Kira Construction, Inc. is a North San Diego County-based construction company that builds greenhouses for a wide range of southern California growers, nurseries and propagation houses. The highly experienced and knowledgeable team at Kira Construction taps into over 75 years of combined construction experience to build the best commercial greenhouses in the world, manufactured by Agra Tech, Inc., one of the leaders in the greenhouse industry. With a stellar reputation based on safely producing quality greenhouses that feature exemplary workmanship, Kira Construction prides itself on offering some of the finest customer satisfaction in the industry today, by meeting stringent deadlines and completion projects on-time.
KIra Construction’s Owner Ralph Cox started working on greenhouses in 2009 when a friend called him and asked for help. “A buddy of mine at Archi’s Acres (a San Diego greenhouse grower) called and asked me would I be willing to help them to build their greenhouse and I said why not,” Cox explained. “We built them an Agra Tech 35’ x 120’ greenhouse and we pretty much learned on the job. After that project, I decided to learn as much as I could about greenhouse construction and all of the other things that come with it, like hydroponic systems, bench fabrication, heating, etc. Now we specialize in ground-up greenhouse construction as well as renovations, modernizations, repairs, retrofits and additions to residential and commercial greenhouses and shade house industries. It’s become a big part of our business and now we’re known as the greenhouse construction company.”
Owner Ralph Cox started his company in 2008 after getting laid off as a Field Superintendent, a position he had held for 20 years. He decided to pursue greenhouse construction as a full-time thing five years ago and he hasn’t looked back since. Cox likes the variety of the work and enjoys interacting with greenhouse farmers. “We work with large and small growers, nurseries, schools and institutions,” he said. “Many of them are commercial farmers, but we also get our fair share of hobbyists, who want smaller greenhouses, and that’s fine. ‘ No job too small or too large’ is our motto and every customer gets the same excellent customer service that we offer. As a North San Diego County greenhouse contracting company, we are able to build agricultural structures at fair, reasonable and competitive prices. And by working with Agra Tech, we have a distinct advantage, because every grower in this area knows and respects the Agra Tech name.”
Today, Kira Construction’s workload is almost all greenhouse construction. The company has a crew of six professionals and is busy almost all the time. “Our niche is now greenhouse construction and we’re proud to be in this industry,” Cox said. “Each project is totally different and that’s one thing I really like about this business. We may get a citrus grower one month and then the next month, we’ll do some work for a small grower of specialty leafy vegetables. It’s always changing and that keeps us excited, because we never know what’s going to happen next.”
Cox is happy to be working in an industry that is growing at a rapid rate. “More than ever, people want to grow their own food,” Cox said. “There is a huge demand for locally grown organic foods and the benefits are two-fold. By growing high-quality food for their own consumption or to sell locally, these greenhouse growers are helping themselves, their families and the people in their region. We’re a construction company, but we have a higher calling and an important role in today’s society, because we create the structures in which this food is grown.”
Assembling an Agra Tech greenhouse is not a do-it-yourself job and Cox warns people that they will need assistance and guidance to put one together, for several reasons. “Some folks look at it and say—hey I can do this myself by working on it during the weekend,” Cox said. “But I tell them that it’s not that easy. Building an Agra Tech greenhouse is like building a small home. There is a lot of grading and planning and a certain level of complexity to do it right. A small greenhouse can take as little as one week to build, while a larger one can take up to 2-3 months, depending on the situation. My advice is to hire a construction company to assemble your greenhouse and avoid potential problems down the road.”
Cox loves the support and knowledge offered by the professionals at Agra Tech, Inc. “The people at Agra Tech are always available to give us advice and guide us through projects if needed,” Cox said. “Jim Bergantz is our contact at Agra Tech and we call on him often, because he is an incredible source of information and the guy is passionate about this industry. These people are focused on doing an excellent job and if we ever need anything, they’re right there to help us. If there is any issue, I know that Agra Tech will do whatever it takes to make it right and that’s why I love working with them.”
Sunridge Nurseries is excited to announce that it has embarked on an expansion project that will increase their overall production area by an additional 7 acres of greenhouses and shade houses. These state of the art, Agra-Tech solar light ranges will come equipped with the latest technologies in greenhouse climate and irrigation controls. By incorporating higher gutter heights, ridge roof vents and internal shade curtains, coupled with energy efficient double wall polycarbonate coverings, we expect to shorten our crop time on potted grafted vines and do it with fewer energy inputs. Other features include the addition of HAF fans and light diffusion in the polycarbonate coverings which will allows us to grow at higher crop densities without sacrificing plant quality.
The expansion project will increase our overall capacity by 2 million potted vines under a protected insect free environment. This, along with all concrete flooring and roadways throughout the entire project and our continued use of all metal benching, will help to provide for a more disease free growing area. The ability to wash down benches, floors and walkways with disinfectants both before and after vines move thru the facility is a critical step in keeping the vines free of unwanted diseases.
by Michael Vietti
Read the Blog: Sunridge Nurseries Undergoes Large Greenhouse Expansion