First time customers and regulars alike were lined out the door for the sale, most with flyers and checklists in their hands – ready to hunt for produce that they can’t find even in garden stores.
A wide variety of tomatoes were up for sale at the Horticulture Department this weekend for the 2017 tomato plant sale.
Selections include uncommon tomatoes like the Valencia, Purple Russian and the Bumble Bee Sunrise tomato. The nursery also offered cherries and various other plants.
“There’s a lot of plants that you cannot get elsewhere that they provide here…the carbon you can’t really get elsewhere, porterhouse [and] the heirlooms…you can’t get at other places like, Armstrong or [The Home] Depot, even Blue Hills [Nursery]…they have some varieties that they have here, but not the same. It’s a bigger selection,” Christi Goodlett said.
As well as having closer connections with the community, horticulture students and volunteers are able to work in a setting that is emulated to be what a professional nursery would be like.
“The notoriety kind of keeps us on the map because we’re kind of separated from campus and a lot of people [don’t] know we don’t exist. So, having all these people come in is a good way to kind of open the doors and show people what we do,” Jeff Feaster said, biology and horticulture professor at FC.
The funds gained from the plant sale go right back into the department and help fund their internship program.
Former students from the program have moved on to working for Disneyland’s horticulture department, Armstrong Garden Centers, Lowe’s and The Home Depot where they purchase the plants for the stores and businesses to have in their selection as well.
Last year from the tomato sale alone, the department made approximately $19,000 – $20,000 in a three-day span. They grow about 8,000 tomato plants for these sales in particular.
For more information on their future plant sales, check out the department’s website.