The Bakersfield FFA and horticulture class has been working hard this past winter making major upgrades to their greenhouse and now has it stuffed wall-to-wall with vegetables and flowers they hope to sell at a one-day plant sale this Saturday.
“We’ve been busy,” said Bakersfield FFA advisor Jordan Grigg. “We have installed an automatic watering system, and we’ve repaired the greenhouse cooling system.” Grigg said that before they updated the greenhouse with the automatic system the plants had to be manually watered every day.
“For me, that meant I have to drive over on the weekends,” said Grigg, who lives near Dora. Bakersfield sophomore Tristan Deatherage was the brains behind the computerized watering system. It can handle up to 12 rows of watering. The system currently is only set up for about 25 percent of the greenhouse’s capacity. The water flow rate and timing can all be set electronically.
“There was an old drip system in place, but it had been mostly dismantled,” said Grigg. He said since the school is on the city’s water system, there is a lot of calcium in the water. He guessed the maintenance required to deal with the constant calcium build-up on the system was likely what led to its use being discontinued. Now, Grigg said the school would like to expand the system and add extra lines on one side of the greenhouse. “We’re hoping that money we raise from the plant sale will go to help fund these improvements,” Grigg said.
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