I love the holidays! I'll admit to decorating in early November, and having listened to every Spotify holiday playlist there is! So when the opportunity for a poinsettia production tour came up @Gertens greenhouse, I was definitely going (I LOVE to garden)!
I was SO impressed, I had no idea how high tech greenhouses could be! Who knew?
1. They have 4 production lines that are automated in their main greenhouse and they have 2 other greenhouses. Amazing - didn't even know there were machines for automation in greenhouse planting!
2. They showed us their water management strategies, drip irrigation, and even watering pads that water from underneath, all to reduce their watering footprint.
3. They deliver all of their fertilizer in their watering program. They test the soil each week and then customize the fertilizer by row based on the results.
4. For spring baskets they actually have weight sensors that determine if the basket needs to be watered or not. They have light sensors that adjust the fabric coverings that can slide back and forth automatically and they have automated vents that open/close based on indoor and outdoor temperatures.
5. They have 2 acres of indoor poinsettia production - it's just unbelievable to see 2 acres of flowers in different colors. Amazing.
Our tour guides were fantastic and were 4th generation Gertens family members. Gertens remains a family owned operation, with the 3rd generation owners and 4th generation working together. My oldest son Andy (8) peppered our guide Bill with questions and he answered them all! The others on the tour were really excited to see kids so interested in production, so this is definitely a kid friendly adventure.
Check out Gertens event page if you are in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, or are traveling through. It really is impressive, and the technology they are using in their greenhouses is really intriguing! It will certainly get you in the holiday spirit & let you see the inside scoop on a different type of agriculture!