Plant sale to benefit Parkland horticulture and greenhouse

Photo by Lindsay Cox |  Humanities faculty member Eva Ginsburg poses with her flowery finds at the Parkland plant sale.

Photo by Lindsay Cox |
Humanities faculty member Eva Ginsburg poses with her flowery finds at the Parkland plant sale.

Destiny Norris

Staff Writer

Parkland is hosting its semi-annual greenhouse plant sale to benefit the horticulture club.

The sale took place May 3–5 and will continue May 8–11. The sale runs from 11 a.m.–3 p.m. each day.

It is held in the greenhouse, behind or through the Tony Noel Agricultural Technology Building—the W-building—located on the west side of campus. Students coming from class can enter the greenhouse from the north side of the building.

Plants range in price from $0.50 to about $20.

Theresa Meers, an associate professor of horticulture at Parkland, says that the plants to be sold are grown by the greenhouse production and sustainable horticulture class. Horticulture teaches students the art or practice of garden cultivation and management.

“The greenhouse student workers play a big role in the day to day care that the plants receive,” Meers said.

The goal of the plant sale is to give the public an opportunity to look at what the horticulture students have been up to and for the students to benefit from their hard work. The sale is beneficial for the program in multiple other ways as well.

“The plant [sale] is a teaching opportunity for students in the horticulture program,” said Meers, “as well as a fund raiser to help support the horticulture program.”

The plant sale also teaches patrons a bit about horticulture. The plant sale boasts a variety of different types of plants, including annuals, perennials, veggies, hanging baskets, as well as tropical plants. Meers suggests buyers first consider where they will be planting before selecting what to purchase.

“Choose the right plant for the right place, based on where you want the plant,” said Meers, “[Think of] sun versus shade, indoor versus outdoor.”

Annual means the flowers or plants will grow for one season and then die, while perennials will regrow on their own every spring. Tropical plants, hanging baskets, and vegetable plants all need different kinds of care. Meers says all the plants are labeled, and that customers can ask the greenhouse workers about any questions they have when purchasing their plant.

“Plants make people happy; they clean the air, and fresh harvest tastes better than store bought,” says Meers.

Supporting your community resources can be markedly tastier than some people have considered. Herbs, select veggies and even a few flowers are edible and can be used to spruce up your kitchen, as well as to bolster your health. Use the fresh veggies you’ve purchased from the greenhouse sale to make the following recipe; the full recipe makes 6-8 servings, so feel free to cut the portions.

You will need one cup of dry black beans that have been soaked, or one 15-ounce can of black beans, that have been rinsed and drained. To soak dry beans, place them in a pot with 6 cups of water, cover, and chill overnight.

You will also need four ears of corn, shucked and rinsed (or the equivalent in canned corn), three tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil, divided; one medium red onion, diced (about one cup); one red bell pepper, diced (also about one cup); two garlic cloves, minced; 3/4 teaspoon salt; 1/4 teaspoon black pepper; a pinch of cayenne pepper; two tablespoons champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar; and 1/4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro.

Here are the directions:

If you are using dry beans, bring the soaked beans and 6 cups water to a boil in a large saucepan. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 45–60 minutes or until tender. Drain and set aside.

Break the corn cobs in half. Hold each one upright with the flat broken end of the cob on the cutting board. Starting at the top, slice off the kernels with a knife. Use the back of the knife to scrape corn juice from the cob. Be careful when doing so.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook onion and red pepper in two tablespoons hot oil for three minutes, or until they just start to soften. Stir in garlic and cook for 30–60 seconds, until the garlic is fragrant and just tender. Stir in corn, black beans, salt, black pepper and cayenne. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the corn is tender, two–three minutes. Remove the pan from heat using the proper equipment.

Stir in the vinegar and the remaining tablespoon of oil. Add cilantro and adjust seasoning to taste. Serve warm, at room temperature or chilled, for up to three days.

This recipe comes from Little Eater in Columbus, Ohio, via Midwest Living. Find the full recipe and nutritional information at midwestliving.com/recipe/sweet-corn-and-black-bean-succotash/.