For GCHS greenhouse students, spring brings with it more than just flowers - it also brings tomatoes, cabbages, peppers, broccoli, cauliflower and lettuce.
The annual GCHS FFA Greenhouse Plant Sale began Monday, April 8 and will continue on until the last day of school on May 15.
Anyone interested in supporting this entirely student-run enterprise can stop by the high school’s greenhouse, located behind the school, adjacent to the football field, during regular school hours to peruse the plants and take a few home.
Students grow a variety of vegetable and flower plants and even offer hanging baskets of ferns and petunias. Costs are low, and all proceeds beyond the cost of running the greenhouse go to support the high school’s FFA chapter.
Four-packs of vegetable plants cost just a dollar. A four-inch pot of any variety of tomato plant is also only one dollar. Hanging baskets are seven dollars apiece.
Agriculture teacher Brian Newton said that the students start the plants as seeds and care for them all the way through the process of readying them for the sale. Students are also responsible for handling the sales aspect of the greenhouse, and learn a great deal in both roles.
Approximately 50 students help out in the greenhouse each year, Newton said, adding that “a lot of them like the hands-on aspect” of this learning environment.
Newton also said that students have varying degrees of experience with growing plants when they come into the class, with some familiar with the process from growing gardens at home, and some entirely new to horticulture.
Greenhouse student Kaleb Haycraft said of the experience, “I like getting my hands dirty. I like to see the progress of the plants.”
Also an FFA officer, Kaleb said he really likes that the plant sale benefits his club and allows them to do more than they otherwise would be able to do. Kaleb said that he has already taken plant sale flyers to his neighbors and felt like the sale’s first day went very well.
GCHS junior Dylan Burkhead said of working with the plants, “It’s something I enjoy doing.” Burkhead said that successfully transplanting the plants is not only the most difficult task he has mastered so far, but is also his favorite.
“It’s more hands-on,” said Kayla Terry, a first-year greenhouse student, “it’s better than sitting in class.”