Rural greenhouse blossoms at market PDF Print E-mail
Written by BILL RYAN, Sentinel Garden Editor   
Thursday, 12 July 2012 09:30
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Linda Joseph, of Joseph's R&R Greenhouse holds one of many pots and mums. (Photos: Enoch Wu/Sentinel-Tribune)
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Joseph holds a young chrysanthemum ready for planting.
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A shopper visits Joseph's stand at the Farmer's Market in BG.
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Blueberries and tomatoes were among Wednesday's offerings at the Downtown Farmer's Market in BG.
Revising an old adage, "big things come in small greenhouses," at least at Joseph's R & R Greenhouse.
"We are not big, but we plant everything ourselves," said Linda Joseph who operates the rural Bowling Green business along with her husband, Ron. "We take a lot of care with what is grown here, not shipped in."
She said much of what they sell is planted from seeds, though some begin with tiny shoots.
A first glance at the modest greenhouses on Housekeeper Road does not convey the lush foliage, flowers and vegetables which it produces.
Because of their personal care and touches, Joseph says they are proud of the quality of everything they sell.
"People are very loyal to us," she added noting a great volume of repeat business due to the quality of their products.
Their retail sales are primarily over for the spring season, with only limited hours until the chrysanthemum and hardy aster sales in the fall.
However, Joseph said many people are still purchasing perennials to enhance or fill a void in their landscape.
"People are always looking for the 'new' perennial. They want something different," she said.
She showed as an example a Cherry Brandy Black-eyed Susan. Though it is not the most vibrant plant in a garden, she said its unusual dark coloring is attractive to consumers because of its difference.
"Perennials are becoming more and more popular every year," she added.
Despite the small size of the operation she stressed how they strive to offer a wide variety of plant selection and a wide variety of colors and cultivars within any given plant.
Among the more popular offerings are the Martha Washington geraniums with their wide variety of colors. Joseph also noted an increase interest in potted herbs.
Because of the mid-season limited hours at the greenhouse, the best place to purchase perennials as well as fresh vegetables is at the weekly Downtown Farmers' Market in Bowling Green on Wednesdays from 4 to 8 p.m.
"The downtown market has been growing by leaps and bounds," she says.
A regular stream of customers support the stand each week.
As for the produce, as one might expect, it is a changing assortment available at the market as the growing season progresses. They have or will have a wide variety of fresh vegetables for sale at the market. Offerings include turnips, potatoes, eggplant, squash, melons, tomatoes and a variety of peppers, to name a few.
Similar to the trend in people wanting something new, she said kohlrabi is gaining popularity.
"People see it and ask what it is," she said of the cabbage-like vegetable. "After trying it, they come back wanting more kohlrabi."
Early season offerings included broccoli and lettuce.
"We pick everything we sell on Wednesday morning," Joseph said. "It is as fresh as possible."
She indicated sometimes they have run low or out of items at the market and her husband would dash down the road into the fields and pick some additional vegetables to bring back for sale directly from the field.
Aside from the vegetables, much of the attention right now is focused on planting the asters and mums for sale this fall. Planting began last month and is ongoing to allow the sale of the fall flowers beginning in early September and running through the end of October. She said they have a wide variety of colors growing during what she calls this transitional time of the growing season.
Both she and her husband have lived in Wood County their entire lives and lived on the farm for the last 30 years.
The greenhouse was founded by her husband and his father, also named Ronald, thus the R & R name. Her father-in-law generally used the nickname "Ike." The current owners raised four children on the farm who all helped.
One of the grandchildren, age 4, has already expressed an interest in helping to plant. Joseph said they will welcome a fourth-generation involvement in the operation.
In addition to the retail operations at the greenhouse and the Bowling Green and other markets, the business also has a bulk wholesale operation.
Joseph said they also love to assist Scouts and 4-H clubs with fund-raising projects. The youth groups will take orders or sell gift certificates to raise money for their troop or club.
Because of their low overhead and personal attention, Joseph says they strive to keep their prices as reasonable as they possibly can.
"I can't remember the last time we raised our prices," she said.
More importantly, she said their customers respond to the personal attention provided by the family operation.
"I treat people the way I would want to be treated."
Last Updated on Thursday, 12 July 2012 12:18
 

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