US (WI): Greenhouse upgrade won’t stop annual poinsettia project

A Sturgeon Bay business owner helped local high school students keep plants alive during repairs to a school greenhouse.

With part of the roof missing from the Sevastopol school greenhouse, Paul Kell, owner of Bonnie Brooke Gardens in Sturgeon Bay, allowed the school to use one of his nine greenhouses to shelter and maintain plants for an annual poinsettia-sale fundraiser.

Sevastopol horticulture students have traveled to Sturgeon Bay to tend to the plants on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays, said Dale Carlson, agriculture instructor and FFA adviser. Carlson said he has gone to the Sturgeon Bay business Tuesdays and Thursdays, too, to check on the plants.

The students receive 6-inch-tall plants in 6-inch pots, transplant them, tend to them, and learn about soils, fertilizers, and watering. They also manipulate the color of the plants by moving them to control the amount of light they receive. Carlson said the students also learn about marketing and costs – most years, they have about $4 in costs per plant. After the students pick one plant to buy at cost for their families, they typically sell the best plants for $10 to $12 and the less-desirable ones for $6, Carlson said.


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