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Plant sale offers thousands of home grown starters

From the looks of what’s going to be Food for Thought’s first ever plant sale this weekend, you wouldn’t have thought the fundraiser was one of those build-the-airplane-as-you-fly-it type of projects.

Because really, with the sheer volume and variety of heirloom, organic and perennial starts, plus herbs and medicinal flowers as well as drought tolerant plants and baby trees – there’s enough for every type of green thumb in Sonoma County.

“We have thousands of plants,” said Sorrell Allen, Garden Manager with Food for Thought. “It’s a lot.”

The plant sale is Saturday and Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will be held at the Food for Thought parking lot. The event will be held outside and will be socially distanced. Masks will be required and no appointments are necessary.

The event is possible thanks to Food For Thought’s corps of volunteers -- hundreds of them, Allen said.

“They wanted to hold a plant sale and we wanted to honor that,” Allen said. “So we had to be creative and resourceful.”

Throughout the past year, about a dozen Food For Thought volunteers, scattered throughout West Sonoma County and into Petaluma, began the process of planting, growing and sowing special seeds.

“We were really selective about they types of seeds we started,” Allen said, noting the group chose heirloom, organic and open pollinator varietals. At the plant sale, browsers will be able to find annual vegetables, including tomatoes, tomatilloes, eggplant, beans, squash, basils, onion, kales, chard and some lettuces. Additionally, the sale will offer flowers, herbs and many medicinal plants.

Pricing is fairly simple: $3 for 3-inch pots. $4 for 4-inch pots. Drought-resistant plants are a bit pricier. Cash, credit card and check all accepted.

Two of Food For Thoughts main supporters, Emerisa Gardens and the Merlin Arborist Group, donated 350 natural/drought tolerant plants, perennials and coverings.

“That’s a big theme this year,” Allen said, coming on the heels of Governor Gavin Newsom declaring a drought emergency for MEndocino and Sonoma counties.

“It’s new,” Allen said, “To hear the push for drought-tolerant plants coming from the businesses themselves. But it makes sense. A lot of my annuals are very thirsty plants.”

For those who aren’t sure about gardening amid a drought, make sure to stop by the plant sale. The Food For Thought sale will be swarming (in a socially-distant way, of course) with gardening experts who will be excited to talk to you about your garden, lawn and what you’re looking to achieve.

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