A garden. That is where it started for Stuart Muche. His grandfather did a lot of gardening and he enjoyed working with him as a very young child. Stuart started working at a garden center in grade school and continued into his high school years. “I got to do everything there,” he said. “I started getting into landscaping a little bit more and the work load built up.” At the age of 26, he decided that he was ready to go on his own. That was the start of Stuart’s Landscaping and Garden Center in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin.
“It was tricky to go into it at first,” Stuart recalls. “I called it Stuart’s because that’s how people knew me and it helped make the connection for the new business.” Stuart, along with his wife, Linda, are now celebrating being in business for 33 years. Their business model is very complex and includes 3 retail garden centers; Oshkosh, Green Lake and Fond du Lac. They do landscape maintenance; including snow removal, holiday lighting, tree and shrub care. They do every form of landscaping construction including hardscaping and outdoor rooms. “We do a lot of land maintenance,” Stuart said. “We have our own tree farm to grow our own product in Ripon and we sell all sizes of trees.”
There are about 50 year-round employees at Stuart’s and that number grows to about 120 during their busy season. “We have a lot of really good people that work for us,” Stuart stated. “I love seeing people enjoy what they do and have that carryover to extremely happy and satisfied clients. I am extremely thankful to work with the people I work with as our customers, employees and resources and that I get to work in the outdoor atmosphere on a daily basis.”
Stuart has become a big advocate for planting habitats. “I do a lot of habitat planting for Whitetail deer, pheasant and turkeys,” he said. “I’ve been bouncing a lot of ideas and plans off the people at Country Visions and they have been very helpful in allowing me to grow in what I do, especially in the habitats. It is good to have a partner close by. They also understand the urgency of dealing with the weather.”
Stuart loves being outdoors. He works outdoors and “plays” outdoors. Hunting and fishing are his favorite hobbies. His hunting seasons include; deer (bow & gun), water fowl, pheasants, turkeys, and raccoon. Walleye fishing is his favorite, but has also achieved ‘celebrity status’ in Sturgeon spearing. He was in a documentary movie about Sturgeon spearing 5 years ago that ran on Netflix called the Frozen Chosen. He is also on the Sturgeon Advisory Board, Winnebago Fisheries Advisory Board, and a member of Walleyes for Tomorrow.
Thank you to Stuart for being our Farmer Friday this week. You have a love for the outdoors that is expressed through your work. We wish you the best as you continue to grow and advocate for the land around us. Much success to your family and your business!
#FarmerFriday ...post #96. To show our appreciation to our producer members Country Visions Cooperative will be giving a snapshot look of our customers and their operations in this feature each Friday