Growing Green Thumbs


FHS Horticulture

From hanging plants to colorful leaves and petals scattered across the greenhouse floor, the horticulture class has their hands full with plants to care for.

From juicy, red Prelude raspberries to luscious, blushing pink geraniums, the FHS 2021 plant sale is up and running this spring and ready to share the beauty of horticulture with the community. The greenhouse management and agriculture teacher Stephen Potucek ran the plant sale this year, offering vegetables, herbs, annuals, perennials, trees and shrubs for both online and in-person purchase.
Last year, the plant sale was run by agriculture teacher Susan Hilleary and, due to COVID-19, was entirely online. This year, plants can be purchased online on their website or on one of the four in-person dates. Two in-person sales were held on April 30 and May 1 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and two more will be held on May 7 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and May 8 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. COVID-19 protocols will be maintained through a one way entrance and exit, social distancing and a mask requirement.
Running the plant sale offers students the opportunity to participate in hands-on learning. Students also get paid for their plant sale work under the greenhouse management class. “One of the FFA motos is learning by doing,” said Potucek. “Instead of memorizing pages of material sitting at their desks, the students learn by actually doing the work themselves – like a real world job.”
The plant sale is a collaboration between the greenhouse class, the floral design class and the art classes. The floral design class runs a flower shop and will be selling their created arrangement for Mother’s Day. Additionally, the art students will be designing custom pots and statues to sell. “It’s truly a school-wide effort,” said Potucek.
Senior Mckenzie Hurley got involved with the plant sale through her greenhouse management class and says that she has enjoyed learning about sales and business in the horticulture realm along the way. “I have enjoyed counting inventory, creating the website, learning about how businesses use online sales effectively and talking with people and potential customers about the sale,” said Hurley.
Hurley adds that although she has enjoyed the whole process, the online sale has been tough. “They require constant attention on looking out for orders, updating inventory and changing prices,” she said.
This year was Potucek’s first year teaching greenhouse management and running the sale, and he says he couldn’t have done it without the help of Hilleary, students and volunteers. “We’ve all worked together to pull this off,” said Potucek. “There is a lot of talent in our school.” The profit from the sale is put towards extra class projects and buying materials and tools needed for the gardens.
Hurley stated that this year is going to be “one to remember.” She gave a special shout-out to Potucek and the greenhouse management class for their hard work and maintaining the plants that will be sold at the plant sale. She said it “will be a great way to finally engage with the community and school again through FFA, agriculture, and the horticulture classes.”

The greenhouse is filled with the bright colors of spring as the flowers blossom in preparation for the sale. (FHS Horticulture)
The greenhouse sits in green galore behind the horticulture building stationed behind the school. (FHS Horticulture)