Independent Ag Studies Spotlight: Greenhouse Manager

Story and photos submitted by Julisa Suazo ’23

This year I was selected to be the greenhouse manager and it is a big responsibility, but I have learned a lot. I have been able to help the school lunch program have fresh produce for our school lunches. This year we have had two fundraisers so far including mini herb gardens and zinnia pots. We have successfully raised some money for the agriculture program. We started growing the herbs and zinnias during this past summer and were able to put together thirty herb gardens and thirty zinnia pots.

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Zinnia pots growing in the school greenhouse were sold as an ag program fundraiser.

I chose to apply for the greenhouse manager as I love plants and I really enjoyed the plant science class sophomore year and I wanted to get hands-on experience with horticulture. I also wanted the opportunity to learn even more about plants and how to care for them.

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Mini herb gardens were grown and sold for a fundraiser benefiting the ag program.

I have learned a lot from how to run the sprinkler system in the greenhouse to what needs plants have. We have also set up the hydroponics system once again this year. We have had some trial and error with it for the past few years. We have hooked it up to a pump to pump the water through the system and have had some issues with the pump, but this year we have set it up so that it should work successfully.

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Future lunchroom lettuce sprouts in the greenhouse.

We have also grown lettuce, kale, and spinach to go to the school lunch program and have had the plant science class help us with transplanting as a hands-on learning experience. I believe that it is a really important skill to learn how to grow your own food. 

In conclusion, so far I have learned a lot from my experience as the greenhouse manager. I still have a lot to learn though. I haven’t used fertilizer on the lettuce, spinach, and kale yet so that will be a learning experience trying to figure out the perfect amount to help the plants grow.