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Heidi Kaisand: Good morning and welcome to create with Heidi. I'm Heidi Kaisand, owner of hidden chicks studio in Conrad, Iowa, and lover of all things creative. Each week here on create with Heidi, we like to cover topics that educate and inspire you about how people are being creative, whether it's quilting, scrapbooking food wall, or just hanging out with others who seem to have their creative Mojo groovin in all the right directions. We are excited to share these things with you. Each week, I'd love to start with a quote and today my quote is from Audrey Hepburn, to plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow. And I think that that is just perfect because when you plant something, you just hope that tomorrow it's going to grow and blossom. And so who better to have as our guest today than Marianne van Roekel, who is, I'm gonna say older and you can correct me if I'm wrong on how you term yourself but owner of the rehabbed green house in Wellman, Iowa How are you this morning, Marianne?

Marianne VanRoekel: Good at Heidi. Very good. Yeah, it's Reha Greenhouses in Wellman, Iowa and I'm owner, co owner with my husband, Marty VanRoekel. And yeah, Can I just tell you a little bit about our business?

Heidi Kaisand: Oh, I would love to have you tell me a little bit about it.

Marianne VanRoekel: Okay, well, this business started 47 years ago. My father started it on our home farm. It we started out as a landscaping business he was a landscaper and started out on his own he had worked with previously with a company and then went on his own and then decided Oh, let's let's I think I want to add a greenhouse to this. So our first little greenhouse was just a little garage with a plastic lean to and my parents brought in plants and then he is such a creative guy that he took our old bar and he took off the roof on the one side and put fiberglass and that was our first greenhouse was actually a barn and there's the rest of us that was kind of down in the having soul area and up above was our store.

Heidi Kaisand: Oh, cool.

Marianne VanRoekel: Yeah. And then from there, we continually added greenhouses and greenhouses through the years and now we have 22,000 square feet under polycarbonate or plastic and we grow white. My father no longer is in the business he's retired and he you no longer do the landscaping that were strictly greenhouses, retail greenhouses, and we put her down only grow I assume when we grow a huge spring crop of our specialty is a four and a half inch annual. We specialize in geraniums and other things that other people don't grow like pentose and Angela onea and straw flowers and I grow about 20 different kinds of sunglasses I love thankfully our business has just grown and grown through the years

Heidi Kaisand: Oh I love that and I I wish we had pictures for each of those flowers because you of course you know the names of them sure that's your that's your business and I probably would go oh yeah that's a beautiful yellow flower and and and you know know that they're beautiful but I'm not know the names of them and I always I always envy gardeners that know their stuff because one time I had a friend give me some Iris and she gave me a little card with each of them to tell me you know what it was and she said it's so important to know what each Iris is and I I hate to say that I'm not good at that part of it. of knowing I know what I like and I know it's all beautiful, but I don't know all those names so that's awesome. Yeah, so so at that point were you still at home when your dad started that business?

Marianne VanRoekel: Oh yes. I was like in the second grade when my dad started that business. So I am 47 years later I think you guys can figure it out well

Heidi Kaisand: and so I guess my thought was cuz you have you have a really big family practically no, you have a lot of sisters

Marianne VanRoekel: you have a sister Seven Sisters there's eight of us.

Heidi Kaisand: Yeah. And so did you all grow up in that house you know, learning how to plant plants dig you know dig things and you know that i mean it's

Marianne VanRoekel: it's kind of interesting so there's eight of us and we always say there's the the four older girls and the four younger girls well the older girls all when my dad was a landscaper he went they went on the job with my dad and they planted trees and they landscaped and, and such and I was in the greenhouse and I was always I felt like I was always designated doing the little tiny, planting the little seedlings into the packs. You know? Yes, yeah. And you need to do the listen because it's so tiny. And you can do that. Your fingers are small enough. So yeah, I did, did a grew up, you know, second grade on through high school working with with the greenhouse, and then I moved away and went to college and became an educator, and taught special ed and the lower elementary grades. Then my husband, I moved out to Seattle, and we moved back to Iowa. And then we ended up here knowing that we wanted to help out and continuing be in an agricultural related type field.

