A scaly and scowling character named Artemis sits at the storefront window, making eye contact with everyone who passes by the window of a recently opened store in Mokelumne Hill.
Appleseed Farm and Garden opened on Dec. 27 in Mokelumne Hill to make needed items more readily available to the local community.
Artemis, a Mexican green iguana, guards shelves of fertilizer, pots, soil and other gardening supplies. Occasionally, he nods his head at passersby; even with his rough personality, the reptile is an instant hit.
Summer Ebersole, the store manager, recounts how a Calaveras County Sheriff’s deputy came into the store shortly after the store opened. Ebersole was initially alarmed that something foul may have happened, until the officer walked right up to Artemis’ cage and greeted him. The officer let Ebersole know that Artemis has already shot multiple selfies with patrolling deputies who happened to pass by and had stopped to take a peek at him.
Along with the store in Mokelumne Hill, owner Scott Martin has another farm and garden supply store in Placerville, called Appleseed Horticulture. Martin and Ebersole opened Appleseed Farm and Garden store in Mokelume Hill, where they both live, and will be carrying a multitude of additional items in conjunction with the farm and gardening supplies that are already in stock.
“Our family is excited to be part of the Moke Hill community.” Ebersole said.
Ebersole will be asking the community what members would like her to carry. Some have requested a coffee station. Others have requested pet food. One even asked for burlap to cover plants during frosty nights. Luckily, she already had the burlap in stock.
“Doggonit, I do have burlap,” she told the excited customer.
The immediate plans for the store include carrying pet food, farm supplies, alfalfa, hay, hardware, irrigation and plumbing supplies. In the near future, Ebersole will be hosting gardening classes at the store, utilizing the space of the extensive warehouse in the back. She also has a supplier in San Diego who will be shipping banana and avocado trees.
Ebersole hopes to be a staple for the community and people coming through the intersection of Highways 49 and 26. In the summer, she hopes to carry pool and river supplies. She will also be participating in community events to gauge interest in her services. There is a bee group that meets once a month in town. Along with the rest of the eclectic and extensive inventory, she also already has beekeeper kits in stock.
The store hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday - Friday, and 9 a.m.-3 p.m. on Saturdays. The store is closed on Sundays.
One of Ebersole’s new customers, a 12-year-old girl, came in to look for supplies for taxidermy. Luckily, Ebersole was able to help the girl with her unique requests with items that she already had in stock.