Blooming: Franklin’s new greenhouse

Thaddeus Bergschneider, Staff Writer

Franklin’s cold snap has desolated all plants in the area in its cold wake. Yet, in one remaining place in Franklin, tropical plants are thriving. The FFA greenhouse, new as of four months ago, is already full of banana trees, tropical ferns, and regulates at 60-70 degree temperatures. 

With these tropical plants, and the rest of the year ahead, what is Mr. Nelson planning? 

The current plants in the greenhouse will be sold in the spring. “Certain ferns you can take cuttings of and then you can sell them in the spring, and you can see the process. We’ve taken some cuttings off of succulents and some Inchplant as well. This not only gives us an opportunity to make money but also allows the kids to practice the skills that they’ve been working on,” Mr. Nelson explained. As they have in years past, a Chrysanthemum sale will also take place in the fall. 

Mr. Nelson’s vision extends far past plants being the priority. “Classes can do experiments, math classes could do experiments on growth, and that would be a cool partnership. It’s another classroom where you can do labs and activities, animal science labs, and all sorts of stuff. It’s not just a horticulture space, it can be used for a lot of stuff,” he described. 

Chloe Leonard has not only been a part of the greenhouse in its named class, but in other classes as well. “Some of Mrs. Black’s therapy groups like to go out to the greenhouse because it’s very calming out there. We also use it for Advanced Biology, where we planted plants and then measured and experimented with their growth.” 

Dylan Walkington, who is often involved in watering and helping take care of the greenhouse, is pleased with it, especially compared to the old greenhouse. “It’s a lot nicer, newer, works better, everything’s better… it’s like a hundred-dollar bill to a one-dollar bill, you can’t compare them.” 

Leonard also thinks the greenhouse was worth every penny. “I think it helps out a lot with our community along with the school, because now everyone is looking at all the pretty plants we have around here.” 

With much thanks to community members, FFA alumni, and the school board the greenhouse is living up to everything imagined of it… and more.