Seasonal disorder: Greenhouses appear while dig-out continues
While sheriff's deputies and county maintenance workers were still scrambling Tuesday morning to respond to weather-related accidents and clear away drifted snow and treat slippery roads throughout the region, there were signs of spring.
Laborers working on behalf of Natural Beauty Floral Plant Growers, headquartered in Denmark, Wis., wore felt-lined boots and insulated coveralls Tuesday morning as they scraped away snow before erecting the first of two 45- by 25-foot greenhouses in a parking lot near ShopKo, River Falls.
The crew of four traveled with by van and semi tractor-trailer in Monday's storm ahead of the set-up on Tuesday morning.
By noon Tuesday, workers had assembled the first of two shelters that will protect flowers and bedding plants bound for sale outside the River Falls ShopKo store in a few weeks.
When will they open?
"I have no idea," said a Natural Beauty employee overseeing the job. "Whenever it stops snowing, I guess."
Eban Erhard, national account manager with Natural Beauty, said plants are actually scheduled to arrive in River Falls on Monday, April 8th -- weather permitting, of course.
This will mark the 40th year for Natural Beauty as sole provider of bedding plants, Easter lillies, Mums and other greenery to ShopKo stores nationwide.
The firm has 22 acres under cover at Denmark, near Green Bay, as well as other growing facilities at Sioux Falls, Richland, Ind., and Boyden, Iowa for a total of 69 acres.
Natural Beauty supplies a total of 307 ShopKo and ShopKo hometown stores across the country, said Erhard.