Updated: Apr 17
Last Updated: 4/13/2023
The 2023 Plant Sale will happen on Saturday, May 20, 2023.
About the RCMG Plant Sale
The Plant Sale Committee operates during the first six months of the year and is responsible for the organization of the Ramsey County Master Gardener Program annual plant sale. Responsibilities of the Plant Sale Committee include plant selection, pricing, publicity, and organizing volunteer activities before, during, and after the sale date, like growing plants, collecting, sorting and labeling donated plants, organizing plants and tables at the sales location, assisting customers, and cleaning-up once the sale ends.
Typically raising over $10,000, the annual plant sale is the primary fundraising activity for the Ramsey County Master Gardener Program. Sales are used to fund scholarships, community activities, and program infrastructure and resources.
Plant Sale Advertising Flyer – There are over a dozen plant sales happening on May 20 this year. Help advertise the RCMG sale by printing up and sharing our handout in your social circles, neighborhood groups, and local establishments.
Seed Starting Handout for RCMG Growers – Growing high-quality seedlings is critical to the success of the RCMG plant sale. Check this handout for information about best practices for starting plants from seed and for the donation criteria seedlings must meet to be accepted at the plant sale.
Tomato Grower Guide – RCMG growers Jennifer Porwit and Joe Baltrukonis have created a manual for growing robust tomato plants from seed. It includes basic care, troubleshooting common issues, and hardening-off best practices. You can also watch a recording of Jennifer's class on the RCMG Train-the-Trainer page for Continuing Education credits.
Smaller teams (subcommittees) have been formed to focus on the different parts that lead to a successful sale. Volunteers expressed interest in specific team in the first few Plant Sale Committee meetings.
Click on the > arrow to expand the information for each subcommittee.
Supports RCMG volunteers growing plants to donate to the sale, tracks donated inventory.
Lead(s): Susie DeShon and Kristine Ranieri)
Team: Diana Rankin, Debbie Lee
Tomatoes: Joe Baltrukonis and Jennifer Porwit
Plant Selection Team
Chooses plants to purchase from wholesale vendors, manages delivery, and up-potting of plugs.
Lead(s): Linda Minter and Mary Parenteau
Team: Simba Blood, Mary Bejblik, Laurie Holmberg, Amy Jacky, Cherie Skildum and Ann Wolfe
Non-Plant Selection Team
Chooses non-plant items to purchase from wholesale vendors and manages delivery.
Team: Brianna Gohde, Mindy Johnson, Kristine Ranieri
Set-up & Pricing Team
Focuses on preparing the sale venue, including parking plans, room layout & set-up, accepting plants from vendors & volunteers, and price tagging)
Lead(s): Linda Minter and Mary Parenteau
Team: Brenda Anderson-Moser, Laurie Holmberg, Judy Johnson, Gail Lee, Valerie O’Brien, Carla Olson, Diana Rankin, Molly O'Rourke and Cherie Skildum.
Sale Day Team
Manages volunteers and the venue on the day of the sale, including inventory restocking, cashier training, and answering shopper questions
Team: Valerie O’Brien, Kristine Ranieri, Kay Wimer
Leads the end-of-sale clean-up of the venue, returns borrowed items, finds "homes" for leftover plants
Team: Kristine Ranieri, Gail Lee
Representatives from the Communications Committee, which promotes the event and increases awareness of the RCMG plant sale.
Lead(s): Nanette Boudreau
Team: Julie Bechtold, Mindy Johnson
Mentor/Intern Involvement Team
Coordinates intern volunteer roles in the sale.
Lead(s): Kay Wimer
Team: Susie DeShon
Committee Meeting Notes
April 10 2023 Update
Jennifer and Cheryl participated in the Project Fair that was recently held for interns and mentors. Many people are interested in volunteering at the Plant Sale and some were willing to try growing tomatoes for the sale.
Mary reported that the Carlin plugs were picked up recently. Mary, Nanette and Susan Oven potted up 350 plants and they are also watching them. The natives will be delivered on Thursday, May 4 and they will be potted on Friday, May 5 and placed in the hoop house until the Plant Sale.
