- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 13, 2014

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) - As she stood beneath rows of hanging baskets overflowing with geraniums, petunias and ferns in the Hoosier Hills Career Center greenhouse, Ally Buhr said she had never considered herself to have a green thumb.

“I did not like plants at all,” Buhr told The Herald-Times (http://bit.ly/1lsDt9y ) of her hesitation to get involved in the school’s greenhouse in her first year at Hoosier Hills.

Now in her senior year after being involved in the HHCC’s annual plant sale for four years, Buhr says, “I do really enjoy it now, and I never thought I would as a freshman.”

Amy Remsburg, agriculture teacher at HHCC, gets her students involved in the greenhouse management, from seed sowing to selling the final product. She has been getting students involved in the greenhouse for years.

“It’s a learning experience for them to see what it takes to run a greenhouse,” she said. Remsburg works right along with the students, greeting customers as they walk in and telling them which direction to go to find certain plants.

With her guidance, the students choose what plants they’ll grow. They also sow the seeds, care for the sprouts, count up the inventory, develop order forms, create marketing materials and walk customers through the greenhouse while answering questions about the vegetables, herbs and flowers growing there.

The Hoosier Hills plant sale held last Thursday and Friday had annuals and perennials in full bloom. There were also lots of garden goodies such as peppers, lettuce and even chocolate cherry tomatoes.

“Kids learn better when they have a hands-on experience,” Buhr said. “I have a new appreciation for the business.”

Today, Buhr can tell you all about the effort it takes to make sure plants are not damaged and the dedication needed to work at a greenhouse. She can also identify her favorite flower: apricot cream New Guinea impatiens. “They’re the prettiest ones,” she said with a smile.

When she goes to Murray State University to major in agriculture education and equestrian management, she plans to take up a part-time job with a landscaping company. She’s also running for state office in Future Farmers of America in June.

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Information from: The Herald Times, http://www.heraldtimesonline.com

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