Vendor Spotlight: Fishley Farms
Fishley Farms is our longest-running vendor at 46 years strong!
The Fishley family greenhouse, best known for their bedding plants, joined the market in 1975 — the very first year we opened.
Rose and her husband Stuart were both born on farms and after a brief stint in the city, they were able to return to rural Saskatchewan to start their family business.
When they first started attending the market, Rose recalls there being only a handful of vendors. As the market grew, the customer demands changed and so did the vegetables from Fishley Farms: Rose says people used to look for meat, potatoes and hardy vegetables, whereas now we love our salad veggies and greens! Rose says her favourite part of the market after all these years is the people.
With help from her daughter Sheila, Rose grows all their bedding plants from seed in the greenhouse on their farm between Bethune and Dilke.
They start planting in March and Rose says the key to successful greenhouse starter plants is to avoid overwatering and keep that temperature controlled! She also wants people to know that despite the dirt, cleanliness is essential to early season gardening to avoid complications such as “damp off” — a soil-borne fungal disease that can hurt your seedlings.
From an idea explored around their kitchen table to the realities of keeping up with a thriving business, Rose and her family have seen this dream through a lot. In 2015 Stuart passed away, so their daughter Sheila and her son, Ryan stepped up to help Rose with Fishley Farms. That same year their greenhouse burned down and they had to start over in more ways than one.
Their adaptability was particularly tested last year with Covid-19. Rose says greenhouses are usually places for people to touch, smell, and gather. Rose enlisted Ryan to help them go virtual through the pandemic, creating an online presence and selling through RFM’s online store. Without the ability to sell their plants virtually, the Fishley family says they wouldn’t have made it through the 2020 season.
Check out their Facebook page for gardening tips from seasoned professional Rose. Even after 46 years, Rose finds something new each season to get excited about. This year it’s their Watermelon seedlings — you can order a tiny plant now that Rose says will bear fruit by August!
Her favourite plants are their flowers and their most popular product is their Petunias. On the day we talked to Rose she was in Lumsden planting Petunias and Portulaca flowers for a custom storefront display.
Rose was colour coordinated with her lovely purple petunias!
Head to our online store to browse Fishley Farms’ impressive selection of seasonal offerings.