Cees said the hoop house will be constructed on Friday, April 28 so it’s ready to house the natives until the Plant Sale. Since we ordered approximately 1,300 natives this year, shelving will be added to the hoop house to accommodate twice as many plants as last year. Nanette said she has three shelving units she is willing to let us use.
On Friday, March 24 Brianna, Mindy, Kristine, Susie and Cheryl met to discuss non-plant items to sell at the Plant Sale.
The following items will be sold: Weather-proof Pens, Plant Tags, Plant Ties, Gloves, Youth Hand Tools, Burt’s Bees Hand Salve, Garden Journals and Garden Photo Cards.
Following a discussion with Susan Oven, a decision was made to increase the sale price of adult gloves to $6. Susan plans to sell gloves at the April RCMG meeting to give members a chance to purchase gloves before the Plant Sale.
Nanette will work on putting together a pegboard to display the non-plant items that will be sold at the Plant Sale. She will share the design with Set-up Team for approval.
Joe said Jennifer recently won a BBQ grill and asked if the grill could be raffled off at the Plant Sale. Kay will check on the rules in St. Paul for doing a raffle. UPDATE – Kay contacted the Minnesota State Gambling Control Board and learned we can raffle off the grill donated by Joe and Jennifer as long as the grill is worth less than $1,500.
Mary asked if everyone has the pots they need for the plants they are starting for the sale. Joe and Jennifer have enough pots. Brenda said she needs about 20 pots. Brianna noted that Susie is contacting volunteer growers and we might need more pots for some of the 1,600 plants that are being grown. Susie said we might need another case of the large pots and Mary will pick up a case and drop it off at the Barn.
Susie has contacted three-quarters of the growers and there are many more tomatoes to add to spreadsheet. Jennifer asked Susie to send Joe the list of tomato varieties and number of each variety that are being grown for the sale so he can make labels. Joe asked for help writing descriptions from Nanette’s team.
Joe and Jennifer reported that they are growing tomatoes, peppers, and some other plants. Joe asked if they should grow hot peppers. Brianna said they should grow 12 of each variety they choose and suggested cayenne, jalapeno, and other basic types.
Joe said he and Jennifer are also planning to grow tomatoes to give to children who attend the plant sale.
Joe said he and Jennifer have lots of starts, including houseplants. They might need help from people to house flats and Brianna said Cees offered to help foster flats.
Brianna said some people asked for a seed-starting coach on the SUG. Mary will forward the names of some possible coaches to Brianna.
On Wednesday, March 29 the Set-up Team visited Holy Childhood. The group met the staff, measured all of the space available in the facility, and discussed set-up and signage.
Gail Lee gave an update on the team’s visit to Holy Childhood.
A decision was made to reverse the layout – customers will enter the sale through the north door on the parking lot level and leave through the door near the stage. Boxes will be available in the vestibule leading into the hallway near the classrooms.
Brianna shared copies of the proposed layout of the classrooms, hallway and main room. (See PDF attached to email). Gail talked about the proposed set-up plan and the possible need to request members to bring additional tables. Cheryl will contact the custodian at Holy Childhood to get a firm count of all tables that are available. Mary suggested renting tables for consistency in size and she will research the cost of renting tables.
The tally/checkout area will be in the main room this year to provide more room for customers to wait in line and have their orders tallied. We will provide tables in the tally area so customers can set their boxes down while tally people fill out the tally sheets and compute the costs.
Nanette reported that announcements have been sent to all newspapers, libraries, community centers, seed libraries and community councils.
No announcements have been sent to radio, TV or churches yet.
Nanette said the flyer is done with a QR code and copies will be available at the April meeting. People can also pick up copies at her house or the Barn. Gail asked Nanette to send the PDF to members so they can also print the flyer at home.
March 2023 Update
Fundraising & Budget
Joe gave an update on the two requests for funding that he and Jennifer submitted to Thrivent. The funds from the Thrivent Gives program will be available last week of March and the $250 Thrivent grant will come as a debit card.
Diana asked Joe and Jennifer to provide documentation for the grant and gift card for the Audit Committee for 2023.
