The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay will host its 16th annual Natural and Applied Sciences Heirloom Plant Sale from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. Saturday, May 12 in the Lab Sciences Greenhouse on campus, 2420 Nicolet Drive. If plants are left over, another sale will be held at the same time the following Saturday, May 19.
Members of the campus community and the general public are welcome to peruse a selection of 45 varieties of peppers (2,500 plants) and 53 varieties of tomatoes (3,800 plants). The sale will include such vegetables as eggplants, cucumbers and lettuce, along with a number of unusual herbs and flowers. New this year are lime basil and a new open pollinated Asian basil called “Christmas.” The sale also will feature old favorites such as “Bunny Tails,” ornamental grass with a fluffy soft flower head.
Numbers will be handed out between 7:30 and 7:45 a.m. the morning of the sale, so attendees will not need to stand in line. Doors open at 9 a.m. and sale patrons will be allowed to enter in order by number. Plants are $1.75 each (including tax) or six plants for $10. The sale accepts cash and checks only.
The goals of the annual Heirloom Plant Sale are to introduce local gardeners to new varieties, protect agricultural biodiversity and raise money for student initiatives. Proceeds are used to bring in scientists and other speakers students otherwise might not get to meet, and to support student research projects and travel to academic conferences.
Among the highlights of this year’s sale are “Yankee Bell,” a new open pollinated bell pepper, and a few new hot peppers such as “Red Rocket” and “Hot Paper Lantern.” Attendees also can look for a new sweet pepper called “Lipstick,” and a returning favorite hot pepper, “Orange Thai.”
The Heirloom Plant Sale also will feature a wide variety of tomatoes, including “Rio Grande,” “Scotia” and “Moskvich,” which are new varieties recommended for our area. Some heirlooms, such as “Kellogg’s Breakfast,” are returning after a several year hiatus. This year’s cherry tomato crop is limited due to poor germination, but the sale will feature good numbers of some of the best heirloom choices, including “Isis Candy” and “Yellow Pear.”
For a full list of available plants, including descriptions, and a downloadable plant list, visit www.uwgb.edu/biodiversity.