By Julia Howard
“Plants need people, and people need plants,” is a motto that Jay Adkins lives and works by. “When you think about how plants give us life through food, medicinal herbs, our entire ecosystem, even flowers for joy and happiness… Why shouldn’t we care for plants the way they care for us?”
Adkins is the owner of J. Adkins Cultivation, one of the newest vendors at the Saratoga Farmers’ Market. His winter market display is a lush abundance of tropical greenery with busts of red poinsettia arrangements special for the holiday season. Plants are displayed in decorative pots ready for purchase, and Adkins and his staff offer guidance and support to ensure plants flourish in their new homes.
For Adkins, what began as a hobby turned into a passion he didn’t realize he had. He was working as a full-time contractor when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and work came abruptly to a stop. “I had some extra time on my hands, and since I always had an interest in gardening, I decided to start growing plants inside my house,” explains Adkins. “I grew way too many plants and sold the extra starters, and the business took off from there.”
One year later, J. Adkins Cultivation is expanding. In the spring, they grow various fruit and vegetable starter plants and herbs – all using organic growing methods. Adkins also grows flowering perennials, annuals, and arrangements with availability based on the season. “We care about the health of each plant, and mix our unique recipe of premium soil, and even play the plants music as they grow,” says Adkins.
For Adkins, plants offer a new purpose for living. “I believe in the benefits that come from caring for living things,” says Adkins. “Inspiring others to grow gardens and fill their homes with house plants is very meaningful to me.”
In the future, Adkins is looking forward to providing live plant installations at local businesses and restaurants. Customers can find J. Adkins Cultivation at the Saratoga Farmers’ Market on Saturdays, at the Schenectady Green Market on Sundays and Ink & Ivy’s House of Beauty’s pop-up Christmas market this Sunday, December 5, 10 am-3 pm. This coming spring, customers can shop for plants directly at J. Adkins Cultivation’s greenhouse located in Rotterdam. For more information, visit their website www.jadkinscultivation.com.
This week’s recipe: Garlic & Herb-Infused Butter