Teacher passes “green thumb” love
The Peabody-Burns High School greenhouse opened its doors for the first time of the season Saturday at the school’s annual Spring Fling.
Unfortunately, blistering wind and cold temperatures were to blame for the cancellation of a car wash sponsored by the Come Home for Christmas committee and a bake sale sponsored by the cheerleaders that were originally planned to be at the event as well.
Along with the opening of Warrior Soil, the sophomore class braved the winter-like weather and served up breakfast bowls.
This is the eighth spring season for the greenhouse, with horticulture teacher Ann Leppke as mastermind.
“For the first hour and a half this morning, you couldn’t move around,” Leppke said. “I knew we’d be busy; people really anticipate opening day.”
Leppke said that she, along with eight students, started with an empty greenhouse with the exception of a few mother plants in August at the beginning of the school year.
Over the years, the greenhouse has morphed into not only a hands-on learning experience for kids willing to get their hands dirty, but a completely self-sustaining project.
“Whatever money we make we can spend, it goes back into the next year,” she said.
Leppke said for the most part, students are free to order seeds they’re interested in growing, with occasional nudging from their instructor.
“They don’t always know what’s going to be a big seller,” she said.
Besides investing time and newly found knowledge, the kids also have been spreading their green thumbs around town.
“We’ve planted the bulbs on the south side of the school,” said Leppke. “We also did the pots downtown.”
Students reaped the benefits of their labor when they invested in new, taller potting benches.
“We were working on much shorter benches before,” Leppke said.
Upcoming hours for the greenhouse are today and Friday from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., Saturday morning from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m., and Sunday noon to 5 p.m.
Leppke anticipates a busy season.
“People say we’re the best kept secret of Marion County,” she said.
Last modified April 19, 2018