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Nurseries, farming blooming
farm update nick walker.jpg
Pictured is Nick Walker of Randall Walker Farms with a dogwood tree. The nursery saw an increase in the sale of flowering trees and shrubs last year because of the pandemic. - photo by Taylor Moore

The pandemic has hurt many businesses, but not the nursery and farming industry. In fact, the plant industry hit a high in 2020.

Sharon Walker of Randall Walker Farms said they had one of their best years yet. She said, “People being at home and having time to landscape may be the reason.”

The stay-at-home order boosted plant sales and benefitted Warren County’s nursery-filled community.

Walker said her company was busy even during the early months of the pandemic when people weren’t allowed out of their cars. Because of the increase in home landscaping, she said there was an increase in flowering shrubs. It’s not just 2020 that they thrived, however.

“The last few years have been good,” Walker said. “There’s been a lot of construction in Warren County.”

She said that since more houses are being built, more landscaping is needed to beautify the property.

With all many commercial construction projects and the continued construction of houses, nurseries have been busy with providing greenery to all the new homes.

“The plant industry is directly tied to housing,” she said. “If the housing market continues to do well, so will we.”

Walker predicted 2021 will also be successful and follow 2020’s trend. She said the weather has treated the plants well despite the harsh week of winter in February. They won’t know how much the blizzard may impact the plants until summer.

“There’s been no effect,” she said, “We have yet to see it, anyway.”

Randall Walker Farms has around 500 acres of trees and shrubs grown in fields and containers. They’ve been a prominent business and have a large sales yard on Manchester Highway. Walker said that they are looking forward to the upcoming year and hope to continue this momentum of success.

In a year that may stick out as a less-than-joyful year for many, having a booming plant industry is something to appreciate as it helps local farms and businesses and benefits the Warren County economy.