Cheryl noted that last year Brianna created a budget spreadsheet and plant inventory for the Plant Sale. Brianna asked for a volunteer to create spreadsheets to track the budget and the number and types of plants this year. Diana and Debbie offered to help. Brianna asked Nanette, Debbie and Diana to connect to figure out the 2023 spreadsheets. (See Set-Up Team notes below)
Mary reported that the Carlin plugs will be picked up and up-potted on Wednesday, March 29. She said a SUG was sent out requesting volunteers to babysit the plants until the Plant Sale. Mary also said she and Linda did sink the hostas at the Barn and more volunteers will be needed to keep them warm after they are pulled out. In response to questions about various plants, she noted that a nice collection of plants has been ordered for the sale, including many natives, perennials and herbs.
A small group will meet to discuss what non-plant items to offer for sale at the Plant Sale this year.
Jennifer sent an email out to 50+ volunteer who expressed interest in growing tomatoes. Five people responded and they committed to grow 90 plants/6 varieties.
Brianna said a number of people signed up on the SUG and said they plan to grow tomatoes, but we don’t have information on varieties/numbers. In April we will have interns contact people who signed up on the SUG to get specific information.
Joe and Jennifer will bring packets of seeds and labels to the March meeting to try to recruit more volunteers to grow tomatoes. There was a good response to Jennifer’s tour last year, so Jennifer and Brianna will figure out dates for tours again this year.
Brianna said she will look at growing lists from previous years and let Joe and Jennifer know what people have grown in the past. She suggested it might make sense for Joe and Jennifer to grow dwarf and determinate varieties.
Joe and Jennifer asked about 4” pots and Mary will pick up a carton of 375 pots from Jordan and drop it off at the Diagnostic Clinic. There was a short discussion about potting soil and Joe and Jennifer will pick up what they need at Menard’s.
Hoop House Update: Darren said since the hoop house will have to hold more than twice as many plants as last year, we will need to figure out a shelving system to hold all of the plants.
Brianna asked Nanette, Diana and Debbie to work on the spreadsheet in the next week so we know how many pots we need to order.
Brianna asked for a committee volunteer to write a script for interns and be the contact person for interns when they report on the numbers/ varieties of plants members are growing. Debbie offered to help.
Mary said some people have asked to pick up supplies from the Diagnostic Clinic. Pots and soil are available and she wants to make sure people get what they need, but not too much.
Tiffa requested that we not use black pots because they can’t be recycled. Mary said we currently have three cases of black pots. She hasn’t seen pots in other colors, but she would be happy to buy them if they are available from wholesalers. Tiffa will check on the availability of pots. Brianna asked Tiffa to let her know what she finds and then we can put a group together to work on that issue.
Cheryl contacted Brittany Kippes, the new staff member at Holy Childhood, to request a time to visit on Wednesday, March 29 at 9 a.m. We will measure the spaces we plan to use for the sale and discuss set-up and signage ideas. After confirmation of the date and time, an invitation will be shared with members of the Set-up Team
Brianna asked Set-up and Sales Team members to take pictures of healthy plants to use as examples for when members drop off their plants at the sale
Nanette reported on the work of the team, including updating social media and working on a flyer.
She asked committee members to let her know about community boards, churches, garden clubs and other community groups where we can post Plant Sale flyers.
If you’re willing to post information about the sale on Nextdoor, let Nanette know.
Liz Nordling (Washington County MG Program) has asked to use Joe's plant labeling technique for their plant sale. He has offered to teach one of their volunteers the trick to making good labels.
February 2023 Update
Linda reported that the member pre-sale was a success, though lower than the 2022 pre-sale.
Additional orders came from the Washington Cty MG program.
Volunteers ordered a total of 302 flats and total sales were approximately $10,000.
Native plants were very popular.
Linda reported that plants have been ordered from Minnesota Native Landscapes, Green Earth Growers and Glacial Ridge.
Hostas were purchased last fall and they are overwintering at the Barn.
Linda said 338 plugs were also ordered from Carlin. Mary and Linda will need help up-potting the plugs in March and we will again be looking for volunteers to care for them from the end of March until the plant sale. Last year, those babysitters did a great job and the plugs looked lovely for the sale.
