Gardening during pandemic booms Penrose family business

Apple Valley Greenhouses say more and more young people are gardening since the pandemic hit
Posted at 6:46 PM, Jun 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-10 08:05:37-04

PENROSE — As many small businesses struggled to reach customers during the year of COVID-19, one business surprisingly blossomed - Gardening.

“Millions of new gardeners across the United States started when the pandemic hit,” said Megan Bradfield, a Co-Owner of Apple Valley Greenhouse. She and her siblings started running the family business roughly six years ago.

Even the over 30-year-old greenhouse business had concerns when it came to stability during the pandemic.

“It was pretty scary for us because we didn’t know (if) garden centers might not be able to be open!”

However, virtually the exact opposite happened. Garden Centers and Florists all over Colorado needed the supply from Apple Valley more than ever.

“Their shelves were just empty because, no matter what they had to do to make it work, they did... Whether it was like online ordering, or curbside pickup, or limiting people in their stores."

On top of simply wanting something safe and fun to do while in quarantine, Apple Valley said they noticed an increase in demand for vegetable plants because people wanted to be "self-sufficient".

Now, even as activities reopen and cases continuously decline, the demand for gardening supplies is still growing.

“A lot of those people really enjoyed their first year of gardening and now are coming back to do it again this year.”

Apple Valley's customers attested to the high demand, like Touch of Love Florist and Weddings in Cañon City.

“I bought over 70 hanging baskets from them this year and I’m sold out except maybe six!" said the owner. She got that shipment on the weekend of the town's Blossom Festival.

As the week of June 7 marks the Pikes Peak Region's Small Business week for 2021, Apple Valley wants to remind everyone how easy it is to support local mom-and-pop gardening centers or florists, instead of buying from a big chain. Several in southern Colorado include:

If you know of other businesses or people rebounding from COVID-19, reach out to KOAA!