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Students’ education grows at plant sale

Published: Friday, May 10, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

SYCAMORE – Sam Sauber has spent his study halls in a greenhouse this week.

The Sycamore High School sophomore has been watering and organizing plants in preparation for his horticulture class’s annual plant sale.

Classmates consider Sauber an expert; he points to the various plants and identifies them without hesitation.

Sycamore High School’s horticulture and Future Farmers of America programs are holding a plant sale this weekend to raise money for next year’s plants. The students have planted and cared for the plants in the greenhouse since late February.

But the students’ agriculture instructor and FFA adviser, Kara Poynter, said the sale really is not about the money.

“We’re not looking to make a huge profit,” she said. “It’s more of a learning experience for the kids.”

Junior Justin Bolander said he’s learned quite a bit.

“We’re actually identifying plants now,” he said. “We know what it looks like without looking at the tag.”

Bolander is part of a handful of students who will spend the weekend selling the plants.

A few Sycamore residents wandered through the greenhouse shopping for various plants Thursday, including Nancy Miller, who has been a longtime supporter of the sale.

“I don’t do much gardening anymore, but I do like my flowers,” she said. “I usually start here before I branch out to other places.”

Miller said her family has three generations of FFA members, and she’s been coming to support the Sycamore sale for about 35 years.

Another Sycamore resident, Ed Sebright, said he and his wife attended for the first time this year because they had heard good things about the plants.

Sebright said they’ve had trouble with the leaves on their tomato plants drying out when they’ve bought them from larger stores.

“We’re trying the kids’ plants now,” he said. “I’d rather give my money to them.”

Junior Autumn Salis, who plans to study agriculture education in college, said she has learned lessons she will carry with her in the future.

“Before this class, I didn’t know a lot about fertilizing,” she said. “It gave me experience.”

Sycamore High School plant saleToday: 3:10 to 4:30 p.m.Saturday and Sunday: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.Monday through Thursday: 3:10 to 4:30 p.m.May 18: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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