Meet the Golden Spades, the bunch of committed gardeners who come to Homestead monthly to soak up a little Sumi wisdom. They meet at 10 a.m. on first Tuesdays, year-round, to hear talks about - oh, anything that Education Coordinator Gene Sumi wants to talk about, but it's always edifying. The only requirement to join is to have attained 50 years or more. (Eat your hearts out, GenX and Yers!)
This month's Golden Spade topic was poinsettias, and you know what that means? Field Trip!! Okay, it's only a mile down the road to Homestead Growers, but it's truly another world inside those 5 acres of high-tech greenhouses where 30,000 poinsettias are being grown for customers of all types.
So Gene, how do you choose a nice, fresh poinsettia, especially if you're nowhere near a decent nursery and have to buy from a big box store? (Good luck!) He says to pull back that aluminum foil and make sure you don't find yellow stems or dead foliage. You also want to see a good balance between foliage and bracts (the colorful part). And if you want your poinsettia to look fresh as long as possible, choose plants with buds that haven't opened yet or are only partly open.
So how long can poinsettias last for the customer? Months! Gene's seen them still blooming in April.
Poinsettia Tours Open to All (even Gen-X, Y)
You, too, can see the amazing poinsettias in action. Greenhouse tours will be leaving the garden center from 10 to 4 on November 21 and from noon to 4 on November 22. Free, of course.