It seems like everyone around these parts has had just about enough of winter.
Luckily for Mercer Island residents, 's 26th annual Crestfest and Plant Sale is just around the corner, on Saturday May 7 from 9am to 3pm.
A long-standing tradition in the community, Crest's Plant Sale is a cherished event where the community comes out to enjoy the warmer weather, mingle, and purchase starts for their gardens, all while supporting the students enrolled in 's alternative program. A special perk this year: The Plant Sale falls on the day before Mother's Day, so residents can also pick up beautiful hanging baskets, window baskets, fuschias and lots more, for the special Mom in their lives.
Led by Math and Science teacher Lois "Sarge" Sargent, students enrolled in Crest's Horticulture Course explore what it means to be a horticulturalist through the study of plants, their structures, soils, and insects and the technical skills required to grow plants commercially. Throughout the school year, students plant thousands of seeds and seedlings and maintain the three greenhouses at Crest. The course culminates in the Plant Sale in the Spring. One-hundred percent of plant sale proceeds go back to support the Crest horticuluture program.
The benefits of this event for the students, Sargent says, is two fold:
"It helps the students become employable in a tough economy through the development of tool skills, safety, and working with the public, and it helps them build their self-esteem and confidence."
This year's Plant Sale is made possible by a grant from the and thru the support of 's Career and Technical Education Program.
The theme this year is "Planting with a Purpose" which focuses on companion planting. Bird, bee and butterfly attractant plants, food crops and ornamental flowers, both annuals and perennials will be available for purchase, and a free marigold will be given away with each tomato purchased (while supplies last).
Mercer Island Schools Foundation members and Mercer Island district staff can shop the pre-sale on Friday May 6th from 3-5 PM.
Among the veggie starts this year are a large and healthy tomato crop with several varieties, many mature and ready to yield, tomatillos, peppers, both winter and summer squash, broccoli, cabbage, artichokes and brussel sprouts and more.
Many herbs including different varieties of basil, thyme, spearmint, mint, chervil, parsley, and others, will also be available for purchase.
Another great thing about the Crest Plant sale is that prices are comparable to (and in many cases lower than) local stores and nurseries.
Crest's three greenhouses are located at 4150 86th Avenue SE on Mercer Island and remember to bring cash and local checks only!