Houweling’s Tomato Experts: What it takes to be a Houweling’s Greenhouse Grower

Greenhouse Grower, Randy Shaw, Houwelings, Houweling's Tomatoes, Greenhouses, Greenhouse, Tomato

How did you get into Greenhouse Agriculture?

In the fall of 2001, I was on a tour of agricultural operations up the central coast with a group from university. While I was always interested in greenhouse growing I had no concept of the scope or possibilities of greenhouse farming until we visited Houweling’s Nurseries. From that moment, I knew the career I wanted to pursue.

After finishing school I joined the Houweling’s team. Through opportunities and intense determination, 11 years later, I am able to work with a cutting edge greenhouse and I am still amazed at what they are able to accomplish. It is a special privilege to be in food production, involved with a team that is so committed to the highest standards in quality and at a facility that functions as a stewardship of our land and resources.

What Does it take to be a Houweling’s Grower?

For me, if you want to be a grower you have to really WANT the greenhouse and the responsibility. A grower has to be able to work under pressure, to multi task, to deal with different people and situations throughout the day, and to do this within a warm humid environment. The grower has to see the crop as more than just a thing, but something that is living and needs to be taken care of very similar to ourselves. The crop needs us, we need the crop, and if you can recognize this relationship then you can lay down the foundation to be a grower.

To achieve at the highest level in this industry it takes a dedication to the greenhouse and the people involved. Part of this mentality comes from within and the rest can be learned from watching the people working in the greenhouses.

The Grower’s Mindset:

Every day, I see something that inspires me and renews my commitment. Whether it is the crop exceeding my expectations, someone coming up with a new idea to improve operations or adapting a new technology, the greenhouse is constantly evolving. It is the link between the people who make our achievements possible, the crop that allows us the opportunity, and the fundamental connection between nature and ourselves that makes this a special industry and Houweling’s Tomatoes a unique gem.

– Randy Shaw

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