Fortistar Greenhouse is situated on approximately 44 acres in Wheatfield Township, Niagara County, New York. There are three greenhouses which cover approximately 12.5 acres. This is one of the largest greenhouses in the Northeast. Steam is converted to hot water which is the heat source and is provided by Fortistar’s power plant in North Tonawanda which is located approximately 1.5 miles from the greenhouse.
Fortistar grows approximately six million pounds of tomatoes each year. The tomatoes are hydroponically grown using porous fiber rather than soil as a growing medium. The plants are fed nutrients through an irrigation system that is computer controlled.
The greenhouses contain beehives, and the bees pollinate the tomato blossoms naturally. Friendly predator insects called “biologicals” feed on any plant and fruit-damaging pests. Examples of “biologicals” are lady bugs and some wasp species. Because neither the bees nor biologicals can fly away, our pollination and insect-control levels are very high.
Computers control the temperature, humidity and feeding of our tomato plants. As the tomatoes ripen on the vine, they are picked by hand, washed, dried and packed in single-layer cartons to be shipped all over North America.