Horticulture II students host second plant sale

Julianna Poe, Trending Editor

Looking to supply the community with an additional wave of starter plants, the Manhattan High Horticulture II class is selling a wide array of vegetable and fruit starts this week.

“If you [take horticulture classes], you’re not really going to be … clean,” senior Corbijn Lamb said. “You’re going to get your hands dirty and have fun and grow some plants, which is … why I really like [the] class.”

In the fall, students in Horticulture I learn about soil science, hydroponics, plant anatomy and physiology, taxonomy, environmental factors and plant nutrition. Horticulture II students then apply this knowledge by growing plants and selling them as part of a class project.

“We put a very good amount of effort in,” Lamb said. “We come [into the greenhouse] every other day due to COVID restrictions and … we [work] for at least over the whole class period. [When] we’re not in the greenhouse, then we’re learning about how to take care of our plants through the curriculum.”

Not only do students learn business skills such as planning, budgeting, determining selling prices, customer service and public speaking, students also receive hands-on experience in gardening. The expertise learned from the horticulture classes will help students in both the workplace and for their own gardens.

“I hope they gain the ability to do this for themselves, should they choose to grow plants [on their own],” horticulture teacher Elissa Mullinix said. “I hope that it truly brings to … life all of the things they have learned over the course of the year.”

Back in March, Horticulture II students held their first plant sale of the school year. Out of 150 succulents, 145 were sold in addition to salsa seeds.

This week during all three lunches, the plant booth will be loaded with several varieties of starter plants, including tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, watermelon, cantaloupe, brussel sprouts, basil, oregano, cilantro and succulents. Some featured items include Beefsteak tomatoes and California Wonder bell peppers. All vegetable and fruit starts are $2 each and succulents are $3.

“The ability to grow a plant from seed or from cuttings and to see that growth process is rewarding for my horticulture students,” Mullinix said. “I also hope that we are able to supply our customers with healthy plants that will produce food for them and for their families.”

This semester, only four students are taking Horticulture II: seniors Tatum Kraus and Lamb, junior Grace Hutchinson and sophomore Nissa Olsen. Besides business and horticulture goals, the plant sales also aim to grow interest in the class for other students.

“I hope [the sale] just draws more eyeballs to the class,” Lamb said. “I think a lot of students can actually learn and gain a lot of valuable knowledge from it, especially since plants are [a] part of our everyday lives … You can’t go anywhere without seeing a plant product or a byproduct … I think just general knowledge of the stuff we eat or that we see is … important.”