From start to finish, the process behind the annual University of Nebraska at Kearney plant sale is a labor of love for biology professor Paul Twigg.
Twigg, with assistance from numerous biology department students, began the tradition in 2004 to benefit various student projects.
Although the coronavirus pandemic limited student involvement this year, Twigg and Katie Arndt of Grand Island, a biology major with a health sciences emphasis, made sure the sale proceeded as planned. They spent dozens of hours in the UNK greenhouse, nurturing the plants until they reached their current splendor. Twigg’s wife Janet Steele, also a biology professor at UNK, lent a hand along the way.
The group grew about 30 different plant varieties, including colorful flowers, aromatic herbs and delicious tomatoes and peppers.
To promote social distancing, the traditional walk-up plant sale was modified so customers could order items electronically and pick them up at a designated time.
Proceeds from this year’s sale will support UNK’s Big Blue Cupboard, which provides food and hygiene items for students and employees at no cost.