As if it were made to order, the sun is shining, the birds are singing and the bees are abuzz as the Oakdale High School Agriculture Department hosts its Annual Plant Sale. The event will be hosted this Wednesday, May 8 through Friday, May 10 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the OHS greenhouse and gardening area on the northwest side of campus. The event is open to the public.
“Last year we were in April, this year we moved it back about a month to put it in conjunction with Mother’s Day,” OHS Agriculture/Horticulture and FFA Advisor Grace Tobias shared.
A variety of plantings grown by the horticulture students including bedding plants, succulents, fruit trees, indoor plants and more will be available for purchase. The class also partnered with the ceramics class, creating some gift type items of succulents placed in one of a kind ceramic pieces. Prices of the several hundred plantings available will range from $3 on up.
“We’re the best deal in town,” Tobias stated. “We have minimal overhead in terms of it’s a school project. It’s definitely open to the public.”
According to the Horticulture teacher the event is a labor of love each year for the 22 enrolled students, as well as for the rest of the Ag department members that chip in to help make the event successful.
First year Horticulture students and FFA/Ag veterans Blake Morgan and Grace Verdegaal shared the contrast of caring for plants versus livestock has been a welcome change to their schedule during their final semester of their senior year.
“I’m in more challenging classes and I had a spot open for an elective,” Verdegaal said of her class choice. “This gave me a chance to get outside of the classroom and outside of book work and get hands on experience.”
“There’s a lot of variety of different things,” Morgan added of the class opportunity. “There’s a lot more to it. The main thing that the class focuses on is nursery plants. There’s also a lot of succulents, bedding plants, fruit trees, just a ton of different things.”
Tobias shared it’s an event the Ag student body look forward to every year, to the point of often inquiring about sale day volunteer opportunities well before scheduling begins. The three day sale is staffed primarily by the students with OHS staff offering additional support.
“We’ll have kids out here to help people load their carts, write up sheets, the cash register, they run the whole process,” the teacher said. “The profits from our plant sale help pay for some Fair entries. Every student in our Horticulture class enters plants in the fair.”
The majority of plantings sold were donated by nurseries as buds or small trees for the class to nurture, tend to and grow. A process which, depending on the item, can take several semesters before making it to the sale floor.
“It’s the classes’ job to transplant, prune and prep for the plant sale,” Tobias said. “All the proceeds go back to the chapter to help with future projects and plantings.”
All forms of payment (cash, check and credit) are accepted during the sale. Community members are encouraged to purchase as much as they see fit, with the project directly benefitting the students.