With winding pathways leading down trails of beautiful landscaping, trees and flowers as far as the eye can see and smells that can’t be beat, Pullen Farm is Murray’s hidden treasure. It’s out of sight, but worth the short trip to get there.
Every year Murray State’s own Pullen Farm hosts its annual plant sale, offering everything from geraniums, petunias and becopas, to tomatoes, trees of all variety and kitchen pots. Kitchen pots are a mixture of a variety of herbs commonly used in kitchen recipes, like basil, cilantro and oregano. Every year the students of Murray State make everything possible.
As a horticulture major, Derrick Farlee, senior from Paducah, Ky., does a little bit of everything at Pullen Farm.
“I help raise everything we have here, everything from the petunias to the trees,” Farlee said. “Now I just got a job in the Arboretum here, so that’s something else I get to do.”
Farlee isn’t the only student working at the farm though, as Heather Blankenship, greenhouse manager and horticulture professor, made sure to tell.
“Here at Pullen Farm it is all student done; they really do deserve all the credit,” Blankenship said.
Whether students are working for straight pay, work study, class requirements or just volunteering, the work gets done by students like Farlee and Nyra Whitley, sophomore from Fedalia, Ky., who works there under class requirements for her greenhouse management course.
“I love working here, then again I’ve always just loved working hands-on, especially outside,” Whitley said. “It’s just such a beautiful place that you fall in love with the first time you’re here.”
As for the working conditions, both Farlee and Whitley couldn’t complain.
“I work every day for about four to six hours,” Farlee said. “The only thing I can really complain about is the heat in the summer, but everyone hates that. Plus, I’ve loved plants since my freshman year of high school when I got into FFA. So this is the perfect place for me to work.”
Whitley did admit it could be a challenging thing to work at the farms, but only if you don’t know how.
“It’s not that hard to work here, it’s actually really fun as long as you know what you’re doing,” Whitley said. “But if you don’t know what you’re doing, then it’s going to be the hardest thing you’ve ever done.”
As much love as the students and volunteers have for it, Pullen Farm is a non-funded part of Murray State, and it relies on the annual sale to keep it up and running.
“Every bit of profit we make goes toward everything we will sell next year,” Blankenship said, “We just really hope the community will continue to support us.”
The annual Pullen Farm plant sale will take place from 8 a.m. to noon on April 28 at the farm located on the corner of Highway 94 West and Doran Road.
“People can trust me, I’ve been to Lowe’s, and I’ve compared,” Blankenship said. “What we have beats out anything they have. Price and quality wise.”
The arboretum at Pullen Farm is open year round. Students and volunteers alike spend countless hours making it a beautiful and enjoyable walk or bike ride. Pullen Farm also has free community gardens for anyone wanting to grow but nowhere to do so.