Gardens of Eagan gets new greenhouse manager

Staff profile: Andy Grotberg

Meet Andy Grotberg, GOE's new greenhouse manager and it will occur to you, no less subtly than the brightest sunshine on a 20 below 0 day, that this guy has as much integrity as the state of Minnesota! We have been smiling and sometimes scratching our heads as we have shared a month of lunch-times and watched Andy familiarize himself with GOE.

When I sat down to talk with him for this article I asked him the silly/classic interview question, "What would you do if you won the lottery?"

"I wouldn't stop working, I know that," he replied. "I'd take the money that's for sure, and I can think of a lot of people I'd give it to."

Frozen spinach coming back to life!

"I like to work for my money," he said, quite matter of fact.

On Andy's first day at work the high really was 20 below zero! He dug in like a farmer with a pitch fork, 100 bales of hay and a field to mulch. As he has been organizing the 12 greenhouses he has focused on fixing what's broken and inventing what needs to exist.

Our Germination Chamber is getting some TLC before we start seeding. The Electric Boiler is getting a creative repair before it goes into service, heating the underside of the plant tables. It is a secure feeling to see all these jobs being so efficiently executed!

Broccoli plugs!

Our 30-something new member of GOE was doing custom carpentry in his 20's. When the housing market thinned, he took an entry level job at Herb Pharm in Williams, Oregon and ended up staying for seven years, managing their greenhouse operations. Andy is pleased to be back Minnesota where he was born and raised. His wife and three children will be arriving in March and he can't wait! "I want my kids to be with family—grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles, I can give them all that here."