The new greenhouse was finished around the end of last September, and this is the first spring sale of plants grown in it. The money raised through the greenhouse sale funds its operations for the next year of students.

Flowers, grasses and succulents lined the tables of the BTEC greenhouse, with hanging pots hovering above them, and excited shoppers browsing between them when the annual BTEC Ag Ed Department spring greenhouse sale opened on Thursday afternoon.

The five students in Theis’s Greenhouse Operations and Management Class cared for the greenhouse throughout the year, growing poinsettias for the winter greenhouse sale, and working on the current crop since the beginning of the spring semester. Along with decorative plants, vines of sweet potatoes, tomatoes and peppers lined a table along the outer wall of the greenhouse.

The greenhouse students planted, watered, trimmed dead flowers, cleaned out leaves, moved and organized plants, created mixed containers, calculated input costs and set prices for their plants. Students from the Landscape and Turf Grass and some additional agriculture students helped staff the sale, Thies said.

“Pretty much anything that relates to the production and sale of the items, they were responsible for doing.”

The greenhouse students learned practical skills that they could put to work if they want to.

“If they wanted to go work in a production greenhouse, they would have the ability to do that,” Thies said.

The new greenhouse was finished around the end of last September, and this is the first spring sale of plants grown in it. The money raised through the greenhouse sale funds its operations for the next year of students.

The new greenhouse contains a headhouse used for customer checkouts and is also six feet wider than the old one, which gives people more room to shop. That came in handy when the sale opened on Thursday, and about a dozen people meandered through the greenhouse at a time, hoping to find their pick of the lot.

bcrowley@gatehousemedia.com