A Merrill hobby garden turns into a business

Merrill Garden turned into Local Business
Published: Apr. 25, 2021 at 6:44 PM CDT
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MERRILL, Wis. (WSAW) - Kerry Steele has been gardening her whole life. When she moved to Merrill three years ago, she wanted to take advantage of her large property by gardening. Now, she’s ready to start a business, Kerry on K, with it.

Steele first started her garden with 12 beds. It was a hobby at that point in time three years ago.

“I’m like, I can make this bigger, and so I made it a little bigger next year and now it’s turned into this,” Steele said.

Her business, Kerry on K, specializes in delivering weekly boxes of assorted vegetables to customers’ doors for a subscription service. She began testing the model last year with a pilot program for a small number of friends.

“One of my customers was like ‘Oh goody, my Christmas box is here’ because he would open up the box and there would be fresh lettuce and bell peppers and cucumbers,” Steele said.

This year, she’s decided to expand it to the general public with a cap on 25 customers because it’s just her delivering. The garden has grown from 500 seedlings in the spring to several thousand now.

“I loved doing this. And I like tinkering around with tinkering with growing my own plants and I like growing some seed. It’s what makes me happy,” Steele said.

Of course, it didn’t come without challenges. It required adapting, but luckily YouTube videos were a large help.

“We learned about water and rain. And it washed the first year. Washed away probably two or three beds, three or four times”

But she has many different vegetables. Her favorite part of growing is testing different combinations.

Cherry tomatoes, delicata squash, cayennes and jalapenos are just a few of at least 30 different veggies in her garden. She’ll continue to expand as long as she sees success and she’s able to do so.

“Take her for a ride and we’ll see what happens,” Steele said

She says she’ll start delivering vegetables in May once it’s warm enough to grow them. You can get more information at her website.

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