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2024 Plant Sale Updates

Updated: Apr 9

Last Updated: 4/09/2024


The 2024 Plant Sale will happen on Saturday, May 18, 2024.

About the RCMG Plant Sale

The Plant Sale Committee works from October through May and is responsible for the organization of the Ramsey County Master Gardeners 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.


Raising well over $20,000, the annual plant sale is the primary fundraising activity for the Master Gardener Volunteer Program in Ramsey County. Sales are used to fund scholarships, community activities, and program infrastructure and resources.


Resources

Plant Sale Advertising Flyer

NEW 2024 fliers are ready! Huge thanks to Jayme Neverton for her design work. These can be downloaded in either color or black-and-white to print at home. Please help carry word about the sale everywhere you go!


Black & White Flier

RCMGPS24-8x10-BW
.pdf
Download PDF • 2.50MB

Color Flier

RCMGPS24-8x10-COLOR
.pdf
Download PDF • 6.15MB

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.

Seed starting handout - for RCMG growers
.pdf
Download PDF • 1.70MB

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.

Starting-Robust-Tomato-Plants-for-Plant-Sales-2023
.pdf
Download PDF • 753KB

Subcommittees

Smaller teams (subcommittees) have been formed to focus on the different parts that lead to a successful sale. Volunteers expressed interest in a specific team in the first few Plant Sale Committee meetings.


Click on the > arrow to expand the information for each subcommittee.

Budget Team (NEW 2024)

Volunteer Engagement/Education Team (UPDATED 2024)

Grow Team

Plant Selection Team

Non-Plant Selection Team

Inventory Management (NEW 2024)

Partner Collaboration Team (NEW 2024)

Set-up & Pricing Team

Sale Day Team

Clean-Up Team

Publicity Team


Committee Meeting Notes

February 2024 Update

Misc

  • Cheryl reported that she completed the Temporary Transient Merchant Application that is required by the City of Maplewood. She is waiting for a signed copy of the contract with Aldrich Arena and a diagram of the area where the sale will be held and then she will submit it. The application is due on March 31, so there is time for it to be approved.

  • Julie will talk to Kathy about what liability insurance is required for the Plant Sale and other projects. Brianna said volunteers for the Speaker’s Bureau and other projects are covered by Extension. Nanette said the locations where education sessions are held should have their own liability insurance to cover attendees. Julie will also talk to Kathy about submitting the cleaning deposit.

  • Cheryl will also order the 60 table top sign holders approved by the Board.

  • Julie asked that the Plant Sale Committee meet twice a month to stay on track as we get closer to the date of the sale. Cheryl will send the meeting minutes and a Doodle for the next meeting this week.

Budget Team

  • Current Status - On Budget

  • Joe and Jennifer are sharing a $250 grant from Thrivent, plus $100 based on their business activity. The package from Thrivent will also include Live Generously t-shirts that volunteers can wear. Cheryl thanked Joe and Jennifer for their generosity again this year.

  • Julie reported that $2,078 of the $22,510 budget has been spent to date. She said when items are purchased for the sale, try not to pay sales tax and try to negotiate shipping costs. All receipts should be sent to Julie and Kathy Passe.

  • Diana said the Audit Committee noted that the organization is paying sales tax. She emphasized not to pay sales tax when purchasing for the plant sale by using the Minnesota Department of Revenue Certificate of Exemption form.

Publicity Team


  • Nanette is still gathering information on churches, organizations, libraries, etc. to add to the publicity spreadsheet. She asked everyone to send her an email with any suggestions to add to the list.

  • Julie said the team has been working hard to finalize the sale poster and Jayme did an incredible job creating the poster. Jayme shared the poster, which looks like a vintage seed packet. The committee agreed that it looks great. The poster is 11x17 and flyers will be 8x10. Copies will be available at the March meeting and members will be able to print copies at home to put up in stores, coffee shops, etc. in their neighborhoods.

  • Northern Gardener is being published quarterly and originally was not posting any plant sales in the magazine, but now plant sales will be listed.

  • Julie said the Marketing Team has many tasks to do before the sale, including assemble the 60 table top sign holders and the 10 floor standing sign holders; create a catalog; finish social media ads based on the poster with same theme; create donation tear-away sheets with the 2024 theme; and print flyers for the March RCMG meeting. Nanette and Julie are working on a list of signs for the new sign holders.

  • Molly asked if there will be signage for outside the arena. The team is working on those signs, including signs indicating no Plant Sale parking by the golf dome. Gail asked about having balloons by the entry door. Nanette said there will be big banners on the railings and signs that say “Enter” on the West side.

  • Diana asked about t-shirts or hats for volunteers working the sale so it is clear who customers can talk to while they are shopping. There are approximately 25-30 red aprons available for volunteers to wear the day of the sale.