Brianna mentioned that she heard about new practices for cleaning soil from landscape plant divisions that reduce/eliminate the risk of Jumping Worm transmission. She is helping to coordinate a workshop for volunteers later this year, at which point the Plant Sale Committee will decide if they want to accept landscape plants in the 2024 sale.
Cheryl contacted Cees Duijndam, who agreed to take a leadership role in assembling the hoop house at the Barn again this year. Cees will coordinate with Darren on the timeline.
We will need a team of volunteers assigned to open and close the hoop house (weather dependent) and water/check in on plants on a daily basis. We will create a SUG for these volunteer roles).
Ordered (native) plants are expected to arrive May 10.
Volunteer Plant Donations
Joe and Jennifer have been working on selecting the tomato varieties for the sale this year. Prior to the meeting they shared a list of must-have's and suggested varieties, with the intent of cutting back on the total number of different varieties, as well as giving people the power to choose other varieties when they sign up on Sign-up Genius.
Jennifer’s goal is to cut back this year and only grow the tomatoes that are not being grown by other volunteers. Brianna expressed concern because the current SUG is very generic so we don’t know what volunteers are specifically planning to grow for the sale. Jennifer plans to work with Brianna on the Sign-up Genius format.
There was a discussion of the growing guidelines developed by Joe and Jennifer for tomatoes and Kris and Susie for seed starts. Brianna and Nanette have offered suggestions and the guidelines are being revised.
Brianna reported that 20 people have already signed up for Jennifer’s tomato class, which will be held Saturday, February 25 at 10 a.m. Nanette said the guidelines will be ready in time for the class.
There has been conversations about using compostable pots instead of plastic pots but tests in 2022 indicated that they would not hold up to plant sale-level handling. There was discussion about designing a RCMG research project to test different options for the 2024 Plant Sale Committee to consider.
Mary Parenteau is starting to organize the pots, potting soil and sticks that will be available upon request from volunteers who are starting seeds.
Cheryl confirmed that Joe will create the labels for the pots for the sale. Mary and Linda are providing him with a list of the plants that have been ordered so he can start creating the labels.
The Marketing and Set-up Teams will have an opportunity to visit Holy Childhood in early March to make plans for signage, layout, etc.
Brianna recommended that the Set-Up/Pricing Team determine the process for accepting and tracking plants when volunteers drop them off at the sale.
Also recommended to have a set of donation criteria to identify a "sale-able" plant; for example:
Healthy, vigorously growing and free of diseases/insect pests
Sturdy, stocky plant with a thick, straight stem
At least 4 true leaves
Leaves have a consistent, strong, solid color, with no damage
Plant is accustomed to full sunlight. (Hardened-off)
Plant has buds, not flowers (if applicable)
A SUG will be created to request volunteers to share wagons, boxes and (NEW in 21023) solid, bottom-trays for the plant sale so plants can be watered from the bottom without using foil-lined boxes.
Nanette reported that the plant sale is listed on the Minnesota Horticultural Society website and it will be advertised in Northern Gardener Magazine.
The Marketing Team is working on promos to advertise the plant sale on social media.
The plant sale is also listed on the RCMG website. There is an RSVP link that will put the event on the customer’s calendar.
January 2023 Update
Plant Sale Budget
The Board approved an expense budget of $16,200 for the 2023 Plant Sale, which includes the cost of plants purchased from vendors for the member pre-sale.
The rental cost for Holy Childhood is $1,500 for six days (five preparation days and the sale day); this is much higher than previous years
Joe stated that he will apply for two Thrivent grants again this year. The grants will total approximately $450. He encouraged other committee members to check with their insurance companies to see if they have a similar grant program.
Plant Sale Location
Cheryl reported that committee members explored a number of other possible locations
A decision was made to return to Holy Childhood for the 2023 Plant Sale.
Plant Inventory/Sources (Written report submitted by Mary and Linda)
We will share an order from Glacial Ridge with Washington County Master Gardeners (WCMG) again this year.