Heidi Kaisand: Oh, absolutely. Absolutely.

Marianne VanRoekel: I've been here for 20 years.

Heidi Kaisand: That's, that's wonderful. And you live right on the property, don't you? I mean, or adjacent to it, or however that is. I mean, you're

Marianne VanRoekel: right. Yep. Right beside the greenhouse. We built the house in 19 2000. Oh, 2000 2001. And so yeah, my parents lived on the property and then we also had a house and now my parents have retired and moved into Iowa City. So yeah, yes.

Heidi Kaisand: Oh my gosh, there's so many different things that we can talk about gardening and I'm going to thoroughly enjoy this we're gonna take a quick commercial break, and we'll be back right after this. Welcome back to create with Heidi, this is Heidi Kaisand from hen and chicks studio. And my guest today is Marianne van Rupel from Ria greenhouses in Wellman, Iowa and we're talking about all things green and growing. Now do you have to have a green thumb to grow things

Marianne VanRoekel: good question it No You do not a lot of it is well I always say that growing is sometimes just trial and error what works for you considering you know what is your lifestyle? What are you a picker in a printer? Are you up like oh I forgot about it for two weeks type trying to find a plan that fits your lifestyle or your personality I think is always really important. And then just having knowledge on the plant What does that plant need? What kind of light source does it need? What kind of watering does it need? Those are always important things and you can educate yourself on those things not that that's going to be 100% foolproof but you know it's gonna give you a better suspect.

Heidi Kaisand:  Oh absolutely and Marianne I'm loving it because of course I'm also translating this to quilters You know, we've got quilters who want to make a quilt and want it done in a weekend and then we have other quilters who have no problem if the if the quilt has 9000 pieces in it and it takes them the next three years you know to make it and and so you've got gardeners like me who Oh yeah, I forgot I was supposed to water that today and it's that was three weeks ago. And then obviously gardeners that take great detail in what they're doing and all of that and I love so I'm sure you have those go to plants. So for for somebody like me who you know, obviously has a busy life and loves to have flowers around but you know, just like what is one plant that you might say oh that's that's a good one for you Heidi?

Marianne VanRoekel: Oh okay. um you know your your, your traditional geranium is always a good go to. You do have to do a little picking and printing in a sense you have to deadhead it for all those gardeners out there you know you need to if you want it to continue blooming, but it will take full sun and it will take a little bit of shade. So that's always a good too but then you need to always be able to say I'm going to step out the box out of the box and try something new. So one I'm just going to share with your your audience is that a plant that is similar to the cranium is a penta it has it will about the same size you would use it how you would use the geranium but it will tolerate those hot hot heat days of July and August and just keep on performing and you do not have to deadhead it. So a penta is what's called a panther because it has a five the pedals or five pedals on a star shaped bloom on it. And then it's like a ball or have those blooms and they come in the shades of red and white and lavender and purple. Cool breed alternative to your geranium as a penta.

Heidi Kaisand: I love it. See I just learned something that is that is awesome. Okay, so I have to go back to the growing part and you were talking about putting seeds in containers and stuff. So you you literally at your greenhouse, you are starting from seed and and growing these annuals that you said you're known for

Marianne VanRoekel: Well, no we got to back up the bus are so like all of our vegetables we grow from seeds, miracles alyssum we do from seeds otherwise I am planning ahead for my growers, my my customers, I'm actually doing that now in August and September I plan out what I'm going to grow in my greenhouse next year. And so I do a lot in what's called a plug and the plug tray is like nine by 13. Think about a kickstand nine by 13 and there could be as few as 30 plugs in there little plants or there could be up to 500 depending what's planted and then I decide how I'm going to plant it What am I going to put it in a four and a half inch pot into packs and the hanging baskets until six and a half. So I've got what I call my, my plant book, and it's I already planned out how I'm going to plant all those things. So predominantly our plugs are from plugs, but our plugs come from New York, Michigan, Minnesota, Florida, Colorado. So this is all pre planned out. Now for the spring.

