Burnet Middle School greenhouse students are giving away their classwork April 15 and giving home gardeners a head start on their vegetable gardens.
Free plants are available from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday at the campus’ greenhouse. To get there, pull around the school, 1401 N. Main St. in Burnet, and drive to the greenhouse off of Third Street on the north side of the campus. Students will load the plants into vehicles. There’s a limit of four containers per car.
As part of their plant propagation studies, students sowed seeds and took clippings from bedding plants earlier in the year. The greenhouse program typically holds a spring sale, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the plants are free this year.
“We don’t have as many plants this year as we usually do, but we have a selection of vegetables and some bedding plants,” said Shelly Townsend, the school’s horticulture teacher, who has led the greenhouse program for 22 years.
Along with greenhouse management and production, students learn the importance of workplace responsibility and customer service.
“I really try to get them to understand, when they go to a job, what is going to be expected of them in the workplace,” Townsend said. “I want them to learn those skills that everyone needs in the workplace. A lot of these kids, when they leave here, they’re going to get jobs, even if they do go on to a trade school or college. So, they need to learn skills (employers) expect.
“We all go to work,” she added.
Normally, Highland Lakes Master Gardener Association members help with plant propagation instruction and the sale, but they’ve been unable to this year due to COVID-19 concerns.
Working alongside Master Gardeners gives students access to years of gardening experience and knowledge.
“Hopefully, next year, we’ll get back to normal, and the Master Gardeners can help out again,” Townsend said. “They do so much for this program and the kids.”