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The Mustard Seed Landscaping & Garden Centers Named Landscaper of the Year Finalist

Total Landscape Care has named Mark and Kay Halla, owners of The Mustard Seed Landscaping & Garden Centers in Chaska, Minnesota, 2014 Landscaper of the Year finalists. Presented by Case Construction Equipment, this annual program recognizes the 12 best landscapers from across the country.
 
The finalists and their guests enjoyed an all-expense-paid cruise to the Bahamas Nov. 15-18, and each landscaper will be featured in an issue of Total Landscape Care magazine in 2014. 2014 Landscaper of the Year Cruise Photo gallery here.
 
The Hallas run two garden centers, in addition to offering landscape design/build projects, tree maintenance, plant installs and site planning. They house a variety of plants at their wind-turbine-powered garden center, along with a petting zoo and playground for customer’s children. At Christmas each year, Mark dresses up as an elf and brings live reindeer to schools and the garden center.
 
“Mark and Kay’s faith and positive attitudes shine through in everything they do, whether they’re meeting with clients or talking to employees,” says Lauren Heartsill Dowdle, editor-at-large of TLC.
 
The finalists are selected for their impressive portfolios, business techniques, community involvement, safety records and for what sets them apart from others in the industry.
 
About Total Landscape Care:

Total Landscape Care brings professional landscapers the news and information they need to run successful businesses through monthly magazines, daily newsletters, web articles, social media and videos. For more information, visit totallandscapecare.com. To apply to be Landscaper of the Year, visit totallandscapecare.com/loy.

Total Landscape Care      video of finalists



Congratulations! The Mustard Seed has earned the following recognition:
 
PLANET’s 2013 Sustainable Company Recognition Award
 
On behalf of the PLANET Board of Directors and the Awards Committee, I am pleased to inform you that The Mustard Seed Landscaping & Garden Center is being recognized as a 2013 Sustainable Company Recognition Award recipient.
 
PLANET recognizes The Mustard Seed Landscaping & Garden Center environmental vision and leadership in business and is pleased to present you with this award to shine a light on your passion and commitment to the environment as a beacon for others to follow.

 

Congratulations! The Mustard Seed has earned the following award in
PLANET’s 2013 National Landscape Awards of Excellence Program
 
RECOGNITION AWARD
for
Westwood Community Church
The Mustard Seed Landscaping & Garden Center

2013 Best of the Southwest Metro Winners

 

Best Landscaper: The Mustard Seed

The past year has marked a homecoming of sorts for Mark Halla, owner of The Mustard Seed. He purchased his family business, Halla Nursery and Garden Center, last November, and this spring he opened another location of The Mustard Seed where Halla Nursery used to sit (10000 Great Plains Blvd., Chaska; 952.361.9954;themustardseedinc.com). The garden shop and landscaping center is still open in it’s original location (6055 Hwy. 12, Chaska). And it still offers the same beautiful landscaping services, providing customers with design options, installation and even perennial garden maintenance. As the company continues to grow into its new spaces, its services may expand, too. —LP

Source: southwestmetromag.com

 

The US Commerce Association has chosen The Mustard Seed, Inc. for the 2013 Chaska Awards in the Garden Centers classification.

This is the first year that a business has been certified as Six-Time awardee. For most companies, this recognition is a result of your dedication and efforts as well as the work of others in your organization that have helped build your business. Your team is now a part of an exclusive group of small businesses that have achieved this selection.

The US Commerce Association provides several ways for you to leverage your company's accomplishment. First, you may use the digital award image from this email in any of your online marketing. Also, the 
press release with the The Mustard Seed, Inc. official Six-Time award announcement is on our website and available for your use. The US Commerce Association gives The Mustard Seed, Inc. the right to distribute and display the digital award image and/or press release in any way you choose.

 

The Mustard Seed expands into Chanhassen

The Mustard Seed Landscaping & Garden Center, owned by Mark and Kay Halla, is expanding east. “It’s like my life is coming full circle,” Mark stated in the press release. “Like a chance to reclaim the promised land. I hope everyone who visits us feels our same sense of excitement, but, mostly, that God is glorified by the work of our hands!” Read more at Chaska Herald >>>


 Mike Woodley speaks with Renewable Energy SD's President Shawn Dooling about the latet news on the wind turbines their company produces. For more info visit www.RenewableEnergySD.com
Touchstone Energy Community Award

A house resolution honoring Kay and Mark Halla receiving the Touchstone Energy Community Award!

