One of the most important activities that happens here at Chippewa Valley Growers is, well, growing. One particular member of our Growers Family is focused on just that. Meet our amazing Grower, Josh.
Josh’s affection for all things plant-related didn’t happen early on or when he was a child, but rather through stumbling upon what he thought would be just another job. While studying psychology in college, Josh began working at a greenhouse in Chippewa Falls where he became smitten with greenery. “Especially like right before it closed at night and there was nobody else in there and it was just, you know, such a neat feeling being in the greenhouse with so many living plants… kind of therapeutic.”
Simply put, he loved it.
Outside of a few soil science and horticulture greenhouse management classes, Josh let his passion lead his learning, “I was learning a lot on the job, more so than in the classroom.”
Today, just weeks before our doors open for the season on April 15th, Josh is feverishly working to produce incredible, high-quality plants. Unsurprisingly, he exhibits an excitement for seeding – the process of watching a seed move into the germ chamber and then, five days later, transplanting them to continued development.
Chippewa Valley Grower’s seeding process has been methodically developed over several years, and much of the planning is done backwards. To get the mature plant ready for customers to replant at home, they have to carefully calculate and identify the exact date for the planting of each species type. In addition to a detailed planning schedule, they also have an impressive seeding machine that helps facilitate the method.
Josh also notes that he likes to stir the perennials out of dormancy and wait for them to start budding out. “That’s fun. That’s exciting.”
Although Josh is quick to note that there’s a vast difference between the Chippewa Valley Growers’ garden center and other facilities. The major difference comes from the quality that is unique to a place that actually grows their own plants.
That quality stems from the close relationships our growers develop with the seeds or cuttings. Josh notes, “From the first stages that the plants are alive, we are with them…we’re mothering. Our growers nurture nature in a way that only independent greenhouses can.”
While Josh and the rest of the staff are busy planning at the garden center, they encourage you to do some planning as well – but only as much as you want to. The whole team of growers and staff at Chippewa Valley Growers is excited and willing to assist with all of your planning and selection if you so choose. With basic information such as the size of your planting space and the level of sun in that area (i.e. full shade, part shade, morning sun, afternoon sun, etc.), they can help you identify what to plant, when to plant, and even how much to plant.
Or if you fancy yourself a master gardener, just bring in your list and they’ll help you check it off with everything you need.
Our doors will be open on April 15th, and Josh along with the rest of the Chippewa Valley Growers’ staff are ready to chat with you about all things flowers, trees, plants, and seeds. It’s all part of a day-in-the-life of a Chippewa Valley Grower.
To learn more from Josh or to hear more about what is happening at our Emerald City, please join our email list.
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