Granite Quarry plant sale

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 30, 2011

By Sarah Campbell
GRANITE QUARRY — It’s been nearly a decade since Lisa Holshouser had a garden at her Salisbury home, but Saturday she was starting over.
“I have a new spot that’s open thanks to the storm,” she said. “I’m hoping to get it tilled up soon so I can get started.”
Holshouser purchased bell peppers and tomato plants during the Plants in the Park sale at Granite Lake Park.
“I thought I would buy them while they are a good price and get them planted here in the next week or so,” she said. “With prices at the grocery store going up it’s better to plant and eat what you can from the backyard.”
Holshouser said she wants to get her hands back in the dirt because she always had a garden growing up.
“I thought today about how my father would be out planting his garden today,” she said. “He always planted on the last day of April.”
And Holshouser wasn’t the only one who took advantage of the plant sale Saturday. A crowd of people turned out for the event.
Jennifer and Chris Hege stopped by with their daughters McKayla, 3, and McKenna, 2.
“We’re starting a garden,” Chris Hege said. “Plus, the kids wanted to play at the park, so it worked out for both of us.”
Neil Marcum, a member of the Granite Quarry parks and recreation committee, said the group started brainstorming ways to get people out to the parks several months ago.
He said the Plants in the Park sale benefits local schools, county agricultural agents and nonprofit groups by acting as a fundraising event. It also showcases Granite Lake Park.
“We’re trying to utilize our parks,” he said. “We are very, very fortunate for a town of this size to have such great facilities.”
Marcum said that as a gardener he enjoyed looking at the different varieties.
He’s planning to grow bell peppers, tomatoes, squash, cucumber and zucchini this spring.
“It’s a small garden, but we get a lot of stuff out of it,” he said. “I really just like watching things grow. It’s kind of neat.”
Erwin Middle’s Junior Civitans helped clean up the park for Saturday’s event. It was their 21st service project of the year.
“We’ve had a great time,” adviser Kim Shuping said.
The club also served up Cheerwine for 25 cents a cup.
South Rowan High School’s Future Farmers of America (FFA) students sold a variety of plants and fresh strawberries Saturday.
Advisers David Overcash nd Laura Hoffner said the group of more than 200 students planted about 1,200 strawberry plants in October.
“They do the work, we just guide them,” Overcash said.
Alex Silliman, an agriculture teacher at Carson High, said the plant sale was a good way to not only raise money, but also make room for new growing projects.
Senior Lianna Michael, president of Carson’s FFA club, helped out Saturday, answering customer questions.
“It’s been fun and I’ve learned a lot because I’ve gotten hands on work that we don’t get in the classroom.”
Heather Wade, an agriculture teacher from West Rowan, said her students sold about half of the plants they brought out Saturday.
“Tomatoes and vegetables have been selling really well,” she said.
The group also sold herbs, annuals and rose bushes.
Salisbury High’s construction classes had bird houses and feeders for sale during the event.
North Hills Christian School was on hand with pottery bowls and other crafts.
With all proceeds going back to the vendor, many of the schools plan to use money raised Saturday to pay transportation costs and fees for field trips to conferences and leadership training.
Contact reporter Sarah Campbell at 704-797-7683.