First Some history: Essentially the drive to grow one’s own veggies started (for me) at the tender age of 6…whereby I carved one out a tall patch of grass across the road from my parents garden. (I didn’t want their precious collection of the purslane weed!)
Continuing…moved to the big city lights to gain employment, I married, we started a family and moved out to the homestead we presently farm. I could honestly say I have had a garden every year of my life except for maybe 2 years! That is a Lot of gardening!
Due to excessive perennial flowers (and the need to collect…) numerous plant/garage sales began. 28 years ago (1989) about 50 tomato plants were left over after the garden was planted (Lemon Boy, Beefmaster, Oxheart, Sugar Cherry, Manitoba and Giant Belgium) and these were offered up for sale. They immediately sold out! That’s when the madness really began!
Following this pleasant surprise, approximately 50-100 more heritage and heirloom vegetable plants had been introduced and added each year to the inventory. In 2013 the plant inventory alone, stood at 6000 plants! (Hobby Greenhouse??) Our present day variety offering comprised of approx. ?430 varieties of tomatoes, 120 peppers and numerous other unusual varieties of vegetables from Canada, US, Germany, France, Africa, India, Australia, Sweden, Czech, and many others . On last count 2017 (…there was over 1500 different varieties in all, that we have grown and experimented with in our collection!
For all that time, I was operating 1 full time business (the seeds), going to work full time, operating another part time business (the alpines) and managing the home/house/farm with my hubby. In truth…I was a stupid work-a-holic! And I was beginning to feel (physically) the consequences of my choices. In 2010, I retired from my fulltime job…
In 2014, I decided to slow down the G.H. business to about 30% operational. For the last 3 years, I sold off extra plants (focusing primarily on seed offerings…) that arrived as a result of maintaining this extensive collection. Grandchildren and family have always been very important to us and despite retiring, there just wasn’t enough time in the year to go anywhere or even do things for ourselves small scale, as the G.H. (and farm) continued to consume us, year round!
Which brings me to today…
Today, I am writing the most difficult letter I have ever faced.
Despite seed sales increasing by 15-20% this past fall, the importance of my health and the need to doing something even more wonderful was clawing at me. I wanted to travel and see our wonderful world. I wanted to see my extended family, in other parts of Canada. I was mesmerized by the stories my fellow co-workers were telling me of their fantastic trips. And suddenly a serious change in health, placed the icing on the cake. (Don’t worry…its all good)
BUT! How could I just leave this wonderful business and the great people in it? These were my “babies”! I was responsible for all of them…as many cannot be found anywhere else today. To say…I was sick to my stomach, sad and depressed about finally making this decision…is saying it mildly!
It took me 2-3 months to wrap my head around this plan. Starting in October, I made up my mind. I could not advertise publically. I did not want the “likes” of ANY “monopolizing” seed company” getting wind of my plan. They have a reputation of buying up and destroying it. They don’t care for heritage vegetable seed preservation??! I decided to contact other small seed companies via phone, privately. I was shocked to discover, many owners of these companies were just as old as I was or even older. This concerned me. Some wanted to buy parts…no not happening…not fair to someone wanting it all.
Suddenly an owner of a small company called me and after much conversation we agreed on all aspects of a comfortable transfer of goods. And so as I am writing this to you, I am slowly packing up “my babies” for travel. What an overwhelming undertaking…
The name of the company is called “A’Bunadh Seeds” of Cherhill, Alberta. Congratulations! And Thank You! Please show your support to these young seed growers and owners, as they will carry this huge responsibility from my shoulders…forward. I wish them the greatest success.
Before I go, I want to say a HUGE THANK YOU to all my wonderful customers and gardening friends. It has been an absolute pleasure meeting and talking to you (some in person…really loved those) ALL these years…from far away and close!!! Gardeners are a special breed of peoples. They are one of the most honest, kindest, most helpful, most knowledgeable and most encouraging folk I have EVER had the honor of meeting and hanging out with. I am and will always feel blessed for this…J
Attention: My website (Mandy’s Greenhouse) will remain online (but with changes…L), as promised, for educational purposes….BUT no more sales! I am NOT closing this business. Please do not use the information/history without my explicit permission, as I have taken over 25 years to accumulate it! The name and this business is a registered business. Any orders that come, I will (regrettably… ) return to the sender.
Mandy’s Greenhouse is also the canopy for my Alpine Plant business (www.alpineplants.ca) and this I will continue (slowly) as time and season allows.
I have already been booked for several visual presentations for various organizations and Garden Clubs. I am available for a number of diverse topics. Please feel free to ask me. These are SO MUCH fun to do! I will post my dates and times on the GH website. AND I will continue to update my Mandy’s Greenhouse Face Book site with gardening info…NOW that I have more time!
Please feel free to contact me, if you have gardening questions. I will also offer my services in the way of consultation, if you are starting a new garden or have general problems, if you want to avoid ALL the horrid mistakes I have made over the years…gladly!
SO…my wonderful friends. God Bless you all! And Happy Growing…
And THANK YOU once more…!
p.s. I will not have seed to sell at the upcoming Seedy Saturday on February 11th, CMU North Campus in the Great Hall…2017. BUT I might still come down and visit with you all…!!!