The Horticulture Department at Fullerton College is launching an e-commerce website March 15 for their annual tomato plant sale.
The empty student parking lot will serve as the curbside pickup area where customers can pick up their orders on March 19.
“This is our first time rolling this out, so cross your fingers” shared, Ed Kim, Fullerton College horticulture lab technician.
The new e-commerce website allows the Horticulture Department to continue their regularly planned sales even with the campus being shut down. Customers are required to place their orders online with a debit or credit card, choose a date and time for pick-up and will have their orders brought to them from the safety of their vehicles.
To ensure the safety of students, customers and campus staff, onsite sales will not be permitted in accordance with state and local COVID-19 guidance. Customers without a pre-order may not visit the campus.
The new e-commerce website is available for the duration of the campus shut down only. Open-air-sales will revert to in-person only once the campus is fully open again.
Organizing the tomato sale had its challenges, according to Kim. The construction of the greenhouse had unexpected delays.
Additionally, Kim is the only full-time employee working in the Horticulture Department, working with one other part-time employee and interns. Kim suggested the college may be hiring more staff in the coming months to accommodate the workload.
Due to the lack of workers in the Horticulture Department, the unexpected delays with the
greenhouse, and working out flaws in the new e-commerce website, the sale will not include the pepper selection, only tomatoes.
Although the sale will exclude peppers, there will be over one hundred and thirty varieties of tomato plants for sale. Each plant comes inside a 4-inch pot.
“We’re rolling out some new smaller varieties so people can get their thumbs green,” Kim said.
New selections will be available for purchase this year, aimed for gardening in smaller spaces and first-time gardeners. The wider range of options aspires to accommodate those living in apartments or smaller living areas, so customers don’t need a large yard to begin gardening.
Options for beginners include micro dwarfs and cherry-sized options such as huskey red, pinocchio red, bonsai, and more.
Customers can pick up their orders from the Horticulture Department in student lot 5. Parking will be marked with safety cones and customers must have their order number at the pick-up time. Facemasks are required to be worn on campus at all times, even while in your vehicle.