At Andy Mast Greenhouses, we believe in sustainable growing practices that have a low environmental impact and produce strong, healthy plants.
Sustainability is more than an operational concept to us — it’s our core business philosophy that informs all of our decisions.
In floriculture, there are four main areas of eco-friendly sustainability practices:
Energy conservation is a primary goal economically and in terms of environmental impact. We utilize renewable resources and strategies to cut utility and energy usage wherever possible in our greenhouses and in our transportation fleet. In addition, we deploy technologies to closely calibrate our equipment and to audit the integrity of our growing enterprise. Many of our greenhouses are fitted with energy- saving curtains, which helps maintain even temperatures and reduce natural gas consumption. Using energy-efficient building materials is another way to reduce the use of renewable resources. For example, 83% of our greenhouses are covered with cost and energy efficient double poly, infrared, anti-condensate, air insulated roof covering. Currently, 25% of our trailers are retrofitted with underbelly, fuel- efficient wind guards, with plans to install more in the future.
Water is another major factor for healthy, vigorous plants, and must be managed carefully to avoid waste. Through industry innovation, we use drip irrigation systems that are precisely calibrated to deliver the exact amount of water needed. We use 100% drip, or in-pot, irrigation on our 30-plus acres of summer production, reducing water waste by millions of gallons per year. In addition, where practical, we use reclaimed water and recycled water to reduce well water reliance. For example, 60% of our greenhouses capture and recycle excess irrigation water by using flood benches or flood floors, and the majority of the greenhouses have been designed to capture and divert rainwater into reservoir tanks. This water is then used for crop irrigation.
Controlling pests to preserve robust plant health is a huge sustainability challenge for the floriculture industry. Andy Mast Greenhouses has led the way with innovations in the use of biologics and other sustainable strategies to maintain plant health.
We have an in-house recycling program with our plastic pot suppliers, ensuring that plastic waste is recycled instead of being placed in landfills. We also “recycle” 70% of our leftover organic matter through composting.