Lakewood High School’s FFA program brought out the plants they have grown this year for their plant sale on June 3 to 5.
The school used to hold a plant sale each year but hasn’t the last couple of years.
“Last year during this time we would have had a plant sale, but we were shut down,” said Stacy Lischke, FFA advisor and agricultural science teacher at the school.
When the program didn’t have a sale they still gave away a lot of their vegetables to the community, which is a service that the students have continued.
“We continued with that tradition and donated many vegetable flats last year to the Arlington and Marysville food banks,” said Lischke.
The majority of the plants sold at the event were grown by the students, although this year the program got a late start in growing because they didn’t come back to school until April.
“Most schools have a May plant sale but we didn’t have anything growing at that time,” said Lischke.
Funds from the sale go to support FFA activities at the school. “Any events or activities that we have to keep the program running,” said Lischke, including sending five students to the Washington State FFA Convention this year, which was held virtually.
The school’s agriculture science classes and FFA program allow students to learn about gardening, livestock and the science related to both.
“It’s hands-on science work,” said Lischke. “It’s a better way for me to teach science."
Students said they enjoyed the amount of practical work in the class.
“I like all the hands-on stuff we get to do,” said Lakewood High School student Amelia Koon. “How we go in and out of the classrooms with the plants."
They also liked the amount of student choice that is a part of the program.
“I really like how the class has a bunch of freedom. You really get to do your own thing with the assistance of the teacher,” said Lakewood High School student Marissa Lanting.
That hands-on experience and choice has introduced a lot of students to gardening.
“I haven’t been interested in gardening until now. It’s actually a nice way to pass the time,” said Koon.
Student Mckenzy Kotrc also said she wasn’t interested in agriculture until coming to the class.
“It’s really fun to learn about different things in agriculture,” she said.
“I can learn in a class and implement it at home in my own little garden,” she said.
Lischke said the plant sale will likely be back next year and could come back in June again instead of May.
“I think this weekend is going to be our new norm,” she said.
She encourages community members to watch for what students grow next year.
“Come back and see us when this is a normal year,” she said. “Come see the things the kids are doing. They’re doing great things in the community, we just haven’t had a way to showcase that lately."