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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Business Partnership

We have recently entered into a partnership with Roosevelt High School, in Wyandotte MI.

Roosevelt has an amazing Agriscience program, dedicated to helping students learn about careers and a future in agriculture.

A recent article about the program had this to say:

The program [incorporates] FFA and supervised agricultural experiences, with a strong emphasis on landscaping, floriculture and greenhouse activities...

...Students put in as much effort outside the classroom as they do at their desks, working on the school's natural turf athletic fields, maintaining two working greenhouses and an in-house floral shop, and marketing their own poinsettias and other holiday foliage products.

Students raise and merchandise annuals and perennials for a spring sale and for use in RHS school gardens. In addition to their two working greenhouses, Roosevelt ag students also maintain city gardens containing ornamental and edible plants, process their own tomato crop as part of Campbell Soup's national gardening promotion effort, and raise their own flock of chickens to compete in the FFA broiler contest.

Along the way, they learn the importance of sound recordkeeping practices and business skills; promote proper pet care and host pet adoption days; coordinate activities with local garden clubs; and interact with public officials on the school board, Wyandotte Downtown Development Authority and city council.

Roosevelt's FFA program has grown into a regional powerhouse, currently boasting more than 120 students and routinely earning chapter and individual proficiency awards. RHS students have attended every state FFA convention for the past five years and gone on to the national FFA convention four times.

I met the advisor for this program at the farmers market last year, and as we talked, we realized that by adding herbs to the repertoire of plants the students grew and understood, we could enhance their program while helping to keep herbology, which seems like a dying craft, alive.

So we began recently, working with a small group of students, introducing them to herbs and working with them in the greenhouse to plant a wide variety of seeds.

In two days, this week, we were able to plant seed for just over 1250 herbs plants.

We planted many of the standard herbs commonly grown by beginners, as well as a few of the more unusual herbs.

Some of these plants will end up in the school gardens, some will end up being sold, and some will be used strictly to grow seed for next year's gardens.

As the year progresses we hope to be able to teach the students how to prune, and care for their plants, how to harvest herbs, and how to dry, preserve and use the herbs that they grow.

This is an exciting partnership for us and we are looking forward to a long term relationship with the high school.

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