Bring your pastor to work day – Bailey’s nursery

Today Pastor Mark and I were invited to go to work with Alan Wenner at Bailey’s.  Alan coordinates their intern program and gave us quite the tour around a piece of the nursery. Mark and I learned a TON today about this particular nursery, plants, business, interns, machinery, more about plants, containers vs. propagation from cuttings and seedlings, and wow…what a day!

We started our morning by driving up the back entry and looked at what is up from behind.  Alan took us to the front office to start our tour.  We then walked around the area known as propagation where plans are started from cuttings in greenhouses.  While Mark was fascinated with some of the machines I started talking to workers (in Spanish…makes for a good day) and we both chatted with interns about what brings them back to work.  We were both fascinated with the greenhouses and growing roots.  Take a look for yourself for a bit…

Alan shows us the new plants in rows.
We walked up this row….
And back down this row.

As we walked through the rows of greenhouses, we bumped into Clay from Alabama who was an intern in 2008 and came back to work at Bailey’s. He is passionate about this area of work, knows his stuff, and was awesome about answering any questions we might have.  We still had some questions about how the crew does the “sticking” or putting the cuttings in the pumice before they are constantly keep moist and fertilized.

Check it out…


Rows of new roses.
Crews lay down in this machine to do the sticking and rows are already marked…pretty cool!

They start to grow new roots if conditions are right.

At this point we hopped back into the van to head to another area to see plants being placed in containers.  Mark went one way to check out inside the machine and I went to go chat in Espanol.  We both learned lots from what we saw and heard.  We learned about how plants are planted and sent out to grow. We also learned about the different jobs this way.  Alan was great about making sure we got to chat with everyone we wanted to.  We also stopped by the shipping department (were Alan has worked as well) to chat with the people making sure everything goes out on trucks.

We both cracked up when we passed by equipment and realized that this is a converted church van…

You can kind of see the cross and dove.  🙂  After this point, Alan drove us up on the hill to see more plants in containers.  The view is spectacular.  We then traveled into Yamhill to eat a lovely lunch…thanks Bailey’s!  It is apparent that Alan has a passion for this work…not just for the plants and creation but for his interns as well. Alan calls his interns (about 5 per summer) his many kids.  He has stayed connected with international interns and interns all over the US.  He talks about them with pride and affection.  He gets grouchy when they leave.  His compassion is huge and heart is so full of love for creation and people.  His ministry is apparent.  Plus, it came up over and over again that the nursery is figuring out the way through the recession and yet he continues to work for the company to speak truth and strategy.  He cares about what happens in the lives of people that are affected by everything around them.

We ended the day by touring two other Bailey’s farms and looking at seedlings as well as parent plants that will be grafts and useful.  What a beautiful day to work in a nursery! Thanks Alan!