By Diane Glidewell
Saturday in Jackson was a beautiful spring day, perfect for enjoying the new life of emerging plants and the beautiful blooms bursting with brilliant colors and potent fragrance. The heat of gardening fever was fanned by the Second Annual Seed & Plant Swap & Sale held as a community event on the grounds of the historic Jackson Presbyterian Church.
The event was larger this year than in its 2009 inaugural season in terms of number of vendors, abundance of items available, and number of attendees. There were approximately 30 venders plus exhibits from the UGA Extension Service, the Calvin Center, and Jackson Veterinary Clinic, and more information tables related to various aspects of gardening and food preservation. There were also tours of the historic church offered each hour and concessions sold by the church youth to help them attend camp this summer.
There were gourds, luffa sponges, bee information, fishing rods, plant markers and fertilizers. There were pecan halves, strawberry jam, birdhouses, herbs, and yard art. There were seeds for beans, squash, peppers, and peanuts.
But most popular were the plants: three gallon blueberries and other shrubs, angel trumpets, hanging baskets, strawberries, mutiplying onions, many varieties of hot peppers, and countless tomato plants ready for garden homes.
Tommy and Janie Carmichael had succeeded in starting 1,200 tomato plants from seed, ordering 1,000 32 ounce cups from a local restaurant for transplanting. Their tomatoes respresented 48 heirloom varieties, including orange, green, purple, striped, and white varieties.
At the end of the day, organizers and venders were tired but smiling, pleased with the attendance, sales, and reception from the community. It seems certain that all who participated enjoyed the experience, picked up some knowledge, and took home something for their home garden, including enthusiasm and new ideas.