 



Local Businesses Help Eden Prairie and Eastern Carver County Schools

Businesses in the Southwest Metro are gearing up for a new school year. Although they might not be donning backpacks and stocking up on binders, many businesses are getting involved in the school community through a variety of partnerships and programs.

Eastern Carver County schools welcome business and community leaders into their classrooms, lunchrooms and buses for a day to give them a realistic look at what’s happening in the schools. “This isn’t the ‘red carpet’ tour,” says Chaska Education Association President Gretchen Garcia, this is a “roll-up-your-sleeves day where business people work side-by-side with students and educators.”

Although the teacher never leaves the room, visitors such as city mayors, hospital nutritionists, physician assistants, real estate company presidents and journalists can be the “teacher” for a day, thanks to the K-12 Business Connection program. “We believe that business and community leaders understand the critical importance of public education … and we hope these immersions are the start of long-lasting relationships,” Garcia says.

Engineers from Lake Region Medical are getting in on the fun at Chaska High School as sponsors for the robotics team. The employees get time off of work to mentor the team in the areas of mechanical design, programming and electrical design, as the kids gear up towards the final three-day competition in the spring.

Faculty Advisor Steve Peterson believes it’s important to form a bond between schools and businesses to provide students with a unique, real-world experience, and to dispel preconceived ideas. “The saying that it takes a village to raise a child is true, and having local business mentors really helps to make educating students a united effort,” he says.

Capstone courses have been making their way into Carver County schools, giving students the opportunity to connect with business mentors in their chosen area of interest while earning school credit. Last year in the International Business Capstone course at Chaska High School, senior Aimee Junget developed and presented her proposal for expanding Caribou Coffee to Cairo, Egypt, under the guidance of a Caribou Coffee business professional. “It’s important to foster business-school relationships because it gives students an opportunity to apply what they’ve learned to real-life situations,” says Junget, who is headed to St. Thomas this fall.

Brian Johnson from C.H. Robinson, who initiated a business and marketing intern program with Eden Prairie High School, couldn’t agree more. “The work experience is missing these days … I believe there’s a window in time and life where we need to learn it,” he says. So he decided to provide that opportunity. In the four month program, nine students complete 15 hours at C.H. Robinson alongside a mentor in their field of interest, culminating in a presentation in front of a large group. Johnson enjoys watching the students at the end, when “the young person is proud of what they’ve accomplished.”

 Karen Brettingen, the high school program coordinator, agrees: “when a student is in the real world, there are certain things that click; that’s where the light bulb goes on.”

But school-business partnerships aren’t only for high school students. Mark Halla, steward of the Mustard Seed in Chaska, is giving back to the community by inviting school groups through his garden and landscaping center on educational field trips.

It all started when his nine-year-old daughter took an interest in how roots grow, composting, and other garden-related topics. So Halla collaborated with his daughter and wrote a curriculum with local teachers, setting the seeds for what is now a successful educational experience. Within one hour, kids visit various stations, including wellness, horticulture, animal husbandry, apiculture (bee keeping), and composting. “These kids come to know us as an advocate and a fun place to visit,” says Halla, who likes to keep lessons engaging and fun, sprinkling in fun facts about bees and offering up honey sticks as a treat.

Local businesses are helping students at area schools learn to navigate the world beyond the classroom.
Carolyn Pierson | September 2012 Southwest metro >>>

Local Turbine Makes Headlines

WCCO recently covered Mark Halla’s wind turbine that we featured in July 2011. Read more here>>>


 

2012 Best of the Southwest Metro

The results of the annual readers’ survey highlighting the best restaurants, shops, healthcare and spa services our community has to offer.
Best Landscaper: The Mustard Seed
You can’t miss the big red barn in Chaska that is home to The Mustard Seed, a landscaping design and installation center. The staff will help you create the perfect garden for your space—and help you maintain it, too. Other services include patio and walkway installations, retaining walls and even the ideal “nightscaping” to illuminate your home and garden. Owner Mark Halla says The Mustard Seed’s mission serves an even greater purpose. “We want to live out our faith and bring honor and glory to Christ through our business,” he says. “And that makes it easy to satisfy people.” 
6055 Hwy. 212, Chaska; 952.361.9954; . —JP

Minn. Business Owner Goes Green, Gets Paid By Energy Company     

Minneapolis (WCCO) - One Business owner is reaping the benefits of going green.  Read more here >>>


Difference Makers
article from Market Buzz January 2012 GardenCenterMagizine.com (Read the full article on line here >>>)
Technically, Mark Halla is owner of The Mustard Seed, a Garden Center in Chaska, Minn. But he much prefers to be referred to as steward.
The distinction is manifested daily – in the elementary school curriculum he established at The Mustard Seed to help area youngsters learn how to care for natural resources, as well as in the garden center he and wife Kay helped craft into a 2011 Environmental Initiative Award winner.
His business is firmly linked to his community. Every weekend in June, The Mustard Seed hosted "The Community Farmers Market," and the aforementioned school curriculum gave him a chance to plant a seed, as it were, with young people who might not have had an appreciation for gardening without his program.

