Family comes together to reopen greenhouse

Hannah Grover
Aileen Johnson looks over the tomato offerings on Thursday at the Brewer Greenhouse on Don Rovin Lane in Farmington.

FARMINGTON – Bonnie Crane grew up working in her mother’s greenhouse and raised her children in the business. But when her mother died in 2015, Crane stopped.

“It’s just been a way of life for all of us, and then after she passed away, it was like that way of life was gone,” Crane said.

Aileen Johnson, left, talks to Jennifer Crane, granddaughter of Judy Brewer, on Thursday at the Brewer Greenhouse in Farmington.

The family came together to reopen the greenhouse this spring. A brightly colored yellow sign on U.S. Highway 64 points toward the greenhouse located on Don Rovin Lane.

Crane’s parents opened the greenhouse business in 1967 when they bought a house in south Farmington that already had a greenhouse business. When they divorced in the 1970s, her mother, Judy Brewer, began to run the business on her own.

Customers Lockey Caston and Inez Caston of Kirtland walk into the Brewer Greenhouse on Thursday in Farmington.

The greenhouse produced a variety of tomatoes, chiles and flowers and, over the years, the Brewer Greenhouse attracted many loyal customers, some of whom have started to return since the family reopened the business.

“So many people talk about how much they enjoyed shopping in her greenhouse,” Crane said.

She said her mother was an outgoing person who “liked sharing her gifts with other people.”

After Brewer’s death in February 2015, the family considered selling the greenhouses.

“I just always really hated seeing that happen,” Crane said.

Bonnie Crane helps some customer on Thursday at the Brewer Greenhouse on Don Rovin Lane in Farmington.

When the greenhouses did not sell, the family decided to try reopening the business.

Crane’s daughter, Jennifer Crane, even quit her job so she could dedicate her time to working in the greenhouse. That allows Jennifer Crane to spend more time with her son, Brantley Stock, 3.

“It’s been an adventure,” she said. “It’s a lot harder work than I thought it would be, but it’s worth it.”

She said the greenhouse also has brought the family together since her grandmother’s death. In addition to Jennifer Crane and her mother, her siblings and cousins also work in the greenhouse.

“Everybody wanted to be a part of what my grandma did,” she said.

Bonnie Crane, right, helps Lockey Caston and his mom, Inez Caston, pick out some plants on Thursday at the Brewer Greenhouse on Don Rovin Lane in Farmington.

The greenhouse is also teaching Brantley some life skills. On Thursday morning, he played with a rake in the backyard while his mother watered the plants inside the greenhouse. Jennifer Crane said gardening is a useful skill Brantley will learn growing up around the business.

“If you ever need to grow your own food, you have an idea of how to do it,” she said.

Hannah Grover covers Aztec and Bloomfield, as well as general news, for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652.