Panther Greenhouse opens for season

Thousands of plants available for local gardeners while they last
Warren Bluhm

The Panther Greenhouse is open for the season at Oconto Falls High School, selling thousands of flowers and other garden plants prepared by students in the Greenhouse Management class.

Teacher Walter Taylor said 16 students raised 17,000 plants that arrived at the school as plugs. The school orders the plants through four different brokers, who supply the class from local growers as nearby as Denmark.

When a heat wave brought unseasonably warm temperatures in the 80s during early April, the plants tripled in size, Taylor said. As he and two volunteers waited for customers to arrive May 6, it was a rainy day in the 50s.

“We would love it if Mother Nature would give us some more heat,” he said. “People tend to come out and look for garden plants when it’s warm and sunny out.”

One of the volunteers staffing the sale was OFHS graduate Danielle Darby, who is now a student at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.

“This was the first agriculture class I took, and it made me think I should have been taking agricultural classes all along,” said Darby. She said she enjoyed assembling the various hanging planters full of flower varieties that hung from the greenhouse ceiling.

Senior Steven Rhodes said the horticulture class was a welcome departure from the regular classroom.

“It’s good to be not sitting down and working on paper,” Rhodes said.

The sale continues from 3:30-6 p.m. Tuesdays through the month of May, as well as 3:30-6 p.m. Fridays and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays through May 20 at Oconto Falls High School, 210 N. Farm Road.