The CLEVELAND GREENHOUSE VEGETABLE GROWERS' COOPERATIVE ASSN. is an organization designed to help the Cleveland-area greenhouse vegetable industry by funding scientific research, providing marketing information to growers, and promoting locally grown products to consumers. The association was formed in 1926 as the Cleveland Hothouse Vegetable Growers' Cooperative Assn.; the name of the group was changed in 1949. The 19 growers who founded the organization had a total of 25 acres of land under glass in 1926. By the mid-1950s the 100-member association boasted that the Cleveland area, with 350 acres of greenhouses, had "the third largest concentration of greenhouses" in the U.S. and the third largest in the world. Of the Cleveland greenhouse crop, 80% was tomatoes, 10% was lettuce, and the other 10% was split evenly between watercress and cucumbers. But the energy crisis of the 1970s led to the local industry's decline. The increasing cost of natural gas and oil made greenhouses more expensive to maintain, and the number of acres under glass fell from 250 in 1973 to 75 in 1982 and 39 in 1993. In 1983 the association began to explore new marketing strategies, and in Jan. 1985 launched an advertising campaign for Western Reserve Gourmet Cucumbers, followed later by a similar campaign for tomatoes. Located at 480 W. Bagley Rd. in BEREA, the association in 1993 numbered 14 members in Cuyahoga, Lorain, and Medina counties.

Article Categories