PULLMAN, WASH -Let’s rewind back to spring 2020. Pre-COVID-19 shutdown. The WSU Horticulture Club had around $53,000 worth of plants growing in their greenhouses for their largest sale of the year, Mom’s Weekend… which got cancelled.
The pandemic put a huge financial strain on the Horticulture Club. During the shutdown, Co-Advisor, Jamie Holden, tended to the greenhouse, keeping plants watered and was able to hold sales by appointment.
“We had a lot of the community members being like, ‘what are you doing, where do we get our plants?’ Because the Hort. Club is known for our plant sales. So when it was all up in the air, we still had lots of buyers lined up,” Cora Borgens, President of the Horticulture club said.
These appointment sales during the shutdown reduced their losses to only $30,000.
Thankfully, normalcy mostly returns for fall 2021. Students are back in the greenhouse for hands on horticulture. The club just finished their succulent sale on Terrell Mall, selling over 600 succulents!
Club President, Cora, shared with me none of this year’s students are returning members from before the shutdown. The sale was also a way to recruit new members, showing them a glimpse into the Horticulture Club.
From seeding, through growing and then selling, everything is done by this students apart of the Horticulture Club.”
The Horticulture Club provides opportunity for hands on horticulture, and students who join earn a scholarship based on participation.
“Unlike other clubs, the Horticulture Club pays for students to put in the work. That money at the end of every semester goes into your student account for tuition. So especially in a pandemic, that is going to be huge for our students. Because it’s hard for students to find jobs right now and is especially hard to balance school while working,” Cora said.
Education and enjoyment are the main focuses of the club. The club welcomes students outside of Plant Sciences and horticulture to come learn and even potentially become a plant hobbyist.
As for now the club is getting ready for their poinsettia sale.
Information on meetings and activities can be found on their Facebook or the Department of Horticulture website.