Local nurseries, greenhouses seeing flourishing season

Ottawa County

BLENDON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — It’s been economically shaky since the coronavirus pandemic hit, but one big industry in West Michigan appears to be having a record year: Flower growers and greenhouses.

Sawyer Nursery in Blendon Township is no exception.

“I think the weather’s had a lot to do with it,” said Tom Kowieski, owner and CEO of Sawyer Nursery. “But also, the stay-at-home factor of the COVID.”

Sawyer’s plan is to go through 6.5 million plants this year and is on pace to sell all of them.

In comparison, bad weather two years ago, before the pandemic, caused them to dump a considerable amount.

“I attribute it largely to the good weather we’ve had,” he said. “Especially early on in March and April.”

2021 is not without its challenges, though.

A shortage of labor and trucking has pushed the selling season back a bit.

“They both impacted us,” Kowieski said. “We were down probably 30 seasonal workers out of maybe 150. And that put a crimp in our operation.”

But if the weather is nice and the demand stays high, he thinks people will continue to fall in love with gardening.

“Whether it’s annuals or you’ve got a vegetable garden, it’s fun to get out and grow it,” he said. “And develop a green thumb.”

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