Beginning in Spring of 2021, Richmond Nursery will pivot and re-focus our business on our core belief of growing plants. Our operation and facilities will be focused on:
- Young Plant Production - starter annuals and perennials for other growers
- Farm Starts - growing of vegetable plants started in the greenhouse for farm planting in the spring
- Pre-book and Contract Grown Annuals & Perennials - fall booked plants tailored for specific spring plantings
- Wholesale and Trade - providing annuals and perennials to landscapers, retailers, BIA's, community associations, and florists in and around the City of Ottawa
- Fund Raisers and Churches - providing various causes in our community a means of raising money and spreading good will
- Custom Planters and Hanging Baskets - planter designs and baskets booked in the fall for spring delivery
- Strawberries and Expanded Fruit & Vegetable growing - our roots are in the tradition of our berries and food crops
Change is inevitable. Over the years, what we have done, what crops we have grown, and how we sell them has always changed. We are now entering a new chapter in our own book.
At one point we grew woody shrubs and evergreens in the field. Those days are gone. We used to do commercial landscaping going from site-to-site preparing and planting flower beds. Those days are gone, too. In the hay-day of farm work, we grew raspberries, melons, sweet corn, cucumbers, tomatoes, Romano and Fava beans, and a myriad of other field crops. We even had our own apple orchard on the go for a few years, a Christmas Tree farm, shade tree farm, and more. But times change, markets change, crop values change, regulations change, and people change.
The past decade had it's share of events that made us look long and hard at what we do. The passing of George in 2010 make us take note of the passion that started it all and we began re-focusing back on the crops we grew. In 2015 we undertook the monumental task of replacing our ailing greenhouse facilities and moving locations. We created one of the most advanced, automated, and highly tuned production greenhouses in the area. In 2017 a massive hail storm moved through our facility destroying 80% of our strawberries and outdoor plants with sustained flooding through the entire summer. 2018 saw gale winds tear through the facility overturning structures, tearing the coverings off our greenhouses, and destroying plants. 2020 proved equally difficult with no appreciable rain in well over a month and one of the longest sustained and repeating heat-waves we've encountered. Let us not forget the COVID-19 pandemic as well forcing us to find a completely new way to sell our plants while still maintaining the biosecurity of the crops we grow.
The future still holds many uncertainties. Although we all want to believe everything will "return to normal", that normal doesn't appear as though it will be what it has been in the past. Not only in the way we all behave and interact with each other, but also with the erratic weather we're having. There comes a time we must acknowledge the changing of the times and examine where we fit into this brave new world.
Looking back, we see what we're good at, and what weaknesses we have. As the saying goes, one must all pick one's battles. Our strength lies in our growing and passion for plants and that will not change. Our greenhouses will continue to operate and we will continue to grow plants and grow strawberries. The means for you to purchase them, however, will change as creating that perfect retail environment is not our strength. There are other businesses far more suited to creating the perfect retail environment and offering you all the accessories you need for your garden.
As we don't want to leave all our loyal customers without the ability to get our plants, we are exploring the best means of providing you the plants grown by us that you've come to love. Watch our online store at https://www.yourdreamgarden.ca this fall to pre-book your baskets, planters, and annuals for spring delivery. We also continue to work with other local retailers and are actively seeking additional partners to distribute our plants through the city.
To help encourage a new generation of farmers, a few of our long-time core team are looking to expand our farm-market offerings by growing more vegetables and unique foods. We'll be growing only the best locally-grown food entirely with local workers. Be sure to watch for our expanded farm market offerings in the future.
We wish to sincerely thank everybody for their continued support and patronage over the years.
Although this change may cause disappointment for many, it will allow us to focus our attention solely on what we're best at: to grow the best possible plants.
Here's to the new future and the best plants ever.