On the last two weekends of May, Saint Joseph’s College students will be hosting a seedling sale at the Stone Barn at Sebago Lake on Whites Bridge Road. The community is invited to purchase a variety of vegetable, herb, and flower seedlings ready to plant in the garden, all carefully cultivated by environmental science students over the course of the semester.
Under the direction of Elyse Caiazzo, graduating senior and Assistant Program Director for the Institute for Local Food Systems Innovation, SJC students have had a hands-on experience in agriculture by getting their hands dirty in every step of nurturing the plants. Students from the SJC core curriculum class, Ecology and Environmental Challenges (ES300) have spent the semester sowing the seeds of many different plants, as well as using the growth rate for lab analysis.
“This year’s seedling sale represents the mission of the Institute for Local Food Systems Innovation by creating experiential learning opportunities for our students, connecting with our community with sustainability and wellness, and giving the students a chance to be entrepreneurial and build our own business,” said Caiazzo.
Caiazzo worked with the Environmental Science faculty to integrate the seedling sale into the ES300 curriculum, and with students to manage the operation. In addition, she worked with fellow student Hayley Winslow ‘18, Business Service Manager for ILFSI and other College enterprises, to develop the business plan for the seasonal enterprise.
“We believe that our community has a need for local, organic seedlings. By purchasing directly from us, community members will be supporting the College,” said Winslow. “Our product has been grown in our (the students’) home, to benefit the homes of the local community.”
The event will be held inside the north wing of the Stone Barn beginning Friday, May 18 from 3 to 7 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, May 19-20 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. The times will be the same for Friday, May 25, and Saturday and Sunday, May 26-27. Student workers will be available to assist customers at all hours of the sale. There will be many different seedlings to choose from including annuals, perennials, basil, tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, and leafy greens. All 6 packs will be 5 dollars, and 3 inch pots will be $2.50.