When Luke Wiedenfeld began his tenure as the Lake Mills High School agriculture teacher and FFA advisor, he and the students wanted to have a small barn to use for educational purposes. The district is building a new greenhouse that will be located near the agriculture classroom doors.
The high school previously had a small greenhouse structure that was put up in the late 1990s, said Wiedenfeld. He described it as more of a warming hut to start plants than a full-service greenhouse. The greenhouse is being paid for by $10,000 from Farm Technology Days and an $800 donation from the Larry Peters family. The district is using $205,415 from the ESSER II federal money and any costs not covered by those three funds will be paid for with the district fund balance.
The agriculture students are already looking forward to what they want to attempt to grow in the greenhouse. Wiedenfeld said there have been suggestions of poinsettias, a pizza garden, lavender, and other flowers, plants, fruits and vegetables. “It’s going to be a lot of trial and error,” the high school teacher said.
The greenhouse will provide educational opportunities beyond the agriculture curriculum. Wiedenfeld plans to have the high school culinary classes use the fresh produce from the greenhouse for their recipes. “I know I’m looking forward to all the new opportunities this is going to provide for our FFA. With the new greenhouse, we can have fruits, vegetables, and flowers that we can use. And we can give kids that hands-on experience with everything and showing them how things are grown,” said Kenzie Nielsen.
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