Great State: High School Horticulture

Great State
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OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA -- A year ago April Debbie Piersing taught pre-kindergarten kids in the small town of Coyle, Oklahoma.

Also a year ago, there weren't any plants growing in the Centennial High School greenhouse.

In fact, Debbie remembers what it took to get it back in shape over the winter.

"We spent many, many hours cleaning it."

So a couple of things happened during the 2012 growing season.

Debbie took a job as Centennial's new horticulture teacher.

Once she and her students finished cleaning, they planted seeds.

"Is this a big change from teaching pre-K," asks a class visitor? "It's a major change but I love the high school students," she replies.

It took eight weeks of careful 'horticulturing'.

Each student had certain varieties of plants to nurture and grow, prune and fertilize.

As a senior student poured a blue liquid over a bed of garden plants he explained, "What it does for the plant is give it a little more nutrients and help it grow faster."

Right after the first week of April they threw open the greenhouse doors.

Every plant that made it, including flowers, decorative plants, and garden plants too, went on sale.

The prices brought people in. One shopper we encountered came all the way from Duncan, some 80 miles from the high school.

These students, most of whom, never gave much thought to how plants grow, thought it was pretty cool to see all this green.

"Yeah," says one kid. "We did pretty good."

Another student agrees. "I look back and see all these plants and know that I had some part in it," he says.

The money they make won't go in students' pockets.

It's seed for next year's horticulture class.

Debbie Piersing hopes she's really started something on this high hill with a view of the city skyline, something that might grow a little too.

The Centennial Bedding Plant Sale started on April 8th.

It will continue until April 29th or while there are still plants left to sell.

Customers can purchase them during school hours at the high school greenhouse on 1301 NE 101st Street in OKC.

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