Read about Diemer’s Winter Gardens from Holland, MI in this interview with Shawn Diemer for our Summer 2014 member highlight. Learn more about them on their Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/DiemersWinterGardens), which is full of gorgeous pictures from their farm and greenhouses!
Tell us about Diemer’s Winter Gardens.
Our family-run business started 12 years ago with indoor greenhouse production of cucumbers and tomatoes. We have expanded every year since and now have four more greenhouses for a total of 15,000 square feet of indoor growing and 30 acres of field production.
About 90% of what we grow are vegetables; we pretty much grown every vegetable that can be grown in Michigan. We also grow some fruit like strawberries and some bedding plants and potted plants.
The majority of what we grow (90%) is sold at farmers markets with the remaining 10% sold to a few farm-to-table restaurants. We currently sell at 14 farmers markets including 7 on Saturday alone, plus the Farmers Markets at the Capitol.
My wife and I work on the farm alongside my brother, Adam, one full time employee, 10-11 summer interns and my mother and three sisters who help at markets on Saturdays.
My favorite part about selling at farmers markets is the one-on-one relationships you get to build with your customers. Just a couple of weeks into the season, you start seeing so many familiar faces. They are happy to see you, and you are happy to see them! It’s really a social gathering place.
Why did you choose the name Diemers Winter Gardens?
When we started our business, we started with planting tomatoes in the greenhouse and were planting November through January. At the time, Diemer’s Winter Gardens described our production schedule, and we haven’t changed it since. We get that question a lot!
What is one thing that every MIFMA member should know about your farm?
One of the keys to our success has been diversifying our production. If we had stuck with just greenhouse production of tomatoes, it would have been a great spring, but it would not have carried us through the seven months of the farmers market season that we currently participate in.
For several years now, you have been a vendor at the Farmers Markets at the Capitol. How has being a vendor at the Farmers Markets at the Capitol impacted your farm?
The Farmers Market at the Capitol seems to be perfectly timed for when we have a surplus of fruit and vegetables. At the height of our production season, we are happy to have another market in addition to our weekly markets. We are so glad that the market is expanding to once a month this July through September and hope that it continues to grow in frequency in the years to come. Every time we have attended, the event has been well attended, and we’ve had mostly good weather.
Diemer’s Winter Gardens is a member of MIFMA. Why do you feel it is important for your farm to be involved in MIFMA?
Being a MIFMA member keeps us up to date, and it interlinks us with a lot of happenings across the state related to farmers markets. We appreciate all of the e-mail communication.
Daily cialis maybe will be enough? The doctor told me when I started giving him money just like that. It was very happy with my behavior as not every day you will see such as I. I throw money.