Schools Use Greenhouses To Cultivate New Customers

From a financially troubled school district in Oregon to a Massachusetts college, educational programs around the country are realizing the benefits of having their own greenhouses.

For those in the Myrtle Point school district in Oregon, the new greenhouse will be used to teach children the benefits of healthy eating by teaching them to grow their own edibles. According to an article from The World, Dr. Mike Lanza, a Coos Bay pediatrician, donated the $3,400 greenhouse to Myrtle Crest Elementary School on May 11.

Both Lanza and a fifth grade teacher at Myrtle Crest Elementary, Irene Logan, wanted to use the greenhouse to instill healthy habits in the students.

‘It’s amazing how many kids end up loving tomatoes if they get to grow them,” Logan told The World.

Lanza’s hope is that each year a different school within the district will receive a greenhouse. Although the focus of the initiative is to get kids to eat more veggies, having a greenhouse means more kids are getting their hands dirty. With the construction of the greenhouse, the school district has invested in the green industry and cultivated new customers by tapping into a younger generation of potential garden lovers.

Wheaton College in Norton, Mass., has also jumped on the educational bandwagon by constructing a new greenhouse on the rooftop of the school’s Mars Center for Science and Technology. According to an entry on the Norton Patch page for the greenhouse’s open house event on May 18, the 1,200-square-foot structure has space for rainforest, desert and temperate environments, as well as a student and faculty research center.

As the article points out, botanists may use the greenhouse for learning about plant diversity, while genetics classes learn about cross-pollination. The space is also open to art students looking to sketch a living still life and researchers interested in tweaking variables to create the ideal growing conditions for different plant varieties.

While both schools have opted to use the structures as teaching tools, some are also realizing the money-making opportunities of growing and selling plants.

At Niagara College’s Niagara-on-the-Lake campus in Ontario, Canada, the greenhouse serves a dual purpose. For the past 15 years, the on-campus greenhouse has inspired students to get involved in the green industry.

“This isn’t chalk-and-talk, it’s a wonderful classroom and the type of student we attract wants this hands-on experience,” said Jim Thomson, manager of campus development and the greenhouse, to the Welland Tribune. “And it’s nice to work with these students, when you see how they are excited they are by what they’re doing here.”

In addition to cultivating the growers of tomorrow, the news source also reports that the greenhouse produces plants that will be sold to the public, including marigolds, petunias, impatiens, poinsettias and garden chrysanthemums. Customers can purchase fresh-from-the-greenhouse tomatoes, peppers, lettuce and herbs, as well.

The revenue from these plants, which are sold to local residents, Brock University in St. Catherines, Ontario, and commercial landscaping businesses, allows the college to offset production costs, invest in new equipment and update the greenhouse.

The effects are cyclical — the program cultivates future customers by getting them interested in horticulture, and these new customers re-invest in the industry when they are ready to grow similar products as part of a job or in their gardens at home. And it all starts with a program that instructs students and invests in green products.

“You’re in the field, working with people who’ve worked in the field and have experience hands-on themselves, which is really nice,” Graham Boaretti, a 20-year-old Niagara-on-the-Lake resident who appreciates the value of the program, told the Welland Tribune. “You’re doing everything you would be doing at a job — that’s fantastic. That’s the best way to learn, I find.”

Leave a Reply

More From Grow Initiative...
Workplace Trends

January 20, 2017

10 Trends Predicted to Impact the Workplace in 2017

Here are 10 workplace trends that Forbes contributor Dan Schawbel predicts for 2017 that may change the way you do business in the future

Read More

January 10, 2017

Sidney B. Meadows Scholarship Endowment Fund Accepting Applications for 2017

The deadline for applications is May 26, and 12 scholarships of $1,500 each will be awarded at the SEGreen Conference in August.

Read More
GROW Logo

December 28, 2016

Greenhouse Grower’s GROW Initiative: A Year In Review

Staying ahead of the competition in today’s world is about remaining in constant motion with innovation. To create a competitive advantage, you must consistently experiment with and learn from new ideas. Greenhouse Grower’s GROW initiative provided cutting-edge ideas and actionable advice.

Read More
Latest Stories
Workplace Trends

January 20, 2017

10 Trends Predicted to Impact the Workplace in 2017

Here are 10 workplace trends that Forbes contributor Dan Schawbel predicts for 2017 that may change the way you do business in the future

Read More

January 10, 2017

Sidney B. Meadows Scholarship Endowment Fund Accepting …

The deadline for applications is May 26, and 12 scholarships of $1,500 each will be awarded at the SEGreen Conference in August.

