Greenhouse Program Teaches Key Business and Horticulture Skills to Students


Bailey Smith

Students are involved in all aspects of the greenhouse project, from initial planting to sales to the public.

Bailey Smith, Staff Reporter

One hands-on learning experience at GCHS is the greenhouse program.  Students involved with the greenhouse have the opportunity to learn the basics of horticulture, while also gaining experience with running a business by raising products in the greenhouse are then marketing and selling them to the public.  

The program is guided by agricultural teacher Emilee Wiler. Wiler explained that the greenhouse program is complex. “It’s a full operating greenhouse business. The students start from seeds, and they’re raising it all the way to the point where someone could come pick it up,” she said.

Students spend many hours working with plants in the greenhouse in order to have a successful sale.  Senior Whitney Bailey said “A typical day involves watering the plants first, and reorganizing all of them, and then taking inventory.” 

Students are running this business, and they are taking care of everything. This is a service where we can give back to the community”

— Emilee Wiler, agriculture teacher

Wiler explained what students learn in this program. “They learn that plants have to have water, the signs of diseases. They pretty much just have to learn the essentials on how to keep plants happy and alive, which is a hard thing to do.”

Wiler admitted that students sometimes have difficulties during the process. “Last year we had a disease that came into the greenhouse, and luckily we haven’t had that this year.” 

When spring comes around, the flowers and plants start blooming, and the business part starts to come in. “Students are running this business, and they are taking care of everything. This is a service where we can give back to the community,” said Wiler. 

She goes on to explain that students have the chance to practice many real world skills through the business end of the program. “They learn how to operate a business. They learn how to negotiate  prices.”  Many of these skills will be important for future careers students may pursue after high school.   

One strength of the program is that proceeds from the plant sales go back to the students.  Mrs. Wiler explained, “Any of the money that we raise all goes back into the agriculture program for next year. So the more we sell and the more profit we make, it goes to buying next year’s crops, and making sure we have a garden. These are all things that we need to be successful.”

Wiler is hopeful that the community will support her students and the greenhouse program. “I think people should shop here at the school, because none of this money goes into our pockets–it’s all funding for the school. So by buying our products they are helping one of our many school programs,” said Wiler. 

Community members can shop the greenhouse by contacting Emilee Wiler at [email protected].