Craven CC is holding a plant sale to benefit the college’s greenhouse, which provides hands-on learning opportunities for students with mild learning disabilities in the college’s Transitions Academy. The public is welcome to purchase plants April 26-May 6 at the greenhouse, located to the right of Perdue Hall on the New Bern campus.

By Holly Desrosier

Students in Craven Community College’s (Craven CC) Transitions Academy will be selling plants to benefit the college’s greenhouse. The sale will take place April 26 through May 6 and is open to the public.

Craven CC opened the greenhouse in January 2020 as a learning opportunity for the Transitions Academy, the college’s two-year program for adults with mild intellectual disabilities. There are currently 14 students enrolled in the program, all of whom are active with the greenhouse.

Transitions students and their instructors maintain the garden while also learning skills such as detailed notetaking, plant propagation and entomology (the study of insects and bugs), and measuring plant growth, greenhouse temperature and ratio of fertilizer to water and soil. Since the greenhouse opened, students have planted and learned to care for different herbs, flowers, fruits and vegetables. Many of the supplies have been generously donated from community members and organizations.

“The greenhouse has been an incredible resource for our students,” said Brenda Laughinghouse, Transitions Academy instructor. “While they’re learning about horticulture, they’re also developing skills in teamwork and responsibility. They have really grown to love it and gain a huge sense of accomplishment when they see their efforts come to life.”

The students have recently been working on landscaping the circle in front of Perdue Hall on the New Bern campus, working hard to texture the soil and plant donated bulbs that are now blooming. The hands-on experiences have taught them to independently prune, pot, propagate and determine moisture content, as well as apply newly acquired skills to their studies and further prepare for the workforce.

The students will be selling a variety of plants and herbs ranging from $2 to $10, and they are excited to show everyone the fruits of their labor. All funds raised from these sales will go directly toward the upkeep of the greenhouse.

“Proceeds will buy plugs, seeds, potting soil, pots, hanging baskets and fertilizer for next season,” said Laughinghouse. “Students are propagating during the fall and winter. Starting in January, we will begin to plant for the spring. We also have an aqua pond inside of the greenhouse where we keep grasses from campus during the winter until they are ready to be put back out in the spring.”

Anyone is welcome to stop by Craven CC’s greenhouse April 26 through May 6 between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. It is located behind Perdue Hall. For more information on the plant sale, contact Laughinghouse at laughinghouseb@cravencc.edu.

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