How we got started:
About 20 years ago, Tim started bringing a few trees home. And then a few more, and of course, a lot more. We came to the conclusion that we needed to do something or we would be over run with trees. He claims that it is an affliction that he can’t control. So we started a greenhouse business on a shoestring in 2005 and have been fortunate to grow a little bit each year.
More about Tim O'Brien:
My career in natural resources includes 37 years as a Research Forester with the University of Minnesota. In 2016 I transitioned into retirement, or as I like to view it my next career, I draw upon my experiences working at the U of M North Central Research & Outreach Center. I look forward to working full time in my new career!
In 2007 I joined the ranks of the Itasca County Master Gardeners. The Master Gardeners program has been a great learning experience for me in the field of horticulture. I am proud of the U of M's northern hardy research that has led to so many wonderful landscape plants as well as tree and small fruits developed specifically for our area. Of course, we like to feature many of the U of M varieties at our greenhouse. As I approached retirement we decided to drop trees, shrubs and perennials from our greenhouse offerings. We now offer annuals, heirloom vegetables and flowers.
My work experiences have led to opportunities to offer services as a Landscape Consultant, working on several landscape projects including lakeshore restoration. During my career I've worked with many industrial companies installing research plots which has led to more opportunities as a Forestry Consultant. I've been involved in several projects answering some basic questions with some research installations on industry lands.
More about Lynn O'Brien:
When we first started the greenhouse, I was working full time out of the house and then would come home and try to maintain the home and help with the greenhouse. At that point, my main job was keeping up with the business side, bookkeeping and office stuff.
I was laid off in 2012 and since then I have been hands on in the running of the greenhouse. Most of my working life I have worked in the service industry (waitressing, customer service, receptionist.) With this background I have found taking over the day to day running of the greenhouse an easy transition. Talking with people is definitely one of my favorite things to do!
A very important element of our business is the one-on-one relationship that we enjoy with our customers helping them select the proper plant for their needs and answering concerns and questions. This is something we believe is lost in the Big Box-Mart greenhouse atmosphere. We can and do take the time to talk with our customers. Sometimes for hours!
We use beneficial insects and organisms to control biological pests in our greenhouse. By incorporating beneficial insects and organisms, we can avoid using dangerous chemical pesticides. Don’t be surprised to see lady bugs and lacewings flitting around our plants. They are working hard helping us control damaging insects such as aphids and thrips.
We also believe in offering quality plants at reasonable prices. We pride ourselves in offering a large variety of heirloom vegetables and flowers along with the traditional annuals including hanging baskets and pots.