INFO BOX

About Mark Halla

Title: Owner, The Musterd Seed, Chaske Minn.

Store history: The Garden Center Opened in 2006.

Did you know? In addition to winning an Enviroment Initiative Award, Mark's Garden Center also received the 2011 Friend of the Environment Award from the Minnesota Nursery & Landscape Association.


At work and everywhere else, Halla's walk is guided by his faith – something that became evident last summer when he was named his state's winner during the inaugural Horticultural Industries Leadership Awards program at the OFA Short Course in Columbus, Ohio.
"Although I am very appreciative of the recognition, God should receive all the glory for the work He has done in my life," Halla said. "There is nothing good in me that He didn't put there."
From our perspective, there is a lot good in Halla. Well done, good and faithful servant.

The Mustard Seed Chaska, Minn. article from the cover story of Lawnandlandscape.com December 2011 
(Read the full article on line here >>>)

One night, Mark Halla had an extremely detailed dream. God told him to build a garden center. The property with its rolling farmland, trees, creek, even the price – it was all mapped out for him.

But it wasn't until nearly a decade later when he was looking for land to build The Mustard Seed, did Halla really give more thought to the dream.

Halla actually found the property he dreamt of, but it wasn't for sale. So he asked the owners if he could buy it.

They said yes.

That was the first challenge.

Cory Whitmer, a partner at The Mustard Seed, hosts school field trips on wellness, horticulture, animal husbandry and renewable energy at the company’s headquarters.

Halla and his wife, Kay, wanted to build a garden center that would fully embrace environmental stewardship. Here are some of the investments The Mustard Seed made with $1.5 million.

The 27 acres of rolling farmland was sloped and had erosion problems. To fix these issues, 1 million cubic yards of soil was excavated and distributed around the property. The land was re-graded so that 95 percent of the area's runoff water is channeled and pre-filtered through a rain garden more than 600 feet long and filled with native plants and grasses. From there, the runoff enters one of two sediment control ponds.

The Mustard Seed has a suction pump that uses the water from the sediment control ponds for daily irrigation. Geosource heat pumps connected to the sediment control ponds provide 100 percent of the company's heating and cooling needs through in-floor radiant heat and air exchangers.

"Why would we build something that wasn't an example for others to follow?" says Halla. "We wanted to create a model that could be easily replicated and (show) you don't have to be this huge company." The Mustard Seed's annual sales are about $1 million and it employs up to 25 people a year.

A factor Halla overlooked when building on the property was the wind. The plants constantly blew over. The answer: cover the display lot with pea gravel, which in addition to keeping plants upright, allows water to flow to the soil.
Obviously though, the wind was still there. So The Mustard Seed installed a 39.9 kilowatt, 160-feet-tall wind turbine, which provides more than 100 percent of the company's electricity.
Halla has wanted the community to embrace the environmental initiatives as much as his staff. The Mustard Seed offers seminars and a farmer's market. This year, approximately 1,500 students toured The Mustard Seed. "To have people come to our site to buy stuff is great, but the future of our industry or our business is really capturing the next generation," Halla says. "We thought, 'What is our industry's equivalent of the Happy Meal?'"
Halla says sales haven't increased with the implementation of the sustainable initiatives, but he attributes that more to the economy. In recent years, three of his competitors have gone out of business, while The Mustard Seed has seen more foot traffic and sales have remained even.
"Our recognition in the marketplace has clearly been one in which people don't look at us and say, 'Oh, they're just out to make money,'" Halla says. "They see us as a partner in the community."


The Mustard Seed receives 2011 Touchstone Energy community award

Mark and Kay Halla, owners of The Mustard Seed, a landscaping and garden center in Chaska, have been named by MVEC as recipients of a local Touchstone Energy Community Award.

