Full Service Westside
As spring comes into its own and the danger for frost lessens, gardeners around Muscatine have begun thinking in earnest about what they want to plant and where to get it. The students of Muscatine High School’s (MHS’s) horticulture classes encourage you to look no farther than their greenhouse. With their annual FFA Plant Sale just around the corner, these students know they can help you find the perfect plants and so much more.
According to Hannah Spies, a senior at MHS, “the plant sale is a great way for people to improve their landscaping and gardens. . .. It’s a bit different from a regular store because all the plants are grown by FFA and help students learn about horticulture and floriculture.”
Each year, FFA members and MHS students taking horticulture one and two grow all the plants for the FFA Plant Sale. “It’s all student run and all student work,” Spies emphasized. Mr. Tometich and Mr. Day oversee it, but students orchestrate everything.” Students start the plants from seed inside the high school and then move them out to the greenhouse in large trays. Once plants get large enough to sell, students bring them back inside to repot them in four packs and to label them, an important step considering the greenhouse contains more than fifty varieties of plants. After getting placed in their final packaging, students return plants to the greenhouse where they display them for customers to view at the sale.
For horticulture students, getting to prepare for and run the sale each year provides a highlight of the spring. For those involved, the real-world experiences it provides prove invaluable, and very enjoyable too. Spies shared, “like a lot of students here, I learn better hands on. Getting to transplant the plants and orchestrate everything helps me learn a lot more than sitting in a classroom.” Fellow senior Makenzi Day also values the authentic experiences it provides and looks forward to using them in her future career. “I think what I enjoy most about it is learning about the different plants. I’m going to college for biology, so this is getting me introduced to the field.”
On select days in April and May, FFA and horticulture students will open the greenhouse to the public. Shoppers may buy any of the plants students grew at extremely reasonable prices. Spies encourages anyone interested in finding plants for their lawns or gardens to come check out everything they have to offer. “The FFA plant sale is an opportunity not only to help us learn but to help us raise money for our organization and activities.” With such great offerings and proceeds going to a great cause, no gardener around Muscatine will want to miss out on this annual tradition.
Full Service Westside