Arnie Howe taught agriculture at the Woodstock Union High School for 36 years. He hand picked his successor, John Hiers who has been with the school for 21 years. On Saturday, Hiers lead a group of Howe's family and friends on trip down greenhouse lane that ended in the dedication of the new greenhouse as Arnie's Place.
The current greenhouse, built in 2005, provides space for the Horticulture and Advanced Horticulture classes students to experiment, grow and test plant materials. Some plants are grown for the Woodstock Garden Club's annual plant sale, the Town's Hanging baskets that decorate the lamp posts, the food shelf garden and also a few plants are grown for the senior center.
The new greenhouse dedicated on Saturday was constructed by Colby and Tobiason Custom Builders with $4000 in labor and materials being donated to the project. The design was conceived by 35 year WUHS employee Laurel Tobiason and the horticulture students. Tobiason is the teaching assistant who worked with both Arnie Howe and John Hiers and the horticulture students. She plans to retire at the close of this school year.
The new space will allow for more agricultural experimentation such as a hydroponic array and a water, fish, plant system. Hiers reports that about 10% of the students that go through the horticultural classes go on to have careers in agriculture. The expanded space will allow even more focus on growing food for the school's cafeteria.
The Woodstock Garden Club donated a heater so the greenhouse can be operated year round and the back concrete wall was constructed to act as a heat sink to further warm the space.
Woodstock Union Greenhouse Dedication
Woodstock VT May 24, 2014
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