Read more here>>>

A house resolution honoring Kay and Mark Halla for receiving the Touchstone Energy Community Award >>>



 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

2011 Environmental Initiative Award Winners Announced

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. –The winners of the 2011 Environmental Initiative Awards were announced last week by Environmental Initiative. The Environmental Initiative Awards annually recognize innovative projects that have harnessed the power of partnership to achieve extraordinary environmental outcomes. Winners were announced on Thursday, May 26, during the Environmental Initiative Awards dinner at the Nicollet Island Pavilion. Forty-nine award nominations were submitted by partnerships from across Minnesota. A team of independent judges selected three finalists, including one winner, in each of the five award categories: Energy and Climate Protection, Environmental Education, Green Business and Environmental Management, Natural Resource Protection and Restoration and Sustainable Communities. In addition, almost five hundred community members voted online to select one of the fifteen finalists as the 2011 Partnership of the Year. The online vote was conducted in partnership with InCommons, a new collaborative community in Minnesota that connects people on- and off-line, allowing them to find and share credible tools, knowledge and resources for solving community problems.

The winners are:
Energy and Climate Protection Category
Milan Sustainable Energy Utility


Environmental Education Category
Powderhorn Lake Neighborhood of Raingardens

Green Business and Environmental Management Category
Target Field

Natural Resource Protection and Restoration Category
Go Blue! Diamond Lake Community Makeover

Sustainable Communities Category
Saint Paul Port Authority’s Beacon Bluff Redevelopment

2011 Partnership of the Year
The Mustard Seed Garden Center


About the Awards
Many of Minnesota’s most innovative environmental projects have succeeded through
collaboration, often involving partners from business, nonprofit, and government sectors. The
Environmental Initiative Awards were established in 1994 to honor these projects and their many
partners, to inspire other organizations to create similar successful projects, and to encourage
innovative collaborative approaches to environmental problem solving. For more information on
this year’s finalists and winners, as well as descriptions of all nominated projects, visit
http://www.incommons.org/environmentalinitiativeawards.
About Environmental Initiative
Environmental Initiative (formerly the Minnesota Environmental Initiative) seeks solutions to
Minnesota’s environmental problems through collaborative action taken by innovative partnerships.
Environmental Initiative brings together nonprofits, businesses, and government agencies to find
consensus on critical issues and respond with actions that have measurable, positive environmental
outcomes.

For more information, visit www.environmental-initiative.org


News Brief!

Congratulations to The Mustard Seed Landscaping & Garden Center, recipient of the prestigious 2011 "Friend of the Environment" award from the Minnesota Nursery and Landscape Association.  

The Minnesota Nursery & Landscape Association is the state's oldest and largest green industry trade organization. Started in 1925 as the Minnesota Nurserymen's Association, today MNLA represents and serves nursery and greenhouse growers, garden centers, irrigation contractors, industry suppliers, and a wide range of landscape professionals. The association aims to help these members operate their businesses more successfully by providing education, networking, legislative and regulatory representation, public relations, and financial benefits through group purchasing and other member services.  

Out of thousands of landscape and garden centers in MN, The Mustard Seed was selected to receive this award because of their steadfast commitment to the environment!  From the initial construction of their facility, using the most advanced technologies in energy efficiency, to their dedication to community education, to being the first garden center in MN to install a wind turbine that will supply all of their electrical needs, The Mustard Seed exemplifies excellent stewardship.

The MNLA is proud to recognize The Mustard Seed Landscaping & Garden Center as its 2011 Friend of the Environment!


Click image for a closer view!

 

During it's first year as a Toys For Tots drop site, The Mustard Seed Landscaping & Garden Center has been amazed at the generosity of the Carver County residents.  They have collected an entire sleigh full of toys that will be distributed by the Marines to children that may not otherwise receive gifts this Christmas. 

 

Pictured here are Santa and Elf Mark and Button receiving a donation check from Craig Lofdahl,of the Minnesota Valley Electric Cooperative (MVEC), made out to Toys For Tots for $250.  MVEC has donated a total of $750 this Christmas season in Carver, LeSeur and Scott Counties.
 
In addition to the donation from MVEC and all the toys, the Carver County Circle C 4H Club held a fundraiser at The Mustard Seed and collected an additional $204.12, also to be donated to Toys For Tots.
The Mustard Seed thanks everyone for their incredible generosity!!!
 

 

BestofChaska2011

 

Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The Mustard Seed, Inc. Receives 2011 Best of Chaska Award

U.S. Commerce Association’s Award Plaque Honors the Achievement

NEW YORK, NY, May 4, 2011 -- The Mustard Seed, Inc. has been selected for the 2011 Best of Chaska Award in the Garden Centers category by the U.S. Commerce Association (USCA).

