Master Gardeners: Sold out

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CHAMBERSBURG — This year’s Master Gardeners plant sale started promptly at 9 a.m. but gardening enthusiasts arrived early.

By 7:30 a line was already forming at the entrance on Franklin Farm Lane. Soon the line wrapped around the back parking lot.

When the sale began at 9, some people had been waiting for over and hour.

Many were pulling wagons. Others brought their own reusable bags, boxes or containers. They came alone, with friends and in family groups, anxious to fill their containers and wagons with the best plants the Master Gardeners had to offer.

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There was a lot to choose from, and the healthy plants that had been nourished lovingly by some of the County’s best gardeners went quickly.

Milkweed Covered by Butterfly Enthusiasts

Master Gardener Ruth Young with her nine types of hot peppers and 10 types of sweet peppers for sale at the club's annual plant sale. (Photo by Brad Rotz)
Master Gardener Ruth Young with her nine types of hot peppers and 10 types of sweet peppers for sale at the club’s annual plant sale. (Photo by Brad Rotz)

First the milkweed, coveted by butterfly enthusiasts, sold out in the first 20 minutes.

Milkweed is native to Pennsylvania and is the only plant Monarchs will lay their eggs on. The plant is then host to the Monarch caterpillars.

Although milkweed was the fastest selling plant, sales of other plants were brisk.

The sale featured almost everything a gardener could ask for: trees, shrubs, veggies including tomatoes, cukes and eggplants, herbs, flowering annuals, shade plants, and sun perennials.

Carol Kagan and Stacy Snyder pitched a “pumpkin on a stick” (an ornamental eggplant) to potential customers.

“We gave some great sales pitches to passing customers and sold a decent amount of these unusual ornamental plants”

Carol Kagan

Many of the most popular plants were gone by noon. By closing time at 1 p.m., only some pepper plants were left.

The Master Gardeners Facebook page had 5,000 visitors that day as fans followed the sale’s progress online.

Thousands of Plants Sold

All the plants sold were grown in Franklin County.

The more than 2,000 perennial plants were locally grown, nurtured by Master Gardeners in their Franklin County home landscapes, carefully divided and potted, then overwintered in the club’s holding area.

Plants offered for sale had survived the recent winter season and were ready to transplant.

The greenhouse plants included over two dozen tomato varieties, eight hot pepper
varieties, seven sweet pepper varieties, and various other assorted vegetables. Also available were culinary and ornamental herbs, as well as a mix of annual and perennial flowers.

Master Gardener volunteers helped their customers choose the perfect plants and provided tips on the best way to plant and care for those plants.

Proceeds provide funds to support Master Gardeners educational programs, such as classes and workshops and youth outreach. Proceeds are also used to buy supplies and provide upkeep for demonstration gardens and educational material for the organization’s Help Desk.

Photo by Brad Rotz

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The Exchange Club of Chambersburg is sponsoring a Designer Handbag Bingo on September 22 to benefit the education and prevention of child abuse in Franklin County.

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