In 1982, David and Eunice Vanstone (along with their two young sons, Ashley and Owen) began with a small piece of property and a big dream, to establish a wholesale production nursery north of Portage la Prairie, Manitoba.
The Vanstones built their house and a small greenhouse during that first year. Income was sparse, so summer vegetables were grown and sold directly from the yard during 1983. David taught in the Diploma Agriculture program for the first 8 winters while the business was becoming established while Eunice busied herself with the care of her growing family as Tim (1983) and Jessica (1985) were born.
Vanstone Nurseries grows for about 250 garden centres from North-western Ontario throughout Manitoba and into Saskatchewan and Alberta. Spring sales begin in April and continue throughout the growing season and until the ground is frozen.
Vanstone Nurseries considers the delivery of the plants an important step in their wholesale business. Care is needed to prevent damage from improper temperature, timing or handling. Whenever possible, Vanstone delivers their own product; when carriers are necessary, they are chosen with discretion.
The nursery is in the succession stage of development. Owen and Tim have worked in the business from school days and fully understand its philosophy and operations. They have exciting ideas and energy to move Vanstone forward into a new generation. Their ambition is to make Vanstone a top Manitoba nursery with the best perennials and shrubs and annual flowers around and they are stepping up to the plate to accept responsibilities previously assumed by David.
The Family Team
He is now the owner and general manager of the operation with a particular management interest in the perennial production. David works hard to ensure administrative details are kept in order and everything keeps running smoothly, even in the busy spring rush.
Besides his commitments to the family business, Owen also is active in the industry through speaking at industry events and advising and instructing at regional colleges. Owen is also very involved in industry association activities. He has served as a board member for Landscape Manitoba and the Canadian Nursery Landscape Association and recently completed a four year term as the chair of Growers Canada. He has embraced the opportunity to see nurseries across the country and around the world and has gained valuable perspective which is utilized to improve Vanstone Nurseries.
Owen was married in July 2012 to Gina and have three children. They live in Portage la Prairie.
He manages the bulk of the shipping process, oversees the the facility and maintenance concerns at the nursery, and is responsible for the field production. During the production season, Tim is responsible for the potting process and supervises the ongoing plant care in the container field.
In addition to his involvement in the nursery business, Tim is quite busy with his own growing family. He and his wife Olga have three children, Zach, Kyle, and Jane.