Who We Are:
We are a fourth generation Proud Alberta Pioneer Family that arrived in Lacombe from South Dakota on September 4, 1900. Lohr-A-Lee Greenhouses holds true to the old-fashioned values that have guided us for 120 years--hard work, fairness, and integrity. We strive to deliver knowledge, experience, and excellence in customer service. We are proud to be known by those we serve as honest and fair.
Agriculture is what we know, and it is what we do. Our philosophy is to do what we do best and stick to it, and it’s an approach that has worked for us well for more than 120 years. The crops and the technology have evolved and changed but it is all agriculture.
Carolyn Lohr and Valerie Miller, 1978 University of Alberta Faculty of Agriculture Plant Science Horticulture majors with many years of directly related experience, proudly announced the re-establishment of Lohr-A-Lee Greenhouses at the Olds, AB location in 2015.
Carolyn and Wayne Lohr with the capable assistance and input of Valerie Miller and Marilyn Michels have established themselves as the premier source of quality hanging baskets, planters, and bedding plants as well as the source of high-quality customer service and plant knowledge.
Lohr-A-Lee Greenhouses grows a diverse selection of bedding plant favorites as well as those hard to find and unique flowers, vegetables and herbs in a broad selection of paks, pots, hanging baskets and planters.
Originally established in 1982 by Carolyn and Beatrice Lohr at Stettler, AB, the greenhouse successfully produced and sold quality bedding plants for 20 years before closing due to Bea's health.
Carolyn and Wayne and family relocated to Olds, AB from Vancouver Island in 2004 where they had moved to in 1991 from Edmonton, AB.
In 2013 we purchased a 30' by 96'greenhouse at an auction and relocated it to our farm west of Olds for our start up season in 2015. A second identical house was purchased in 2014 and is up and running for the 2017 season.
An additional 30’ x 96’ greenhouse was added for the 2019 season with an additional 8,640 square feet of gutter connect Westbrook greenhouse added for 2020. We added yet another 4,032 square feet of greenhouse space for 2022, as well as constructing connecting sections so that all but one of the greenhouses are connected. We now have 21,312 square feet of greenhouse space.
The original greenhouses were the traditional free-standing structures. Subsequently, gutter-connected structures were added. Computer controlled environmental systems, automated watering systems for the hanging baskets, and monitored pH and nutrient injectors systems were incorporated into the operation from the outset.
Most recently, Lohr-A-Lee Greenhouses will be moving to total on-farm electricity generation and heat recovery for use in the greenhouses and other farm buildings with the incorporation of Co-Generation and Solar Panel (PV) combined systems.
Origins of Lohr-A-Lee as our Business Name:
We get this question a lot.
First of all – it is not anyone’s name. Carolyn is Carolyn – not Laura Lee.
The Lohr is easy – it is our family surname.
In Wayne’s long ago past, some 60 odd years ago, he had some purebred Guernsey heifers to register. He needed a herd or farm name.
Wayne’s Grandfather Jay’s farmstead was surrounded by a vast windbreak such that the entire yard was well sheltered. There could be a major blizzard going on and within the yard you did not really notice it. We lived on that farmstead for many years.
Wayne’s maternal Grandfather, Grandpa Hatcher, was of Welsh English origins and it was he who suggested that we simply add Lee (out of the wind; an area sheltered from the wind) to indicate the Lohr’s protected from or out of the wind.
And Lohr-A-Lee was born. It was initially registered with the Canadian National Livestock Records as a herd name. Subsequently, Lohr-A-Lee has been our farm name, registered herd name for Simmental cattle, and business name for numerous businesses and corporate business entities including Lohr-A-Lee Greenhouses.
So, way back in 1981-1982, when the greenhouse business was started – it was naturally named Lohr-A-Lee Greenhouses.
Highest Quality Product and Customer Service:
Our number one objective is to provide the highest quality product and customer service possible. Having two professional horticulturists - Carolyn and Valerie - allows us to not only provide high quality product and customer service but also enables us to provide knowledgeable and informed horticultural advice and recommendations.
2023 will mark our 9th year of operation in our current location west of Olds, Alberta and the 29th year of operations for Lohr-A-Lee Greenhouses since its inception in 1982 at Stettler, Alberta
The 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021, 2022 bedding plant seasons were highly successful with the greenhouse completely sold out. Each year tends to be unique depending on weather and the circumstances.
The Greenhouses will soon be filling up for the 2023 season. Several new varieties and colors are being offered for the 2023 season.
On-Line Store and Gift Cards:
Lohr-A-Lee Greenhouses has an On-Line store - LALGreenhouses.ca as well as an On-Line eGift Card feature that enables you to purchase Gift Cards on-line for yourself or that special someone you wish to give a special gift to. Click on the respective link provided to reach these features.
Lohr-A-Lee Greenhouses utilizes and values sustainable production techniques and principles by utilizing the positive attributes of agriculture. Today’s society’s standard for sustainable production requires that production needs to be healthy for the soil, environment and economy. If animals are involved, production also needs to be good for any animals involved and renew itself as much as possible.
To be truly sustainable, the business must turn a profit for the producer. Detailed financial records allow for the calculation of cost of production, calculation of gross margins, and profit margins which facilitate Lohr-A-Lee Greenhouses to remain profitable while offering competitive pricing.
Wayne Lohr, University of Alberta 1977 BSc Agriculture and 1989 MSc Agricultural Economics, developed detailed Microsoft Excel spreadsheets integrating detailed production records, scheduling, placement of product on benches and hanging basket lines. Financial elements are tracked using the Square Point of Sale system and AgExpert accounting software. Everyone puts hundreds of hours into the annual updating and maintenance of these records which includes the annual ordering of plant, seed, soil, and related supplies.
Lohr-A-Lee Greenhouses believes in and utilizes sustainable production. Water management including collection and use of rainwater and use of computerized watering technology and systems, beneficial insects, computerized technology to maximize efficiency of production, energy management including total on-farm electricity production and utilization of the heat generated.
Lohr-A-Lee Greenhouses strives to incorporate sustainable farming methods to ensure environmentally safe, high-quality production.
True Local Production:
What is local production? It is a relative term but is generally defined today as food/production that is purchased by an end-user consumer directly from a small-scale producer local to them.
Lohr-A-Lee Greenhouses is a true local producer. Our production is sold directly from the greenhouses to the local end-user consumer.
While our primary source of water comes from four wells, we have also incorporated the collection and storage of rainwater from the gutter connect houses.
A system of filtration and use of automated injectors for pH control and nutrient addition ensure effective and efficient use of high-quality water.
By the end of 2022, Lohr-A-Lee Greenhouses will have installed co-generation power plants combined with Solar Panels that will enable the entire farm operation including the greenhouses to run entirely off the grid as 100% of the electricity the farm uses will be produced on the farm. Surplus electrical production will be exported to the Grid.
Our carbon footprint will be significantly reduced with the incorporation of processes to recover the heat from the co-generation plants to be distributed for the hydronic heating of specific farm buildings and the greenhouses.
Pest and Disease Management:
Our philosophy on combating disease and pests is to proactively use safe, preventative measures before it happens.
Maintaining clean and appealing facilities is paramount. Our plant stock and seedlings come from established suppliers with a history of high-quality disease and pest free stock.
Various environmentally safe measures such as the use of beneficial insects to control aphids and pests throughout the greenhouse are continuously implemented to combat pests instead of using pesticides.
Summer Vegetable Production:
Lohr-A-Lee Greenhouses have become well known for their summer production of high-quality greenhouse grown pickling cucumbers and fresh tomatoes.
We establish sign up sheets whereby customers can sign up for their preferred quantities and time of pick-up for pickling cucumbers and tomatoes. These lists quickly become filled such that we supply the committed quantities first and then surpluses are offered to the public.
New for 2023 will be very limited quantities of garlic, onions, carrots and dill which will all be grown in the gardens. We will not be accepting pre-booking for this produce.
Opening for 2023 Season:
The Greenhouses will open April 29, 2023, for the 2023 season. The Greenhouses will be open 9 am to 8 pm daily including Sundays and Holidays during May and June.