The State Fair Community College Horticulture Club has several tasty and colorful ways to brighten customers’ days at its annual spring plant sale.
The sale, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, is located at the college greenhouses behind the Potter-Ewing Agriculture Building on the Sedalia campus and offers a variety of cold crop plants.
“We have more than 15 types of plants available at our spring sale,” Kim Rimel, manager of the SFCC Greenhouse, said. “We have more than 12 varieties of pansies alone.
“We don’t just have our cold crop plants in the greenhouses but there are several other plants that will be available later in the spring,” Rimel said. “We really like it when customers come to see all the things we have that will be available.”
In addition to the pansies, the club will have flowering kale, cabbage, strawberry, blueberry, blackberry and raspberry plants available as well as other plants.
Customers can purchase anything the college has available but Brad Driskill, program coordinator for agriculture at SFCC cautions that the possibility of frost still exists.
“People are getting antsy with the good weather we have been having,” Driskill said. “But we’re still not out of the woods yet because we can still get some frosts even into late April.
“I don’t want it but it can still happen,” he added. “The cold crop plants are hardy and they can withstand some cooler temperatures.”
Learning about growing zones and plant selection is part of the hands-on learning opportunities for the students who are enrolled in the horticultural program at the college.
“We have more than 140 students in the ag department (which houses the horticulture program) and we continue to grow,” Driskill said. “I think part of the reason for the growth is that the ag economy in our area has been very good recently.
“Part of our success too is that agriculture is becoming more technology driven and our students are very interested in that area,” he added. “One of the reasons for the growth in the horticulture program is that more and more people want to own their own greenhouses and want to produce their own food; people gravitate toward that.”
Students in the program learn all aspects of plant care and growth.
“We really want it to be hands-on so they will learn how to grow plants from seeds or cuttings or plugs,” Rimel said. “There is more than one way to grow a plant and then care for it and we try to expose them to as many possibilities as we can.”
The greenhouses at the college have been in existence since 1995.
Proceeds from the sale will be used to support the horticulture program at the college.
“We use the money for a variety of purposes,” Driskill said. “Some of it is used to purchase equipment and supplies, but we also use it for field trips to places like Powell Gardens, for example.
“The community support for this sale and our fall mum sale is fantastic,” Driskill added. “I can’t say enough about the turnout that we have; we’ve been doing the sales for so long that the community has come to expect them and we’re more than happy to be able to offer them.”
Hope Lecchi can be reached at 660-826-1000 ext. 1484