The Chieftans Museum 26th annual plant sale.
I was honored this week to be asked to participate in the Chieftans plant sale. I have attended the sale a number of times in the past, but it was quite an experience to participate from the “inside.” I took my trusty little camera and was issued a nice yellow apron which would identify me as a volunteer.
The Chieftans Museum/Major Ridge Home is located in Beautiful Rome, Georgia and is “Dedicated to become a nationally recognized destination to experience 19th century Cherokee life and the events leading to the ‘clash of cultures’ that culminated in the Trail of Tears.” I’ll tell you about the plant sale. You may find more about the museum HERE.
The ladies who put this sale together comb the area to find herb plants, perennials, ferns, flowering plants, and many hard to find an unusual specimens. They began the sale years ago in the yard of the museum, but it grew and grew until they had to move the sale to the cattle barn at the local fair grounds. The ladies did an amazing job of putting this year’s collection together—there were thousands of plants, all labeled, priced, and identified with picture signs.
I got to the fairgrounds around 8 a.m. and found a lot of activity going on all around. There were three sales tables being organized and stacks of “beer flats” at the entrance. Visitors started showing up and the place soon filled up with browsers and plant buyers by the hundreds.
A holding area was set up in some of the stalls at the rear of the cattle barn and one of my jobs was to find people with full boxes of plants if I could “take this to holding, and, by the way, here’s another box.” The holding area soon began to look like a garden in and of itself.
Marion is a dynamo. I couldn’t believe her energy and her horticultural knowledge as she took on the role of resident expert. It seemed that if no one else knew an answer to a question, they were told, “Just find Marion, she’ll know.”
I enjoyed looking at one of the largest displays of herb plants that I had ever seen. I looked and saw replacements under the tables. Volunteers went around and pulled replacements out from under the table and replaced the ones that had been sold. I enjoyed rubbing the curry plant and smelling my fingers. Mmmmm. I like curry. I got hungry. They had fresh donuts at the head table. I like donuts, too.
Lots of lovely ladies had a good time finding what they were looking for and learning about new plants.
I was delighted at the amount of fun everyone was having, especially the volunteers who were rather knowledgeable and extremely nice and helpful.
I may have gotten the figure wrong, but I think I was told that last year the plant sale generated a $27,000 profit to donate to the museum. I thought that this was an amazingly successful fund raiser.
If you would like to read more about the history of the Chieftans museum, go to their website HERE.
I also thought that you might like a nice picture of my town–Rome, Georgia. This is taken from the top of Myrtle Hill in the cemetary. Rome was built around seven hills–sound familiar?
These articles are brought to you by John P. Schulz, author of the novel, Requiem for a Redneck . You can read more of the adventures of John the Plant man here:
Or the print version:
Try “see inside the book”