Raise your green thumbs if COVID-19 made you a master gardener over the last five months!
At the very least, hopefully, it has helped reduce stress, fostered a sense of pride and accomplishment, provided an outlet for nurturing, and maybe even put a little food on the table—not bad characteristics for a hobby.
Since March more than half of Americans have taken their stress to the soil, according to a recent survey reported on in Garden Center Mag. Among them are a group of Wilmington plantiphiles: Maaike Brender a Brandis, Ale Casapia and Alyssa Tenace. When the end of May rolled around, and Black Lives Matter protests began after the brutal killing of George Floyd, the three ladies wanted to do something to help the cause.
“Some of us can’t be out on the street with the protesters because of our work or other personal reasons,” Brandis explains. “But we want to support however we can, and we can by raising money for good organizations.”
So they turned their love for plants into a fundraiser for organizations working toward racial equity. The first plant sale in June welcomed around 60 people and benefited the local bail fund for protesters, with over $600 raised. The second plant sale in July benefited the lowercase leaders and brought in over $2,000, with 150 to 200 people in attendance.
“We are all friends with a shared passion for plants,” Brandis continues. “During the early stage of quarantine, I personally was happy to stay busy by splitting and trading plants with friends, so it just morphed into what it is today.”
Their third plant sale will take place Saturday, August 15, from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., to benefit the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). While previous events were hosted at organizers’ homes, The Plant Outpost seemed like a perfect space to welcome so many plant enthusiasts and allow for better social-distance measures. “We just love the owner, Sarah, and what she’s doing!” Brandis adds.
The Plant Outpost is located in a shipping container in The Cargo District at Queen and 16th streets. “It is very up and coming and has so many other cool shops within,” Brandis says. The sale will be surrounded by businesses like Half United, Alcove Beer Garden, The Outpost Coffee Co., Mess Hall and Queen Street Barbershop, with End of Days Distillery right around the corner. Organizers will have hand sanitizer and bottled water on site, and they are asking everyone to wear a mask.
Though, the real pro tip is to arrive early. The last sale in July had folks lined up an hour beforehand, ready to clear out inventory. Plants are being donated by friends and neighbors of the organizers, as well as from Old River Farms and The Plant Outpost. There will be orchids, cacti, succulents, annuals, perennials, house plants, herbs, fruits and vegetables.
“Some hot ticket items will be Venus flytraps (donated by Beauty and Bloom), pothos and dendrobium orchids,” according to Brandis.
Cash is king, naturally, but there is a Venmo account to pay for items, too (please, note “plant sale” or “ACLU” when you check out). Folks who can’t make the plant sale are encouraged to make a donation directly to ACLU’s website. The nonprofit organization is currently working toward equality for all, specifically in areas of racial justice, immigration, LGBTQ rights, reproductive rights, voting rights, human rights, juvenile justice, religious liberty, women’s rights and more.
Plant Sale: A Fundraising Benefit for ACLU
August 15, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Facebook event page
The Plant Outpost, 1607 Queen Street, in The Cargo District