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Larry Hancock | Making The Desert Bloom


Stepping into the greenhouses at Sandia feels like standing in an orchestra hall, with a full symphony of bright colors and sounds, which play out in sharp contrast to the muted desertscape outside.

37-years-ago Larry Hancock purchased land near the end of Washington Fields Road where Warner Valley Road now begins.

“There was nothing out here at the time, other than Staheli Farm just up the road. We had to truck in all of our water,” Larry recalled.

Larry and his family spent their first summer living in a 20-foot trailer. His father-in-law helped him build the original greenhouse that still stands in its original location.

Since then, Sandia Farms has hardly gone without any hiccups. They’ve weathered wind storms that ripped the greenhouse to shreds, rebuilt from a fire, and recovered after a snowstorm collapsed the greenhouse.

Despite setbacks, Larry has remained undeterred in orchestrating the melodic nurturing required to carefully raise his plants in such a harsh environment.

“He’s up at 4:00 a.m. Even on vacation,” Nicole Warner, Larry’s daughter, said. “On 4th of July weekend, while everyone is out on the lake, we are getting poinsettias ready for Christmas.”

Where Larry’s greenhouses used to be a small business far beyond the outskirts of town, the area has developed around him and his business has grown steadily. Sandia Greenhouses regularly sees customers coming in from Nevada, Kanab, Cedar City, and as far North as Idaho, just to purchase the carefully selected and grown varieties of plants Larry has available.

Larry has pioneered a beautiful variety of plants that flourish, brighten and improve the St. George and surrounding communities. Steadfastness and stalwart work ethic have truly allowed Larry’s efforts and Sandia Greenhouses to bloom in the desert.

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