Rainbow Greenhouses opened its doors to the public to reveal its newly built eight-acre expansion on Saturday.
The new section is an addition to the company’s older 13-acre building which allows them to now grow 70 per cent more product.
The $8.5-million upgrade is phase one of four. Over the process of about 10 years, the other three phases will be completed, says owner Stan Vander Waal.
The new greenhouse is made of glass, unlike the old one which is made of poly material. Although the glass is less insulating than the poly panelling, it lets in more natural light which results in a higher crop rotation.
The glass buildings also feature shaded ceiling sections which close before sundown to trap the daytime heat inside, and then open again in the morning.
A new LED system was installed featuring red and blue lights. Different plants have more success growing in different colours of light, and so now they can adjust the LEDs to each type of plant accordingly. At nighttime, people may sometimes catch a glimpse of a purple glow rising from one part of the new greenhouse.
The construction of the new 380,000 square foot greenhouse began in June of last year, and was completed in 10 months.
With May being its busiest month, the company is now entering its peak season. They employ 150 at the Chilliwack location during its busiest time.
Rainbow Greenhouses has its main office in Chilliwack, plus a location in Rosedale and one near Lethbridge, Alta.