The USCA "Best of Local Business" Award Program recognizes outstanding local businesses throughout the country. Each year, the USCA identifies companies that they believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and community.

This is the first year that a business has qualified as a Four-Time Award Winner. Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2011 USCA Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the USCA and data provided by third parties.

About U.S. Commerce Association (USCA)

U.S. Commerce Association (USCA) is a New York City based organization funded by local businesses operating in towns, large and small, across America. The purpose of USCA is to promote local business through public relations, marketing and advertising.

The USCA was established to recognize the best of local businesses in their community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations, chambers of commerce and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to be an advocate for small and medium size businesses and business entrepreneurs across America.

SOURCE: U.S. Commerce Association

CONTACT:
U.S. Commerce Association
Email: PublicRelations@uscaaward.com
URL: http://www.uscaaward.com


 

Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The Mustard Seed, Inc. Receives 2010 Best of Chaska Award

U.S. Commerce Association’s Award Plaque Honors the Achievement

WASHINGTON D.C., September 2, 2010 -- For the third consecutive year, The Mustard Seed, Inc. has been selected for the 2010 Best of Chaska Award in the Garden Centers category by the U.S. Local Business Association (USLBA).

The USLBA "Best of Local Business" Award Program recognizes outstanding local businesses throughout the country. Each year, the USLBA identifies companies that they believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and community.

Nationwide, only 1 in 120 (less than 1%) 2010 Award recipients qualified as three-time Award Winners. Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2010 USLBA Award Program focused on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the USLBA and data provided by third parties.

About U.S. Local Business Association (USLBA)

U.S. Local Business Association (USLBA) is a Washington D.C. based organization funded by local businesses operating in towns, large and small, across America. The purpose of USLBA is to promote local business through public relations, marketing and advertising.

The USLBA was established to recognize the best of local businesses in their community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations, chambers of commerce and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to be an advocate for small and medium size businesses and business entrepreneurs across America.

SOURCE: U.S. Local Business Association

CONTACT:
U.S. Local Business Association
Email: PublicRelations@uslbaaward.com
URL: http://www.uslbaaward.com


 

 

Press Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Mustard Seed, Inc. Receives 2009 Best of Chaska Award
U.S. Commerce Association’s Award Plaque Honors the Achievement
WASHINGTON D.C., June 8, 2009 -- The Mustard Seed, Inc. has been selected for the 2009 Best of Chaska Award in the Garden Centers category by the U.S. Commerce Association (USCA).
The USCA "Best of Local Business" Award Program recognizes outstanding local businesses throughout the country. Each year, the USCA identifies companies that they believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and community.
Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2009 USCA Award Program focused on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the USCA and data provided by third parties.
About U.S. Commerce Association (USCA)
U.S. Commerce Association (USCA) is a Washington D.C. based organization funded by local businesses operating in towns, large and small, across America. The purpose of USCA is to promote local business through public relations, marketing and advertising.
The USCA was established to recognize the best of local businesses in their community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations, chambers of commerce and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to be an advocate for small and medium size businesses and business entrepreneurs across America.
SOURCE: U.S. Commerce Association

CONTACT:
U.S. Commerce Association
Email: PublicRelations@us-ca.org
URL: http://www.us-ca.org

 

The Mustard Seed, Inc. Receives 2008 Best of Chaska Award

U.S. Local Business Association’s Award Plaque Honors the Achievement

WASHINGTON D.C., July 15, 2008 -- The Mustard Seed, Inc. has been selected for the 2008 Best of Chaska Award in the Garden Centers category by the U.S. Local Business Association (USLBA). Click here for full story.

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Total Landscape Care
2009 Landscaper of the Year: Mark and Kay Halla
By Glenn R. DiNella

 

Whether he is calling on potential clients, building his company, or pursuing his bride to be, Mark Halla is a man of conviction. When Mark first met Kay, she had just earned a degree in landscape architecture from Iowa State University and moved to the Minneapolis area to work at Halla Nursery, a company owned by
Mark’s father and started by his grandparents in 1942. Mark was working there also – the third generation of Hallas. In the beginning, Kay turned down Mark’s requests for a date, but eventually his persistence won her over and the two were married in 1986.
 
Read the full story here >>>

 
 
Taken from Chaska Herald /Thursday, October 9, 2008/Page 31
Click on image for larger view.

 

 

Cory Whitmer, BNI Core Connection Member in Chaska, Minnesota, was recently

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