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Local students learn about horticulture

GERONIMO, OK (KSWO)-Students at Geronimo Public Schools are taking a firsthand approach for their horticulture class.

Senior horticulture student Philip Benke says his favorite part about caring for the plants is watching people walk away feeling excited about their purchases.

"Most of the people say that they are beautiful and I agree. Watching them from what they first started out as to now is a really big transformation," said Benke.

"We have tomato plants. We have pepper plants. We have several different varieties of bedding plants," said Morgan.

Agriculture teacher James Morgan says since his class got the plants in February the students have been solely responsible for their care.

"We actually get the plants as plugs. They are about an inch tall when we get them. Then then the kids come down here and they transplant them into bigger containers. They are in charge of coming down here every day and taking care of those and making sure that the plants are healthy," said Morgan.

The students use math to measure out potting soil and fertilizer. Morgan says he has also taught the students to monitor the plants for pests and possible sicknesses.

"You have got to examine the leaves pretty closely and sometimes small bugs can get on the plants and damage them. We check for the leaves and then the soil moisture and those are generally the signs that we look for," he said.

Morgan says he hopes the students take away an appreciation for the people that do provide the food for our country.

"Be a little bit more in touch with that and if nothing else just be able to appreciate that aspect of it as well as take some skills away from it that they can actually use to grow their own food," he said.

The money raised at the greenhouse will go to pay for conventions and competitions that the students participate in. Morgan says they have sold about half the plants so far, and will continue to sell them until they are all gone. The greenhouse hours are on Saturdays from 8:00am until 12:00pm. The prices vary by type of plant.

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