Read More
GROW Logo

December 28, 2016

Greenhouse Grower’s GROW Initiative: A Year In Review

Staying ahead of the competition in today’s world is about remaining in constant motion with innovation. To create a competitive advantage, you must consistently experiment with and learn from new ideas. Greenhouse Grower’s GROW initiative provided cutting-edge ideas and actionable advice.

Read More
Grow Summit 2016 group shot

December 20, 2016

Less Talk, More Action At Greenhouse Grower’s GRO…

Investing in technology, developing new marketing solutions, and recruiting young growers were just a few of the issues covered at GROW Summit 2016.

Read More
Dramm-Echter-Pink-Gerbera-Daisies

November 22, 2016

Dramm & Echter Donates Pink Gerbera Daisies During …

“As a local flower farm, we are honored to show our support by sharing symbolic pink flowers with each participant as they reach the midway point on their amazing journey,” says Bob Echter, Owner of Dramm & Echter.

Read More
deming-pdsa-cycle

November 21, 2016

How The PDSA Cycle Can Help You Improve Your Business

No successful business stays stagnant, which means you should constantly be looking for ways to make improvements to your business and your products. Are you looking for a good model to follow? Try the PDSA Cycle.

Read More
afe-fundraising-dinner

November 17, 2016

AFE Fundraising Dinner Celebrates Success, Raises Almos…

The American Floral Endowment’s biggest fundraising event of the year, the 2016 Annual Fundraising Dinner, did more than just honor industry champions. It also raised nearly $20,000 for the future of floriculture programs.

Read More
hoffman-nursery-owners

November 9, 2016

How Hoffman Nursery Invests In The Future Of The Greenh…

Hoffman Nursery believes in the future leaders of horticulture, and the operation invests in several programs to cultivate young people in their careers.

Read More
2015 GROW Summit_discussion shot

October 28, 2016

How We Can Inspire Millennials To Get Involved In Horti…

By uniting our efforts, we can attract new generations of growers and consumers to the horticulture industry, starting when they are young.

Read More
green-plan-it-gardening-outdoor-nature-explore-classroom

October 22, 2016

Here’s A Great Way To Bring Horticulture And Scho…

The Green Plan It Challenge gives school students in the U.K. the opportunity to participate in a 10-week project where they rethink the role of green space and develop solutions to horticulture-related problems.

Read More
Albert Grimm, Jefferys Greenhouses

October 19, 2016

How Jeffery’s Greenhouse Is Investing In The Indu…

Greenhouse Grower reached out to Albert Grimm, the 2016 Head Grower of the Year and Head Grower of Jeffery’s Greenhouse, to ask what he and his company have done in the last 12 months to invest in the industry. Here is what he had to say.

Read More
Dallas Johnson Greenhouses has significantly reduced the amount of time and labor spent pulling and processing orders, while improving plant quality at retail

October 1, 2016

Political Stalemate On Labor Means Your Opportunity To …

Despite the frustrating nature of our current political climate, now may be the best time for you to address your long-term labor and automation needs.

Read More
Vogel Alcove NGB Therapeutic Grant Winner

September 27, 2016

National Garden Bureau Announces Horticulture Therapy G…

The NGB’s annual grant program, Growing for Futures, recently selected three therapeutic gardens that will receive grants totaling $5,000.

Read More
customer-base

September 21, 2016

6 Creative Ways To Expand Your Business

Marketing experts offer tips to help you catch the attention of new customers and grow your business.

Read More
America In Bloom Project

August 29, 2016

Your Chance To Help America In Bloom As It Celebrates I…

America In Bloom is launching a fundraising campaign to help the group continue its mission of creating beautiful and vibrant communities across the country.

Read More
Next Generation

August 27, 2016

Australia Launches Initiative To Ignite A New Generatio…

Hort Innovation Chief Executive John Lloyd says the goal is to identify and build future industry leaders at all stages of their career through investment in a host of new initiatives.

Read More
Albert Grimm, Jefferys Greenhouses

August 25, 2016

7 Ways Albert Grimm Strives To Be An Effective Leader

Grimm, Greenhouse Grower's 2016 Head Grower Of The Year, tries to live by the "Seven Habits Of Highly Effective People” from author Stephen R. Covey.

Read More
LuxFlora - feature

August 22, 2016

Check Out Luxflora’s International Adventures In Europe

A new, women-led professional organization provides its members the opportunity to gain insight, develop ideas, and build connections on its annual international trip.

Read More