ELNORA — For nearly the last two decades students involved in agriculture and horticulture classes at North Daviess have been getting their hands dirty and getting some hands-on experience raising plants.

“We started last fall when people started bringing us their ferns,” said Jacie Graber, as she and several other students worked on arranging and removing faded blooms from the plants packed in the greenhouse. “We divided all of those and now we have several. Then, this semester, we started germinating some of the flowers and vegetables.”

Hanging baskets, including those ferns as well as wandering jew, bridal veil and colorful petunias, line the rafters of the greenhouse that was purchased piece by piece in the late 1990s with the help of Perkins loans and put together by a team of volunteers. Many of those hanging baskets were started with cuttings students took themselves.

“We did the wandering jews we did with leaf-stem propagation,” said Logan Petty, who said students also recently had the chance to teach the North Daviess Elementary students how to do cuttings during the third grade ag day celebration. “We also did the spider plants and the bridal veils from cuttings. Most of the other plants we did using plugs.”

Students also learned about seed germination and transplanting.

“We started all the vegetables and some of the flowers, like the dusty miller,” said Kyler Streepy, who said he and the other students were successful in growing tomato, pepper, squash and watermelon plants among others.

Trays of cut and seed geraniums, petunias, impatiens, coleus and more students have planted.

Ag teacher and FFA advisor Amy Remsburg said this year students have handled the greenhouse a little differently.

“It’s been a new level of learning,” said Remsburg, who said some things have been trial and error and some changes will be made before the next growing season. “We’ve been working on not only the germination and propagation but how to water and care for the plants. The kids will also be working on pricing and students will be working the plant sales next week.”

Students, Remsburg said, have been responsible for tending to the young plants and learning more about the care they require. That knowledge they will then use next Friday from 12:30 until 5 p.m. and Saturday 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. to help the public select plants that will best thrive in their area.

“Several students will be on hand Friday and Saturday to help answer questions about the plants,” said Remsburg who said in honor of Administrative Assistants Day earlier this week, her students provided the schools administrative assistants with blooming hanging baskets.

While students haven’t pinned down the exact prices for the plants they will be offering to the public, they estimate most items will range from around $2.50 up to $12 and cash as well as checks will be accepted for the purchases.

For more information on the annual North Daviess plant sale, call 812-636-8000 ext. 3128.

IF YOU GO...

North Daviess Plant Sale

May 3 — 12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.

May 4 — 8 a.m. to noon

Cash or check only.

All proceeds go to support the agriculture/horticulture classes and FFA program at North Daviess.

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