Even though the calendar says fall officially began Thursday, with temperatures in the 90s it may not feel like it.
One way to perhaps, help make is seem more like fall, is with the purchase of mums at State Fair Community College’s Horticulture Club’s fall mum sale.
“We still have a good variety of more than 200 mums to sell,” Brad Driskill, Agriculture Program Coordinator at SFCC said. “We started the season with 1,200 mums but we decided to continue something this fall that we tried as a pilot program last year.
“We sold about 600 of the mums to area FFA chapters at a wholesale price so they could sale them for fundraisers for their FFA Chapters,” Driskill added. “One of our purposes is to serve the entire community and not just our students and this is one way we can do that.”
Driskill commented there are other ways the sale to the FAA chapters benefits both local school districts and the college.
“It really helps with fundraisers for the local FFA programs,” Driskill explained. “It’s also a great way for our program to strengthen ties to those local programs and area students who may be interested in coming to State Fair.”
Driskill explained the mums were grown from plugs that arrived in the late spring, typically right after the spring classes let out.
“It’s about a two-day process to plant all 1,200 plugs,” Driskill said. “It takes some time to prepare the pots and fill them with soil and set up the irrigation systems.
“We have a great group of students who actually come back and take care of the planting and the set up,” he added. “There really is a lot of value in the students seeing the different types of irrigation systems and how we fertilize through those systems and really the entire process from start to finish.”
There are 180 students who are in the agriculture program at SFCC.
Ten are pursuing a degree in horticulture.
“A lot of students come into the program with varying levels of ag skills,” Driskill said. “Some have a good background in agriculture and some have a lot of interest but maybe not as much in terms of depth of knowledge.
“One of the best parts about the program is that our students work side by side with one another,” he added. “The experience level of the students doesn’t matter because they are all helping and learning from one another.”
There are a number of different varieties available for sale including Spellbound, Jack’O Lantern, Trick or Treat, Eventide Coral, Jacqueline Peach Fusion, Gigi Coral, Pomona Violet and Candy Corn Gigi Gold.
“There is a great deal of learning involved for the students in the retail side of the sales,” Driskill said. “We like having the public come in because there is more to what we teach than just growing plants, the community interaction is very important too.
“We really do want to thank the public for their interest in the program and their support with both the fall sale and our spring plant sale,” he added.
Mums are $10 each or three for $25 for single colored mums.
All proceeds go to the horticulture club for educational field trips for the students and for supplies and equipment for the greenhouses.
The fall mum sale is from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday while supplies last behind the Potter-Ewing Agriculture Building at SFCC.
Hope Lecchi can be reached at 660-826-1000 ext. 1484.