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Published on December 6th, 2016 | by Millennium Magazine Staff

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Pelion High School FFA’s poinsettia sales bloom

LEXINGTON, S.C. — Buzzing with activity and bursting with red and green plants, the Pelion High School FFA classroom looks like Santa’s workshop as students prepare poinsettias for homes and business across Lexington County.

A project and fundraiser of the PHS FFA chapter, the annual poinsettia sale brings in funding that covers about one-third of the student club’s expenses for the year. Students also create handmade wreaths to expand their holiday offerings.

The delivery of the bright red plants signals the beginning of the holiday season, but the work begins when the weather is much warmer. Poinsettias arrive for planting in August, and students care for the plants with daily watering and monitoring up until December.

“This project has taught me responsibility. I even come in on the weekends to water the plants,” PHS Senior Neal Green said.

Students pay extra attention to the poinsettias’ environment this year after losing last year’s crop when a thunderstorm knocked out the power at the greenhouse. That power outage destroyed the plants and left the PHS FFA without the $4,000 they needed to pay for leadership training, travel to FFA conferences and the end-of-the-year awards banquet.

PHS Agricultural Education Instructor and FFA Adviser Frank Stover said the situation allowed students to experience a little of what farmers go through when their crops are in jeopardy.

“They learn technical skills and the trials and tribulations of farming,” he said. “But, they also experience the satisfaction of growing a nice crop.”

The students’ hard work this year paid off with what Stover calls the “best crop ever” of poinsettia plants to sell to the local community. As orders come in, FFA members use what they learned in class about agricultural business and marketing by trimming dead leaves to make each plant look its best, carefully wrapping orders with festive ribbons, and hand-delivering poinsettias to nearby customers.

“Mr. Stover taught us to do everything with our best intent and to put the best product forward,” PHS FFA President Katy Covarrubio said.

“Taking pride in your product is important as a grower,” Stover agreed. “Seeing the pride the students show is what’s great to me.”

The public can purchase poinsettia plants for $10 each (unwrapped) or $12 each (wrapped). For more information, contact PHS FFA at 803-821-2200 or email fstover@lexington1.net.

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