The 13th Annual Spring Plant Sale at Crabtree Farms is Saturday, April 13 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and April 14 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. This year's Spring Plant Sale & Festival at Crabtree farms will celebrate not only the return of warm weather, but the 15th anniversary of Chattanooga's Urban Farm! Free and open to the public, the 13th Annual Spring Plant Sale & Festival will once again offer gardeners the healthiest, sustainably-grown fruit, vegetable, flower, and herb plant starts for their spring/summer garden.
Guests can attend free gardening workshops, see the farm on a hayride tour, and enjoy live music, food, and crafts from local vendors and artisans.
Crabtree is a non-profit urban farm dedicated to connecting Chattanoogans with our local foodshed. For the past 15 years, Crabtree Farms has served the community by providing educational opportunities and advocacy programs that inform the public about growing food sustainably and choosing local produce. Through this event, Crabtree Farms encourages the community to grow a portion of their own food with the goal of increasing their access to healthy fruits and vegetables while making our community more self-sufficient.
“As farmers, our work centers around food,” says Sara McIntyre, Urban Farmer at Crabtree Farms, “The Plant Sale ensures that Crabtree can continue bringing fresh, healthy foods to our city and to share our knowledge of sustainable farming and gardening with our neighbors and volunteers.”
In an effort to ensure that every plant that comes from the sale will thrive in your backyard garden, Crabtree carefully selects varieties that are well- suited for Chattanooga’s climate, including drought-tolerant and disease resistant varieties. Among the 200 + varieties of plants that will be available include Brandywine tomatoes (a favorite heirloom variety amongst many gardeners and chefs), Carmen Sweet Peppers, Pawpaw and chestnut trees, and thornless blackberries. Herbs offered for sale include 4 varieties of Basil, Chocolate Mint, Sweetgrass, and Asian ginger. Several beautiful perennial and annual flowers will be on sale as well, notably the White Butterfly Bush, Lamb’s Ear, Cramer’s Amazon Celosia, and Empress of India Nasturtium.
“I encourage everyone to plant flowers right in next to their vegetables and fruit plants,” says Andrea Jaeger, Crabtree’s Programs Coordinator, “it adds color to your garden, and attracts helpful pollinators who will help you get more food out of your plants!”
The Plant Sale invites local vendors to attend the event as well. Among the attending vendors are Fair Share Urban Growers, Silvers-Elbert Nursery, Down to Earth Farm, the Sequatchie Valley Institute, 423 Soaps, and Rising Dawn Boutique.
“I’ve been selling my handcrafted soaps at Crabtree Farms’ Plant Sale for years,” says CeCe McDermott of 423 Soaps, “You meet so many interesting people during the event, and it’s just a lot of fun for me and my family to be a part of.”
Ms. McDermott will be one of the several knowledgeable workshop leaders at this year’s Plant Sale. She will teach a class on easy lotion making at home from 12-12:30 p.m. Additionally, Master Gardener, Bud Hines, will share his expertise in backyard composting from 10-11 a.m., and local mushroom hunter, Matt Shikegawa will present on identifying edible mushrooms in the wild from 1-2 p.m.
Sunday’s workshops will prove to be equally informative. Sunday workshops will start at 11 a.m. with Jon Geerlings’ workshop on growing grapes sustainably. Ivana Patterson of Lavender ‘N’ Rust Herb Farm will teach the basics of gardening from 12-1 p.m., and Holli Richie, Herbal Wellness Consultant for the Center for Integrated Medicine, will teach how to grow a medicinal herb garden. Finally, Master Gardener, Dee Clark, will share her expertise on creating gardens that encourage backyard wildlife from 2-2:30 p.m.
Guests who decide to make a day out of the Plant Sale will not go hungry. Some of the finest food artisans in Chattanooga will be selling tasty treats. There will be delicious pies from Sugar Pie, from-scratch sandwiches from Famous Nater’s World Famous, hot boiled and fresh roasted peanuts from Rusty’s Nutz, and from-scratch falafel from the Missing Link. Sugar Pie’s owner, Sarah Miller, says that she will be bringing both breakfast-style pies for folks who arrive early, as well as lunch-style pies for later in the day. Pies-by-the slice and whole pies will be available for take-home.
Also at the sale, the much-anticipated new edition of the TasteBuds Local Food Guide will be released. TasteBuds is the regional guide for finding local foods grown and crafted within 100 miles of Chattanooga. This issue features an article focused on the importance and plight of our local honey bees and includes easy recipes that incorporate local ingredients. The guide also offers updates on the exciting local food news in our region as well as tips on backyard gardening and fun ways to savor our local flavors. Free copies will be available both days of the Plant Sale.