New garden center blooms in Kamas
June 26, 2012
High Star Farm and Garden is budding, growing local support as the new nursery takes root in its Kamas community. The nursery offers a variety of flowers and vegetables, nearly all of which are grown on site.
Whether it’s freshly cut flowers or an herb garden, High Star Farm and Garden hopes to offer more options to more people, to make gardening accessible. With one green house and six hoop houses on site, varieties range from Brussels sprouts to sunflowers.
Lisa Probst, co-owner of the business, said the business is a way to educate and promote gardening, to make successful gardeners.
That’s why she makes it a point to carry plants, flowers in particular, that can survive the high altitude and harsh winters; she wants to see people succeed in their own gardens. Probst carries plenty of flowers, snap dragons and germaniums, but chooses her selection based on the climate.
"A lot of garden centers in the mountains will sell perennials that won’t winter here," Probst said. "People do all this work, plant all these perennials and next year there is nothing. The plants all die over the winter. It was my harshest criteria for any perennial I brought into this garden center, that I only grow hearty varieties that can survive at this altitude."
In the light of summer, she is working double-time to keep up.
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Green sprouts are shooting through the soil. Flowers are swelling with heavy blossoms. Kale and spinach grow the length of hoop houses at the facility. Pots carrying parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme, are cleverly named the "Simon and Garfunkel" pots. In every corner of the garden center, Probst has carefully cultivated life. For her, gardening is a philosophy, a way of looking at the world.
"I have this weird passion for it," Probst said. " Everyone relies on plants. In this big web of life, the plant world is so massive. They create our oxygen, our literal life force. It’s not just a food stuff. If we didn’t’ have plants, our planet would perish."
"There is some kind of plant life on every surface, in every crevice, in every part of the world," she added. "There is a little part of it that exists for no other reason than for beauty, flowers. The reason we cultivate them, the reason we have them, the reason we grow them, is for beauty. And that is cool."
The business got its start when her partner Gary Compagna suggested she use the vacant High Star Ranch green house to start her own business. Probst jumped at the chance, planting her first seeds this March.
But Probst had been gardening long before that call in March. With a career in horticulture, she traces her roots back to her mother, a master gardener. She remembers learning about the plants, identifying problems and finding the solutions, working with her mother to create a family garden.
"It was the greatest gift my mother ever gave me, my favorite part of my mom," she said. "When she and I go to a green house together or garden together, it’s pure bliss,. We speak this language, a language we share and all gardeners share, a look into this peaceful and humbling world."
It was gardening with her mother that got her through the challenges of starting her own business this year, challenges such as a snow storm on her grand opening Memorial Day weekend or converting the long green house to grow both flowers and vegetables.
"I’m a plant geek," Probst said, laughing. "This is what I love to do, and maybe it is challenging, but it is also so rewarding."
High Star Farm and Garden
175 West 280 South, Kamas, UT
Monday thru Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.