The Fullerton College Horticulture Department raised over $20,000 with its annual Tomato Sale last weekend.
“It felt like Black Friday; no Black Friday couldn’t compare to this sale” said Enrique Penaloza, a horticulture major.
He decribed the sale as a hit, as all three days were packed with an overwhelming amount of green thumbed customers. The department opened its doors on Friday to a line of 150 people.
Penaloza is an intern for the Horticulture internship program and he is one of the few who benefit from this sale, his internship is funded by the profits they make from this sale. Penaloza fell in love with growing plants and had no idea Fullerton College offered a variety of Horticulture classes. He said he has always been a “go organic” type of guy when it comes to the food that he buys.
“The experience in growing these plants has been remarkable and a great opportunity for me to express my passion in growing plants,” Penaloza said. “We started in the classroom and counted every seed, took them to the mist houses, and their final destinations were the hoop houses and now they are being sold.”
Many customers were surprised that all the tomatoes were grown here on campus from seeds.
“I am very impressed that these tomatoes were grown here on campus by these hard working students,” said Richard Gryce, a Fullerton resident. “This is my first time here and I had an idea on the variety they were selling by their online list but when I got here it was very impressing seeing all these people who are enthusiastic on growing there own produce.”
The sale encourages people to be more aware of where there food is coming from and teaches them how to grow their own food.
“Students should start googling on how to grow plants,” Penaloza said. “It’s important that students have a knowledge on on how to grow not necessarily tomatoes but food in general, it’s an important part of life.”
What are the future plans for these prosperous interns and volunteers? When Enrique graduates he wants to get into farming production, he hopes to put his knowledge into making a greener earth.
“We are really proud of out volunteers and interns,” said Diane Komos, a laboratory technician for the department. “They definately have worked hard and are very happy to see the outcome of their hard work.”
The Horticulture Department will continue to sell the leftover tomato plants through April and May.
Karen Baltazar also contributed to this article.