MECHANICSVILLE, MD — Even if you don’t have a green thumb, there was plenty to do at the plant sale.
Plant lovers enjoyed the 14th annual Summerseat Farm Plant Sale in Mechanicsville Saturday, May 7. With the sunny weather, more people than expected came to the farm’s largest fundraiser of the year, according to Sandy Wildes, sale chairman.
“We were setting up the plant sale tables in the pouring rain, and this sale happens rain or shine. Mother Nature’s going to do what she wants and we just have to push through it,” said Wilde. “We had such horrible weather in the last month, with last minute frosts. When the sun came out, everyone must have had cabin fever and had to get out and enjoy the weather. And some of them came out to the plant sale.”
Plants of all varieties were on display to be sold, said Wildes.
“We had a marvelous assortment of vibrant annuals, perennials, herbs, vegetables, shrubs, trees, grasses, planted pots and dish gardens,” said Wildes. “We also had garden supplies, hanging baskets, wood crafts, and stained glass creations. We have a barn full of hand-hewn tobacco sticks, and we bundled them up to sell seven of them for $5, but we ran out of those early. You never know what you’re going to find here.”
A majority of the plants for sale were rescued by Wildes and given a second chance.
“I have a green thumb. I enjoy plants and playing with them, and if I go to a store where they have mark-down plants I’ll go and rescue a few of them. I love making the plants thrive and come back to life, and then I’ll propagate them,” said Wildes. “I get plants from other places too, like family members and from Summerseat. We also have a whole-seller who provides plants. She provided color with the annuals, as well as some tropicals, herbs and vegetables.”
A variety of gently used jewelry was also for sale at the “Bling for Spring” tent, and people had their pick of succulents and other house plants at the “Southwestern Corner” tent, said Wildes.
“I also have a Woodland or nature cart underneath that trees featuring native plants, like May Apples, Jack in the Pulpit and things you find in the woods,” said Wildes. “Most people have never seen these kinds of plants for sale, and a lot of people really liked the May Apples. It’s a real education to get out and get to know your surroundings and just interact and see what’s around us. There’s more to life than the hustle and bustle.”
At the plant sale, event goers were able to ask for a Manor house tour, said Wildes.
“The Summerseat Farm dated back to June 1678, with the house dating back to 1884. With the mud, we decided to not have the house wide open, but if people wanted a tour they could ask,” said Wildes.
Event goers also had the opportunity to walk the grounds and take photos at the plant sale, as well as enjoy the Petting Zoo, said Wildes.
“Anyone could go and visit the animals. we have rabbits, a cow, a tom turkey, barn cats, buffalo, horses, a donkey, all kinds. Children can hand-feed the animals with bits of bread our volunteers have in buckets,” said Wildes. “And with a small donation children can take part in activities at the Children’s Tent, like coloring and playing in a corn pool. So many children loved the corn pool. My husband and I got that idea from a Harrisburg Agriculture Center Farm Show a number of years ago.”
At the Children’s Tent, they could plant their own plants in cups of soil, and learn more about nature, said Wildes.
“We used to have the children plant seeds, but I think they want to see the instant gratification of planting and plant in the soil,” said Wildes. “It’s very important that people continue to connect with nature, there is just something about working outside with plants that is soothing. Being away from the computer or the television, and being able to occupy yourself outside is a good thing.”
It’s also important to know about the food people consume, said Wilde.
“It didn’t just suddenly appear in packaging at the grocery store, it had to come from somewhere,” said Wildes. “The trees and bushes and the plants in the woods around us didn’t just magically appear, it’s nice to know what God gave us.”
When event goers wanted to relax on the farm, they could head over to the Courtyard Café for breakfast and lunch, said Wildes.
“For lunch. we had chili, chili dogs, hot dogs and other foods. We even had grilled asparagus, seasoned with oil and herbs, but we sold out of that pretty quickly,” said Wildes. “People were catching up with their friends in the courtyard, in the little cemetery or walking around the flower beds with drinks in their hands.”
People who go to the event will stay for hours at a time enjoying the scenery at Summerseat Farm, said Wildes. “They’ll stay and make the rounds with their friends and right as they are about to purchase their plants, they see more friends and wander around and make another round. When people come here and the weather is good, you see everyone talking and hugging. They end up taking more plants home. It’s no longer just a plant sale, it’s become a place to meet up with friends and enjoy time outside.”
About Summerseat Farm:
Summerseat Farm, Inc. is an IRS designated 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, run by volunteers only. It’s dedicated to protecting and preserving the estate with its natural resources and agricultural history and historic research; educational programs; and sharing its story.
Summerseat is supported solely by fundraisers, donations, and memberships. Location of the farm is 26655 Three Notch Rd, Mechanicsville, MD, southbound Rt. 235, just before the Rt. 247 intersection.
For more information, call 301-373-6607 or 301-643-8950
Check out their website for more information about their events or to schedule a tour.
Jacqui Atkielski can be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.