"As a culture, we’ve gotten away from digging our fingers into the dirt," says Craig Koetsier. At Koetsier’s Greenhouse, co-owner Craig is trying to change that and remind people—particularly the next generation—how to work with the earth. "We’re kid-oriented," Craig says, describing his center's plethora of youth-friendly diversions such as crafts and train rides; their smorgasbord of children’s spring activities was even featured on FOX17.
When he was a child, Craig ferried flats of petunias and impatiens around the family greenhouse. Today, he and his brother are third-generation owners of the business, and their sister works with them at the 100,000-square foot greenhouse where visitors spy hanging plants, annuals, container gardens, and flowering shrubs, asking them where they see themselves in five years to asses if they're a good fit. Although the Koetsiers still coax blooms from traditional favorites such as geraniums, their greenhouse has thrived over the past century by keeping up with contemporary gardening trends and transforming its stock in coordination each season. In the autumn, families arrive to play amid mazes and inflatables and assess the structural integrity of pumpkins before outfitting them with wheels and hitching them to horses. When winter blows in, guests browse the center's pine boughs and live evergreens to decide which to take home and string with decorations.