20422 Nissouri Rd.
Thorndale, ON
N0M 2P0 Get directions to Heeman's.
Sunday 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Monday 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
Tuesday 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
Wednesday 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
Thursday 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
Friday 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
Saturday 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Rita Heeman releasing insects as part of our bio controls in the greenhouse.

Biological Controls

Raising healthy, strong plants is our top priority at Heeman’s, and we recognize that sometimes the best way to this is nature’s way. That’s why we’ve scrapped the traditional spraying program in favour of a softer approach, fighting bugs with bugs. Our pest control is done with the help of thousands of beneficial insects that form the front line in our biological control program. Biological control allows for a softer, yet effective approach to pest control that employs predatory mites to hunt down other mites, like two-spotted spider mites, or parasitic wasps to attack aphids. Whatever the insect we’ve got a hunter to handle it.

These bugs aren’t like traditional average lady bug or praying mantis. Each of our allies has an appetite for a specific type of prey, selective feeders that narrow in on common greenhouse pests. Next time you come visit the greenhouse look out for our little friends, if you see an insect hanging around, chances are it’s just another faithful Heeman employee hard at work.

Water Retention & Recycling

A greenhouse operation as big as ours can have major water demands. That’s why for years we’ve been keeping our water usage minimized by using flooding benches and water reservoirs.

Rain water is funnelled into our holding pond and used for irrigating the popular strawberry fields or frost protecting in the spring. Rather than draw down our local water levels, we prefer to capitalize on what Mother Nature gives us and everyone knows that nothing beats rain water for helping plants grow.

In the greenhouses we have had a unique watering system in place since the 1980’s, a very forward thinking concept that is now becoming more common. Water premixed with fertilizer is stored in large tanks, with a whole network of pipes under the greenhouse floors to connect tanks with flood tables. Based on preset timers, the benches are flooded with water, and once everyone has had enough to drink, the water is drained out of the tables, and is filtered before returning to the large tanks. Not only does this account for less water loss due to evaporation, but it also eliminates fertilizer runoff and is a more effective way of watering that helps reduce leaf moisture that can lead to fungus build up.

Plant Selection and Pots

Over the past couple decades, the call for native plants has been growing louder, and we hear you! We are working with vendors, growers and wholesalers to increase production of native plants at the scale required to offer them in a retail setting. In 2022, we welcomed a new native seed supplier to increase the diversity in what we are currently offering.

In our own production greenhouses, we have been trialing the use of coconut coir pots that would reduce our use of plastics even further. We plan on incorporating these into more and more products if successful (so far, so good!).

The plastic pots and trays that we do happen to use, are reused as much as possible.

Waste Reduction

All of our coffee cups, lids, straws, spoons, and milkshake containers have been switched to eco-plastics that are plant-based and 100% compostable. Even better, we have a separate composting stream from our garbage and recycling streams, so with the help of our guests, we are successfully diverting these single use items from the landfills.

We also have our own compost pile with organic matter (leaves, spoiled produce, etc.) that we maintain and spread out onto the fields as a natural source of fertilizer.

Overhead view of solar panels installed on rooftops at Heeman's.

Solar Energy

In the summer of 2021 our solar panels were installed and officially started generating solar energy for our use in the greenhouses. Within the first year, we’ll offset over 60 tonnes of carbon thanks to the sunshine.

In 2022, our solar panels will assist with generating energy for the newly installed Electric Vehicle charging stations!

Green Leadership

Heeman’s is proud to be part of the green economy movement and we’ve been recognized locally and beyond for our efforts. In 2019 Heeman’s was awarded the Environment Leadership Business of the Year by the London Chamber of Commerce. Also in 2019 we became founding members of Green Economy London. We were selected as London’s representative and were a finalist for the inaugural Green Economy Builder Award, named by Green Economy Canada. In 2021 Heeman’s was awarded the Emissions Project of the Year for Green Economy London with the largest emissions reducing project in London for our solar power project.

Employee's holding letters that spell GREEN TEAM after planting native plants.

Green & Growing Team

One of our core values is to be green and growing. We interpret that to mean embracing green or environmental initiatives wherever we can, and to grow in knowledge as well as the typical business sense. Our Daymakers feel just as passionately about our ability to make a difference, so they joined in July 2021 to help us plant over 700 native plants on a portion of un-farmed land in our pick-your-own fields (aka the patch).

Our team was able to plant Virginia Rye, Indian Grass, Rudbeckia, Tall Sunflower, Hairy Beardtongue, Tall Coreopsis, Monarda, Virginia Mountain Mint, Cup Plant & Swamp Rose Mallow.

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