Students Take on Additional Duties at the DCB Greenhouse
Dakota College at Bottineau is always extremely busy during this time of year from wrapping up the semester, to finals, to graduation. The DCB Greenhouse is also busy getting plants ready for spring. The plants will be used for landscaping around the campus, the city of Bottineau planters, community plant sales, and harvesting vegetables later in the summer and fall months.
In March, the DCB Greenhouse Manager position opened up so there have been a lot more tasks that need to be completed by other individuals. The practicum students have stepped up to help stay on top of things and a work-study student has also been helping. According to one of the practicum students, Jess McInnes, “not having Apryl’s (former Greenhouse Manager) knowledge and guidance daily has been tough, but we have a great and hardworking team of students and workers to manage things.” Some of the tasks that the practicum students have taken on include seeding, transplanting, managing the aquaponics system, editing the collection of houseplants, and cleaning. Another practicum student, Eric Hildebrand, has started learning more specific skills such as understanding the requirements for specific plants and how they can vary in needs during the seeding and transplanting process. With the Greenhouse Manager position being vacant, the students have had to take the initiative to problem solve and manage their time and learning. By doing this, they are also getting real-world experience that will be helpful in their future career paths. The students are learning from trial and error which, according to Jess, is one of the best ways to learn and gain experience.
The next big project that the students are going to take on includes landscaping the new dining center grounds on campus. While the weather has not been in their favor, they have been doing a lot inside which includes maintaining a thorough seeding and transplanting schedule for landscaping, vegetable gardens, and retail purposes. They have started downsizing the mature plant collection and propagating new plants. Overgrown plants have been cleared out to make room for the new plants. In the aquaponics greenhouse, spring cleaning has taken place as well to make room for a new crop of watermelons, peppers, cucumbers, and strawberries.