After a few years, Mathais sent passage money for Adam Gerten to come to America. Adam married Maggie Piert in 1890. They tried gardening the area north of Roselawn between Payne Avenue and Edgerton. In 1896 after his first good crop year, Adam and Maggie put a down payment on a ten-acre strip of land north of Gervais at Highway 61. The couple had ten children; the oldest was Frank Gerten and the fifth in line was Bill. These two built one of their first greenhouses in 1928. It was a proud structure of 25 feet by 100 feet. The building was heated by a woodstove. Before the stock market crash of 1929 the Gertens had built six additional greenhouses. Along the way they acquired more land.
Frank Gerten promoted the motto "Buy from the Grower," where he sold produce mainly to local residents. As the company grew and time passed, Frank eventually turned over the company to his two sons Bob and Jerry Gerten. In 1989, the third generation of Gerten took over as owners when Bob's two sons, Lewis and Glen, along with his son-in-law Gino Pitera, moved the nursery and greenhouses to Inver Grove Heights to keep the greenhouse legacy alive.
Folks who wish to read a contemporary account of the Gerten's Greenhouses history can look up "Growing up Gerten" by Ruth Degen the great granddaughter of Adam and Margaret Gerten.
Photo courtesy of Maplewood Area Historical Society