From learning about all of the plants to putting seeds and plugs in soil to watching them germinate, students in the Crothersville High School horticulture class have learned a lot.
They have learned some things grow out as expected and some don’t. The latter is when perseverance comes into play.
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The students also have enhanced their teamwork and communication skills and shown responsibility in helping the greenhouse bloom.
On Saturday, they will open up the greenhouse to the community for the annual sale of flowers, hanging baskets and vegetable plants.
That runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the same day as the community yard sales. The first 50 paying customers will receive a free nine-plant garden pack.
Proceeds from the greenhouse sale will benefit the next horticulture class, while porkburger sales will benefit the school’s FFA chapter.
The greenhouse will then be open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays until everything runs out.
Linda Myers, who teaches the horticulture class and is the FFA adviser, said the students looked through plant books in January to pick out what they wanted to sell. Then they ordered vegetable seeds and flower plugs and put them in soil in flats and have maintained them ever since.
“All of our vegetables are seeds, and that’s not a guarantee,” Myers said. “If it says 95% germination on a seed packet, first of all, I tell them, ‘I expect 95% of those seeds to germinate,’ and they have to put their name on that flat.”
It’s up to each student to take care of the plants so they grow properly.
“There are a lot of variables, and a lot of that happens while they are gone on (spring) break, so you’ve got to have the right amount of sun, you’ve got to have the right amount of soil, you’ve got to put that seed in the soil just deep enough,” Myers said.
One vegetable that didn’t go well for the students this year was bell peppers. Myers said those need hot weather and sun to germinate, so on Saturday, if people ask about bell peppers, the students will have to explain why those aren’t available.
On the other hand, the class will have several varieties of tomatoes, other vegetables and flowers to sell to the public.
Over the years, Myers said people have gone from wanting a lot of vegetables to plant in a garden to just asking for one plant to grow in a flowerpot.
“We’ve kind of transitioned with society that ‘We don’t want to garden anymore, but I do want fresh tomatoes. I’m not going to can stuff, but I do want a slicing tomato in the summertime,’” she said. “They have a lot of varieties (in the greenhouse). What we don’t have is the quantity because we’re limited to three benches out there to put tomatoes on.”
Sophomores Kate Frazier and Olivia Robinson are first-year horticulture students. Both have learned a lot about the variety of vegetables and flowers that are out there.
“You just don’t realize how many types of different plants and everything that there can be until you go into that process,” Frazier said.
“It’s pretty cool to see all of the different things,” Robinson said. “Like some plants, they need more sunlight than others, and every plant has different specifics to it.”
In managing the greenhouse, sophomore Jerrica Barron said each student has to know their responsibility. If a flat didn’t do well, they could look at the name on the label and ask that person what went wrong and see if there is a way to correct it.
“It’s so cool because everyone who takes part in it, you’ll have the foreman, people who water, the people who were making the plants from Day 1 and me and Victoria (Kinser) are doing the signs for them so you know the plant name and a little bit about it and a picture, which takes up a lot of time when there’s (a lot of) plants out there,” she said. “It’s just really cool that we all came together.”
Frazier, Robinson and fellow sophomore Quinten Keasler also have liked the teamwork in making the greenhouse bloom.
“It was nothing. It was a bunch of flats with soil in it. They hadn’t really come up (before spring break), and then we came back, everything was germinated, and it’s really cool to know that we made that,” Robinson said.
“It was completely astonishing,” Frazier said, smiling.
“Just watching what it came from to now, it’s a lot of responsibility,” Keasler said. “It’s a lot of work.”
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The Crothersville High School horticulture class will kick off its plant and flower sale from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the greenhouse at the school, 109 N. Preston St., Crothersville.
Flowers, hanging baskets and vegetable plants will be available for purchase.
The first 50 paying customers will receive a free nine-pack garden pack.
After Saturday, the greenhouse will be open during regular school hours from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays.
Proceeds will go toward next year’s greenhouse supplies.
Also that day, Crothersville FFA will be selling porkburgers.
Information: Call 812-793-2051 or visit facebook.com/cvillegreenhouse