For his MBA thesis project at the University of Tulsa, Kelly Grogg created a mock business plan. His wife, Carla Grogg, suggested he plan a garden center. When Kelly’s grandmother and Carla’s aunt both contracted pancreatic cancer, the Groggs decided to build the garden center and create a pathway to improved health and wellness for their family and fellow Tulsans.
“In our garden, I was spraying Miracle-Gro because that’s what you see in commercials,” Carla says. “But when cancer hit our family personally, we started researching how to grow organically.”
Kelly earned his organic land care certification from the Northeast Organic Farming Association, and Grogg’s Green Barn was born.
For the past decade, the Groggs have never wavered from their commitment to organic, sustainable gardening. Every plant sold at Grogg’s has a purpose, whether it is edible for humans or a habitat for animals and insects.
They fertilize soil with natural processes and use collected rainwater to grow plants, herbs and vegetables. Grogg’s Green Barn also offers products and classes to educate customers on growing organic gardens in their own backyards.
“It’s not hard,” Kelly says. “Our motto here is we want the garden working for you, not you working for the garden.”
Through classes on composting, soil structure, seed starting and more, the Groggs have not only educated their customer base on organics, but they also have created a community. Their dining room, the Reserve, offers a communal space for customers to meet like-minded neighbors while enjoying a locally sourced seven-course meal. The Groggs hope their customers enjoy the food while learning the many other benefits of organic gardening.
“A lot of our society’s stress is because we don’t spend enough time outside anymore,” Carla says. “Your connection to outside and nature is so important.”