Greenhouse Enterprise: Potential, Considerations & Planning

Presenting Organization
BC Ministry of Agriculture Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Are you considering a greenhouse enterprise in your community? Greenhouses can offer unique opportunities to increase food production and extend the growing season. This is especially true in areas of the province with shorter growing season. 

There are several key elements to consider prior to selecting a greenhouse design, site and enterprise model. Taking time to consider these factors ahead of time can help to avoid costly mistakes and potentially disappointing results. 

The Ministry of Agriculture has worked to produce a toolkit for Nations considering purchasing and installing greenhouses. This toolkit consists of this presentation and a complimentary workbook. The presentation will take the audience through the key considerations when endeavoring on a greenhouse enterprise such as:

  • Greenhouse design
  • Heating and lighting
  • Site selection
  • Related equipment and structures
  • Business planning and financial sustainability

The workshop will also provide a description of programs and services available to support Indigenous agriculture that are available through the BC Ministry of Agriculture and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. 

What Participants will Learn by Attending

  • Best Practices of greenhouse selection and development
  • Best Practices in business planning and enterprise development for agriculture
  • Details on agriculture related services and program funding and eligibility


  • Doug Janzen, Janzen Consultants Ltd
  • Fred Fortier, Uncle Freddy’s Hothouse and Nursery
  • Anita Lee, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
  • Erica Nitchie, BC Ministry of Agriculture

Presenter Biographies
Erica Nitchie, P.Ag: Erica works as the Indigenous Business Agrologist with the BC Ministry of Agriculture. She has had the privilege of working directly with many Nations throughout the province on various agriculture-related projects over the past 12 years. Erica earned a Bachelor of Natural Resource Science from Thompson Rivers University and has spent her professional career working in first forestry and then agriculture. Erica, her partner and two young boys reside in the traditional terriroty of Splatsin, near Enderby. 


Douglas Janzen, B.Sc.Ag, P.Ag, AACI, P.App. Douglas has over 30 years of experience in Agricultural Credit and Asset Valuation across western Canada. He has been a Professional Agrologist since 1990. Douglas has provided consultation services in all aspects of Agriculture ranging from Aquaculture and Field Cropping through the Cattle Industry and Supply Managed sectors, Vineyards and Wineries. Douglas is also a third-generation farmer on a portion of the land that his grandfather settled in 1932 near Chilliwack in the eastern Fraser Valley.


Fred Fortier: Fred is a descendent the Secwepemc / Nle?kepmx Nations  and from the Simpcw First Nation and resides in Chu Chua with his wife Mary. Fred and Mary have four grown children and six grand children. Fred is the co-owner of 4TR Ventures Ltd , joint venture company Eqw7uqw’iyews (ek uk wee yows ) LLP, and subsidiary company -Uncle Freddy’s Hothouse & Nursery. He was a winner of the 2016 Outstanding Business Achievement from the BC Aboriginal Business Awards. Fred manages Uncle Freddy’s Hothouse and Nursery and a market garden that sells produce to the local market and has provided technical advice to First Nations communities on gardening through the First Nation Health Authority’s First Nations Food Systems Program for the past two years. He actively collects traditional medicine plants to make salves and other remedies for elders and the people of the community. Fred’s hobbies include hunting, fishing , gardening,  learning about plants and their benefits to medicine and culture.    


Anita Lee is an acting Senior Industry Development Officer at Agriculture and Agri-Foods Canada (AAFC) and covers the Labour, Greenhouse and Field Vegetables, Ornamentals, Food Policy, and Indigenous files in the AAFC Burnaby regional office. Prior to joining AAFC in September 2019, she spent eight years working on Indigenous Labour Market programs such as the Indigenous Skills and Employment Training (ISET) program, Aboriginal Skills and Employment Training Strategy (ASETS), Skills and Partnership Fund (SPF), and the First Nations Job Fund (FNJF) in various capacities at Service Canada. This includes her work as a Business Expertise Consultant for the Western Canada and Territories region, Program Consultant with National Headquarters, and Senior Development Officer with the BC regional office. Anita holds a Bachelors of Art in Criminology and Psychology (double major) from Simon Fraser University.