Club plants seeds for DIY gardens


Katharine Hada

Horticulture club members Mercy Garetz (left) and Teresa Conroy (right) and professor Frank Kluber (center) prepare a raised bed for the horticulture plant sale, Feb. 19

Katharine Hada, Co-editor-in-chief

Three different boxed options of organically grown heirloom seedlings will be offered at the Diablo Valley College Horticulture Club’s first Community Supported Plant Start sale Feb. 26.

This sale, overseen by the Horticulture Club and professor Michelle Eyestone, will feature options like the veggie box, containing plant starts like kale, snow peas, broccoli, and lettuces; the salad box, containing mixed greens, salad greens, and edible flower starts; and the beneficial flowers box, containing flowers aimed at promoting beneficial bugs like ladybugs, bees, and butterflies.

Boxes will be available three times yearly, and feature 100 percent organic plant starts specific to the time of year and climate. They will fit in a 4 foot by 8 foot gardening bed.

“For example, if you want cucumbers but it isn’t the right time of year to grown them, we have included edible flowers like borage in the boxes, which have flavors similar to cucumbers,” said professor Eyestone.

CSPS boxes will be prepackaged and purchasers will not be allowed to pick and choose items. However, additional plant seedlings will be available for purchase if desired, and there is no limit to the amount of boxes per customer.

Horticulture students have had to dedicate their personal time and effort to oversee this new expansion. From building the new steam house incubator from the ground up to house the CSPS seedlings, to creating a hands on teaching model to inspire other students to get involved, the horticulture club has developed a fun, user friendly method of promoting organic gardening.

“Students have done extensive research into what grows best here for this climate,” said horticulture professor Bethallyn Black. “We hope to teach good gardening behaviors.”

The horticulture club has built a raised 4 foot by 8 foot gardening bed model specifically for educational tutorials on how to properly make a raised bed and plant your CSPS seedlings, which they will provide free of charge during the CSPS box sales.

However, if you do not have the time or energy to create your own raised bed, horticulture students are available for an additional fee to install a raised bed in your garden for you. Additionally, CSPS purchasers have one week priority on the plant sales, which will be held March 11.

“We do a lot of improvement stuff down here. I think it’s important to talk about plants and and educate through hands on experience,” said horticulture club president, Peter Swenson.

It is the hope of the horticulture club to eventually expand garden areas around campus to promote both campus beautification and student gardening.

“We’re working on getting on the campus recycled water system to help reduce our water intake, and trying to build up our community before we expand into campus more,” said Swenson.

For further information on upcoming plant sales, how to sign up for CSPS boxes, or Horticulture Club meetings, contact [email protected] or come down to the horticulture nursery for club meetings, held every Friday from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.