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yard and garden

Owner, Amy Swensen

STORY AND PHOTOS BY JOAN HASSKAMP

W

hen you enter The Backyard Greenhouse near Crosby, you’re greeted by gazing balls, hanging wind chimes, fairy garden accessories and crates and bins filled with a wide array of goods.

The “tomato and pepper girl,” Amy’s daughter, Morgan, helps in the greenhouse.

Owner Amy Swensen said first time customers often express surprise when they discover the variety of products. Each January, Amy, and her husband, Bill, haul a trailer full of the metal garden accents back from Texas. “We try to carry a little something for everyone,” she explained. Customers come not only to stock up on the requisite staples of flowers, plants and trees, but also to browse all of the enchanting nooks and crannies of the property. Amy planted her first garden at age 21, the year she married. She was immediately hooked. “I knew that gardening would be a part of me from that point on,” she said. Gardening took a backseat while she and Bill raised three children. During those years she worked at Cuyuna Regional Medical Center in Crosby. While she loved her job, the desire to immerse herself fully into gardening kept tugging at her heart. This led to part-time jobs at the Little Country Greenhouse and the Wal-Mart Garden Center. It was after reading “48 Days to the Work You Love” by Dan Miller that

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Amy decided the time had come to follow her heart and pursue a career change. Amy asked the owner of the Little Country Greenhouse for more hours. During the conversation, she learned the greenhouse was for sale. Excited but nervous, she went home and prayed about it. “I prayed a lot,” Amy said. “Really a lot,” she said with a laugh. She knew such a major life change would affect the entire family. After much reflection and family discussion, they made the decision to purchase the Backyard Greenhouse in 2011. Amy took a cautious approach, not quitting her medical center position right away. After juggling both jobs for a year, she took the leap of faith and devoted herself entirely to the greenhouse. With no formal education in the area of horticulture, she relied on the knowledge gleaned from working at the Garden Center and the Greenhouse. “It was mostly baptism by fire,” she laughed. “The support of the community has been awesome.” Each family member helps at the Greenhouse. Bill, who Amy lov-

Her Voice - Summer 2017  

Kayaking The Mississippi: Friends from Pine River-Backus are kayaking the Mississippi River in segments. This year’s journey begins in Misso...

Her Voice - Summer 2017  

Kayaking The Mississippi: Friends from Pine River-Backus are kayaking the Mississippi River in segments. This year’s journey begins in Misso...

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