Bethel business blooming this holiday season

Bethel business blooming this holiday season

BETHEL, Del. - "We started out with a thousand poinsettias back in 1973 and now we're up to 40,000." 

What started out as just a family farm nestled in the little town of Bethel in Sussex County turned into one of the largest producers of poinsettias in Delaware.

Jeff Hastings, owner of Jeff's Greenhouses, has been growing plants for as long as he can remember. 

"I mean I like doing it, I've done it for years. It's all I've done really my whole life besides you know farming too and you know it just beautifies the area," says Hastings. 

But doing what he loves has now turned into quite the operation.
"From Wilmington down to the Eastern Shore of Virginia and then we do from Cambridge over to Ocean City. We do a few outside that area, but we try and keep it right here on the Eastern Shore." 

Jeff's poinsettias are in high demand and that's probably because he doesn't just have the classic red.

"We grow several different colors you know we have red, pink, white, burgundy, jingle bell, monae, and peppermint." 

Although getting these poinsettias to look this good is no easy task.

"We have to have them all planted by August the 25th and actually we get the street lights turned out in front of the greenhouses, we put a black plastic wall so the car lights don't come in because they have to have about 10 to 12 hours of darkness from about the 10th of September until the end of October." 

And that's not the only thing Jeff has to monitor these poinsettias also need the perfect temperature to grow. 

"They can't during that period when they are setting that bud they cant go over 70 degrees at night that could heat stall them. We use fungicides on them once a month." 

But Jeff says all that hard work pays off when his 18 greenhouses are in full bloom. 

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