For the last 20 years, Esther Wollman has enjoyed tending to the Altona Greenhouse, an arm of the Altona Hutterite Colony.
A seasonal staple to many green thumbs from Henderson and beyond, the greenhouse has hit its stride this year despite global economic shutdowns, according to Wollman, who operates the greenhouse alongside her brother, David, and sister-in-law, Lydia Wollman. Since May 1, the seasonal opening, the greenhouse has been welcoming guests, and COVID-19 has done little to slow sales.
“People are kind of glad to get out,” Wollman said. “Everybody wants flowers.”
The coronavirus has caused the colony to more or less shut their doors to the outside world, and shopping trips have all but halted. That hasn’t stopped Wollman from doing everything in her power to get the public out to the greenhouse, which is situated off Highway 62 west of Henderson.
A billboard and a recent radio hit were among the efforts Wollman and the rest of the colony underwent to drive up sales.
The result? Sales are indistinguishable from other recent years, Wollman said. Mother’s Day, in particular, was a boon for the greenhouse. With flowerpots being Wollman’s specialty, she was excited to see others enjoy her passion around the holiday.
“I’ve always loved flowers since I was a littler girl,” Wollman said.
In addition to flowers, the greenhouse also offers vegetables, herbs and succulents.
The colony plans to stay open until the end of May at which point the hot conditions will likely cause them to close up shop. The greenhouse will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day except Sundays.