Green once againPublished 1:00pm Monday, May 20, 2013
HOLLANDALE — Spring has always marked a special time of year for Hilltop Greenhouse & Farm owners Glenn and Gretchen Boldt.
This year, as they enter into their busy season with customers eager to plant flower and vegetable gardens, the Boldts think back to how far they’ve come in the last three years.
Since then, their business has literally been rebuilt from the ground up, after a June 17, 2010, tornado brought devastation to their property. Their home, greenhouses and outbuildings were destroyed, and the couple was forced to start over.
There is a night and day difference in how the farm looks now.
A visitor to the farm now will find a new retail building and greenhouses where the former structures had been built, along with a new house for the Boldts.
The retail building houses an arrangement of pots, soil, fertilizer, displays, tomato cages and seeds for sale. Later this year, it will also house a vegetable market.
The greenhouse features what Gretchen described as “hundreds” of varieties of plants — perennials, annuals, vegetables, shrubs and hanging pots — with a rainbow of color.
“We are continuing to make improvements,” Gretchen said. “We just love working outdoors and with the plants, and we take great pride in what we do.”
The greenhouse features some of the newest varieties out on the market that Gretchen said she and her husband have learned about at educational trade shows.
“We want you to have a great garden,” she said.
Though business is off to a slow start this year because of cold and wet weather conditions, she expects business to pick up when the weather improves.
The company also provides custom planting and grows hanging baskets for cities in the nearby area, including Austin this year and Albert Lea in the past, and tries to donate in the community when it can.
“It makes a difference,” she said.
She said she is grateful for the support the business has received from the community.
Hilltop, which is two miles north of Hollandale, began as a mainstay at the Albert Lea and Austin farmers markets. They also had direct sales.
They since have expanded and now serve mainly customers in Albert Lea, Austin, Owatonna and the surrounding communities.
The Boldts have an acreage nearby where they plant their vegetables.
Hilltop can be found at 83204 300th St., Ellendale, off of Freeborn County Road 28.
It can be reached at 507-889-3271.