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What’s Happening at McClish’s
this Spring??

We have been hearing that question a lot so far this spring! We will reiterate our early winter announcement letter that detailed several new exciting decisions! Spring 2021 marked 37 years that Nancy, Brent, family and staff have enjoyed serving and growing for our faithful patrons. While Bryan leads the family farm operation, Rachel pursues her growing catering opportunities and we watch our grandchildren grow, a realignment of priorities has been being contemplated. Early fall 2021, we were introduced to an opportunity to partner with Bright Farms, a leading hydroponic lettuce producer located in nearby Wilmington. Bright Farms have leased McClish’s “front” glass greenhouse and former retail hardgoods area for a research and development facility for their multistate expansion plans.

Consequently, McClish’s will not be open for retail sales in 2022. But, McClish’s will continue to grow behind the scenes in the rest of the facility to primarily partner with a brand new retail opportunity!

With great anticipation, we introduce and enthusiastically support Regan Hagler’s dream of opening her own retail greenhouse! “Regan’s Greenhouse at the Farm” will be located at her family farm barely 2 miles from McClish’s at 5528 US Rt. 35 NW, Washington C.H., OH 43160. Regan has conscientiously helped McClish’s completing 6 seasons, and continues to develop a keen eye for growing while welcoming and servicing customers. She will feature plants still grown by McClish’s that devoted customers have come to expect over the years. Her family and friends have done a tremendous job converting the picturesque farm setting into an inviting adventure for gardeners to enjoy a newly erected greenhouse facility. McClish’s will bringing their plants to Regan’s location to allow all their previous customers to continue to enjoy the quality their customers have come to expect while allowing Regan to begin her greenhouse business journey.

A bit of McClish’s History:

With the help of family and friends, McClish’s Plants Plus Greenhouses LLC had its humble beginnings 38 seasons ago this spring.  Although the facilities have enlarged and improved over the years, the desire to provide Fayette and the surrounding counties with the highest quality plants has remained the priority from the beginning.  Over the years, the McClish family has also had the privilege and opportunity to host visitors from around the world to view their unique growing facility.

The greenhouse site had originally been the general store for the community of Eber.  It had fallen into disrepair and was demolished to clear the location for the new greenhouse endeavor in 1984.  The original 5 acre property has grown to 7 acres and now includes Eber’s original 1 room schoolhouse known as “Mt. Eber # 7”. Initially, the McClishs built a small pole structure to be used as a sales area and one plastic covered greenhouse to welcome customers the first spring.  A second greenhouse and drilled well to replace hauling water to 2 dug wells were the second year’s improvements.  Every 2 to 3 years thereafter, another greenhouse was added to meet the growing customer demand.  In 1997, a warehouse barn with transplanting area, office and storage proved to be invaluable to the behind the scenes operations.  Brent and Nancy’s family also grew during those years first with Bryan and then Rachel.  

After 7 plastic greenhouse structures became cramped and uncomfortable for the McClish’s retail trade, the need for a major change was evident.  After many drawings, out-of-state visits to other facilities and thought, plans for the new glass retail garden center were finalized.  Through the fall of 2004, site work was performed by the McClish’s and concrete was poured.  Erection of the glass facility was performed by a family greenhouse construction team from Saskatchewan, Canada throughout the winter months.  Upon their completion in March 2005, the “McClish crew” installed and finished the electrical, plumbing and benching systems just in time to welcome customers to the first annual open house. 

Discovering ways to produce quality plants with a limited labor supply through the use of simple automation is an ongoing endeavor for Brent.  One area that has been especially helpful to their operation is the installation of a sub irrigation system for all the cutting geraniums in three of their greenhouses.  This very unique system allows the geraniums to soak water up into the pots from long narrow “troughs” the pots are placed on.  The water used for irrigation can be reused since it is collected at the end of the watering cycle, thereby creating both an “environmentally friendly” and laborsaving system that virtually eliminates leaf diseases since the foliage is never wet.    Many have been intrigued by McClish’s system, which they read about in a greenhouse trade magazine article.  A monorail cart system also assists in moving plant material from one greenhouse to another.

Searching to discover new plant varieties that are consistent and productive performers for each new and upcoming spring is a yearlong undertaking by the McClish’s.  They attend various field trial plantings to test and compare varieties side by side.  Just because a variety is a new introduction does not guarantee its performance for a local homeowner; therefore, careful considerations and evaluations are made by talking to other greenhouse grower friends, reading seed and trade publications and making trial plantings.  Nancy is very careful to select varieties and new introductions that should perform well for our region.

The encouragement and loyalty of their customers and friends have always challenged the McClish family to continue to strive for excellence.    After their primary greenhouse production season from February through June, the balance of the year is spent with farming activities, along with preparations for the upcoming season.  The McClish’s and staff strive to create a truly unique family atmosphere to enjoy.  Sincere and heartfelt appreciation is extended to those who have in any way contributed during the past 37 seasons.  As is often mentioned, it has always been a joy to witness the Lord’s work in nature over the years.  The McClish family will look forward to supporting Regan Hagler beginning in 2022 as the retail opportunity for McClish’s plants and hopefully maybe see both old and new friends at Regan’s Greenhouse at the Farm this season!