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Local garden center celebrates 30 years

Tom Farrill, center, his wife, Teri, and their son, Luke, all work at the family business, Sunrise Nursery, a business Tom started 30 years ago as a landscaping service. Photo by Margaret Ontl

When Tom Farrill moved back to Hudson a third time, in 1979, he started Farrill's Landscaping Service. Thirty years later the business, now called Sunrise Nursery, is still going strong.

Farrill lived in Hudson at a very young age, then his family moved to St. Paul, returning to Hudson in 1962. After a stint in the Marine Corps and living all over the country, Farrill moved back in 1979.

"It seemed like we needed that service in this area at that time," he said. "Our business literally grew with the neighborhood, and it is still growing." Twenty years ago, Farrill phased out of the landscaping business and embraced the nursery and garden center part of his enterprise, but they will still plant their own trees for customers.

"This year, everything edible is selling," said Farrill, including raspberries, blueberries, grapes and apple trees, along with a complete assortment of vegetable plants and herbs.

"When we started we were lucky to sell 25 apple trees a year. Now we sell over 500 because people have two and three acres and they can have a little orchard right on their property.

Sunrise Nursery staff are normally busy with individual customers in April, May and June. In July, August and September, they are usually busy with orders from builders working on new homes. Farrill hopes that trend repeats itself, and he said it looks hopeful at this point.

Tom Clemmens and John Fenn are two employees who have worked with Farrill for nearly as long as he has been in business. Clemmens has 25 years' experience and Fenn, 24 years.

"I just like to work with plants," said Clemmens, whose first job in high school was at a greenhouse in Maplewood. "Every year there are always new plants, and I like to talk with the people - that is always fun."

Fenn, a 1974 Hudson graduate, came to Farrill's by way of Job Service and has found a career that suits him. "Being outdoors is great," said Fenn. "I love to watch everything green up."

Farrill is joined in the business by his wife, Teri, and son, Luke.

In addition to plants, trees and shrubs the nursery offers a wide assortment of pots, mulch, storage sheds and Adirondack chairs.

"I stay in the business because I like the people," said Farrill. "We tend to have happy customers."

As far as trends go, Farrill notes that a demand for the old-fashioned stuff, like grandma's favorites, are coming back.

Sunrise Nursery is located at 599 County UU. Hours are Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, call (715) 386-5554.