Getting Greenhouse Ready for Spring!

For the past few weeks, Ms. Kronen’s horticulture classes have started to get the greenhouse ready for the spring. Every year the school’s greenhouse sells plants that they’ve grown right here at the school!

In the horticulture class, the students have not only learned how to plant, but they have also been learning on how to take care of the crops. It takes  responsibility for the students to run the greenhouse. Every day they meet in the classroom and then walk out to the head house, the storage room for equipment and temperature control, to start planting.  In the greenhouse, students might be planting new seeds or cutting plants.  Cuttings are parts of a fully grown plant that are replanted to grow a new one.  After replanting or planting seeds, the students take them to get watered and then out to the greenhouse to start the growth process.

After planting, there is almost always a dirty mess, so the students sweep and clean up before they leave the room.   A soil bin also has to be refilled every once and awhile.  In order to refill it, they have to get a new soil bag and pour half into the bin and then with their hands they mix in the preferred amount of water.   Getting the right amount of water can be challenging.

The horticulture class has been asked to plant some vegetables for the school cafeteria.  This has never been done before, so we hope that everything goes well.

I am a first-year student in Ms. Kronen’s seventh period class, and I have learned so much.   It has been such a fun experience working with all of my classmates.  Ms. Kronen agreed to share more about her experience as Redbank Valley’s horticulture teacher.

Q: What inspired you to become a horticulture teacher?

A: I have always loved plants and animals. When I became a teacher I thought I was just going to be the agriculture teacher, but I became the horticulture teacher as well.

Q: How long have you been teaching horticulture at Redbank?

A: I have been teaching at Redbank for 25 years.

Q: How does the class benefit the students with their future careers?

A: The greenhouse is a hands-on opportunity for students to work and grow plants.  Students gain work and retail skills when growing and selling plants.

Q: What is your favorite task to do in the greenhouse with students?

A: My favorite task to do in the greenhouse is watering, transplanting, and seeding. I like to see the students learn and grow plants.

Q: How many plants do you plant in the greenhouse each year?

A: We plant over 50 crops each year; there are thousands of plants.

Q: Approximately how much profit does the greenhouse make each year?

A: The greenhouse is able to help itself, so it pays for all the supplies we use. It helps to pay for Mrs. Sayers’ salary and some of it also goes into the general school fund.

Q: Tell me about the produce you are growing in the greenhouse and hoping to serve in the cafeteria?

A: For the cafeteria we are growing cucumbers, brussel sprouts, and radishes. We are getting ready to plant the brussel sprouts outside with peas as well. We are growing these crops because they grow in cooler temperatures.

Q: Is there anything you would like to add about the class?

A: I like to see and teach students new things, and the students’ interactions. This class is a great way to show pride when showing and selling the plants we grew in the greenhouse.

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