Poinsettia Lovers' Heaven

This is one of the three growing areas for poinsettias at Homestead.This is one of the three growing areas for poinsettias at Homestead.

Homestead Growers/Gardens

By: John K Johnson

The Mid-Shore Homeschool Cooperative took a field trip last Monday to Homestead Growers, to see one of the largest independent, single-location garden centers in the United States. Homestead Growers is the wholesale, growing division of of Homestead Gardens. The wholesale division is not open to the public, but educational tours can be arranged.

Christmas TreesChristmas Trees
The parents and children of the coop were treated to a tour of the 5-acre greenhouse, with over 50,000 poinsettia plants waiting to be delivered over the next few weeks, to among others, several hundred churches, the White House and retail sales centers all over the East Coast.

Gene Sumi, Education Director of Homestead, was the groups host and guide, and spent an hour showing them the plants and facility. Mr. Sumi, explained that all of the poinsettia for sale anywhere are 2nd generation clones from a carefully cultivated and carefully guarded group of original and mother plants.

Painted PoinsettiaPainted Poinsettia
Homestead's greenhouse is highly computerized, vents are automatically opened and closed to deal with temperature changes, a conveyor system that automatically waters the hanging plants and a floor system that floods for 20 minutes a day to allow the potted plants to drink water naturally up through their soil. All of the water that is used is reclaimed, filtered and reused.

Homestead grows more than 45 varieties of poinsettia and also offers painted poinsettia.

The Growers facility is located just a few miles from Homestead Gardens, the largest enclosed garden center in the region. Homestead Gardens includes an award winning landscape design division and has 57,000 square feet of enclosed retail space.

This time of year, Homestead Gardens is a Christmas Wonderland, with poinsettias, Christmas trees, Christmas villages and scale train garden. This was the best Christmas center that I have ever seen; large, festive, tasteful and beautiful.

If you are looking for a day trip to add to your seasonal tradition, I can't think of anywhere better to go.

Homestead LlamasHomestead Llamas
I almost forgot the Llamas. Tucked behind the garden center is Homestead Llamas, with more than 30 show-quality Llamas; just one more reason to visit.

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