Seedling Sale to Help Organic Cause

By: 
Kirt Ramirez

Long Beach Organic (LBO) will host its 3rd Annual “Plants R Us” fundraiser Saturday, March 26 starting at 9 a.m.

The event will take place at the Zaferia Junction Community Garden on 10th Street and Grand Avenue. Money raised will support the nonprofit and its cause of providing residents with natural-soil plots for growing fruits and vegetables without the use of bug or weed poisons.

“Our first year, 2020, was a small event,” LBO Manager Joseph Corso said through email. “Last year’s was much larger, with three times the proceeds. We also added an online shopping cart for pre-ordering. We hope to get even larger this year.”

Corso said the pandemic didn’t hinder last year’s fundraiser.

“Gardening was extremely popular during the shutdown,” he said. “We had a great turnout and on another note, the waiting lists for our gardens grew.”

Those wishing to purchase seedlings can walk up to the Zaferia location on the day of the sale or they can order them online ahead of time through longbeachorganic.org and then pick them up in person.

To prepare for the sale, various organic seeds were purchased or obtained from reputable sources and then with the help of LBO gardener volunteers and interns from Cal State Long Beach, the seeds were grown into seedlings ready for planting.

“We have a group of volunteers growing warm weather seedlings (tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, squash, melons, cucumbers, etc.) in an improvised greenhouse at one gardener’s home, while we are raising cool-season plants at the Zaferia Garden: Kale, cabbage, chard, lettuce, spinach and more.

“March is a great month to plant because almost everything is in season. It’s soon enough to start the summer crops but there is still time to enjoy the cool-season ones.”

LBO was founded in 1994 and has grown to eight community gardens throughout Long Beach with about 220 households raising food. The Zaferia garden is the largest.

Residents pay a small fee to rent the plots and can grow whatever fruits and vegetables they like in a pesticide-free environment.

The plots are ideal for apartment dwellers and those with limited yard space at home.

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