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Anton's/Evanston closed - ISO alt. source for tomato plants

Anton's/Evanston closed - ISO alt. source for tomato plants
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  • Anton's/Evanston closed - ISO alt. source for tomato plants

    Post #1 - April 9th, 2019, 8:15 pm
    Post #1 - April 9th, 2019, 8:15 pm Post #1 - April 9th, 2019, 8:15 pm
    Hi- I was driving down Dempster in Evanston this afternoon, and decided to turn into Pitner to see what Anton's has in the way of veggie plants. I thought it was strange, because there is always a sign at Dempster and Pitner directing you to Anton's, and when I went down the street, I saw a lot of construction going on, and I then realized that Anton's nursery and the house next door had been torn down, and it looks like maybe some townhouses are being built there. I loved Anton's.

    When I got home I immediately went to their website, and the nursery in Wisconsin is still open, but the one in Evanston is permanently closed. Gary Anton operated the one on Pitner, and his brother operated the one in Wisconsin, and Gary got a lot of his plants from his brother who had a much larger greenhouse. I loved Anton's heirloom tomatoes and Sun Gold cherry tomatoes. They were reasonable, and the quality of the plants could not be beat, and they were very helpful there. Are there any other greenhouses that carry Sun Gold and heirloom tomatoes that you would recommend? At our community gardening Spring meeting somebody mentioned a greenhouse that only sells plants, and closes for the season when they run out, but I did not get the name of the place.

    I can buy tomato plants from Teresa Brockman at the Evanston farmer's market, but she charges $6 a plant, which is at least twice as much as Anton's charged. At the end of the season she does mark them down B1G1F, but you are running the risk that she is going to be out of whatever variety you are looking for. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Chalet does not carry a large variety of heirloom tomatoes, and plus they are expensive too, and I never see sun gold plants there. Thanks, Nancy
  • Post #2 - April 9th, 2019, 8:27 pm
    Post #2 - April 9th, 2019, 8:27 pm Post #2 - April 9th, 2019, 8:27 pm
    How far are you willing to drive?
    Hors D'oeuvre: A ham sandwich cut into forty pieces.
    - Jack Benny
  • Post #3 - April 9th, 2019, 8:32 pm
    Post #3 - April 9th, 2019, 8:32 pm Post #3 - April 9th, 2019, 8:32 pm
    I am willing to drive 30 minutes from Evanston. There is a place that has been mentioned here on Touhy, but I tried to go to the place when I was in the neighborhood last summer and the traffic on Touhy was awful, and it would have taken me forever to get there. Thanks, Nancy
  • Post #4 - April 9th, 2019, 8:48 pm
    Post #4 - April 9th, 2019, 8:48 pm Post #4 - April 9th, 2019, 8:48 pm
    I just ran across an article in the Evanston Roundtable about the closure. Apparently they closed the end of August. Gary said the biggest reason why they closed was because the boiler was 100 years old, and was on its last legs. I don't know if a new boiler was too expensive or not. They are hoping that people go to their greenhouse near Kenosha. I might be willing to make one trip there to pick up plants. It would be nice if Gary came to the Evanston farmer's market with plants. Apparently the Wisconsin greenhouse is still going to furnish some local churches with plants for plant sales.
  • Post #5 - April 9th, 2019, 8:49 pm
    Post #5 - April 9th, 2019, 8:49 pm Post #5 - April 9th, 2019, 8:49 pm
    http://meinkegardencenter.com/home/4117203

    /viewtopic.php?p=116201
    Hors D'oeuvre: A ham sandwich cut into forty pieces.
    - Jack Benny
  • Post #6 - April 9th, 2019, 8:57 pm
    Post #6 - April 9th, 2019, 8:57 pm Post #6 - April 9th, 2019, 8:57 pm
    For the past few years, we've been getting our tomato seedlings from Nichols Farm via the Green City Market. They have a great variety and we've had much success with them. Opening day of the outdoor market is on Saturday May 4th but it's likely to be less crowded on the following Wednesday, May 8th. That said, there are still two indoor markets scheduled before then (4/13 & 4/27) at which Nichols will be participating. No idea, though, if they sell tomato plants at the indoor market but you could call Nichols at (815) 568-6782 and ask. Good luck.

