Greener than ever



With an array of plants in the Etowah greenhouse, located behind the new gym, it is no wonder that the plants sell out every year. While the greenhouse now closed until next year, there are new tasks that are being prepared in the garden for the future.

 Ashley Rivers, Small Animal Healthcare and Agriculture teacher, is in charge of the garden and the greenhouse. Though the garden is not in use, the greenhouse held its annual spring plant sale through mid-April. Students in the agriculture class primarily worked in the greenhouse, but any student can volunteer and earn community service hours.

“[It is] calming and soothing when we get in nature,’’ Rivers said.

 Rivers received a grant to build raised beds, and her classes were able to grow fresh produce  in the Etowah garden and donated nearly a ton of it to help those in need.  She would like to grow tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, and cucumbers next year. Rivers and her class are in the process of building chicken coops near the greenhouse and garden with the goal of selling natural organic eggs.

 “Everybody should be educated on where their food comes from,’’ Rivers said.

 Students, staff, and community members  had the chance to go and purchase plants. The greenhouse sold over 5,000 plants, and the money will be used for greenhouse supplies and future field trips.

 “I love buying things from the greenhouse because not only do I have the ability to help support the greenhouse, but I am also able to buy plants for gifts and fresh fruits and vegetables that I can take home,’’ Amber Martinez, junior, said.

 Students can advise others about sales and encourage them to join Future Farmers of America (FFA) to learn more about agriculture. The greenhouse or garden could always use another pair of hands, so interested students should contact Rivers about future opportunities to get involved.