Pennington's Greenhouses and Mum Farm Create Sea of Color
POPLAR BLUFF – Tucked away in the woods south of Poplar Bluff is a scene that would humble even the most elaborately decorated greeting card. The scene on the half-mile stretch of gravel road leading to the Pennington’s 60-acre mum farm is one of browning, overgrown fields and what appears to be a junk yard; it does not prepare you for the panorama of color laying just ahead.
There is color everywhere from blaze orange pumpkins of all kinds, including warty, decorative, pie and various others. Among the mums, you will also find gourds of many varieties and, the Pennington’s will share how to dry it for use as a birdhouse. Brilliant colored mums are everywhere: there are purple, purple with gold centers, red, white, orange, yellow and more.
When Charles and Francis Pennington moved to the farm about 20 years ago, one of the things they brought with them was their greenhouse that Charles built using windows from the old Neelyville School. They say their business started quite by accident with this first greenhouse.
They raised tomatoes for their families and a few friends and then family and friends began requesting more. The great quality of their produce was spread by word of mouth so Charles and Francis added another greenhouse and ultimately added other produce items with their business growing enough to require the current 6 greenhouses. They now provide produce for their customers during the summer season.
They toyed with the idea of planting mums and found their efforts to be so successful that they are currently planting 4,500 mums a year by hand.
The process requires taking cuttings from stock plants, planting them in starter pots and nurturing them until planting season rolls around. When the plants are ready to harvest, they have to be dug up and planted in large pots. The result is a virtual sea of color. Charles and Francis also sell many other plants and when time permits in the fall, they take family and friends in the community for hayrides. While the Pennington farm is well known in the area, about 30% of their business is from out of state traffic. There is something for everyone at the mum farm.
Pennington’s Greenhouses & Mum Farm can be found off of Hwy 67 about two miles south of the intersection of Hwy 160 on County Road 338 and lays about a half-mile East of Highway US 67 South.