Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Report from the 2011 Urban Harvest Fruit Tree Sale

The Urban Harvest fruit tree sale has become a bit of a tradition for my Dad and I. Last year’s freezing cold Urban Harvest sale was the only one we’ve missed in the past 4 or 5 years, and that was by design. It was way too cold to stand in line for an hour to buy fruit trees.
Instead, we waited about a month and went to the master gardeners sale in Pasadena. That was a great sale too, there we were able to buy some awesome tomato and pepper plants as well as fruit trees. But, this year we are back to the tradition. We showed up at the UH football stadium at 7:30am for the sale that started at 9am. The early birds at the front of the line got there at 7am.

This was the first year the sale was at University of Houston, and it was a great venue. Urban Harvest published a map of the sale on the website, which allowed us to combine our shopping lists and map out our route ahead of time. For Dad, an Acres Home pear to go with his Tennousi, a Red Baron Peach, and Emerald and Windsor blueberries. My list was long this year, Ice Cream Banana, Brightwell, Tifblue, Gulf Coast, and Jewel blueberries, Meiwa Seedless Kumquat, N33 Navel Orange, and a 3-1 plum. Here was our plan of attack (click any of the images to enlarge):
I waffled back and forth about buying a jujube, but finally decided against it. I read about it sending suckers out, sometimes 30’ away from the tree. They say to plant it somewhere you can mow around, but I don’t have anywhere in my yard that still has that much grass. Please leave a comment here if you have any jujube advice for me, I think it would be fun to grow.
The line continued to get longer as we eagerly awaited the opening of the sale.IMG_1961
A few other pre-sale pictures:
Tree Questions Answered Here
Picture of Dr. Bob Randall taking a picture of the crowd
Once the gate opened, we executed our plan perfectly, we were in the line to pay and out the door by 9:30. We headed to our cars to load up our purchases when I noticed that some people had not yet been allowed in the gate! I couldn’t believe it, there were about 30 people still waiting to get in.
Here are some pictures I took of the sale after our cars were loaded and the line to get in the gate was non-existent.
Awesome volunteers wore the yellow flags
the check-out line
Oh yeah, we've got trees!
My Dad and I are both in training for the Houston Half-Marathon in a few weeks and Saturday mornings are usually our long runs. So, we left our cars in the UH parking lot and went for an 8 mile run. I think it was around 11:30 when we returned, out of curiosity we walked over to the sale to see how many trees were left. My bet is that this is the first year that there was still a good selection of trees that late in the morning. This new venue provided more room for trees and people and was, I’m sure, the biggest sale ever.
If you missed this sale, check my event calendar for more fruit tree sales in the upcoming month.
Other Fruit Tree Related Posts:

1 comment:

  1. That sale looks so cool! Wish I could go to some here.

    Thanks a lot for the comment on my blog