If a nursery can get any greener, Carla and Kelly Grogg are taking up the challenge.
The Tulsa couple plan to open their eco-friendlier nursery Grogg's Green Barn this week in southeast Tulsa, with a full complement of all-natural product, native plants and recycled equipment.
The Groggs built the nursery on one acre on 61st Street between Mingo Road and U.S. 169, just across the street from Union Intermediate High School.
The 3,200-square-foot building uses energy-efficient lighting, and the site includes a rain garden and underground cisterns that will collect and provide water for the plants.
"We looked into some of the greener products and then we just thought we would go all in," said Carla Grogg, who will manage the business. "There seems to be a lot of demand."
Hand pumps will move water from the cisterns to the plants.
The all-natural, eco-friendly theme is somewhat of a shot at big-box stores that Carla Grogg believes do not always provide enough expertise and local knowledge to customers.
"Everything we sell is something you can plant here in Oklahoma," she said.
For example, she boasts of carrying a liquid fish fertilizer for tackling nitrogen-rich tomatoes.
Grogg said she discovered the product while she was trying to grow tomatoes. She could grow big plants, but no fruit. The fertilizer did the trick.
The nursery includes organic seeds and recycled gardening gloves. Even the wood for the shelves came from an old barn.
Once the nursery is operating, the Groggs plan to offer gardening classes and even children-friendly events.
The couple have dreamed for years of having a nursery. Kelly Grogg helped run a small landscaping company as a teenager.
Carla Grogg thought a full-fledged nursery would be impossible in today's small-business climate, but she was surprised to get a loan to construct the $230,000 building.
Of course, backyard gardening doesn't provide enough education to open a nursery. The Groggs studied the subject for months. They even brought in a plant specialist to help customers.
"We're excited to get up and going," Grogg said. "The people we've talked to are excited about this. We hope it means they will come out."
Kyle Arnold 581-8380
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