Each year, the students in Eastbrook High School’s greenhouse management class prepare flowers for their annual Mother’s Day flower sale.
Due to the stay-at-home order, their teacher Jeff Bernaix and volunteers ran the greenhouse for them.
“It’s different from the other classes you see taught at school. We want them to run it like a business,” Bernaix said. “They didn’t get any of that experience this year.”
Junior Robin Russell, the president of the school’s Future Farmers of America club (FFA), said she cried when she found out she had to stay home from school.
“Not being able to be in the greenhouse was really hard,” Russell said. “I love school. I absolutely love (the class). If I could take it again, I would.”
Although the students were unable to work at the greenhouse this year, Bernaix made sure they would still enjoy the fruits of their labor.
On May 7 and 11, Bernaix delivered geraniums to each of the 26 students in the class.
“I’ve always given the kids the plants that were left,” Bernaix said. “So, I wanted to make sure they got some of the plants they grew.”
Sophomore Erin Glessner, the FFA student advisor, said she was shocked when she heard Bernaix was delivering flowers to the class.
Glessner said she enjoys gardening and learning about plants.
“We’ve learned about different kinds of flowers and what helps them out and what different temperatures they thrive in,” Glessner said.
The class planted the geranium seeds the second week of January and watched them grow until schools closed in March.
After the students went home, Glessner said Bernaix would send the class photos on Google Classroom of their plants in the greenhouse.
“It’s really cool,” Glessner said. “We see how everything is just growing so quick even though it seems like we just planted the seeds. It’s crazy.”
The students invested $7,000 and brought in around $12,000 in socially-distanced greenhouse sales, bringing their total profit to approximately $5,000, Bernaix said.
The profit will be used to pay the students’ dues to the club, a couple of trips and activities and next year’s crop, Bernaix said.
According to Bernaix, the greenhouse did very well this year.
“We’re always well supported,” he said.