DOBSON — Throughout the 2015-2016 school year, Surry Community College’s Horticulture Club took part in several noteworthy endeavors; from field trips to fundraisers, the club always had something going on to get their hands dirty, gain experience, and serve the local community.
The club is comprised of students participating in SCC’s Sustainable Horticulture certificate program, which consists of understanding, recognizing and applying sustainable production practices; identifying and selecting plant materials; comprehending and analyzing proper plant growth and soil conditions; and implementing an efficient integrated pest management program for a number of production systems.
During the fall semester, the club visited Horne Creek Living Historical Farm in Pinnacle; in the spring, they visited the Biltmore Estate home and garden in Asheville. The group took self-guided tours during both visits, which gave them a chance to identify a wide variety of plant material. At the Biltmore Estate, club members had the exciting opportunity to see rare, tropical and large, established tree specimens in the conservatory, as well.
Those enrolled in certain Horticulture classes also got great advice and tips during many additional field trips. The HOR 160 Plant Materials class toured the Paul J. Ciener Botanical Garden in Kernersville and Reynolda Gardens of Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem. Students taking AGR 139 Intro to Sustainable Agriculture took biweekly field trips to local farms including Sanders Ridge Farms in Boonville and Shore Farms in Yadkinville.
Horticulture Instructor Jeff Jones said the tours were “a great way to reinforce identification skills and introduce career perspective.” Furthermore, the field trips served as excellent opportunities for students to network with others in the industry.
The Horticulture Club doesn’t just keep busy with experience gaining field trips; they also held a successful plant sale at the Dobson campus this May. Additionally, club members sold plants at the Surry Old Time Fiddlers Convention and Surry’s annual Eggstravaganza egg hunt. The money raised will be used to fund field trips and other projects in the future. Following the plant sale, club members used leftover plants to design eight colorful planters which were then donated to Northern Hospital of Surry County to decorate the main lobby.
For more information about the Sustainable Horticulture certificate program, contact Jeff Jones at [email protected] or call 336-386-3391 or visit surry.edu. You can also follow the SCC Horticulture Club at facebook.com/surryhorticulture.