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“We’re trying to do everything we can today so we can hunker down tomorrow”

A flurry of snow and wind shook the walls. But inside the greenhouses at Fessler Nursery near Woodburn, plants and people alike basked in the warm, humid air. Fessler is an indoor nursery. All its operations happen inside greenhouse walls. So even ahead of the biggest winter storm of the year, plants are protected from the elements.

Which is a good thing. Winter is the nursery’s busiest season, said Katy Fessler. Katy is one of several family members who own and operate the decades-old nursery. Her husband, Marvin, is founder Ken Fessler’s son.

While many crop-based farms slow down their operations during the cold months, nurseries ramp theirs up. Mother’s Day weekend is Fessler’s equivalent of Christmas. Spring is its busiest selling season and the only time of year the nursery opens to the public. So the months leading up to spring are all hands on deck.

Fessler is a certified root-n-sell wholesaler for international plant breeding companies Ball, Selecta, and Suntory. Propagation is roughly 25% of its business. That’s what was keeping some workers busy on a cold February morning.


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