Botany Class at Downey Holds Tomato and Pepper Sale

DOWNEY - Downey High School's Botany class, in collaboration with teacher Greg Pittenger, is growing a large variety of tomatoes and peppers to be sold on Sat., April 3, from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the swap meet at the school, and on Mon., April 5, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the school's south parking lot.Students will be offering a wide range of fresh tomatoes and peppers in pots that aspiring avid gardeners can plant and grow in their homes and patios. According to Pittenger, the feel and taste you will get from these vegetables is incomparable to that of any of the store-bought variety. "The quality of tomatoes in the store is quite low," he said. "They're not developed for the best flavor but to survive harvesting and shipping. Because the tomatoes sold in the grocery store are harvested while green, they're not very sweet." This sale is inspired by similar successful tomato and pepper sales held by the arboretum at Cal State Fullerton and at the Los Angeles County arboretum in Arcadia. All proceeds will help Downey's Botany program in buying new supplies and materials, and hopefully, help purchase a greenhouse for the school. On both sales days, an assortment of 25 different types of tomatoes and a dozen types of peppers ready-to-plant will be available to the general public for $2.50 each or five for $10. "We will be selling many types of tomatoes and peppers since there are hundreds and hundreds of varieties," Pittenger said. "We'll have all sorts of tomatoes. There will be white ones, striped ones, green ones, and even monster-sized ones. And the peppers we have go from being very, very mild to habanero hot." Pittenger will be available both days offering free advice and suggestions to anyone interested in gardening with questions on the fertilization of the plants and disease control. He assures that there is a tomato and pepper for everyone and that if people have any questions concerning which one is right for them, they can feel free to ask questions.

********** Published: March 5, 2010 - Volume 8 - Issue 46