Apr 07 2016

Green Market in Pembroke Celebrates 25 Years

Green Market in Pembroke Celebrates 25 Years

Ron Holdren is a third generation farmer and a Giles County native, from Newport.  He has not always been a farmer.  While attending Giles High School, Holdren was in 4-H and FFA.  During his senior year, he was selected as a Virginia 4-H All Star.  In 1991, he and his wife Lisa started their greenhouse business as a hobby. What would become The Green Market had sprouted.

Upon graduating from college, he and his wife, Lisa ran a convenience store for 22 years.  It was called Ron’s Stop and Save and was in Pembroke.  In 2000, their store closed and they refocused their time and energies in order to create a successful greenhouse and farm operation.  This was a second career for the Holdren’s and they have never looked back.  Today, The Green Market is one of the largest, licensed independent nurseries in the New River Valley. This year, The Green Market will celebrate their 25th Anniversary.

Regular hours are kept at the greenhouse and farm, where they live on-site.  They have been vendors at the Blacksburg Farmers’ Market for the past 16 years.  Holdren was also a founding member of the second Blacksburg Farmers Market-Communty Market on South Main Street.

This past year, the Holdrens were pivotal members in achieving a long-held, personal  dream.  They joined the Town of Pearisburg in the process of establishing a Pearisburg farmers market, featuring local/Virginia produce in Giles County.

Holdren is also employed with the Virginia Century Orchard-Ayers Orchard in Cana, VA.  They provide fresh, local fruit (peaches, apples, etc.)  to the New River Valley.  His grandfather and father inspired his passion for local foods.

Through the years, the Holdrens have assembled a large collection of unique plants and herbs, which they propagate in one of their greenhouses affectionately knows as “Noah’s Ark”.  (They grow two of each plant for the season.)

The Green Market has a Daylily Display Garden contains over 400 varieties.  They sell these on a “you pick-we dig” basis, during the blooming season.

The Green Market has a Daylily Display Garden contains over 400 varieties.

The Green Market has a Daylily Display Garden contains over 400 varieties.

The Holdrens grow 25-30 varieties of both tomato and pepper plants.  These include most local heirloom favorites, as they are often the best-acclimated and most productive in Giles County growing conditions.  They are especially proud to grow many of the world’s hottest pepper varieties.

The Green Market grows year-round in Hoop Houses in Pembroke and seasonally in their Pembroke fields for the Pearisburg Community Market and Oasis World Market in Blacksburg.

Holdren stated, At this point in our lives, we feel an obligation to share our knowledge with the future generations by working with kid’s gardening programs in our market areas; especially Giles.  Through the years, we have shared our collective knowledge (students and farmers on a two-way street); learning from each other.

Recently, the Holdrens honored the achievements of a VA Tech student; Thomas Dahlquist from Arlington, VA with a position in their “growing” venture.  Dahlquist, graduating this coming December, will be the first horticultural staff person hired, as an Environmental Horticulturalist.

Green Market Greenhouses opens in  mid-April and you can also find them at the Pearisburg Community Market, which opens on Saturday, May 7th.

Farmer Ron says: ”Come see us and Let’s Get Growing!”

Share Post