Katie Bennett feels a thrill inside when one of her plants start to sprout.
“I did it,” says Bennett, as she sees her work flourishing.
Bennett is one of five Fresno State students who seeded plants, planted and transplanted vegetables and plants at the beginning of the spring semester and are now getting everything ready for the Gibson Farm Market’s 2019 Spring Veggie Sale on March 9 from 8 a.m. to noon.
To make new plants, students breed specimens of various plant species in the ornamental horticulture unit. Bennett, a student assistant for Agricultural Operations (Ag Ops), takes the plants to the head house to seed them and then places them in different greenhouses to grow.
“They are born and raised by Fresno State students,” Bennett said.
Students share the responsibility of making sure that all plants grow properly, no animals interfere with the crops and weeds are removed. During the summer, Bennett works from 7 a.m. until noon, taking produce to the markets and harvesting flowers.
Fresno State students have grown 34 varieties of tomatoes, 15 varieties of peppers, 10 varieties of squash, seven different types of beans, four types of cucumbers, 12 types of herbs, two types of okra and six types of eggplants that will be sold at this year’s Veggie Sale.
There will be “high-quality plants that will perform very well in your garden with very little expertise” for those who are new to gardening, said Jeremy Lewis, the current manager at the Gibson Farm Market.
Customers can also enjoy new variations of wine from Thomas Montgomery, a Fresno State alum and new winemaker. The bottling process starts in March and will end in June.
Students can receive a 10 percent discount on wine purchases.