For some, spring means warmer weather and relief from snow.
For the Jackson County Central FFA Chapter, spring means planting, growing and eventually selling flowers and plants out of its greenhouse, located at the JCC High School in Jackson.
But the greenhouse isn’t just a springtime job. Planning and preparing for the spring planting, growing and selling season is a year-round job.
Laura Bidne, agriculture teacher and FFA advisor at JCC, orders the plants in late September from Edlin Greenhouse, located near Jackson. The greenhouse provides catalogs Bidne goes through as she selects all of the flowers and plants for the next year based on careful notes.
“I try to take really good notes every year,” said Bidne. “I figure out what people will want and base it off of trends from previous years.”
Bidne’s notes list which plants were grown, which ones sold well and which ones didn’t, what colors were popular and which ones were easy to grow and the ones that didn’t want to grow.
In early March, the greenhouse delivers the plants to the school. Then, planting will begin.
Care of the greenhouse is split between FFA members and Bidne’s floral design class. The floral design class plants, arranges, pots and waters the plants as part of its classwork. Various FFA members help with watering and the floriculture team uses the plants to help practice for its contest by identifying the plants and getting to know what they look like.
The opening of the greenhouse to the public depends on when the plants are planted and how the weather cooperates. It is generally in early May.
“It’s hard to tell when it will open,” said Bidne. “But definitely by Mother’s Day.”
FFA members volunteer in the greenhouse to sell the plants. It is open several days a week for people to come and browse and buy the plants.
Proceeds from greenhouse sales go to the FFA chapter to help pay for events and activities.