The diversity of the greenhouse

The Castleton State College greenhouse is home to more than 55 plant species, many you might not believe could live in there.
As you walk into the greenhouse, the first thing you notice is the competing smells of various plants. Smells ranging from fresh spearmint to fresh rosemary fill the space.
Mary Droege, biology lab assistant, is pretty new to the greenhouse having been here just since September of this year. But Droege said few probably realize that the greenhouse is packed with plants we actually use on a day-to-day basis.
There is coffee and tea and pineapples and bananas are being grown in the greenhouse that students walk by daily.
Droege also stressed that the greenhouse is a “resource not only for college students, but also for anyone.”
As she walked through the building describing the various plants, Droege focused her attention on the bugs in there and how they manage them on a daily basis. As she spoke, one flew up from the plant she and a reporter were studying. There are a couple of different methods on how they manage the bugs.
“We are taking an integrated approach to pest management. We buy other insects to eat the bad insects that cause harm to our plants,” she said.
The greenhouse also hires work-study students and volunteer interns who want to become involved, she said.
Intern Devon Neary said he loves just being in the greenhouse.
“I find my time in the greenhouse to be therapeutic,” said Neary.
“I think the greenhouse could not only be used as a functional botanic
classroom, but a place for students to go and relax and even do homework.”
Work Study student Chris Villa also enjoys working in there.
“Working in the greenhouse can be fun, and although you occasionally have to carry and hang heavy lights, it feels good to do something for the Castleton community,” said Villa.
For more Castleton State College greenhouse information contact The greenhouse is also offering a volunteer summer program. Contact Deidre Esposito for more information.

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