Continuing my series about local farms. Today is opening day at Sharps greenhouses, for flower, herb and veggie gardeners who want a great selection of plants. Plugs, pots and flats.
I first discovered this farm about seven or so years ago when we were volunteering at Dayton Days. We went there to pick up 150 miniature pumpkins for children to decorate. Driving down the heavily rutted gravel road, we entered that magical rural atmosphere. No other homes to see, just the farmstead and the Sharps’ new home on the hill. I have been back many times since, to buy fall flowers and produce, to bird watch with the Howard County Bird Club, to hear Denise speak to the Legacy Leadership Institute, and now twice to buy my heirloom tomato plugs. The history of the Sharps and the farm is here.
Denise is amazing. I swear she is the queen of multi-tasking. She built up this huge wholesale business supplying plants to master gardeners, scout troops, nurseries, farm stores, and more. This is the place to go for starting your garden. With their high tunnels, greenhouses and cold frames, there are large amounts of seedlings for sale. She is open Tuesday through Saturday until June for plant purchases.
When I arrived today, the sheep were grazing in the rolling hillside above the farm buildings. As you can see above, there also was a visit from Montgomery County schools, first graders. They were coming through the greenhouses in small groups to see the plants, smell the basil and learn about growing vegetables. The road is not for low slung vehicles, or for anyone with a need for speed.
Once down the road, you can see the old farmstead on the facing hillside.
When I left, the school children were off on a tractor pulled wagon to see all the sites on the property. Sharps Farm is easily accessible off of Rte. 97, just north of the Montgomery County line. Take Jennings Chapel Road west for about a mile to the sign and the turn.
As you can see, I got a good start on my heirloom tomato growing. Plus a few hybrids. My new varieties this year are Box Car Willie and Paul Robeson.
And, I greatly expanded the supply of Amish paste. My workhorse from last summer. I went from four plants to a dozen. Making tomato sauce to can and freeze will be a priority this summer. Here are some of the tomatoes from the seedlings I bought last year. The Amish paste are on the left.
Take a trip out to the farm to look for your plants this season. Or, put it on your to-do list to visit on an open house day, or come back in the fall for the corn maze, pumpkins and other events.