Aurora Plant Sale Marks 20 Years this Month

farmers market

Before you pull into a big box store and load up your vehicle with gallon-sized containers of leafy green things, consider stopping at the Aurora Transportation Center this Saturday.

The train station hosts the Fox Valley Garden Club’s annual Aurora Gardeners’ Plant Sale this year for the first time in over a decade. The sale originated at the Aurora Transportation Center 20 years ago and was held at Blackberry Farm for several years.

“It’s been really nice exposure,” said Sue Stanley-Castrejon, Aurora resident and treasurer of Fox Valley Garden Club, of moving the sale to the Transportation Center in 2013.

Stanley-Castrejon’s husband, Fernando Castrejon, is the club’s co-president. The couple joined the Fox Valley Garden Club in 2005 after they moved to the city’s West Side from the Far East Side of Aurora.

Fox Valley Garden Club is known for its annual plant sale of annuals, perennials, bedding plants, trees, and more, but the club is really about giving back to the community, Stanley-Castrejon said.

“The whole club is (about) “what can we do to make the community a better place?” How can we make the city a better place?” she said.

The sale helps the club raise money for community garden projects in the Aurora area, like the healing garden at Provena Mercy and the landscaping at the Aurora Historical Society’s Tanner House.

The garden club, which meets at 7 p.m. on the second Monday of the month at the Vaughn Athletic Center, 2121 West Indian Tr. in Aurora, also hosts garden walks for members. They have a plant sharing day for members in the fall.

The move back to the Aurora Transportation Center came at the right time for the club, Stanley-Castrejon said.

“We were looking to grow as a club and open (the sale) up to more vendors,” she said. “(The transportation center) is a really good fit,” she added.

Stanley-Castrejon said that this year’s sale brings a great variety to home gardeners. Many members bring in their own plants to sell, but the club also orders from wholesalers to supplement the selection.

“People come for the variety we bring. You don’t get that variety at big box stores for the price. We keep the prices really low and reasonable. It makes people come back year after year,” she said.

The Fox Valley Garden Club’s plant sale is from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday, May 16 at the Aurora Transportation Center, 233 N. Broadway.

The city of Aurora is offering a sneak peek of the 2015 Aurora’s Farmers Market during the sale so patrons will have the first chance at all the early spring produce fresh from the farm including asparagus, rhubarb, lettuces, and more.

This year, the city is giving out 1,000 free tomato plants to children who attend the market.