Saturday, March 1, 2008

Scenes from Sunshine Garden

Today for the first time, I visited an annual Austin event: the Sunshine Community Garden Plant Sale. The sale includes heirloom vegetables, hybrids well suited to Austin's climate, and some vegetable transplants that are hard to find otherwise.

According to their website, the garden "has been in existence since 1979 with over 150 plots available for lease on 4-acres of land in north central Austin, Texas." It located roughly at 49th and Lamar. "The land is licensed to us at no cost through the generous support of Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TSBVI). "

I had heard that you needed to get there early for a good selection, and boy, was that good advice. It would have been even better if I had heeded it!

When my husband and I got there about 9:45 am, there were already long lines for the tomato tent and the peppers/eggplant/herbs tent. Apparently, there had been a line wrapped around the block when the sale opened at 9. We split up and were able to make it through both lines in about 45 minutes.

Because I was on a schedule, I didn't get to take pictures then, but I did get some shots, when I was staffing the Green Corn Project table. We were letting people know about GCP and selling these adorable 10th anniversary t-shirts:

The spade and fork make an X, or ten in roman numerals.

Several other gardening nonprofits were there, including Travis County Master Gardeners and Urban Roots.
I wondered if anyone was going to use those hula hoops:

Our table was the closest to the stage, which sometimes made talking with folks challenging, but which also gave me the opportunity to snap this photo of the littlest crooner. Quite appropriately, he was singing "you are my sunshine, my only sunshine."

Whenever I go to plant sales like these, my eyes are larger than my vegetable bed, and I end up with too many plants. This sale was no exception. At least, a few of these are going to friends. I think we will keep the Lemon Boy, Yellow Currant (the Yellow Pears were sold out), and Better Boy. The Black Krim my husband picked out is a maybe. And the Sweet Million is for a friend.

I also stocked up on herbs: sweet basil, genovese basil, rosemary, peppermint, French thyme, and lemon thyme, which has beautiful yellow and green leaves. I also bought a Mucho Nacho jalapeno, which is supposed to be hotter than regular jalapeno, for my husband; a Brazilian star fish chile pepper, for its funky shape; an Hungarian wax pepper, which is yellow--I'm beginning to sense a color scheme here!; and a Rosa Bianca eggplant.

If you missed out, you can still buy herbs and vegetables at the Wheatsville Co-op Herb Fair on March 15. Despite its name, the fair sells plenty of vegetables. I bought my transplants there last year.

A word to the wise: get there early!


  1. Hi, Vert
    I love your blog. Esp your early entry about killing plants. I have never been able to grow vegetables, so go figure. And frankly I still kill a lot of my ornamentals. I've kind of whittled down my palette to around 25 things I KNOW I can grow.
    Also v impressed with your post on Scott Ogden tour. He's like royalty! His Difficult Soils book is the one I turn to most.
    Happy digging!

  2. Hi Vert,

    We missed the Sunshine Sale this year but have stood in those lines in other years for tomatoes, peppers and herbs and also liked the hand-me-down stuff from gardeners. I got wonderful gaura that way. You gave a nice overview of the event.

    It amuses me that trying for the 'Black Krim' was a reason we almost went there!

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose