May 1, 2006
The Farm & Garden Spring Plant
Sale offers a wide selection of vegetable starts, including
peppers, tomatoes, and lettuces.
Photo: Martha Brown
UCSC Farm's annual plant sale May 6-7 features
'Granny's favorites': Hard-to-find flowers and vegetables
By Jennifer McNulty
Garden favorites, like fashion trends, tend to come and go,
so the flowers and vegetables your grandmother loved may now
be hard to find. But don't despair--this year's UCSC Farm &
Garden Annual Spring Plant Sale features a range of hard-to-find
organic annuals, perennials, and vegetable starts.
The theme of this year's sale is "Granny's Favorites:
Old Fashioned Plants and Heirlooms." The sale takes place
Saturday, May 6, and Sunday, May 7, in the Barn Theater parking
lot at the intersection of Bay and High Streets in Santa Cruz.
Hours are 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
on Sunday. Only cash and checks will be accepted. Members of
the Friends of the Farm & Garden receive a 10 percent discount
and enjoy early admission on Saturday starting at 9 a.m.; memberships
will be available during the sale.
Among the highlights of the unusual heirloom varieties that
will be available are flowers such as 'Danebrog Lace,' a poppy
variety with a red exterior and an elaborate cream inside. Also
on sale will be the Centaurea americana 'Basket Flower'--an
intriguing bloom that combines shades of gold and pink--and
'Whirly Bird Mahogany,' a deep, dark-red nasturtium unlike the
more typical orange flowers.
Rare perennials include several raspberry varieties--the prodigious
'Heritage' and the fragrant 'Autumn Bliss' among them--as well
as standouts such as Iris unguiclaris, a beardless iris
that blooms mid-December to mid-February. A range of California
native perennials will also be available, including flowering
currant (Ribes sanguineum) that blooms in March, and
white sage (Salvia apiana) that is used in ceremonial
As always, the sale offers a wide selection of vegetable starts.
Heirloom varieties of tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants will
be available, as will a broad assortment of unusual lettuces
both mild and spicy. Many types of Asian vegetables still unfamiliar
to some will also be there, including bok choy, baby bok choy,
The sale is the largest all-organic event of its kind in the
Monterey Bay Area. All of the herbs, flowers, and vegetable
starts were propagated using organic methods. No chemical fertilizers,
pesticides, or herbicides were used in growing the plants from
seed, and no artificial growth hormones were used to stimulate
The sale benefits the UCSC Farm & Garden Apprenticeship,
a six-month training course in organic farming and gardening.
For more information about the Spring Plant Sale or the Friends
of the Farm & Garden, call (831) 459-3240 or send e-mail
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