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Hometown Farmer - Yankton Nurseries

Hometown Farmer - Yankton Nurseries

It is cold outside, there's snow on the ground, but that doesn't mean there isn't anything going on at your local greenhouse or plant nursery.

You see, unlike the plants, Jay Gurney isn't dormant this time of year.

"There's always cleaning, pruning, weeding," said Gurney. "You don't always see it when you come to the nursery, but in the background, that's what's going on."

Most of his plants here at Yankton Nurseries are in storage right now.

Like the evergreens, in a greenhouse that's been converted to cold storage.

"They just don't like getting beat up in the wind," said Gurney.

Other buildings will get a lot of crops rotated in and out as the season progresses.

Jay even has some special projects tucked away for the winter, like oranges, limes, lemons, even a pineapple.

But this year is special for Jay, his 40th year in business.

He believes it is kind of a milestone.

"It is in a sense, because I know I don't have 40 more I can go," said Gurney.

He even has a special plant, that has been with him almost that entire time.

It's a milk bush.

"One right here that I've had for probably, it's probably been in here 30, around down here 30, 40 years," said Gurney, pointing to the plant. "There it is, the mother plant back here."

Jay says that type of plant is what people are looking for these days, kind of like cactuses.

"There's no hiding from the thorns," said Gurney. "They seem to bite you!"

They're drought resistant after all.

"These types of cactus are window-sill friendly, without stabbing you too badly," said Gurney with a smile, holding up a small cactus.

Just remember, if you plan on buying a plant-friend to keep for 40 years, Jay has some advice.

"They can go for a long time if you take care of them," said Gurney, with a smile.

If you think if a farmer you'd like to see on "Proud to be a Hometown Farmer," please email Jake at: jheller@siouxlandnews.com.

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