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Berry good news: Locally grown strawberries picked year-round at Alberta greenhouse

The Sunterra Greenhouse in Acme is the only place in Canada that's growing the Duchess strawberry. (Supplied) The Sunterra Greenhouse in Acme is the only place in Canada that's growing the Duchess strawberry. (Supplied)

Thanks to a little Alberta agricultural ingenuity, a rare strawberry that was previously unavailable in Canada, is now being grown in a greenhouse north of Calgary.

The Sunterra Greenhouse, which provides fresh fruit and vegetables for stores in Calgary, Edmonton and Red Deer, has announced the development of a technique to grow Duchess strawberries.

The sweetest part of the arrangement is that since the farming is all indoors, Albertans can enjoy the delicious goods at any time of the year.

"We're thrilled to share our locally grown berries with Albertans who value fresh, local produce, grown right here at home," said Amanda Hehr, president of Sunterra Greenhouse.

She says that the innovation is "bridging the gap" for the province, which currently imports 90 per cent of its produce.


The company says the key to its growing lies within the walls of its 20-acre greenhouse in Acme, Alta., located approximately an hour northeast of Calgary.

There, 100,000 strawberry plants are cared for in optimal conditions to allow for year-round growth, taking advantage of Alberta's average 333 days of sun each year.


They're then hand picked and delivered to Sunterra Market locations throughout the province, a much shorter distance than imported produce. That's one of the reasons they're so much better, the company says.

"The short travel distance allows the berries to be bred for maximum nutritional value and a high quality taste," the company said in a release.

On top of premium quality fruit, the greenhouse presently employs 55 full-time employees and has plans to expand that workforce to more than 200 people by the time its facility is complete.

For more details on the Sunterra Greenhouse, as well as details on how to buy your produce online and arrange for curbside pickup or delivery, visit the official website. Top Stories

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