The Latest Dirt - March 2023
Great Tomato Plant Sale 2023!
By Mary Jo Corby and Robin Moore
Hello Master Gardeners,
We are very excited to be back to in-person sales for both Walnut Creek and Richmond this year! The past two years’ sales have been online-only, and while many of our customers really enjoyed ordering their plants via the online system, we missed seeing the hustle and bustle of the Saturday “opening”, chatting with customers and hearing their lovely comments about the plants and how beautiful they looked. It’s time to get that excitement rolling again!
We are trying something new in Walnut Creek this year – a consecutive, three-day, in-person sale! We are doing this for a few reasons. First, for customers who worry about gathering in crowds with Covid still lingering, this gives them a way to avoid the Saturday “feeding frenzy.” Second, we always have inventory left. Historically we’ve held the option open of holding a second Saturday sale, but it’s a hard push to put everything back together a week later for a smaller return. Our three-day sale will keep the momentum rolling, both for the customers and for us.
The “aha!” of the online sale is that the UC Master Gardeners of Contra Costa will always step up to a challenge. In 2022, we worked 21 consecutive days – receiving orders, pulling the orders, and greeting the customers when they came to pick up their orders. To top it off, we threw in a “pop-up sale” most of those days. So, we know we can do three days in a row! We think this will both calm the crowds and reduce our inventories. We will still have many plants remaining for school and community gardens but hopefully not so many that we need to call in the cavalry to help find homes for them.
Because the Richmond sale is four weeks later than the Our Garden sale, those plants are being seeded later to ensure they are in prime condition on April 29. Many selections will be offered, including some varieties of tomatoes not offered at Our Garden, that are particularly suited for growing in West County.
There will be many volunteer opportunities for the sale at Walnut Creek and Richmond, and they will be posted on VMS. We look forward to seeing all of you at one of the sale locations very soon!
A reminder of dates:
- March 27-29: Prep week for the Our Garden sale
- March 30: CoCoMG Presale! From 9:30am to 1:00pm
- April 1-2-3: Great Tomato Plant Sale at Our Garden, Walnut Creek
- April 29: Great Tomato Plant Sale at Richmond Civic Center Library