by Joni Astrup
As a girl growing up in Germany, Hanna Greenberg learned how to garden from the aunt who raised her.
“My aunt loved flowers and she had a beautiful flower garden,” Greenberg said. “That’s where the knowledge for my flowers comes from.”
Greenberg grows a variety of flowers on her farm in Nowthen and is selling bouquets at the new Nowthen Farmers Market. The farmers market runs from 3–7 p.m. Thursdays. It is located on County Road 5 between 199th Avenue and the city park entrance.
Lynda Kolasa, who spearheaded the idea of having a farmers market in Nowthen, is tickled that Greenberg will be part of it.
“Everyone knows her in Nowthen and appreciates her flowers,” Kolasa said.
Greenberg has lived in Nowthen (formerly known as Burns Township) for decades. She arrived in the United States in 1951 at the age of 25.
“All of Europe would have immigrated to America after the war if they could have,” she said.
Greenberg raised nine children and lost two of her daughters to cancer.
“Such is life,” she said. “I can only say you take one day at a time. You don’t live in the past and you don’t live in the future but you have today. Hard times taught me that. But I really must say it was the grace of God (that helped).”
Gardening, meanwhile, has been a lifelong source of pleasure for Greenberg. She loves her flowers and has seven beds where she cuts the flowers she sells. They are mostly perennials and, depending on the season, include daffodils, tulips, hyacinths, irises, peonies, daisies and bleeding hearts.
She primarily grows flowers that are good for cutting and that will last at least four days after being cut.
She’s careful to cut the flowers just before they open so they will be in prime condition for the person who buys them.
It’s not unusual for her to mix wild flowers and plants she gathers in with her bouquets. Branches from willows that grow nearby are some of her favorites.
She likes reading about gardening and has experimented with a variety of flowers over the years.
“Mom has been the pioneer for these more exotic types of flowers,” said her son, Joel.
While she has been gardening for years, flowers have been her business for about 20 years. She has a flower route in Elk River where she sells flowers to people at businesses and also used to sell them at the St. Paul Farmers Market.
Now 84, Greenberg hasn’t grown tired of flowers.
“It’s something I like,” she said. “I can lay in bed in January and think about what I’m going to plant.”
She and her family would like to thank the Elk River community for its support of her flower business for the last 20 years.