Local 'Young Growers' get to see large-scale greenhouse
by Sandy Lindsay

March 22, 2017


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Bradford photos submitted

Anthony Ferragine (L) shows the new greenhouse that was added over winter

'Frost' house filled with pansies ready to go

'Young Growers' horticultural students of Saugeen District Secondary School (SDSS) got the chance of a lifetime when they were offered a private tour of Bradford Greenhouses by Anthony Ferragine, third generation owner.

The Greenhouses in Bradford (Ont.) supplies Canadian Tire Store in Port Elgin with its spring and summer plantings and store owner, Mike Mowbray, arranged for the tour with teacher Keith Day.  Given that this is one of the busiest times of the year for the Greenhouses, it was unusual to allow a tour and Day said that the students fully understood and appreciated the opportunity.

Hundreds of thousands of seedlings

Students visit the planting production line

Teacher Keith Day explains a seeding machine

On a smaller scale than Bradford, the students operate the school's greenhouse which supplies plantings to the downtown cores of Southampton and Port Elgin, in addition to selling to the general public and helping to maintain gardens such as the one at the local seniors' Care Centre.  The program is self-sustaining and all funds raised through sales go back into its support.

In addition, the program also fosters interest in young elementary students from surrounding schools by hosting a day-long planting and learning experience at SDSS and placing grow tables in local elementary schools.


New grow lights and plant tables will go out into elementary schools

"The table required special electrical outfitting," said Day, "and again one of our community supporters, Audie's Electrical in Port Elgin, stepped up and donated his time and wire to complete the table."

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SDSS Greenhouse ...

"We are so fortunate to have the support of organizations like Mowbray's Canadian Tire and the community," adds Day. "Without them, the students wouldn't have the opportunities and learning experiences that they do. Some of our students in the past have gone on to environmental studies and sciences as a result."

Day also explains that the hoop house where plants are sold in the spring is about to undergo a complete renovation.  "We are in the process of applying for grants to retrofit the hoop house.  Again, Mowbrays helped us out in the beginning with their donation of the hoop house but it's time for it to have a facelift."

'Hoop House'

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Wednesday, March 22, 2017