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Smarty Plants Greenhouse Blooming at Stanton

Business is blooming at Stanton Elementary School as third-graders undertake their project, the Smarty Plants Greenhouse.

   Teacher Alicia Hartman said her 49 students have been sowing the seeds for their new endeavor since returning from spring break, planting a variety of flowers, vegetables and more to peddle starter plants online. She utilized a $660 Best Practices Grant from the Jefferson County Educational Service Center to help fund supplies and expects the project to be sustainable for years to come.

   “The Smarty Plants Greenhouse is up and growing. The third-graders have been busily planting, tending and composting this spring season and are ready to sell a few of their plants: peppermint, Brussels sprouts and thyme.  Soon, our greenhouse will be overflowing with life,” Hartman said. “Since spring break, they have planted over 230 seeds and have more to go. They are also constructing their own website to facilitate taking plant orders and selling to their future customers.”

   She said the idea sprouted after she moved into a new classroom in the school building which included its own greenhouse. 

  “We plant every year as a third-grade skill and learn about life cycles,” Hartman explained, adding that the class also keeps nearly 80 tadpoles and 10 butterflies which will be released into their environment.

   Hartman said her pupils planted the aforementioned items as well as zinnia, sunflowers, zucchini, mint, yellow squash, watermelon, pumpkins, catnip, lettuce and sweet peppers while gifted students are involved in creating the website. They plan to sell starter flats with three, four and six plants and prices were still being determined.

   “They are involved in all parts of it and we hope to have the website ready in May,” she said, noting that the students were learning a lot from their participation. “They are learning to be more environmentally conscious and they are learning about the amount of sun and water the plants need to grow. There are questions about why the plants are blooming differently and I pointed out that we grow at different rates, just like plants. It’s teaching them patience.”

   Proceeds will go back to the class for field trips and to help sustain the project. The students also sell handmade rubber-band bracelets and have a funding match from the Modern Woodmen of America organization to finance the trips and the plant sale is another moneymaker.

   Meanwhile, her students said they enjoy being entrepreneurs and creating something that will benefit themselves and others

   “I really do like it because it’s unique, not just for the third grade but for other people to come and buy stuff,” said Emma Hoobler.

   “I think it’s really unique because I don’t know if any other third-grade class does this. I think it’s really awesome,” added Kendall McCourt.

   “It’s very interesting and fun,” said Joey Adamovich, who is also helping to create the website. “We will add images and prices and the webpages for contact.”

    “It’s really fun to have anything real in here and we have fun in this room,” said Norah Gunn.

    “I think everything we’re doing is cool and helps nature,” noted Koda Oliver. “The plants are pretty fun and I’ll enjoy selling them.”

     The website can be found at sites.google.com/edisonwildcats.org/smartyplantsgreenhouse.

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