Heidi Kaisand: Oh sure. So just like we're ordering Christmas fabric for 2022 already sadly we haven't gotten you know 2021 you're doing the same thing you have to plan ahead and look at and and know what you're gonna want in that school.

Marianne VanRoekel: So yeah, it's just like to get we're planning always a season or two beyond what everybody else is thinking. Yep.

Heidi Kaisand: Oh, absolutely. And so are you Do you love gardening? As much as as you do? I mean you're selling it. But then is that also your hobby like I quilt and I sell quilt stuff but I also quilt Do you do the same thing Do you love to have your own garden and plant your own flowers kind of thing?

Marianne VanRoekel: I do when I have time.

Heidi Kaisand: Savior

Marianne VanRoekel: You know so much of from January to June I am planting and growing here in the greenhouse so then when it comes for my time in June to plant things up, but one I you know, I usually just take what's left and people always say oh Maryann, you need to just hang on to what you want to plant this like no somebody else was that planned I'll let them have it. So I plant what they have and then so yeah, so a lot of times I have to admit some years I don't even get to it this year I did I had a love the three lovely flower beds and lots of pots. So and then we have as a family we have a big half acre garden that we really really have enjoyed especially the last couple of years. growing vegetables and canning and processing our vegetables we just am eating them through the winter. We're just having a delightful time with that.

Heidi Kaisand: Oh and any highlights out of your vegetable garden that are favorites.

Marianne VanRoekel: Oh well. We always love tomato because we love salsa here and we love hot peppers. We love our poblano pepper. We love our jalapenos we even like our habaneros so we like our hot peppers but yeah we even as my husband I was this time we entered this I would say fair with our vegetables. And we did we did okay we felt pretty proud of ourselves.

Heidi Kaisand: I love it and you said you like salsa do you actually do you can salsa?

Marianne VanRoekel: Oh yes. Oh lots of salsa we can and we also fried that have two different recipes. So one is a roasted salsa mix and then we freeze that one. And then our other recipe we can yep process.

Heidi Kaisand: You are a good woman to do all the ideas to do some canning and things but unfortunately, other things in life I got away from it so I don't do nearly as much anymore.

Marianne VanRoekel: Yeah, we even have our fall green beans are growing. They're about a half an inch long. So I'll be processing and canning those. Hopefully in about a week.

Heidi Kaisand: You will you will be well fed for the winter. So I love I love that. Well we're just having so much fun talking about all the plants and different things. We are going to take a quick commercial break and we will be back right after this. Welcome back to create with Heidi This is Heidi Kaisand from hidden chicks studio. And I am talking with Marian Van rugal from rehab greenhouses is Wellman. Why don't you tell everybody your address? Maryann so everybody knows where you're from.

Marianne VanRoekel: Okay, we're 1160 Highway 22 Wellman, Iowa and we're right on highway 22. We're four miles west of Wellman. So a lot of people know where the little town of Colonia is And so from Kelowna, you go west you hit seven miles is Wellman and then four miles past that on the north side of the road. Is that?

Heidi Kaisand: Yeah, easy to get to very easy to get to. Now your hours are a little bit different. And in our conversation earlier COVID has changed a little of that too for you, hasn't it?

