Locally grown poinsettias reflect year's worth of hard work by York County farm

YORK COUNTY, Pa. — It's a sea of red at Miller Plant Farm in York Township, York County with thousands of poinsettias ready for a home this holiday season.

 "It’s a very rewarding job to watch these things transform into something as beautiful as a sea of red color," said Dustyn Miller, co-owner of Miller Plant Farm.

Miller Plant Farm has been growing the decorative holiday plant since the 1980s.

Miller is a fifth-generation grower for the family business and says poinsettias are a holiday favorite that takes all year to prepare for.

"I have to carve out some time to be thinking about poinsettias just about every month of the year because it takes a lot of planning to pull it off," said Miller.

Growing poinsettias is a 20-week process that begins in the summer. It's a plant that needs care, maintenance and every bit of attention well before the holiday season.

"We care for them seven days a week. There is no break," said Miller. "We watch these things from the time they are small and grass green, they change in the month of October and then we get to this point in early December where they’re vibrant red."

When Miller Plant Farm first began growing poinsettias there were just three varieties. More than 40 years later, that number has jumped from 15 to 20, adding to the complex planning process.

"We started with red, white and there was a marble way back in the 80’s. That was really [all that was] offered on the market," said Miller. "But now there’s so much different stuff."

Every year brings new challenges to get the holiday staple to people’s homes. This year, a drought and heat wave caused the farm's main well for its poinsettias to dry up a number of times. 

"I thought for sure I’d have a year where I could say I’ve seen it all but there’s always new challenges," said Miller. "This year I guess the drought and the lack of water in the ground for our wells was a big challenge, but it seems like every year is going to give us something different."

However, with decades of experience, there is no challenge the farm feels it cannot face.

"It’s in our blood," said Miller. "I’m the fifth generation here at Miller Plant Farm so we’ve been growing things whether it’s produce crops in our farm fields or all the greenhouse growing that we do, we’ve been growing things since 1928."

Their biggest motivator and reward is seeing their homegrown holiday flower showcased in homes across central Pennsylvania, something that makes the journey all worth the hard work.

"[It] gives you a sense of value in the community to be able to produce this stuff locally and your local community supports you," said Miller.


Article originally published by Fox43 on November 27, 2023. Read full article here.

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