Plant Selection Team (Mary Parenteau)

  • Mary wasn’t able to attend the meeting, but she sent an update that she, Linda and other members of the team reviewed the vendor plant offerings.

  • They agreed on a set of plants that will be offered for sale and they are very excited about the plants that are being ordered. Mary shared the following orders:

    • Ordered 1,362 plants from Minnesota Native Landscape (the plants we up-pot and put into the hoop house). She noted we're going to use peat pots for the natives because they are only moved one time from the hoop house to the sale.

    • Ordered 72 hostas from Green Hill Farm

    • Ordered 203 plants from K2/Katie Knott (no hanging baskets this year)

  • Linda reported the Glacial Ridge order has been submitted.

  • She is finalizing the pre-plant sale and plant sale orders and will submit them to Green Earth Growers this week.

  • Brianna said that members submitted 109 orders for the pre-plant sale and she is calculating the amount of those sales.

  • There was a discussion about having a price list for volunteers to work from during set-up. Linda said this year they tried to make sure not to order the same plants from multiple vendors to avoid confusion when pricing the plants.

Non-Plant Selection Team (Susie DeShon)

  • Susie said the team ordered 50 Garden Markers for $57.49, bringing expenses to $283.06. There are 10 Rain Gauges and 500 Plant Tags on order which should cost $84. That leaves about $82 left to spend, so the team will come in on budget.

  • She is experimenting with stepping stones and is going to try a mosaic design this weekend. Karen Randall is making 20 bird houses and robin cones.


Grow Team (Brianna Gohde on behalf of Beth Fritcher)

  • So far we are expecting 200+ houseplants and we are asking people to start native seeds and to bring 12 plants. If all of the native plants grow, 250 native plants will be donated by volunteers.

  • The February RCMG meeting will focus on seed starting with the hope that will get people interested and confident. The tomato starting video by Jennifer from last year is also available for volunteers to watch.

  • A SUG for vegetables and annuals has not been sent yet.

  • Carla hasn’t started plants yet and asked if the SUGS will be specific about the types of vegetables and annuals we want volunteers to grow. Brianna said once the vendor orders are confirmed, the inventory spreadsheet will help determine what we want volunteers to grow. She isn’t sure what will be recommended, but noted that more herbs and sweet peppers were requested last year.

  • Linda said if people are passionate about some plants that we aren't purchasing, they are welcome to grow them.

  • Gail asked about guidelines for volunteers. Brianna said there was a Guidelines for Growers document that was shared last year and Linda noted we provided pots and soil because we want plants to be in a standard size pot.

  • Diana said there may be some patented houseplants on the spreadsheet, so she will do research. Julie will mention this at the February Board meeting to get feedback from Board members.

Inventory Management (Brianna Gohde)

  • Brianna is working on the 2024 inventory sheet, including plants started by volunteers.

  • Brianna asked Susie to add the non-plant items to the spreadsheet.

  • Kristina and Diana offered to help enter purchased plants into the spreadsheet based on invoices from Mary and Linda.

Partner Collaboration Team (Julie Bechtold)

  • Julie said four partner tables will be set up

    • U of M Extension RCMG Program;

    • U of M Soil Testing Laboratory;

    • Ramsey County Environmental Health/Public Health; and

    • U of M Department of Forest Resources.

  • This is a way to show appreciation to our external partners and if it goes well this year and we have enough room next year, we will include more partners.

  • In response to Gail, we will provide a standard size table and chairs will also be available for each group. Julie said each group will bring a tablecloth and handouts and all are aware no wifi or electricity will be available.

Volunteer Engagement/Education Team

  • No updates this meeting

Pricing Team (Mary Parenteau, Linda Minter)

  • No updates this meeting

Set-Up Team (Molly O'Rouke)

  • Molly scheduled a tour of Aldrich Arena on Wednesday, February 7 at 10 a.m. She also learned from the contact person at Aldrich that they expect a final set-up meeting a month before so they know what to expect.

  • There was a discussion about how many cashier stations we will we have this year. Brianna said we had 10 last year. Kristina said she was a cashier last year. She has Verizon home internet and brought her device and created a hotspot. Everyone who volunteers to be a cashier has to charge their phones in advance and use their own data.

  • Gail is working on the layout plan for Aldrich Arena. If it would help to see the arena floor from overhead, Jayme offered to bring a drone to the tour next week. Molly will ask if Aldrich Arena would allow her to bring a drone.

Sale Day Team

  • No updates this meeting

Clean-Up Team

  • Beth said she is on the Clean-up Team and she will send Cheryl some questions about the clean-up process, volunteers, etc.

January 2024 Update

November 2023 Update

October 2023 Update

September 2023 Update


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