While he's only been at Rochester Farmers Markets for a few years, Joel Flemke of Joel's Greenhouse has a long career (nearly 50 years!) providing beautiful flowers, perennials, vegetables, herbs, and succulents to homes and businesses in southeast Minnesota.
We visited the greenhouse in Pine Island in late March, just as the team was ramping up for the spring. It had been a challenging winter, with several snow storms dumping enough weight on the greenhouses that they needed to be shoveled off.
Joel explained that his business got started in 1971, when he placed an advertisement in the Pine Island newspaper selling young tomato plants. Now he and his wife Nancy operate a full service garden center that offers a wide range of hearty plants and gardening supplies.
In the nursery, most plants arrive as plugs and are transplanted into larger pots and baskets. Several pieces of specialized equipment and a system of tracks and pulleys make moving large numbers of plants more efficient.
Joel is especially proud of the more than 120 types of succulents he propagates for the greenhouse and for the market. These have been extremely popular with customers over the past few years! Some succulents are specially ordered, but others are offspring of permanent plants that live in the greenhouse year-round.
Whether you find Joel at the market or with his team in Pine Island, he's an excellent resource for high quality products and information, and is more than happy to share tips from his years of experience.
For more information, follow Joel's Greenhouse on Facebook or visit: https://joelsgreenhousepi.com/