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From idea to innovation | Casey Houweling

As a son of Dutch immigrants, Casey Houweling, who is President of the Houweling’s Group of Companies, learned the Dutch way of cultivation at his mother’s knee. Unfortunately, this turned out not to be the best way of growing in the different climate conditions across Canada and the United States. So he went looking for other solutions. This paid off, because meanwhile, as the inventor of the Ultra-Clima-greenhouse, Casey Houweling may be the most innovative grower in the world today.
  • From problem to innovation

    In most cases, a good idea emerges as the result of a problem. This sound familiar to Casey. “Earlier today, one of the speakers said that often we are not sufficiently innovative, because we do not face enough problems. Believe me when I say I’ve had them.” One of the problems he describes is the massive white fly pest that eventually led to the initial ideas for the Ultra Clima-greenhouse. “It was so bad that it looked like snow. We placed insect screens in order to keep the white fly out of the greenhouse, but that involved several disadvantages. The screen held back the light and reduced the ventilation capacity, which resulted in reduced production capacity.” 

Ultra Clima-greenhouse

The question remained a major concern: how can I keep this pest out without using insect screens? “You envisage, ponder and eventually an idea comes up. This consisted of working with forced ventilation under pressure where the outdoor air is blown into the crop from underneath, allowing you to reduce the number of ventilation openings by 96%”. This was an entirely different way of thinking than had been known to the Dutch greenhouse construction thus far, but it appeared to work. The Ultra Clima-greenhouse was born. 

About Casey Houweling

Casey Houweling is managing director owner of the Houweling Group of Companies with horticultural holdings in Canada and the USA. Production takes place on 200 acres of greenhouses, around 50 acres of which in Vancouver, Canada and 150 acres in Mona, Utah and Camarillo, California in the USA. On the one hand, the Houweling Group is a company that produces all kinds of tomatoes, like snack, cherry and beef tomatoes, while on the other hand it is a plant nursery of vegetable plants like eggplant, zucchini, cucumber, tomato, pepper and different kinds of herbs. These materials are the basis for growers in Northern America all the way down to Texas. Currently, in Vancouver, Canada, the cultivation of medical cannabis is being started, with the intention to scale up to 20-25 acres of production area over the next two years.

Casey Houweling spreekt tijdens het Royal Brinkman innovatieseminar Let's improve together
Casey Houweling during the Royal Brinkman innovation seminar - Let's improve together

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