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The Oracle

The Newspaper of McDaniel High School

The Oracle

The Newspaper of McDaniel High School

The Oracle

Sustainable Agriculture prepares plants for Mother’s Day sale

Junior Hoang
An assortment of veggies thrive under the grow light. From tomatoes and cucumbers to cherries and phlox, the students prepare many species for the sale.

The Sustainable Agriculture program is preparing for its Mother’s Day plant sale this May. With a variety of flowers and crops to choose from, the program has held this fundraiser every year since the program began in order to fund the class.

Each Intro to Sustainable Agriculture student chooses three plants to grow. Once the plants have matured, students take home a few and the rest are sold. A wide range of seed options are available to them, with students selecting a warm weather plant, a cold weather plant and a flower to grow.

“I’m growing stevia, ground cherries and phlox,” freshman Ozora Spevak said.

She also adopted some peppers from a classmate.

Because of the variety of plants that are chosen, students stagger the times that they begin growing different species. Tomatoes, eggplants and peppers are started in late January, while cucumbers, which grow much faster, are started early this month.

In the time leading up to the sale, students learn to pot up, or move plants from smaller containers to larger ones as they grow. The goal is that by the day of the sale, each plant will fit into a two- to four-inch pot. Six packs of greens are sold at six dollars while individual small plants are one dollar. Two-inch pots cost around three dollars, and anything larger is four.

Sustainable agriculture teacher Sarah Nealon’s sixth period class pots a variety of plants. The sale will take place on May 11 at the roundabout. (Junior Hoang)

Sustainable Agriculture teacher Sarah Nealon said the timing of the sale in mid-May is both to coincide with other fundraisers on Mother’s Day weekend as well as to take advantage of the time of the year.

“Mid-May is kind of the perfect time to be planting a lot of warm weather crops that you’d be growing throughout the summer,” Nealon said. “So the idea is people are going home with plants that day that they could theoretically plant that weekend.”

The preparation for the event is included in the curriculum as a form of agribusiness education, although students are not required to attend the sale itself because it is over the weekend.

“This is sort of their first foray into marketing things for the public to consume,” Nealon said.

Students learn to manage their own plant growth and be responsible for raising their plants. Sophomore Stella Perez, who is in Advanced Sustainable Agriculture, sees the preparation as an opportunity for students to assess their abilities.

“It’s also like trial and error, some people’s plants die,” Perez said. “So it’s a good teaching moment to see how well you can take care of your plants.”

Nealon has her own hopes for what students get out of this experience.

“I hope that they see how easy it is to grow your own food, first and foremost,” she said. “And that they take pride in the fact that they started with literally putting a seed into some soil and nursed their plants to the place where it’s this strong, viable plant that’s ready to be in the weather outside and whatnot.”

People can find the plant sale at the roundabout in front of the school on May 11.

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About the Contributors
Lincoln Wheeler, Editor-In-Chief
Lincoln Wheeler (he/him) is a senior who loves playing hockey and guitar. He enjoys being a journalist because he wants to bring new perspectives and ideas to people.
Junior Hoang, Reporter
Junior Hoang (he/him) is a junior. He can do a handstand and has a dog. He joined the Oracle because Lane Shaffer wanted him to carry on his legacy.

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    Ava WilkenApr 12, 2024 at 12:33 pm

    This is a really good way to let more people know the sale is happening, and I like that you quoted students from the class.