Greenhouse business going strong at 110 years of activity

In 1913, three brothers, Edward, Oscar, and George Albert (Al) Hecklinger, constructed a six-acre greenhouse next to the family’s home on Seaman Street.

In doing so, they were not only planting what would become vegetables, flowers, and other produce but were sowing the seeds of a successful business now operated 110 years later by the fourth generation of the Hecklinger family.

When Edward, Oscar, and Al retired or passed away, their sons, Donald, Dale, and Robert, took over the business, growing hothouse tomatoes, lettuce, and cucumbers, which were marketed through a cooperative, The Toledo Greenhouse Association. They also grew potatoes at their farm in Adrian, Michigan.

The tomato plants yielded about 15,000 eight-pound baskets per acre.
When grocers started buying more produce from California in the early 1970s, the three men made the decision to switch the operation to bedding plants – flowers – that were raised in a way similar to that of tomatoes, transplanted from seed and plugs to fill flats and pots.
The business sold the bedding plants primarily wholesale to large garden centers in warmer areas to the east, such as Virginia and Washington, D.C.

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