Marianne VanRoekel: Yeah, yes, it has. But we're pretty flexible throughout the year and actually we're now just getting into our end of our fall hours we're really going to be just opened until October 16 will be our last official day and then we are open in the winter every second Saturday we have what's called housemate Saturday, November through April, but we're so we're kind of in it just followers, but you can always check our website, we have ground greenhouses calm, and you can always check our Facebook page, also rehab greenhouses. And every once in a while I get on Instagram. It's like all of those

Heidi Kaisand: places. Absolutely. And I love that Yep. Greenhouse Saturday, I think that's really cute. And, and, again, gardening. You know, so many people are good on the inside as well, with that green thumb and growing things. And so what are you I aren't succulents a big thing right now from a greenhouse from a green, you know, growing aspect? And do you sell any of those? Or do you do other more traditional kinds of,

Marianne VanRoekel: I grow I probably I grow 1000s literally 1000s of succulents every year, and some key ones, you know, people will say, Oh, I'm so successful, and other people will say, Oh my gosh, I just can't keep alive. There. Again. It's what? Knowing what that plant needs. And there's, you know, most succulents will take high high light, and then on the dry side, but there are families of succulents that will take that little bit of lower light so if you don't have that Prime west or South window, you can use a north or east window and those would be like in of the aloe family guest area family. Hi, war Thea. So if you're a succulent person you're looking if you can look for those families of succulents, you'll be much more successful men, some of them what we call active areas and some other types of succulents. But yeah, like humans have been fun. I always say I was doing succulents before they were cool.

Heidi Kaisand: Isn't that awesome? It is it is interesting how that plant has become quite popular. It's just you know, interesting that a you know that a plant has done that but that is very interesting. And do you sell like containers and all that kind of stuff too that you know you can use in your plants, you know, put your plants into,

Marianne VanRoekel: we have lots of different pottery in pots here and we mix our own second as opposed to wanting to do succulents. But other potting soil and such Yeah, so you could come and buy house plants and we'll even pot it here if you wanted to. That's not you know, future had your pot you want to bring in a pot or bought a pot here. We could plant up your plant within a couple minutes for you so you can just take it home all ready to go. But other house plans we tried to do other health plans that are kind of different than the one we do the traditional parcels and philodendrons but we also do some that's our one called a Madagascar our palm which takes the east side sun it's a very funky looking plant. It has palm like leaves at the very top but then it has really spiky like in its stem and that's kind of a fun different kind of houseplant very easy right now my areas are all the rage so I have the Swiss cheese month Syria and I have the the the well what's it called not my brain isn't going but the smaller version I think has come many not many but I'm going to say the word many months area and then you have that and I'm gonna not pronounce the correct people. So that is a delhi delhi, Delhi Osia which is the great big monstera and right now those are all the rage I have to

Heidi Kaisand: have to check that out because I do not know what a monster area is. So I'm gonna have to check that when I like the fact that you called it Swiss cheese. Like that's interesting.

Marianne VanRoekel: You have great big holes in it and some people say oh my gosh, this plant has holes. But that's the way it's supposed to be. It has my inch hole as it matures. And the regular mind says who can get hold if it's more mature plant, but that's kind of the rage right now also a lot of different kinds of philodendrons when we think of philodendrons we Think of the mining ones that your mom grandmother or your friend has in the house. But there's a lot of philodendrons that are more upright and have a lot more color. So right now one is called a Birkin and it's a large leaf upright plant that those white with green streaking or green with light streaking through it. It's called a birkins and that's right now a real hit. There's other philodendrons called Prince of orange moonlight and what's your my last one Oh, Macaulay finale. And those are colors of yellows and oranges and greens, which are an upright plant also philodendron and those are kind of very fun and a lot of people aren't really attracted to that plant because it is an easy one. It's it's no direct sunlight. nice bright light water once a week, so you can be pretty successful with it.

Heidi Kaisand: Oh, that is exciting. I knew we would have lots to chat about Maryann of all the things that are green and growing because having that life around us can definitely lift spirits and and make our homes our homes in a prettier and more enjoyable. So I thank you very much for being with us this week and I hope everybody if you need inspiration for plants that you go to rehab greenhouses in Wellman, and if you need inspiration for quilts, come to head and check studio in Conrad. And until next week. Be creative!