Update: C.S. Monroe Technology Center’s plant sale has been extended. The school will continue sales 10 a.m.-3 p.m. today and tomorrow.
Students in C.S. Monroe Technology Center’s biotechnology and environmental plant science programs are selling the products of their studies this week at the center’s popular annual Winter Plant Sale. The sale features poinsettias grown by students, wreaths, roping, floral arrangements, Christmas cactus and decorations.
Many of the poinsettias are purchased months in advance, said biotechnology and environmental plant sciences teacher Deborah Chavis. Students grow about 900 poinsettias over the course of the year.
Profits from the sale go toward scholarships for college-bound seniors in biotechnology and environmental plant sciences. Last year, Chavis said, the program’s three annual plant sales raised about $22,000 for scholarships.
Senior Elise Varblow, who is waiting to hear back on her early-admission application to the University of Pennsylvania, said she learned how to mix fertilizer and run the irrigation system to grow the plants—and a lot about genetics and working with DNA, which she has done.
“I definitely don’t do this at my home school,” Varblow said. “That’s why I wanted to come here, because I wanted to do stuff like that. We also get a chance to do a science fair, which sounds like a pain but is actually nice, because you get to do what you’re interested in and do some real research.”
Valerie Knowles, who has been accepted to Coastal Carolina University, also helped raise the flowers.
“I’m hoping to do marine science, but having a background with all the experience of the biotechnology really helps,” Knowles said.
The biotechnology experience has also benefitted Alex Bates, who plans to attend Northern Virginia Community College and is already a business owner. He owns If It Flies Farms, which sells chickens, Thanksgiving turkeys, and eggs.
The three-day sale runs from Thursday, Dec. 3 to Friday, Dec. 4. Sales will be open Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Monroe Technology Center, 715 Children’s Center Road in Leesburg.