April 25, 2019
Published by Tecumseh Herald on Thu, 04/25/2019 - 11:40am
MARY KAY McPARTLIN
Mark Prielipp, Kathryn Mohr and son, Paul inside the nursery at 7722 Britton Hwy. Photo by Jim Lincoln.
Like so many people in the area, farming is in the blood of husband and wife, Mark Prielipp and Kathryn Mohr. Both grew up on family farms and continued their relationship with the land – Mark as part of a family farm and greenhouse and Kathryn as an attorney specializing in farm succession planning.
Their three children – Paul, Anna and Adam – all want to be part of the family farming tradition, inspiring Mark and Kathryn to create a family farm model that fit the Prielipp traditions. They understand the hard work involved in planting and harvesting as well as working with the public. Everyone in the family has mastered interpersonal skills from working at farmers markets.
“In our opinion in order to pass the farm to our children we needed to separate from the past and start a new business if our children were to have a future in agriculture,” said Kathryn. “We had to create a pathway for our children. Mark and I are partners with our son Paul and his wife Adrienne in Mark Prielipp Greenhouse and Mohr, LLC. We also formed Prielipp Ag Co., LLC, which farms our 1,800 acres. Paul was one of two farmers in Lenawee County last year to grow organic soybeans.”
In addition to a love of the land, each of the four partners understands the business side of farming. Paul and Adrienne met as business majors at Adrian College. Adrienne also has an MBA with a marketing emphasis.
Mark Prielipp Greenhouse and Mohr didn’t hesitate to harness nature to help make the business sustainable and environmentally friendly. Sun, wind and rain all help the business to operate optimally.
The water held in the two-acre greenhouse pond is there to help irrigate plants and is captured from the rainwater that runs off the roof. According to Paul, the 45 gutter drains on the greenhouse pull 28,000 gallons of water for every inch of rain.
“It’s totally self-sustaining,” he said.
Heat is controlled within the greenhouse through roof venting as well as roof shades, which kept the greenhouse warm this winter without needing as much help from heaters. This summer, temperature inside the greenhouse will be cooler thanks to the shades and the ability to vent the roof.
The cost for these innovations was steep, but the financial benefits began immediately. “It’s really cut our heating costs dramatically,” said Paul. “It’s pretty amazing.”
Beyond a financial benefit, there is also an improved environment for everyone in the greenhouse – workers and customers.
“We also have created a beautiful, calming atmosphere that is clean and friendly for folks that may have mobility issues to visit and love our flowers as we do,” Kathryn said.
In addition to the plants and produce, there is also an area featuring specialty garden items.
For people visiting the greenhouse with a plant lover who are not interested in plants and flowers, there is a special seating area to relax during the visit. A children’s play area provides a spot for the younger gardeners in the family to have fun while Mom and Dad shop.
Plants get their start in late January and early February from seed or cuttings. The greenhouse is open eight or nine months out of the year with a variety of product and produce (see sidebar).
In the community, people have been looking forward to the greenhouse opening, ready to support a long-time Britton farm family. “The postmaster, every time I go in to pick up packages, assures me that everyone is excited,” said Kathryn.
“We’ve been grateful that the community has been excited,” Paul said. “A lot of people have stopped by.”
Mark Prielipp Geenhouse and Mohr is located at 7722 Britton Highway, one mile north of M- 50. Open for business, Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., the greenhouse hours will expand to seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., with a grand opening planned for Mother’s Day weekend.
All methods of payment are accepted, including Apple Pay and Google Pay. For more information, follow Mark Prielipp Greenhouse and Mohr on Facebook or call 517.673.4323.