UW-Green Bay’s Heirloom Plant Sale is back in 2023

The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Natural and Applied Sciences academic unit will be holding its annual Heirloom Plant Sale again this year in support of student research. 

This year we have an impressive selection of approximately 230 varieties of plants grown in the greenhouse at the Green Bay Campus, including some that are new to us. Our website (https://www.uwgb.edu/heirloom-plant-sale/) has an online shop for customers to place pre-orders that can be picked up on Friday or Saturday, May 12-13. The greenhouse will also be open for browsing and purchasing of any plants that haven’t been reserved during the pick-up times, no pre-orders necessary. The online shop will be open to UW-Green Bay staff and employees staring April 10th, and to everyone on April 14th 

The pick-up and browsing times will be Friday May 12 from 9am– 12pm and 2-5pm. On Saturday May 13 the sale will start at 9a and finish by 2p. Payment will be at pick up (cash or check only). Questions about the ordering process can be submitted by e-mail at uwgbplantsale@uwgb.edu 

Heirloom plants are unique and rare! 
Unlike other vegetable sales, the UW-Green Bay sale features unique and rare heirloom varieties, held in part to introduce local gardeners to new varieties and protect agricultural biodiversity. Gardeners can dabble with “Bull Nose bell peppers, Tommy Toe tomatoes, or the Teddy Bear sunflower.” This year we have an expanded collection of mini and dwarf varieties suitable for patio and container gardening.  

Also new for 2023, we’ve collected plants into a few different “bundles” for your online ordering convenience. Select one of the bundles on the shop page to add all the included plants to your cart. Choose the ‘Salsa Bundle’ with peppers and tomatoes perfect for making salsa or ‘Tiny Tomatoes’ with our three tiniest tomato varieties! We also have several flower garden bundles grouping plants with red and black flowers (‘Bold and Dramatic’), yellow and orange flowers (‘Cheerful Sunshine’) as well as green and white flowers (‘Green and White’). If you are looking for a pollinator garden, we also have the ‘Purple Pollinator Power Pack’ with four different pollinator magnet plants with purple flowers.  

This year the sale features 64 different varieties of tomatoes and 43 varieties of peppers from sweet to scorching hot. Also offered will be a variety of vegetables, herbs, several different basils, and a collection of flowers. Details on all the varieties are available on the website. 

The annual sale, sponsored by the Natural and Applied Sciences academic unit, began in 1997 with 300 plants for sale. Students benefit from the proceeds that are used to bring scientists and specialists to the University, and to support both student research projects and travel to conferences where students can present results of their research and meet scientists in their fields. Over the past few years this fund has supported research on the genetics of wild rice and invasive Phragmites, a study of local aquifer composition and water quality, a survey of the emerald ash borer on the Cofrin Arboretum, collection and analysis of microplastics in the Bay of Green Bay, migration ecology of Lake Whitefish, and development of a website to understand fish diversity in relation to aquatic invasive species. 

Professor Steve Meyer to hold salsa fundraiser for scholarships 
Additionally, Prof. Steve Meyer’s homemade salsa (mild, medium, and hot) makes its return at the “checkout stand.” Meyer makes 300+ pints of salsa each year with donated proceeds going directly to the Katie Hemauer Memorial Scholarship. Hemauer was an exceptional student, and Meyer was a friend and mentor. She passed away in November of 2005 in a tragic car accident, killed as the result of someone driving while intoxicated. Meyer established the scholarship in her memory in 2014 to support future generations of students who shared her curiosity of the natural environment and commitment to campus and community. Meyer’s salsa (mild, medium, and hot) will also be available at the “checkout stand” if you wish to pick some up and make a donation to the Katie Hemauer Memorial Scholarship. 

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