By ROBERT S. MERRILL
Preston High School’s FFA Chapter is holding its annual Poinsettia sale from now until Christmas.
Ag instructor Josh Evans spearheaded the project a couple of years ago and said the Christmas “flowers” are available in 7 and 8.5-inch pots. He said ag students in his advanced greenhouse class acquired the starts right after school started this fall and have been tending to the plants ever since.
He said the price for the 7-inch containers with single blossoms are $7. The 8.5-inch pots with double blossoms will cost $12 Two varieties will be available including pink and red.
All monies raised from the sale of these plants will go directly back into the school’s greenhouse program and should help offset costs of running the student program next spring when a variety of annual and perennial plants will be grown from seed and cuttings for sale to the general public, he said.
The Preston FFA greenhouse is located on the south side of the Craner Ag Building, just east of Preston High School. The flowers can be picked up starting Nov. 19, Monday through Thursday, from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. with the exception of the long Thanksgiving holiday weekend.
Getting your hands dirty with garden soil is usually something that happens in the spring or early summer, not in the late fall. But several students in the class are doing just that.
Evans said students rooted the tender plants in two-inch pots in September. Several weeks later the 400 starts were transplanted into larger pots and students have been caring for the plants ever since.
“That entails watering, insect control and cutting off dead leaves and branches,” he said. “It has been fun for the students and rewarding to see the little cuttings grow into 12- and 14-inch plants and mature. The leaves started to color up the first of November and now are at their best.”
Besides growing the Poinsettias, students have been studying landscape planning and design and have to draw plans to scale. Other subjects the students have or will be studying include floral arrangement, plant identification and common insects.
“This January students will be getting their hands dirty again when they start planting early-season varieties. We’re exploring a few more perennial plants that we may add to our offerings,” he said.
“A greenhouse fits in well with the overall ag department. It’s allowed us to expand our curriculum. I’ve found young ladies really enjoy the class,” said Evans. “The biggest limiting factor we’ve got at this point is the size of the greenhouse.”
For more information, contact Evans at the high school by calling 852-0280.
This story is sponsored by Boyd Burbank Thank You and FCMC Holiday Boutique.
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