges Balla most enjoys tackling is understanding the correlation between climate and a particular pepper variety. “I believe the basics for pepper growing are similar across varieties,” she says. “However, I also believe it is the small details in growing style that can make a specific variety succeed.”


Balla and the team at Bakerview Greenhouses Inc. were looking to grow peppers that lean more toward three lobes rather than four, have fewer open bottoms, and develop less inner rot. Starting with Redline seed, she worked with Rijk Zwaan’s experts to tailor a climate strategy that yielded those results. “Rijk Zwaan has been a presence in our greenhouses for several seasons,” says Balla. “We are pleased to work with the company’s consultants and appreciate their ability to listen to the growers and the developing market, and to offer advice where possible to grow a variety to its greatest potential.”

Getting Optimal Results and Off to Market Efficiently


As Balla points out, “It can take several seasons to really understand the growing strategies for a specific variety.” By working with growers to understand their needs and objectives, the team at Rijk Zwaan helps them achieve the desired characteristics in their crops quickly so they can get product to market more efficiently. “With proper support from seed representatives and consultants, the time it takes to learn the ins and outs of a new variety can be minimized,” says Balla. “And the optimal growing environment can be set sooner.”

Rijk Zwaan is proud to have this type of strong, mutually beneficial relationship with growers worldwide. When it comes to feeding the world, the path to success is clearly through productive partnerships.