• Last modified 1579 days ago (Feb. 27, 2020)


Greenhouse nurtures man's hobby business

Scott Zogleman readies seeds for new season

Staff writer

Temperatures may still be hovering in the 30s, but Scott Zogleman already has a head start on spring.

The Florence native plans to sort out the vegetable seeds he will start in an 8-by-16 foot greenhouse that has enabled him to run a small plant and vegetable business.

“I really enjoy it,” he said. “The community has really supported me.”

Zogleman, who works part-time at Florence’s post office, has already started some small house plants that he plans to propagate.

He grew poinsettias for Christmas years ago, but low maintenance plants such as succulents and Philodendrons are ones he favors.

“I like ones that are hard to kill,” he said.

He planned to move the greenhouse on the corner of 5th and Main Sts., closer to his home, but was unable to do so before the weather turned cold.

The insulated glass house is heated with a propane tank at a cost of $120 a year, but it sits to the north of a brick building.

“When the sun is low it shadows part of the greenhouse,” he said. “That’s part of the reason I’d like to move it.”

In the meantime, he has his eye on some “odd” gold or yellow tomato varieties he’d like to start from seed as well as the usual Beefsteaks and Jet Stars, but the juicy fruits the plants produce are for customers and friends — not for him.

“I don’t like tomatoes. I grow them, but I don’t like to eat them,” he said.

The first tomato that ripened on the vine June 10 last year he gave to his sister for her birthday.

Instead, he prefers the greens he grows in an aquaponics system he runs in three big Rubbermaid trash barrels. Goldfish and koi are kept in the tanks and their waste feeds the plants. In turn, the plants clean the water for the fish.

Once established, aquaponics is not much work, which is part of the attraction, he said.

“You don’t weed, you don’t water, just keep the water PH balanced for the fish and that’s it,” he said.

Last modified Feb. 27, 2020