Spring has sprung, and this weekend, the Tilth Alliance Edible Plant Sale will come around for another year. The at-least-annual sale is like a pop-up, educational nursery, full of organic, sustainable, locally grown, and mostly munchable plants—and admission is free.
Saturday and Sunday, May 5 and 6, vegetable, flower, herb, and pollinator starts grown by local farms will set up at Wallingford’s Meridian Park, plus a selection of fruit trees. Here are four tips to make the most out of the sale.
Dress for the dirt
The sale is at Meridian Park in Wallingford this year instead of Tilth Alliance’s South Seattle wetlands, but still dress like you’re going to be spending some time—and perhaps waiting in line—outside, then getting hands-on sifting through plants. Wear sturdy shoes and comfortable clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty.
Look closely at the different varieties
You might show up looking for generic tomato plants, but one exciting thing about the Tilth Alliance sale is more varieties of plants than you might find at your local nursery or hardware store. This year, that includes 70 varieties of tomatoes and 30 types of peppers. Why just buy normal strawberries when you can add in some strawberries that taste like pineapples?
Tilth Alliance is, among other things, an educational organization, and part of the appeal of going to the edible plant sale is getting some detailed, expert advice about what can grow in your space, whether you have a container garden or a small, urban farm. Educators will be on-site specifically to answer your questions—not just sell you stuff.
Figure out a plan for carrying a load of stuff
Parking—or your bus stop—could be farther than you intended from the sale, and it’s very easy to underestimate how cumbersome a load of plants can be. A cart or a group of friends is highly recommended.
This article has been updated to reflect the full name of “Tilth Alliance.”