Check out Beulkes Greenhouse


Jim and Susie Beulke have just completed construction of a big new greenhouse, just in time for the planting season. I speak from experience when I say they have quality plants for competitive prices, and a huge selection to choose from for your spring planting.

Located at 680 3rd avenue in Wanamingo, you will notice 2 big hoop houses on the south end of the property by highway 60, and two more greenhouses on the west side. In addition to the town locations, they also have several greenhouses on the farm. These are used to grow flowers, greenhouse grown tomatoes and vegetable plants, and hold the cemetery urns they tend to. The retail location in town opens for business in mid April every year, and is open until around mid June, when they start to wrap things up. For about 5 weeks of the year, they hire 5 locals to help with the retail sales, and one or two "plant whisperers" to help keep the flowers happy! According to Deb Erickson, one of the employees who has been there for many years, "They are grown with love." No wonder they all look so happy!

All the greenhouses are filled with herbs, vegetable plants, and flowers of every size, shape and color, but this is only a part of their business. On weekends you will find them at Farmers Markets in St. Paul and Minneapolis selling the plants and produce they grow on their home farm, just south of Wanamingo. Another big part of the business is the cemetery urns they lovingly plant in March, and grow and prune them until Memorial Day when they are hand loaded and hand delivered to each gravesite on their list. They cover 944 grave sites in 28 cemeteries, primarily in Goodhue County! About 90% of the urns are traditional style, with red geraniums, spikes and other sun and wind tolerant species. The other 10% are specialty urns that hold other kinds of flowers and plants. The urns are either 12 or 14 inches in diameter. You can order one by calling Jim at (507) 272-3761 or Susie at (507) 272-3764, and they will take good care of you. The urns are billed annually each February, so you don't have to remember to order each year.

Entering into the retail space, you will find a variety of rentals for special occasions, knic knacs to purchase, and seeds for your garden. There are cute gift items as well. You may also find Ashley Engen or one of the other employees bustling around, ready to help you with whatever you need. Ashley started working there before she could drive, and has continued to help out for 22 years! And Jim's dad Elroy also helps out with the easy tasks when he is not farming his own land at 96 years young! Talk about employee retention!!!

I asked Jim how all this began. He said he grew up on the family farm, growing vegetables to sell to both retail and wholesale markets. As he graduated high school and began at college, he became more and more interested in flower production as well as growing vegetables, and making it his career. While buying small plant cuttings from other greenhouses, he met Susie, whose family owned a greenhouse business in West St. Paul, and the rest, as they say, is history! They got married and raised their family on their farm. Ellyn and Jack help when time permits. Other family members help out as well, selling plants and vegetables on the weekends, or even driving out to the farm to help when needed. They soon began incorporating flowers into the mix. Susie is a florist, and brings yet another aspect to the business. She does flower arrangements for weddings and funerals, plus special occasions. As we were chatting, she was putting together beautiful prom corsages and boutonnieres.

In 2008, the space they own now went up for sale, and they went for it. As they began in the new location, they kept it as original as possible, utilizing all the buildings as long as they could. In the past few years, the building they replaced had become a hazard, and had to be torn down. They purchased the building supplies in Owen, Wisconsin, and the people they bought it from referred them to a Mennonite crew that assembled it in 4 working days. The groundwork was done in November to be ready for spring construction, and as luck would have it, the mild winter allowed the new hoop house to be done in time for this season, and you have got to come and see it! Jill Swenson happened to be in the store, buying her flowers, and was in awe. "The new greenhouse looks amazing," she said. "It's huge!" So, I recommend you come on down and check it out for yourself! And tell them Cheri sent you!