Baldwin High School senior Paul Chapple was never really interested in gardening. He was never introduced to the concept.
Since he started attending the plant, science and horticulture class offered in the Baldwin College & Career Academy this semester, he finds enjoyment in watching his work blossom.
“We’re spending time that’s useful. I like managing the plants and the time that goes into growing plants,” he said while tending to his plants in the school greenhouse Thursday. “We learn how to grow stuff, which helps because we don’t have to go to the grocery store to get those items.”
The general horticulture and plant science class and student members of the Future Farmers of America (FFA) chapter are hosting their first spring greenhouse plant sale to help raise funds to purchase supplies for both programs.
The plant sale kicks off at noon Saturday in Baldwin High School’s greenhouse, featuring more than 2,000 herbs, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, perennials, annuals and a variety of other flowers and ornamentals all grown by the students. All items can only be purchased with cash or check. Prices of items range from $1 pots and $2 perennials to $8 hanging baskets.
“The plant sale plays a vital part in both the agriculture education program and the FFA chapter. We’re hoping to raise at least $1,000,” said Katherine Throne, agriculture education instructor and FFA advisor. “All of the money raised will help with supplies needed for classroom instruction and lab activities, field trips and supplies for FFA activities like the National FFA Week and the annual chapter banquet.”
Throne hopes to begin offering scholarships to students from low-income families so they can attend various educational events.
“I want to encourage students to go to college. The rate of students going to college has dropped, and from my experience, [college] has really benefited me as a person,” she said. “Some of these kids have never gardened in their life before. I’m really hoping to get the word out in the community so we can receive support for the program.”
Freshman Brittany McCain, secretary of the FFA chapter, said the class has opened her eyes to a world of opportunities and helped get college-ready.
“We put seeds in pots ... and when they were ready to bloom we transplanted them into a bigger pot. We watched over them, watered them and cleaned them for the past nine weeks,” she said.
She aims to enroll at the University of Georgia to start a career as a veterinarian or physical therapist.
“This class has been beneficial by teaching me about plants and what I need to know to grow different plants. It also taught me what I need to know to get ready for college.”
The plant sale will remain open on weekends from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on April 19, April 26, May 10 and May 17. The sale will also be open from 3:15 to 5 p.m. on the following days:
• March 24-28
• April 7-9
• April 14-18
• April 21-25
• April 28-30
• May 5-9
• May 12-14
• May 19 and 20
For more information about the plant sale, or to donate funds or supplies, call Throne at 478-453-6429 ext. 364, or email email@example.com.
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