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UCHS class project ensures no local greenhouse shortage

Erwin Record Photo by Richard Rourk • Lucas Slagle, Savannah Sparks, Eli Nelson, Emily Rice and Bryson Peterson get plans together to build a greenhouse as a class project for their agriculture class.

By Richard Rourk

Growth is a key component for an successful gardening enterprise, and a group  of Unicoi County High School agriculture students is getting some hands-on experience on ensuring that their gardens continue to grow.

Unicoi County High School agriculture teacher Lucas Anders recently gave his students a real world project to complete. 

“We are at the time between the Christmas wreath season and the plant sale season and I wanted to give them some real-world experience,” Anders told The Erwin Record. 

The project assigned the students into groups that had to work together to build greenhouses. The completed structures will be sold and go on to benefit gardeners in the community. 

“We assign four foremen and they put together their teams,” Anders said. “Each team got to build their own greenhouse by ordering their own materials and choosing their own colors.”

The greenhouses must be identical in sizes. “Each greenhouse will be 10 x 12,” Anders said. 

The students were completely hands-on with the project. 

“Each formen got directions and assigned each member of their teams with tasks,” Anders said. “You can see the state of each greenhouse by how each member of the team applied their skills.”

Anders was able to secure construction materials with the support of the community. 

“Liberty Lumber has always been very gracious,” Anders said. “We also partnered with a local sawmill. Almost all of the materials are local. We try to always get everything we need from Unicoi County.”

The students at UCHS will have six total greenhouses for sale when they are done. 

“We built four and carpentry built two,” Anders said. “They are actually available for presale now. Anyone interested can call (423) 743-1639 for pricing. We will deliver the greenhouses with purchase.”

The UCHS Agriculture Class is already preparing for its annual Spring Plant Sale. 

“We will be opening our greenhouse soon and will have something for everyone,” Anders said. “We pride ourselves on variety.”

The UCHS Agriculture Class Spring Plant Sale will run from April 1 through the end of the school year. Sale hours will be Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. until 5 p.m., and Saturday 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. 

The green of cash is always acceptable as payment, but Anders said checks and cards can also be used for payment.