Letter to the Editor: 15th Annual Summerseat Plant Sale

            Although the day dawned gray and rainy, our 15th Annual Plant Sale at Summerseat Farm, was a sunny day in the hearts of both customers and volunteers.   After weeks and months of preparations by our volunteers for the big day, our loyal customers “poured” in bright and early on Saturday, May 13th and purchased loads of plants; enjoyed meals at the Courtyard Café; took in the sights and sounds; and seemed to enjoy themselves despite the weather.  This letter, once again, expresses my deep, heartfelt and sincere thank you to our beloved and loyal customers; our volunteers; and friends and relatives who came together to pull off yet another successful plant sale.

            First, a huge thank you goes to our generous Plant Sale Sponsors:  Chesapeake Pet Resort (Susan Ditch); Cliff’s Heating & Air (Cliff Stathers); Downs Plumbing & Septic, Inc. (Chuck Downs); Tidewater Veterinary Hospital (Dr. Chris Runde); Maryland International Raceway at Budd’s Creek; and Printing Press (Kerry & Jill Klear).   These sponsors help greatly toward our success, and we are so grateful for their loyalty and assistance. 

            Thank you, Louise Moyer, for designing our flyer and to our advertisers:  SoMD Newsnet; The BayNet.com; Southern Maryland Woman’s Magazine; The Enterprise; The Calvert Recorder; The Maryland Independent; Mrs Audrey Ridgell; County Times; SMECO; Regina Luffey (Website) and Dawn Fowler (FB); and other websites and businesses who posted our event. 

            Thanks to all volunteers and friends who donated plants, dug, potted, cleaned and prepped plants; cut grass and did landscape duties; set up and tear down of displays, canopies, tables; cashiers and assistants; plant haulers to cars; kitchen cooks, servers, helpers for the Courtyard Café and those who donated kitchen supplies.  They led house tours as needed; sold wine basket raffle tickets and Summerseat Wine Glasses; worked the Kids Korner; Bling for Spring table.  Several tended our display tables and helped customers. We had an attendance counter; manned our volunteer and membership table; and our University of Maryland Horticultural representatives were extremely helpful to our customers with their plant questions and problems.  Raised bed information was available.  Thanks to our roving photographers; our barn animal tour guides; and to those who donated use of their transport equipment.  A special thanks to Dave Ryan who spent many hours prior to the sale repairing our wagons and wheelbarrows which are used by our customers to shop.  Other volunteers and friends were:  Christina Allen; Nate Baker, Devon Bean; Ray Bowles; Makayla Burkman; Jean Campbell; Barbara & Mike Darbie; John & Maggie Daye; Raymond Dixon; Tonya Freed; Rich & Grace Fuller; Dan Greenwell; Alicia Guenther; Billy Guy; Brittany Hall; Joe Hall; Stacey Haynes; Christina Henry; Savannah Hodges; Tim Hudson; Donna James & her dad, Pop Eckstein; Lora Jarboe; Jeanette Kaufmann; Deb & Gary Lewis; Dudley Lindsley; Barbara & John Loftus; Carly Lundin; Joe Norris (musician);  Anne Marum; Thao Nguyen; Bozena Pait; Mary Beth Raley; Dave Ryan; Elise & Cady Ryce; Ryan Scott; Paula & Phil Shire; Mary Margaret & Steve Smith; Louise Snell; Bobby Spalding; Jeppa Thornburg;  Mikalyn Underwood; Becky & son, Brandon Wehler; Sylvia & Johnny Welch; Buffy Wilcox; Carrie Wildes, Dick & Sandy Wildes; Lyn Williamson.  I always worry that I may forget someone in the list.  If I did, your help was noticed and is genuinely appreciated. 

I would be remiss if I didn’t say a huge thank you to my friends and mentors, Walter and Betty Russell of Russell Farms who have been a tremendous help and support system for me over the course of many year.  They have provided the most wonderful plants, solid and dependable advice and suggestions, plus unwavering support in my endeavors each year for this annual plant sale.  Thank you both for being friends and supporters of Summerseat all these years.

            Summerseat Farm is a 501(c)3 designated nonprofit organization, and we work hard for the success of our events to keep us financially viable to keep up with routine expenses, maintenance, and educational programs at the farm.  With no paid staff or government support, we are totally dependent on our volunteers, events and customers.  So, you see the importance of the work and help with our plant sale each year; and we are truly grateful for our sponsors, volunteers, and wonderful customers who come back year after year and those who come and can’t wait to return.  I truly appreciate your loyalty after all these years, especially this particularly rainy sale day this year.  On behalf of myself and the Summerseat Board of Directors, we humbly thank you.


Sandy Wildes

Chairman, 15th Annual Plant Sale

Summerseat Farm, Inc.