HERO’s Journey: Our Tomatoes from Mucci Farms

Tomatoes

At Hero Certified Burgers, it’s not just about the food that we serve but how we bring it to the table.

With that said, we’d like to show you the dedication and craft that goes into all of our burgers. To start off, we visited the Mucci Farms in Kingsville, Ontario, right in the heart of the Tomato Capital of Ontario. We met with key representatives at Mucci to talk about the dedication that goes into making our greenhouse-grown, non-GMO, pesticide-free Beefsteak Tomatoes.

MUCCI’S STORY

Coming to Canada from Italy in 1961, Tony and Gino Mucci rented farmland on share until they were able to purchase their first 21 acres of land in 1963.  They successfully grew a variety of vegetables on this land until they purchased additional land and began to focus their efforts on tomatoes.

Building their first wooden frame poly greenhouses in 1969, they soon went on to build a 4 acre glass range in 1975 to the surprise of many of their neighbouring farmers and friends.  Four acres was a large project on its own, but four acres of glass was even more surprising.  The years following that build were tough with the mortgage crisis raising interest rates as high as 25% and increases in fuel and labour costs, but they pushed through, crediting their success to new tomato varieties and technology that improved yields.

Further growth of the family business progressed throughout the years as more land was purchased and greenhouses were built.  Taking control of packing and marketing, Mucci Pac and Mucci International Marketing were formed in ’92 and ’96 respectively, followed by additional greenhouse expansion in ’97 and warehouse expansion in ’98.  Five acre additions were the norm at that time, but with a new marketing company and a packing line to fill, they took another risk and decided to build 20 acres of poly greenhouses.

Today, Tony and Gino’s children have joined the family business and remain true to their parent’s entrepreneurial spirit with subsequent builds and the expansion of Mucci International Marketing.  Tony and Gino are still active in the family business, growing cocktail cucumbers at the home farm while their children take care of the new greenhouses and the marketing company.   The farms are fruitful and Mucci International Marketing has continued its growth, now representing over 400 acres of Ontario greenhouse vegetables to markets across North America.

HOW MUCCI GROWS

Greenhouses are a highly researched method of growing, but at the end of the day Mucci  just farmers looking for a great growing season. Greenhouses help them create that environment: by providing their plants with the perfect temperature, humidity and the optimal amount of water, they are able to put all of their energy toward producing great tasting vegetables.  Additionally, because less energy is spent on survival and fighting adverse environmental conditions, greenhouse produce typically has higher nutrient contents and yields than field-grown vegetables.

Even with computer controlled irrigation and temperature, Mother Nature is still active in the Mucci Farms greenhouse ecosystem.  Bees fly around to pollinate the plants and rather than pesticides we use a program called Integrated Pest Management where ‘good bugs’ (such as lady bugs) prey on ‘bad bugs.’  Additionally, we’re able to use a fraction of the land and water that traditional farming requires with high yields and by sterilizing and re-circulating our run-off water.

The advantages of choosing Greenhouse-grown produce are plenty:

  1. all year round growing, availability and consistent quality ensure optimum taste and freshness
  2. completely non-GMO varieties
  3. The heat for our greenhouses is created with biomass energy sources which is virtually carbon-neutral and almost inexhaustible
  4. a high caliber of cleanliness and security in our facilities.
  5. We recycle all of our leachate irrigation water to reduce our footprint on the environment

Now that you’ve read about the amazing work that Mucci Farms does on a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis, take an insider’s look into their farm: