Purchase photos

Plant sale proves popular

4/25/2013

By DIANE GASPER-O'BRIEN

dobrien@dailynews.net

It's been nearly 20 years, but Tatum Sprague Kimzey remembers it well.

Knowing she would be involved in FFA in high school, Kimzey, then an eighth-grader, was excited when she saw a new greenhouse being built on the southeast end of Hays High School in the mid-1990s.

Funny thing is, she never spent much time there once she reached high school.

"I didn't have a big interest in plants then," she said. "So I never took horticulture. I think it's the only ag class I never took in high school. ... Wish I would have, though."

Now married and a mother of two, Kimzey said she plants a big garden each year. So she makes sure to make a trip to the annual FFA plant sale at HHS.

"I try to come back and support them, and she loves it here," Kimzey said in reference to her 4-year-old daughter, Keeli.

Keeli was busy picking flowers on the second day of the 2013 sale Wednesday.

"They will probably be pink, can you tell?" Kimzey said while glancing toward her oldest daughter, decked out in pink jacket, pink skirt and pink shoes.

The Kimzey children -- including 1-year-old Karci -- were two youngsters who accompanied parents or grandparents to the sale.

Third-grader Carter Schmidt was tagging along with his grandmother, Sue Schmidt, who was having trouble finding tomato plants at first. That's because most of them had been bought by then, and those remaining all were on just one table.

"I hadn't realized they did this, but I heard about it last year and came out," Sue Schmidt said.

FFA adviser Curt Vajnar said this year's horticulture class had planted approximately 12,000 plants, including a selection of vegetables, flowers and hanging plants -- indoor and outdoor varieties.

The annual sale helps fund FFA activities throughout the year at Hays High. Any leftover plants after the three-day sale are used for a community service project.

"We take some to elementary schools and nursing homes," Vajnar said.

The sale, which has grown in popularity through the years, started Tuesday. In spite of snow in April, approximately 50 people came out to get first choice. Wednesday's sunny conditions brought even more people. The last day of the sale is Friday, from 3:30 to 6 p.m. at the school.