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CCHS plant sale showcases efforts of students

April 29, 2009
Anyone wishing to get a garden started, plant flowers or hang a few flowering baskets on the front porch should consider stopping by Crawford County Junior-Senior High School to stock up on plants and, at the same time, help the school's greenhouse and agriculture program.

The agriculture science classes at the school will get their annual plant sale underway on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. behind the high school, south of Marengo on S.R. 66, next to the tennis courts.

The students began sowing seeds, watering and potting plants and working in the greenhouse weeks ago, preparing for the plant sale. During class, teacher Andy Howell oversees the operation, but gives the students freedom to work on their own and incorporate ideas to help make the system work better.

"I enjoy working with plants," Brandi Lewicki, a senior, said. "This is a great class, and we have a really good teacher. It has always been one of my favorite classes. It doesn't seem like work when you enjoy what you're doing."

The students often work in pairs and require little guidance.

"When they come to class, I just turn them loose and let them set their own pace and choose what chore they work on," Howell said earlier this month. "Today, for instance, we're sowing seeds for bedding plants. Some of the students work at getting the trays ready by adding potting soil. Some prefer to actually do the planting, and some are watering in the greenhouse. It's a group effort, and they really enjoy it. Once they know how to do it, they do all the work and I usually just let them do it.

"We're also beginning to work on hanging baskets, and in the next few days will begin to focus on garden and vegetable plants and should have everything ready for our annual plant sale "

This week, the fruit of their labor has yielded a bumper crop of plants and flowers ready for the public. The classes will have annual bedding plants — marigolds, petunias, geraniums and others, several varieties of vegetable plants, perennials, hanging baskets and even a few specialty items for sale.

The plant sale will also be open the following week — Monday through Friday — from 1 to 5 p.m. and the following Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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