It’s Dec. 1, and the Christmas season is underway! Even though we’ve passed the designated days for supporting small businesses and nonprofits, you can still support local organizations, such as the FFA.
Some chapters are selling Christmas trees or fruit boxes. The Bonduel FFA has a long tradition of raising and selling poinsettias. Ag instructor and advisor David Battenberg tells us everything we need to know about caring for the South American flowers. He also says the fundraiser for the FFA gives work experience to the plant science students.
Bonduel FFA gets about 225 2-3 inch poinsettias from a wholesaler at the end of August. The poinsettias need watered and lightly fertilized in the green house about a foot apart, which is done by students. The plants also need to be kept out of the light — light prevents them from blooming. Battenberg says the FFA poinsettias tend to last longer than the store bought plants, and the FFA offers different color varieties.
The FFA makes about $5 per plant to support traveling costs to conventions, leadership conferences and competitions.
When folks bring the poinsettias home, they just need to lightly water them and keep them in a shady location. Poinsettias can stay colored until the summer. The plants are shrubs, and Battenberg has had them last for years, growing up to 3-feet tall.