    =R=
    There are many things that are legal that are not a great idea --Nick Shabazz

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #7 - April 9th, 2019, 9:54 pm
    Post #7 - April 9th, 2019, 9:54 pm Post #7 - April 9th, 2019, 9:54 pm
    Actually Nichols sells tomato plants at the Evanston market too, but I am also looking for pepper plants and a few other plants I used to get at Anton's. Actually Teresa Brockman has lots more varieties of tomato plants than Nichols, and she also has lots of pepper plants, and kale and brussel sprouts and maybe some eggplant plants too. I refuse to spend $6 for a medium sized plant though. I could get plants twice the size of hers for $3 at Anton's. I doubt that Nichols will have tomato plants the first week the market opens though. The beginning of May is too early to plant your tomato plants unless you have them protected with a wallowater or something similar, or you have them in a greenhouse.

    Anton's other greenhouse is right across the border in Wisconsin, and I might go there once in May and hit the outlet malls while I am there.
  • Post #8 - April 9th, 2019, 10:12 pm
    Post #8 - April 9th, 2019, 10:12 pm Post #8 - April 9th, 2019, 10:12 pm
    NFriday wrote:Actually Nichols sells tomato plants at the Evanston market too, but I am also looking for pepper plants and a few other plants I used to get at Anton's. Actually Teresa Brockman has lots more varieties of tomato plants than Nichols, and she also has lots of pepper plants, and kale and brussel sprouts and maybe some eggplant plants too. I refuse to spend $6 for a medium sized plant though. I could get plants twice the size of hers for $3 at Anton's. I doubt that Nichols will have tomato plants the first week the market opens though. The beginning of May is too early to plant your tomato plants unless you have them protected with a wallowater or something similar, or you have them in a greenhouse.

    Anton's other greenhouse is right across the border in Wisconsin, and I might go there once in May and hit the outlet malls while I am there.

    I do think Nichols has plants other than tomato. I remember buying some herbs there and maybe some peppers, too. We've always bought our tomato plants from Nichols on the opening day of the outdoor GCM, which, for the past several years, has been during the first week of May. So, unless something has changed, they will likely be available there on May 4th.

    As for pricing, my guess is that the provenance of what Nichols sells is superior to what Anton's once sold. And I'm being entirely sincere when I say that maybe if Anton's charged $6 for their plants instead of $3, they wouldn't have had to close. I mean, that's one important cornerstone of business. You have to know what to charge in order to survive.

    =R=
    There are many things that are legal that are not a great idea --Nick Shabazz

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #9 - April 9th, 2019, 10:43 pm
    Post #9 - April 9th, 2019, 10:43 pm Post #9 - April 9th, 2019, 10:43 pm
    Anybody here ever go to Urhausen Greenhouse at 6973 NE Prairie Road in Lincolnwood? That might have been the place somebody was talking about at the gardening meeting

    As far as Anton's is concerned, Gary's Grandparents started the business 70 years ago, and the grandparents bought the boiler from somebody that was going out of business then. It sounds like it frequently broke down in the middle of the night, and Gary would have to get out of bed to restart it. The building also needed a lot of work, and they just decided it was time. They also have to compete with big box stores, and there are numerous times when I saw people at Home Depot that were looking at $10 tomato plants there, and I would go up to them and tell them about Anton's and gave them directions to the place
  • Post #10 - April 9th, 2019, 10:55 pm
    Post #10 - April 9th, 2019, 10:55 pm Post #10 - April 9th, 2019, 10:55 pm
    NFriday wrote:Anybody here ever go to Urhausen Greenhouse at 6973 NE Prairie Road in Lincolnwood? That might have been the place somebody was talking about at the gardening meeting

    As far as Anton's is concerned, Gary's Grandparents started the business 70 years ago, and the grandparents bought the boiler from somebody that was going out of business then. It sounds like it frequently broke down in the middle of the night, and Gary would have to get out of bed to restart it. The building also needed a lot of work, and they just decided it was time. They also have to compete with big box stores, and there are numerous times when I saw people at Home Depot that were looking at $10 tomato plants there, and I would go up to them and tell them about Anton's and gave them directions to the place

    Playing devil's advocate here, maybe if they'd charged more, they could have set aside enough money to replace the boiler at least once over the 70 years they were in business. And if a nearby Home Depot was charging $10 for plants, Anton's probably would have been safe charging $8 -- or even $9 -- for them.

    I just can't help but see the irony that in the same thread their low prices are being touted and their demise is being lamented. Those two things seem inextricably related to me.

    You're probably right that they just decided to hang it up. It was a long and admirable run, and that's got to be grueling work. I wish them well.

