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Monterey Greenhouse Now Ready For Student Use

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Monterey Greenhouse Now Ready For Student Use

A new generation of horticulturalists beginning to file into the new greenhouse at Monterey High School.

Putnam County Schools CTE Supervisor Jackie Vester said after a four-month process, the greenhouse is operational, and students are beginning to use it. She said the school plans to hold its first-ever plant sale in April to showcase the students’ hard work.

“It’s important for our students to have the opportunity to work with equipment that’s equivalent to what they would see in the industry,” Vester said. “With the plant science program of study, a greenhouse is one of the best pieces of equipment that we can have for our students to utilize.”

Vester said electric and gas are up and running, and a water system is the last piece yet to be put in place. She said for now, students can use water hoses and achieve the same level of growth.

“It’s a beautiful greenhouse,” Vester said. “I encourage the community to go up when it’s open for the plant sale and take a look at it. It’s a great piece of equipment and we’re very fortunate.”

Vester said the project was funded by an Innovative Schools Model Grant from Governor Bill Lee. She said this resource is invaluable in teaching students how to work with real-world materials and gain experience in work that they could need in a future career.

“We were very fortunate to work with an excellent vendor and also have the support of our Putnam County maintenance crew to help make this dream a reality,” Vester said.

Vester said the greenhouse will not be a major expense to the school or the school system because it is self-sustaining. She said the funds raised at the plant sales will go toward funding the upkeep of the greenhouse. Vester also said there was concern during the snowstorm of early January when several inches of snow piled on the roof, but the facility was designed to face the elements and prevailed, bringing her even more confidence in the quality of the final product.

“Students will use that space to learn different plant concepts,” Vester said. “One of those being growing plants from seed, as well as growing plants from plug. Students will also learn how to grow plants from cutting and take those cuttings properly, and then, of course, the basic maintenance and care.”


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