We plan to order the same amount with them as last year. We will split 25 flats of plugs and will again be looking for people to care for them from the end of March until the plant sale. Last year, those babysitters did a great job and the plugs looked lovely for the sale.
Simba Blood sent a list of native plants she is recommending we order from MN Native Landscape. We decided to increase the amount for native plants from $1,000 to $2,500. Since Washington County is having their plant sale the same day as our sale, we hope to combine the deliveries for the same day and split the delivery charge. Because of the increase in the number of plants, we will be using the hoop house again to keep them after we up-pot them.
Seed Trial Winners
Hennepin County Master Gardeners will NOT be combining with us or Washington County for MN Seed Trial Winners this year. They have decided to do things differently this year.
Because of this, we should talk about what vegetables and herbs we might want to order for the sale.
We haven't had perennials the last couple of years since we aren't digging plants from our gardens due to the Jumping Worm risk.
We have 60 hostas for the 2023 sale. We bought last Fall and they are overwintering in the ground at the Barn.
Mary asked for input from the group on what perennials (other than natives) people think would be a good idea to try or if we should try them. Cheryl will send a message to committee members to get their thoughts on Bergenia; Astilbe; Columbine; Goatsbeard; Jacob's Ladder; Toad Lily for shade and Hollyhock; Turtlehead; Dianthus; Liatria, Lupine; Balloon Flower; and any other suggestions.
We have decided to reduce the number of hanging baskets we will purchase from Katie Knott. We had to discount some deeply last year.
We are planning to order 10 each of sun and shade.
Katie has a list of really interesting plants we can order and we will be looking at increasing the number of these we order from her. Her plants are the ones that come to the sale in full bloom and provide a “wow” factor when our customers arrive at the sale.
Sandy Law has agreed to design these for the sale.
Volunteer Plant Donations
As always, we are also hoping that our members will be planning to start plants for the sale. They have provided an excellent selection of plants they have grown and they are beautiful plants, so please encourage anyone who is missing digging in the dirt and wants to start planting to put in some seeds or cuttings for the sale.
Kris talked about non-plant items to sell at the sale, including kneeling cushions, plant markers, and rain gauges. Kris also suggested the possibility of having an area for donated used gardening items for sale.
Mindy also did research on non-plant items to include in the sale this year. She shared information on a wooden flower/herb press and children’s items.
Brianna talked to Susan Oven regarding selling gloves at the plant sale. In March Susan will submit a large order for gloves so we don't run out this year. She also told Brianna there are no known supply concerns at this time.
Mary and Linda will meet on January 29 to compile our pre-sale orders from members and select plants from Green Earth Growers for the sale.
We will also be assembling the order of natives from the member pre-sale from Glacial Ridge and looking at other plants to order from this nursery.
The plan is to get our order to them on January 30 for the best chance at getting what we want.
Joe and Jennifer reported they are working on selecting the tomato varieties they will grow for the sale this year. There was a discussion regarding the number of varieties offered for sale last year and a suggestion was made to reduce the number to approximately 50. Joe and Jennifer said they will try to reduce the number as much as possible.
Master Gardeners who are interested in starting seeds can choose what variety of tomatoes and other plants they want to grow. A SUG will be sent out soon so we can track the plants members volunteer to grow.
Gail asked about sorting tomatoes by type (determinate vs indeterminate; patio; etc.) for the sale. There was a discussion and it was agreed this would be a good idea.
Jennifer talked about holding a tomato workshop in February and Brianna discussed winter sowing.
Brianna suggested that Kris and Susie, members of the Grow Team, should develop guidelines/criteria for starting seeds and coaching. They agreed to work on a document before the next meeting.
Kay is the committee’s liaison with Karen and Judie, who coordinate the Mentor/Intern Teams. She said most of the intern involvement in the plant sale will happen later, but she asked if we want to let the interns know about possibly raising seedlings for the sale.
There was a discussion about quality control and providing guidance to volunteers who start seeds.
Nanette reported that she sent information regarding the plant sale to Northern Gardener Magazine, but she hasn’t received a response.
