For this issue AG RX visited Fillmore Agroponics. We were met by Scott Beylik, the owner, who gave us our tour. The business was started in 1971 by his father and grandfather. Fillmore Agroponics grow tomatoes and cucumbers in a soil-less media in three green houses. The media they use is derived from coconut shells. They are able to get 2 crops out of the media. Fertilizer is injected each time they irrigate. The tomato plants are roughly 100 days old when harvest begins and the plants last about 10 months. As the plants grow taller they are strapped to growing strings and once they reach a certain height the growing point is lowered. There are basically no bees in this controlled environment, so they will use a leaf blower to move around the pollen. Something to do all the time, labor, labor, labor. All the produce, cucumbers and tomatoes, are sold at farmers markets from Santa Barbara to Los Angeles. The plants are grown in a controlled environment. The temperature and humidity are monitored by computers which will make adjustments through fans and heating tubes. This also helps with disease and pest control. They do deal with russet mite and occasionally white fly as well as mildew and botrytis. Pythium was also a problem, but they have been able to control by using MicroGain, a biological product.
It was a great tour of their operation and extremely interesting. Thank you Scott for spending time with us and showing us your beautiful crops grown with hard work and devotion.