Finally, the weather is changing. Formerly dead, brown leaves are now vibrant green, the dead trees are now blooming, and the bitter cold has been replaced with warmth. Everything is beginning again; there is new life in the animals, in the plants, and within each person. Spring brings a budding confidence to everyone’s life- with spring comes joy.
The perfect addition to the start of spring is some beautiful flowers just barely in bloom, or some fresh fruits and vegetables to create a full garden. The greenhouse at Westlake High School has just what everyone is looking for. The students in the greenhouse/landscaping class are currently putting on a sale in the greenhouse after school from 2:15 to 3:30. The students in the class have been working diligently to grow and nurture the wide variety of unique plants, such as basket plants and Mimosas, since the beginning of February 2019 to make sure they are ready for the Westlake students come spring.
It may seem crazy that these students were working on these plants in February when it was still bitter cold. However, the greenhouse is the reason they were able to do this. Greenhouses, created by the Romans in 30 AD, make it possible to grow plants during the most inopportune times, such as the winters in Utah.
Although the greenhouse was invented in 30 AD, it was not introduced fully until the 1800’s by Charles Lucien Bonaparte. Greenhouses today are much more complex and efficient than those in the time of the Romans.
The greenhouse is a very useful invention that has helped produce to thrive. The way that a greenhouse can sustain plants year round is by trapping all of the sunlight inside of the greenhouse through the glass walls. However, a greenhouse does not need sunlight all day long, according to Facts on Greenhouses, an article on SFGATE. “Greenhouses do not need constant sunlight throughout the day. In fact, morning sunlight and shading in the afternoon provides the best growing conditions for greenhouse plants.” Along with this, a greenhouse must have shutters to allow for air ventilation, so that the plants are not suffocated. An abundant amount of planning goes into creating just the right conditions to producing healthy plants that will last throughout the beautiful springtime.
Westlake students have done an amazing job of demonstrating their hard and meticulous work in creating all of the plants in the greenhouse. The students have learned a numerous amount of skills through planting different types of plants and starting from different points in the plants life. The students grew their plants from starter plants as well as from seeds. When asked which plants took the most attention to take care of and get started, Allyson Searle, the teacher of the greenhouse/landscape class at Westlake High School said, “Pretty much anything that we grew from seed, it was all pretty similar, making sure that the soil didn’t dry out and that once we got seedlings that when we watered we weren’t crushing the seedlings, so mostly the stuff from seed took the most care.” Whether they were grown from a seed or from a starter plant, the students of Westlake High School should appreciate how much work was put into producing these lovely plants for Westlake.
As of now, the greenhouse sale has been a success. Searle said, “It’s going awesome, we’ve actually sold a lot of stuff. I feel like our benches are getting pretty empty. The biggest sellers have been the Mimosa, which is the sensitive plant.” the greenhouse sale is running out of plants, so visit as soon as possible before all of the plants are gone.
The sale is funded by the school. The school gives FFA, Future Farmers of America, a budget at the beginning of the year that is used towards the greenhouse sale. The profits from the sale go straight back to FFA for next year.
The class that created the greenhouse sale is the Greenhouse Landscape class at Westlake High School. It is a full year class and anyone can join. The first semester the class focuses on landscaping, and during the second semester the class focuses on the greenhouse aspect of the course, which includes running the greenhouse sale.
Some students in the Greenhouse/Landscaping class said that their favorite thing about the class is “…just getting out here, getting your hands dirty and actually doing work instead of staying in a classroom.” The greenhouse class offers a hands on approach to learning. It seemed unanimous that all of the students in the class tremendously enjoyed being a part of it and, despite the difficulty and time spent, they loved participating in the greenhouse sale.
Any student at Westlake High School has the opportunity to join the greenhouse class next year and join in on the fun and exciting class. The greenhouse class provides so many opportunities to learn and grow, and the students that are a part of it will benefit from being a part of it.
As anyone can see, so much planning has been put into producing these beautiful plants and planning the sale. Throughout the year the students in the greenhouse class have been taught how to nurture the plants so that they flourish; they have done an amazing job of demonstrating what they have learned through displaying all of their work.
Don’t forget to visit the greenhouse for the sale before it ends. The sale goes through May 14, 2019; time is running out! The sale is open after school from 2:15 to 3:30. There is still time for students at Westlake to show their support and appreciation to the Greenhouse class for all of their hard work.