KENTVILLE - If Michelle Muis can plant a seed that grows into a lifelong love of horticulture, she’s one happy teacher.
“It’s the most rewarding part of my job,” said Muis, a horticulture instructor at NSCC Kingstec.
A group of 60 grade 8-11 Annapolis Valley Regional School Board students visited the Kentville-based community college Nov. 2 for Skilled Futures in Trades and Tech workshops organized in conjunction with Skills Canada-Nova Scotia. Workshops ranged from electrical engineering to plumbing.
Muis led the way for a horticulture workshop.
“We’re taking a leftover product from our retail garden sales here at NSCC. We’re taking the tulip bulbs, half will go to the landscape students to plant around the campus and the other half go to the operations students,” she said, stressing that nothing goes to waste.
The resulting tulips will be sold at one of Kingstec’s plant sales.
“The plant sales raise money to support hiring two students from the horticulture program to work in the horticulture program all summer long,” said Muis, herself a graduate from said program.
Even if the high school students don’t end up pursuing a career in horticulture down the road, Muis said she’d be happy if they discovered the therapeutic and fun aspects of working with plants.
“These students are actually getting to put their hands in soil. They’re planting a bulb and it’s actually going to grow. I’ve invited them to come back and see what they have done,” she said.
Grade 9 Horton High School student Kailey Keddy has a keen interest in learning more about horticulture in the future.
“I like gardens and stuff because I live close to a farm and my Nan has a farm,” she said, noting that she thoroughly enjoyed the horticulture workshop.
“It helped me find a place to go for college.”
West Hants Middle School student Kayden Upshaw was surprised by how much fun he had in the horticulture workshop.
“We’re learning how to properly plant tulips to grow them,” he said.
“I was just looking forward to coming here and getting experience. I think this is a good thing for me to do, and I’m going to try to do it again next year.”