HANOVER — Spring appeared early last week, as students in the Horticultural program at South Shore Tech were busy arranging and snipping dozens of single-stem buds as they practiced floral arranging.
Using oasis floral foam, each student worked with instructors Tom Hart and Cassi Johnson in creating a floral centerpiece.
In the upcoming months a greenhouse is being constructed by the students and staff of SSVT. The programs involved in the construction are Welding/Metal Fabrication, Carpentry, HVAC, Electrical and Horticulture.
“The greenhouse will be an area where the horticulture students will learn the science of growing and maintaining plants from seed and plug,” said Vocational Coordinator Keith Boyle.
The public can order arrangements and plants at various times throughout the school year. Most of the sales are done via pre-order online, and then picked up at the school. The best way to find out information on upcoming sales, Boyle said, is by following the school and the horticulture program on social media.
Boyle, who has an extensive background in agriculture, was a horticulture instructor at Upper Cape Tech in Bourne before coming to Hanover. He is also the owner and operator of a cranberry bog in Hanson through the Ocean Spray Cooperative.
The horticulture department will grow various seasonal flowers: perennials and annuals, herbs, vegetables, and tropicals in the greenhouse throughout the year. These plants will be used at the school and also sold at various plant sales during the school year. All proceeds will go back into the horticulture program to fund things such as student membership to Future Farmers of America, FFA, he said.
The horticulture program, which began in 2017, consists of both a sophomore and freshman class.
Students will gain knowledge in plant identification, soil science, botany, greenhouse management, floral design, small engine technology, irrigation technology, entrepreneurship, FFA, arboriculture, sports turf management, landscape design, landscape construction, property management, and equipment operations.
Tyler Healy of Hanson will graduate in 2021. He said he has learned a tremendous amount in the horticultural program, which he has applied to his job skill set at Lipinski Farm in Hanson.
“This program is useful,” Healy said. “I have learned a lot in this shop. It has helped me a lot in the jobs that I have had.”
He lives on Sentas Family Farm on Whitman Street in Hanson. The farmyard and barn has chickens, goats, ducks, and they sell their goods to the community. He said he can integrate his learned skills in both school and daily life and is interested in a career in agricultural. He believes in the old idiom that he may have just been born with a green thumb.
As a collective opinion the students said they were optimistically looking towards warmer weather and outside maintenance field care for football turf, soccer, and baseball, along with fertilizing and cutting the grass.
For information on upcoming fund raisers and Valentine floral that will be available for public purchases further information is on the school’s website.