The Marketing Team will start sending press releases about the sale and will tweek the Facebook and Instagram posts as necessary.
Nanette and Julie will meet to discuss improved signage for the plant sale this year.
Team Member Updates
Plant Selection/Pricing Team (Leads: Linda Minter and Mary Parenteau) – Simba Blood, Mary Bejblik (Natives - will work with Simba), Laurie Holmberg, Amy Jacky (Natives - will work with Simba), Cherie Skildum and Ann Wolfe
Publicity Team (Lead: Nanette Boudreau) Julie Bechtold and Mindy Johnson
Grow Team (Leads: Susie DeShon and Kris Ranieri) (Tomatoes: Joe Baltrukonis and Jennifer Porwit) –
Mentor/Intern Involvement Team (Lead: Kay Wimer) – Susie DeShon
Set-up (Leads: Linda Minter and Mary Parenteau) – Brenda Anderson-Moser, Laurie Holmberg, Judy Johnson, Gail Lee, Valerie O’Brien, Carla Olson, Molly O'Rourke and Cherie Skildum.
Sale Day Team – Brenda Anderson-Moser, Valerie O’Brien, Kris Ranieri and Kay Wimer.
Flexible/Any Team – Diana Rankin
Updates Since 1/19/2023 Meeting
Nanette received an email from the Minnesota State Horticultural Society that their website is complete, so the plant sale information is now listed under Community Events on the website. The plant sale will also be advertised in the May/June/July issue of Northern Gardener.
Nanette and Julie talked about improving signage this year so customers have an easier time finding what they want.
A suggestion was made to have the cashiers on the right side of the hallway and give them numbered sticks to hold up when they are available - much like they have at the Friends sale.
Cheryl will set up a time for members of the Marketing and Set-up Teams to meet at Holy Childhood to look at the space and make plans for set-up and signage.
November 2022 Update
Introduction to the 2023 Plant Sale
Cheryl welcomed the returning and new members of the Plant Sale Committee to the meeting. She thanked all of the new members for their interest in joining the committee. She noted that for the past two years, the planning has been done by a small group and everyone has taken on a variety of responsibilities and put in many volunteer hours. Since there are so many volunteers this year, smaller sub-groups will be established to take on different parts of the project.
Each of the members attending the meeting introduced themselves, shared how long they have been a master gardener and talked about their interest in joining the committee.
Plant Selection/Pricing Team (Mary Parenteau, Linda Minter, Cherie Skildum, Laurie Holmberg, Amy Jacky, Mary Bejblik) This team identifies the plants that will be offered at the sale and negotiates orders with the vendors and in collaboration (bulk orders) with other local MG county groups.
Publicity Team (Nanette Boudreau, Julie Bechtold and Mindy Johnson) This team is a sub-set of the Communications Committee and works to promote awareness of the plant sale.
Grow Team (Joe Baltrukonis, Jennifer Porwit, Susie DeShon, Kris Ranieri) The work of this team will start in early February and focuses on organizing and supporting the volunteers who grow or divide plants for the sale.
Mentor/Intern Involvement Team (Judie Ginther, Karen Randall, Susie DeShon ) This team will develop a variety of activities for interns and mentors. They will use examples from previous sales and anticipates the current co-chairs will encourage intern involvement again this year.
Set-up Team (Cherie Skildum, Laurie Holmberg, Brenda Anderson-Moser, Judy Johnson, Molly O’Rourke, Gail Lee, Kris Ranieri ) This team will work with representatives at the sale location to arrange for tables, etc.; secure parking permits, if necessary; organize the sale location as plants arrive; manage pricing of all sale items as directed by Mary and Linda; and provide direction to volunteers on set-up days.
Sale Team (Kay Wimer, Brenda Anderson-Moser, Kris Ranieri ) This team will organize and train volunteers helping on the sale day (cashiers, customer service/information table, carryout assistants and parking monitors), including training cashiers prior to the day of the sale. They will also be available to answer any questions that arise on the day of the sale.
Not assigned to specific team:
Diana Rankin – Flexible/any team
Plant Sale Location
A decision was made to schedule the plant sale for Saturday, May 20, 2023. This date falls on the weekend between the Friends School Plant Sale (May 12-14, 2023) and Memorial Day weekend.
