Brunswick Co. couple grows business despite the economy

Reported by Bob Townsend - bio|email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WECT) - People who work in the housing business have had to find other ways to make money in this slumping economy, and it's not just homebuilders who have been affected by the recession.

There has been a trickle down effect, right down to those who grow the plants that builders landscape around the finished product.

Bill and Katherine Ingram have operated a wholesale plant nursery for 20 years.  Last year, the bottom fell out of the housing business, and plants they were expecting to sell are still sitting around.

The Ingrams did like other wholesalers and farmers have had to do to make ends meet, they diversified.

First, they grew a half acres of strawberries to help bring in income.  They took it a step further, buying an old greenhouse where tobacco plants were once grown, and converting it into a hot house, where hundreds of tomato plants are flourishing.

By Christmas, the Ingrams will have green tomatos and will be selling them in the southern Brunswick County area.

Brunswick County Extension Director Al Hight says with the economy the way it is right now, the Ingrams have made some wise decisions.

The Ingrams are like everyone else, hoping the economy returns to normal soon, but they will continue to look for additional ways to diversify, while producing income for their family and some of North Carolina's favorite fruits and vegetables.

To find out where you can buy the green tomatos, call the Ingrams directly, (910) 287-3713.

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