Students at Castleton University usually have their eyes glued to their cellphones as they dreadfully make their way to class, but the Castleton Greenhouse and Garden Club recently gave them a reason to look up.
On Oct. 27, the club set up an array of different plants outside Jeffords Auditorium for their fall semester plant sale.
Club President Aubrey Keough and Castleton Greenhouse manager Mary Droege catered to students and community members, informing potential costumers about the variety of plants. After decisions to purchase were made, Keough and Droege would then delicately package the plants in long sleeves of plastic to ensure a safe trip to their new home.
As students passed by, various plants seeking a new home caught their eyes. The table sported coffee plants, plush plants, cape aloe plants, and sensitive plants, which get their name from gently moving, when they are touched.
Filled with a passion for the environment in mind, students had different reasons for purchasing their new plants.
“I missed all of the other ones because I usually forget to bring money,” said Ashley Smith, a senior environmental science major.
“I just love having plants,” said said, although she admitted she finds it difficult to keep them alive.
For Kelly Beckwith, director of the Academic Support Center here at Castleton, this was not her first time purchasing plants from the club. She finds herself buying plants from time to time, looking to add to her already vast plant collection. When asked if her purchase would find its way into her home, she chuckled saying, “This one is going in my office.”
Before she took over management of the greenhouse here on campus, Droege felt it was “being very underutilized.”
“With the addition of my position in the fall of 2011, it gave the capacity to manage the greenhouse in the way it should be,” said Droege. “It’s such an incredible resource.”
Proceeds from previous plant sales have helped fund improvements to the greenhouse and garden including adding more plants, flowers and even picnic tables for students to sit and engage themselves in the environment.
The $285 raised from this sale will go toward equipment needed for the clubs aquaponics project, which involves growing produce through the use of the nitrogen cycle. The roots of the plants are placed in water and receive nutrients from fish living within the system. This can be done both indoors and outdoors and requires less water.
For any information on joining the Castleton Greenhouse and Garden club contact President Aubrey Keough or club advisor Mary Droege.