Cultivating Generations: The Story of a Dream (and Gro-Rite Garden)

Written by: Justin Lane

Gro-Rite Garden Co-Founder and 3rd Generation Gardener

The Story of Gro-Rite Garden - 1st Generation Farmer

1st Generaton

My grandparents, Rule and Mary, spent most of their lives in the quiet embrace of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Much of their legacy was carved into the soil. Gardening was not just a hobby for them, it was a way of life.

They made their living growing produce and selling it at a local stand in the heart of downtown Franklin, NC.

For my Grandpa, growing a garden was second nature. His gardens earned a reputation for being healthy, beautiful, and prolific.

The Story of Gro-Rite Garden - My Grandpa
The Story of Gro-Rite Garden - Grandpa with tomatoes
The Story of Gro-Rite Garden - Poppy with more tomatoes

There wasn’t much my Grandpa couldn’t grow, but he became especially known for growing the finest tomatoes East of the Blue Ridge. You wouldn’t believe how many tomatoes he could grow off a single vine!

2nd Generation

Their daughter and my mom, Sharon, carried forward the green-thumb legacy when she married my dad, Keith. They settled on a 14-acre property in the foothills of NC.

My dad, coming from a family of gardeners himself, plowed the land, nurturing a garden that yielded a surplus of watermelons, tomatoes, corn, peppers, okra, and more.

The Story of Gro-Rite Garden - 2nd Generation Farmer

The Story of Gro-Rite Garden - Dad with abundant crop
The Story of Gro-Rite Garden - Dad with lots of tomatoes

I can remember my dad bringing wheelbarrow loads of fresh vegetables into the house for my mom to can.

When I think back on that time, I can still smell the aroma of homegrown tomatoes that would fill our home. 

The Story of Gro-Rite Garden - Dad with a giant watermelon

During the summer we ate out of the garden for almost every meal. It’s hard to beat the taste of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Check out how huge our watermelons grew! 

3rd Generation

The Story of Gro-Rite Garden - Justin and Reece

I didn't realize it at the time, but growing up around gardening left a lasting impression.

As I established a family of my own, carrying the proverbial gardening torch came naturally.

The Story of Gro-Rite Garden - Justin and Kerry

After many years of rotary tilling and traditional gardening, I began to experiment with raised-beds.

Like most, life was busy and I needed to find a way to make gardening more manageable and efficient.

The Story of Gro-Rite Garden - Justin with tomatoes in wooden beds

Growing my garden in raised beds changed my whole gardening experience. Not only could I produce an abundance out of them, but my back was also a lot less sore!

The only issue I had with raised beds was that they were cumbersome and time consuming to put together. When it came time to expand my garden and build more, I found myself dreading the process.

The Story of Gro-Rite Garden - Justin and Thomas

A company is born

As another spring approached, I found myself discussing this very issue with my close friend (turned business partner), Thomas.

As we talked it became clear to us that there had to be a better solution.

For almost 2 years, we dedicated ourselves to the pursuit of creating a raised bed that could be assembled in minutes rather than the hours I’d come to dread.

After countless meetings with some of the top design engineers in the country and numerous prototypes later, we finally had our dream raised bed in hand.

Now I know what you’re thinking, what makes this bed so dreamy? Well, now anyone using our beds can assemble it in less than 10 minutes, without the need for tools.

My wife tested our very first prototype and proudly put it together in just 7 minutes from box to bed.

This breakthrough marked the birth of our company, Gro-Rite, a company founded on the principle of making gardening accessible, enjoyable, and efficient.

The Story of Gro-Rite Garden - Justin PUMPED about Gro-Rite metal raised beds

Beyond the business, Thomas and I are fathers and husbands, who cherish our families. Our shared values of hard work, gratitude, leaving things better than they found them, and doing the right thing permeate every aspect of Gro-Rite.

On our "About Us" page, you'll find more than just a business story; you'll find a testament to the importance of family and principles.

Gro-Rite, as the name suggests, is more than a company; it's a mission. The mission to create innovative garden products for gardeners, by gardeners.

Thomas and I invite you to unearth the gardener inside you, and embrace the journey of growth and connection with nature.

Join us in cultivating not just gardens but a community that values the earth and leaves a legacy for the next generation of gardeners.