When Amber Endres moved to Nebraska 14 years ago, she found work at Green RIver Garden Center in Verdigre during the summer. She worked there for six or seven years and developed tons of knowledge about flowers and plants and how a greenhouse runs.
Endres always had a love for gardening and working at a greenhouse just elevated her love for the business. She began dreaming of having her own someday.
“I had dreamed of owning my own for years and years, I just never really knew how to get started,” she said.
As with any business there are expenses in starting a greenhouse, especially if you build one from scratch, which can be a little daunting.
“Someone had mentioned to me that the Ermels were wanting to move to Arizona permanently, so that is why I inquired, and it worked out,” Endres said.
Endres purchased the Backyard Boutique from the Ermels and rebranded it as the Fieldcrest Market and Greenhouse.
The Ermels had built a great business with Backyard Boutique. Not only did they offer flowers but they also had a gift shop and played a huge role in the community by donating as well.
Endres hopes to keep all the good the Ermels built up but also adding her own touch. She will continue the gift shop, providing home decor and gift items.
“I’ve also brought in a few new things, like macrame plant holders and herb growing kits and a few other fun things,” Endres said.
Endres officially closed on the purchase August 7 and has tirelessly been working since then.
“I have reorganized the gift shop to give it a new feel and make it my own. I have also been working on a make and take project,” she said.
Other future plans include adding heaters and fans to control temperature for plants and eventually grow plants at her farm instead of buying them from another source.
“To grow your own plants you have to start them in the winter months, late January, early February,” she said.
It is a year round process to grow your own flowers and plants. Summer flowers get planted in winter and winter plants such as poinsettias get planted in the late summer.
Endres plans to keep things interesting all year round, even through fall and possibly winter.
“What I would like to do this year is, September 14 or 15 is to do a fall open house. We will bring in pumpkins and corn stalks and fun stuff like that,” Endres said.
She has also been working on a make and take porch pot project for the fall open house. She plans on having people register for the project which would include building your own pot full of mums, grasses and other fall plants.
Endres has been making sample pots to inspire an interest in the event, they will be posted on facebook for people to see and to promote an interest in registering.
She hopes to have enough interest to do a winter open house as well and possibly bring in cut christmas trees or collaborate with Dan Hoppe who does the wreaths in town.
Winter months can be slow in the floral and greenhouse business but Endres is also hoping to have open houses or classes to get people out of the house and provide something fun to do.
“Crafting has been a passion of mine,” Endres said. She plans to eventually have craft nights or paint classes as well.
Endres also hopes to provide other services in the future, such as landscape maintenance to help the elderly or those too busy to maintain their landscapes. She would perform tasks such as weeding, replacing mulch, and trimming shrubs.
Endres has already tackled a weekly farmers market. Her first one was August 18. She invites producers or crafters or anyone who would like to sell goods at her market to join on Saturdays. She does not charge producers to set up in her greenhouse, it is completely free which is a great opportunity for anyone looking to sell.
Endres said her first event was kind of slow although there was a good amount of foot traffic.
“We didn’t have a great deal of produce yet, and I think that's what most people were looking for,” she said.
Endres did have a variety of venders at her farmers market, which is great to see for her first go around.
“There were three other venders besides me, we had Grandpa Dan’s Popcorn, one had some produce and some trees he had grown and some antique sacks and feed boxes, another had her homemade fleece blankets and some cute items she makes,” she said, explaining the variety of items available at the farmer’s market.
Harvest time is coming and producers are starting to have surplus veggies. Endres thinks this means there will be more people participating at her markets and hopefully will bring more buyers as well.
During the second farmers market, Endres had more producers show up bringing eggplant, zucchini, peppers, and tomatoes. Next weekend there will even be an addition of sweet corn.
“A lot of people stopped by and some people made big purchases from my shop, which was great,” Endres said.
The farmers markets will be held every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and will continue for a few more weeks, weather depending.