May Field Trip to Homestead Gardens

Forty-three members of Crofton Village Garden Club enjoyed a May field trip to the Homestead Gardens high-tech growing facility that is operated by Tidal Creek Growers.  The 100 acre site on Governor’s Bridge Road in Davidsonville, Maryland, contains outdoor growing areas and several large greenhouses where plants are nurtured from seedling to market-ready.

We learned from Horticulturist Gene Sumi that plants begin their journey to the shelves of Homestead Gardens and other retail stores as seedlings, plucked by machine from 72-plant flats and meticulously placed into pots. They spend the next few weeks and months in Dutch-designed greenhouses where computers control temperature, moisture, and light for thousands of plants with varying requirements.  The plants are labeled, monitored, fertilized and tended by a large staff of humans, as well.

Club members found it interesting to learn that young plants are stored near ground level, and watered from the ground.  When the water is drained after watering, it is recycled through a 17,000 gallon storage tank and filtered for continual re-use.  We were fascinated to imagine the roofs and sides of the greenhouses opening when weather and plant maturity are “right.”  This tour certainly gave garden club members a new appreciation for the beautiful plants we saw and purchased when we returned to Homestead’s retail facility after the tour.

Sincere thanks to Tidal Creek Growers, Homestead Gardens and Gene Sumi!

By Jane McClanahan
Photo by Camille DeVito

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If you’d like information about joining Crofton Village Garden Club,
contact Membership Chair Patricia Stevenson (301-580-6161)

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