I recently met with business-owner Briana Davis, who runs the Greene Bee Greenhouse in Cornwallville, NY with her partner Eli Joseph-Hunter. Their belief in good land stewardship is the driving principle behind all of their growing practices, and sustaining a healthy ecology is of the utmost importance to the couple. But the business itself sprouted unexpectedly from plans to cultivate a public arboretum.
“Eli moved to Greene County in 2000,” Davis explained, “buying our property with the plan of someday turning it into a public arboretum. The business idea came after that.” Greene Bee began in 2007 as a small wholesale nursery, providing veggie and herb seedlings to a nursery in Dutchess County where the couple worked. In 2010, Eli and Briana decided to take the leap and dedicate all of their time to Greene Bee (and their growing family -- daughter, Celia, pictured. There is also a new addition, her baby brother Meiko). Cornwallville turned out to be a great location for their flourishing retail operation. “We have a strong local contingent of customers, and we are slowly but surely becoming a destination for gardeners from a wide radius.”
Going into busy season you are unlikely to find the couple standing still! “We are working on potting up herbs and planting tons of veggie seedlings (we are growing 45 varieties of tomatoes alone this year!), as well as planting new perennials for this season. Every day more seeds sprout, and the greenhouse will be full in another weeks!”
One piece of advice for spring planting from Briana: “Take a deep breath, pace yourself and enjoy. Plant your veggie garden and your ornamental beds in successions so you’ll have four seasons of bounty & beauty for all five senses!”
Greene Bee's opening day is April 15th: Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays this spring, with a couple of exceptions. Check out their website for details.