Horsefly Nursery will be set up at Highlands Irrigation on South Lakeside Drive for the upcoming plant retail sales season. (Facebook photo)

Horsefly Nursery moving its Williams Lake location to Highlands Irrigation

In the past it was at Safeway, but with FreshCo still under renovations a new spot was needed

Horsefly Nursery will have a new off-site home in Williams Lake when it begins retail plant sales in May.

In the past they’ve set up beside Safeway, but with the FreshCo renovations still underway, Horsefly Nursery owner Rosalie Stromsten said they were looking for somewhere else to set up.

About a month and a half ago her children put a request on the nursery’s Facebook page indicating they needed a new home.

Highlands Irrigation owner Dick Ford saw the post and offered to share his business area in the 1100 block of South Lakeside Drive.

“It had to go through approval with City hall, which it did last evening, because Dick’s property is industrial, but he also sells retail so that makes him commercial,” Stromsten said Wednesday. “But we needed a temporary use permit for retail plant sales. We have approval to be there for three years and are looking forward to it.”

Read more: COVID-19: City of Williams Lake issues reminder for residents to keep socially distant

In a report presented to city council at its regular meeting Tuesday, April 7, development services technician Brenda Kolenbrander noted the proposed temporary nursery use would include a recreational vehicle, a 24 foot by 40 foot greenhouse, raised benches for plants, a portable toilet, and a six foot high fence to protect the nursery from theft and wildlife.

The nursery will take up approximately 4,000 square feet total of the parking lot on site.

The application for the temporary permit was unanimously approved by council.

In operation as a family business for 20 years, Stromsten said she sticks with phones and fax machines so she was surprised the initial Facebook post generated over 7,000 hits, ‘whatever that means.’

“We had all sorts of people respond and offering spaces, even one dear soul, a lady, who phoned and offered her side yard and it was all fenced. That was really sweet. All sorts of people were offering for us to be at their places. I had no idea that many people even knew about us.”

All seven greenhouses in Horsefly are bulging at the seams with plants all ready to go, she said, adding they will begin to start planting vegetables soon.

One of her daughters has been preparing baskets, another one is busy transplanting cuttings, her son mixes dirt and her husband, Erick is up all night feeding the fires with wood to keep all the greenhouses warm enough.

“It was -11C here last night,” she said.

As for the COVID-19 pandemic, they will have to be exceptionally careful, she added.

“I have to find out what the health regulations are in town. We are prepared and will be wearing masks and are talking about putting up plexiglass dividers like they are in some businesses. We’ll just have to find out the rules and regulations and follow them.”

She said they’ve also received lots of phone calls from people putting in orders, particularly in the vegetable department.

Read more: Williams Lake Garden Club creates new community seed library

“I think people are starting to realize that maybe they better build a little garden for fresh vegetables in case this thing keeps going. We have no idea how long it is going to go on for, and, we don’t want to bend any rules because none of us wants to get sick.”

They are hoping to open by Friday, May 1 at the new site.



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