    =R=
    There are many things that are legal that are not a great idea --Nick Shabazz

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #11 - May 14th, 2019, 5:52 am
    Post #11 - May 14th, 2019, 5:52 am Post #11 - May 14th, 2019, 5:52 am
    It appears, like many genres: Family-owned, long-established nurseries are disappearing. I have seen many of my favorites come and go.
    However.
    If you are looking for plants, specifically vegetables- no one. No one. Compares to Meinke's on Touhy. The traffic on Touhy when I travel up there is no worse than any well-traveled road in the area. The parking at Meinke's is another story- not pleasant. But once you have visited this gem, explored ALL their green houses and seen their prices for yourself, it will become clear - even if one had to walk there, it would be well-worth it. Highly recommended. Besides - if we do not frequent the places that are left, they will all disappear.
  • Post #12 - May 14th, 2019, 7:52 am
    Post #12 - May 14th, 2019, 7:52 am Post #12 - May 14th, 2019, 7:52 am
    Hi- I went to Urhausen in Lincolnwood a week and a half ago, and I was underwhelmed. To get there you go South on McCormick, and make a Right on Pratt, and then make a Right on Prairie. It is located right across the street from a school. Prairie is a few blocks East of Crawford. His prices are very reasonable, but he apparently does not have any grow lights in his greenhouses, and all of the veggie plants I saw were tiny. He told me he does have 25 different kinds of tomato plants, including Sungold. I got some really nice plants at the Evanston farmers market a week and a half ago. Teresa had all of her brassica plants marked down to $3, and she sold me three Romanesco plants for $1 a piece. All of her plants are organic, and she has a ton of heirloom tomato plants, but I refuse to pay $6 for a medium sized tomato plant. The end of May she marks some of them down to $3.

    I might also make a trip up to Wisconsin to Anton's nursery up there. I think Gary is hoping that the customers he had in Evanston will be willing to travel across the state line to his brothers place in Wisconsin, which is supposed to be much larger.

    I might try Meineke too. I tried to go there last summer, but they were doing construction in that neighborhood, and traffic was backed up on Touhy. Thanks, Nancy
  • Post #13 - May 16th, 2019, 3:17 pm
    Post #13 - May 16th, 2019, 3:17 pm Post #13 - May 16th, 2019, 3:17 pm
    Meinke's is definitely my first choice in that general area. I will try to go on a gray midweek day and hope that parking isn't too horrible. Meinke's is purely for plants as their selection of seeds and other gardening supplies is minimal.

    A not terribly distant second for vegetable and herb plants is Pesche's in Des Plaines.

    https://www.pesches.com/
    Pesche’s Garden Center & Flower Shop
    170 S River Rd (US 45),
    Des Plaines IL 60016
    We are located 1 block north of Rand Rd./US 12
    847-299-1300
  • Post #14 - May 16th, 2019, 5:21 pm
    Post #14 - May 16th, 2019, 5:21 pm Post #14 - May 16th, 2019, 5:21 pm
    I like Pesche’s for plants and trees.
    Their history is very interesting. I don’t recall how I learned this but during World War 11 they employed German prisoners of war from Camp Pine.
    https://www.pesches.com/about-us/pesches-history/
  • Post #15 - May 21st, 2019, 10:16 pm
    Post #15 - May 21st, 2019, 10:16 pm Post #15 - May 21st, 2019, 10:16 pm
    I made the rounds today, and I went first to Home Depot because somebody told me that they had Sun Gold tomatoes, and sure enough they did for $2 a plant. They were ok, but not great. Usually the Home Depot in Evanston has lousy plants.

    I then went to Urhausen in Lincolwood, and they had a lot more out than they did a few weeks ago, and their prices were reasonable. Their tomato plants were $3.95 for a 4" pot,, but a lot of their veggie plants were only $1.25. They only had one Sun Gold plant, but they told me they had more in back.

    I finally went to Meinke, and I do not want to go there on a Saturday. They were definitely busy today, but I was able to find a parking space. I looked through all of their tomato plants, and they did not have any Sun Gold plants. The woman I asked did not know if they even carried them, but told me they had Sunsugar. I told her that Sunsugar is a poor substitute for Sun Gold. Yes their prices were cheaper, but their tomato plants were only about half the size of Urhausen's plants. At Anton's they would have been able to tell me if they were out of Sun Gold, but nobody at Meineke had any idea.
  • Post #16 - May 22nd, 2019, 12:45 pm
    Post #16 - May 22nd, 2019, 12:45 pm Post #16 - May 22nd, 2019, 12:45 pm
    I picked up a Sun Gold plant from Nichols at the Green City Market.

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