Local business owners showcase their plant shop: Another Green World


Photo taken by Jenasea Hameister.

Jenasea Hameister, General Assignment Reporter

In 1984, a man named Edward O. Wilson introduced his hypothesis of biophilia. The hypothesis suggested that humans possess an innate tendency to seek connections with nature and other forms of life. Today, many people are supporting the 39-year-old theory by buying plants and other greenery for their homes.

To assist plant owners, plant lovers, or new plant goers, Zack Gaugush and Linda Vale have opened a new plant shop on the north side of La Crosse called, Another Green World. To learn more, the Racquet Press sat down with Gaugush on Thursday, April 27 to discuss all things plants.

“Another Green World was a brainchild that my fiancé Linda and I had about a year and a half ago… and we realized that with our combined experience, we were the perfect team to pull it off,” said Gaugush. He continued, “It was in December of 2021 that we started thinking about it and by July of 2022 we signed this lease and opened up in the fall of 2022.”

Gaugush said that the decision seemed easy considering his background in ecology, soil science, landscaping, gardening, and farming. He said that in addition to co-owning the plant shop, he is the greenhouse grower at Western Technical College (WTC).

On the flip side, Vale is an elementary educator and has worked extensively in garden and food education capacities. Together, Gaugush said, “We just decided that this was our shot and it’s been a good seven months.”

Gaugush said Another Green World sells small, medium, large, and extra-large plants in addition to handmade, local pots and select gardening supplies like fertilizers and natural pest control.

“We have a large number of suppliers but by and large everything mostly comes from Florida and then a little bit of California and southern Canada,” said Gaugush. He continued, “That all kind of rides along with the cut-florist industry. The supply chain of cut-flowers and house plants is pretty much the same thing.”

Both Gaugush and Vale have other part-time jobs. As mentioned before, Gaugush is the greenhouse grower at WTC. There he grows hydroponic vegetables and keeps the “living/green wall” alive. Vale works part-time as a substitute teacher in the La Crosse School District. At Another Green World, she does administrative work and bookkeeping.

“Fortunately, when managing plants, everything happens at the speed of plants,” said Gaugush when asked how he manages the business and another part-time job. He continued, “In order to have success at all of these plant-related functions it just takes a whole lot of planning and having your ducks in a row.”

Gaugush said that knowing the limitations of your space, your time, and what is needed and when is important when running a plant shop. “In a way plants work for free, they just work really slowly,” said Gaugush.

As Another Green World enters its first summer in business, Gaugush said he and Vale are excited to see the potential to directly produce some of the stock locally.

“Many of these plants require years to get up to size and the cost of heating a greenhouse in Wisconsin is just astronomical costs. So, it’s just cheaper to have Florida do it, but we’re excited to look into different avenues in order to employ local producers,” said Gaugush.

When Gaugush and Vale receive stock for their shop, they make sure to identify any potential problems. “We take responsibility knowing that these plants are going to need specific care to each individual plant depending on what time of the year it is and the conditions of the space and the season,” said Gaugush.

He continued, “We just strive to make sure that everything gets its species-specific care and that everything gets love and attention.” Additionally, Another Green World can offer case-by-case advice for different plant issues that may arise.

Gaugush said that students should own plants because they are manageable. “I remember being a student myself and it was just five years of chaos and cramped living and I certainly couldn’t have a cat or dog at that time,” said Gaugush.

He continued, “But to have life in your little space, dorm, or crowded apartment is just a great outlet for acknowledging the life in your space and to have a practice with something.”

Gaugush said, “You don’t always have to water a plant to say you’re taking care of it. You can just admire it.” He continued, “That appreciation and gratitude of being conscientious for another living thing can be a refreshing headspace for when you’re in your twenties.”

To learn more about Another Green World follow @another_green_lax on Instagram or Another Green World on Facebook.

Another Green World is located at 1231 Caledonia St. and is open:

Wednesday      11 AM–6 PM

Thursday         11 AM–6 PM

Friday              11 AM–6 PM

Saturday          10 AM–4 PM

Sunday             10 AM-4 PM