The Brandsemas have been farming for three generations, over 50 years. They grow three types of tomatoes on site: cherry tomatoes, truss tomatoes, and loose tomatoes.
Twelve years ago, Anthony Brandsema decided to move towards growing tomatoes hydroponically. Firstly, because when growing in soil, you need to rotate crops. Since they grow only tomatoes only (and in a greenhouse) there is a limited number of vegetables with which to rotate. This leads to fumigating the soil, which can alter minerals in the soil and so hydroponics seemed like the logical option.
The second reason for this decision was that hydroponics allows for more control. Once a month Anthony sends a water sample to be tested, and is then able to alter the feed as per the mineral deficiencies/increases in the water.
In 2005, Anthony won the Nuffield Farming Scholarship, which allowed to travel around the world learning about farming and hydroponics. He was able to see how other countries approached hydroponic farming, and learn new techniques.
The company now employs about 20 full time staff and will be looking to hire apprentices in the future.