Edlin Greenhouse is a good fit with Edlinsâ�� corn, soybean operation
By Renae B. Vander Schaaf
Date Modified: 05/21/2012 2:01 PM
JACKSON, Minn. — Mark and Peggy Edlin have been planting and tending to plants since February. Their Edlin Produce and Greenhouse just south of Jackson is bursting with colorful plants ready to tantalize any gardener.
"Our work begins in February," said Peggy. "We then follow a schedule of seeding, transplanting, putting hanging baskets together over the next couple of months."
Typically the Edlins begin selling plants at the end of April from their farm location. Every available space in the greenhouses is used to grow geraniums, accent plants, hanging baskets, annuals and vegetable plants.
The Edlins started modestly. A small hoop greenhouse was used to start their own vegetable seedlings for their garden. Their needs for vegetable plants were a bit more than the average gardener because they also vend at a local farmers market. At that time it allowed Peggy to stay home with their young children.
When friends and neighbors began asking if they could grow extra flowers and vegetable plants for them, the Edlins saw the need to expand
"Our first greenhouse we found used in 2000," said Mark. "We took it down and reconstructed it. It didn't take long and we were out of space."
A second used greenhouse was reconstructed on their acreage.
The greenhouses have been a good fit with their farming operation.
Planning for the next year begins after Mark and Peggy finish corn and soybean harvest.
Mark is able to help early during the greenhouse season with the planning, seeding and some transplanting but then disappears to do field work, plant crops or tile, said Peggy.
"Our kids, Kyle, 17 and Megan, 15, help with transplanting seedlings, watering, assisting customers and whatever else needs doing," said Peggy. "The past two years, Kyle, has been helping grow and sell the produce at the market. It has become his summer job and FFA project. His sister, Megan, hopes to become a little more involved with the project, especially the flower portion."
Brittany Henning from Lakefield has been a reliable employee for the past two years. The Edlins appreciate her great work ethic and knowledge of plants and just the extra helping hand.
Sales from the greenhouse end in mid-June. For the rest of the summer, the family devotes time and energy to selling vegetables and cut flowers. Vegetables grown on five acres are vended at the Spirit Lake Farmers Market in Spirit Lake, Iowa.
Mark is co-market manager there with Mike Koenecke. The market is located on the Dickinson County fairgrounds. The market runs from 7:30 a.m. to noon Wednesdays and Saturdays from June 2 through October.