CONCEPTION JUNCTION, Mo. — Inside his greenhouse, with the soothing low hum of mounted fans gently moving the warm, temperature-controlled air from end to end, Bryce Deen admits there were times when his heart just wasn’t in it.
“When I was first getting started, you kind of thought to yourself in the back of your mind, you’re like, ‘What made me want to do that?’” he says. “‘What was going through my mind when I decided to do this?’”
A week before he opens his greenhouse — offering a variety of annuals, perennials, vegetables, seeds and more — to the public, though, is not one of those times.
The Northwest senior is a couple of months from graduating, already putting his degree in agribusiness to practical use.
After a summer working with Travis Ginther, owner of Ginther Landscaping in Stanberry, Deen was hooked on growing — and had a plan for his future.
With only that summer as the grand total of his experience, Deen secured a bank loan and bought the greenhouse from Ginther after it closed at the end of June, moving it to his family’s land in Conception Junction.
Deen’s Greenhouse had sprouted.
Since that point, Deen has thrown himself headfirst into a crash course that hasn’t always been easy. A tough winter led to delayed and dead shipments, not to mention more work in filling the wood stove that heats the greenhouse. The first few months were difficult, he says, but always led to opportunities to learn and grow.
“The main thing that I really noticed that I wasn’t really prepared for was how many different ways you could kill plants,” Deen says with a laugh. “When you’re trying to grow it from…a seed, it’s totally different (than with houseplants) trying to get stuff to grow. There’s so much more that goes into it. Water goes into it. Temperature goes into it. Diseases. Pests.”
Since he started working on his business, his family has stepped up to help, and Ginther too.
“I only worked for him the past summer, so I didn’t have a lot of the knowledge that I needed,” Deen says. “So he’s been helping me get going and telling me things that, just things that you don’t think about when you’re starting up something like this — you don’t think about all the things that go into it.
“And just having somebody who knows what needs to be done, when it needs to be done, just helped me out tremendously.”
At 6 a.m. on dark, frigid mornings, filling the wood stove and watering the dozens upon dozens of plants by hand — Deen’s daily routine — sometimes led to those doubts about what exactly he’d gotten himself into.
But less than a week from opening, looking over everything he’s been able to grow in the meantime, Deen doesn’t regret pushing through it to reach this point.
“Being around the plants, it’s stressful but relaxing at the same time,” Deen says, taking in a whiff of the flowers in bloom. “It’s a calming experience being in here.”
The greenhouse, located at 37042 Nature Trail, will open to the public on March 26 at 9 a.m, with an open house planned for April 25 through 27. Hours will be Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
More information is available at Facebook.com/DeensGreenhouse.