For the past two years, the plant sale has been held at Holy Childhood Church in St. Paul. This location has worked well and we hoped to be able to use that location again in 2023. However, the pastor of the parish and our contact person, Mary Madigan, recently retired. Cheryl will contact the parish to ask if we can use the Holy Childhood facility again in 2023.
In the meantime, Darren suggested that members of the committee should contact other possible locations around Ramsey County to determine availability for the set-up week and day of the sale (May 15-20, 2023) and the cost.
Mary and Linda reported they have started work on determining which plants to order for 2023, including a plan to purchase more native plants.
Simba will help with the native plant order again in 2023.
Mary and Linda already purchased hostas that will be ready in time for the sale.
Linda said they are also working on the list of plants from Green Earth Growers for the member pre-sale, which will include natives. The list will be available in mid-December and online orders will be due in January so the order can be placed by February 1, 2023. Nanette will notify the Web Team about the online pre-sale.
Joe and Jennifer will research and advise on seed selection and tomatoes that they and other volunteers will grow for the sale. They plan to recommend fewer varieties of tomatoes for 2023.
We need additional volunteers to organize and assist RCMG members who volunteer to grow a variety of plants, including maintaining a list of plants that are being grown, answering growers’ questions and providing support as needed, procuring labels, organizing drop-offs, etc.
Nanette discussed plans to modify the social media reels that were posted last year so they can be used again.
Members will be asked to share information on Nextdoor and Nanette asked people to share ideas of other places to post information about the sale – local newsletters, churches, coffee shops, etc.
At the next meeting, please be prepared to report on any possible locations you have contacted, including availability from May 15-20, 2023; availability of WiFi, tables and chairs; and total cost.
Cheryl contacted Holy Childhood and heard from Mary Madigan, who had been planning to retire in October but is now staying until December. Mary talked to the new pastor and he said we can reserve the space from May 15-20, 2023. However, the new pastor was surprised at the low rate we were charged for the past two years ($500 for six days) and he would like us to pay $1,500 for six days in 2023. The rate we paid in the past was very low compared to what other locations would have charged us for a shorter period of time. No decision has been made yet.
Diana Rankin sent an email suggesting that the committee should consider the following:
1) Purchasing seeds of recent AAS Winners, especially in the Great Lakes region (https://all-americaselections.org/winners/);
2) Consulting the Top 10 Annual Flowers of 2021 results at the North Central Research and Outreach Center, U of M (https://ncroc.cfans.umn.edu/news/2021-top-10) for the plant sales to members. Someone at the Arboretum has been trialing annuals, so maybe Tim Kenny can provide a contact;
3) Buying summer bulbs wholesale and then selling them, either already planted or unplanted; and
4) Selling PlayCleanGo Handheld Boot Brushes from the NAISMA Store (https://store.naisma.org/products/playcleango%C2%AE-handheld-boot-brush)
Kris Ranieri sent an email suggesting some possible items to sell at the plant sale:
1) AcuRite 5" Capacity Easy-to-Read Magnifying Acrylic, Blue (00850A2) Rain Gauge ($6 – Amazon); 2) 100Pcs Plastic Plant Labels, T-Type Tags Waterproof Re-Usable Nursery Garden Label for Flower Vegetables Herb Signs, White ($5 – Amazon); and 3) Fiskars 942169/4J Ultralight Kneeling Cushion ($6 – Amazon). Kris also said she has purchased some great used gardening items at the St. Anthony Park Garden Club’s spring sale and asked if the RCMG sale ever had an area of donated used gardening items for sale.
Brianna Gohde and Simba Blood have been talking about ways to augment the native plant offerings at the 2023 RCMG sale. One idea is to ask volunteers to grow native seedlings, which will require ordering seeds ASAP so that we can complete stratification requirements and still give the plants lots of time to grow to a good size by May. Simba created a list of native plants that are easy to start from seed, including annuals, short-lived perennials and a few very successful perennials. Cheryl approved the expenditure of $50 for the seeds.