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Power plants: Moses Lake FFA offers greenery to go

by CHERYL SCHWEIZER
Staff Writer | April 29, 2021 1:00 AM

MOSES LAKE — Gardeners will have their choice of flowers, vegetable starts and hanging baskets – while supplies last, anyway – at the annual Moses Lake High School FFA plant sale starting this afternoon.

MLHS’s two greenhouses will be open from 3:15 to 5:30 p.m. Thursday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, or until supplies last. The greenhouses are located behind Moses Lake High School, 803 E. Sharon Ave. Proceeds from the sale go to FFA activities. The plant sale is one of the chapter’s primary fundraisers.

On Wednesday afternoon, greenhouses were full of petunias and geraniums, ornamental grasses, pepper and tomato starts, and hanging baskets already in bloom, among other choices.

But MLHS FFA co-adviser Tony Kern said the place can sell out pretty quickly.

“I would come early,” Kern said. “Last year we sold out in a hurry.”

The 2020 sale was scheduled for two days, and sold out in about six hours.

This year is the first year in the greenhouse for FFA co-adviser Emily Merrigan. She learned a lot, she said.

“Managing a greenhouse is not a one-month operation,” she said.

The seeds are ordered in the fall, and FFA members and horticulture students start working in the greenhouse after winter vacation. Seedlings arrive in late winter, and from then on it’s a schedule of planting, watering, weeding and cutting back runaway stems.

Merrigan said she knew it was a big project, but not how big. And while she knew a lot about plants, she learned still more, she said.

“The more learned, the more I learned I didn’t know,” she said.

She’s taking home what she learned.

“I redesigned what I’m going to plant at my own house,” she said.

Cheryl Schweizer can be reached via email at cschweizer@columbiabasinherald.com.

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Cheryl Schweizer/Columbia Basin Herald

Moses Lake High School FFA co-adviser Emily Merrigan carries out a hanging basket for a customer. The annual MLHS FFA plant sale begins Thursday afternoon.

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Cheryl Schweizer/Columbia Basin Herald

Moses Lake High School FFA co-adviser Emily Merrigan carries out a hanging basket for a customer. The annual MLHS FFA plant sale begins Thursday afternoon.

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Cheryl Schweizer/Columbia Basin Herald

Moses Lake High School FFA member Ethan Greiner (left) and FFA co-advisor Tony Kern (right) plant hanging baskets Wednesday. The annual MLHS FFA plant sale begins this afternoon.