Cultivating for success: Horticulture Club preps for Blooming Fest


Photo by Yearbook Staff

Students work in the greenhouse on Jan. 26 to move plugs donated by Ball Seed into larger containers.

By Effie Giannoudakos, Reporter

West Chicago’s Horticulture Club started their annual planting in January, in preparation for Blooming Fest.

The organization will be selling the plants they have been growing this winter at Blooming Fest in West Chicago sometime in May; the date is yet to be determined.

Adviser Corrie Stieglitz speaks to a student in the greenhouse on Jan. 26. (Photo by Yearbook Staff)

Horticulture Club uses the two greenhouses across from the tennis courts to grow their plants. They start with small plugs, most of which are donated from Ball Seed, and then cultivate those plants throughout the school year. This year’s line-up includes coleus, strawberries, cherry tomatoes, spinach, parsley, and various flowers. The club members go to the greenhouse weekly to care for the plants

“Our growing efforts are not futile: at the end of each school year, plants are taken to Blooming Fest in downtown West Chicago and sold to locals. We help the community become enlightened about plants and their knowledge,” said sophomore Dixie Garcia.

The club does more than just pot a few plants.

“The care we do to help maintain these plants [include] watering them when needed, transferring them into new pots when roots are too cramped, and ‘beautifying’ them, which means taking out all the dead plants and flowers that they have to make them look better,” said junior Melanie Ballines.

Horticulture Club is led by science teacher Corrie Stieglitz, who has been advising the group for 22 years. The club is very active at school and in the community, and participates in events such as Homecoming, West Chicago’s annual leaf-raking event, and of course, Blooming Fest, a festival meant to welcome spring with various plant sales, arts and crafts, and local food.

The club also holds its annual pumpkin decorating contest each Halloween, where they give away $100 to the winning entrant.

Horticulture Club is always open to new members, and a green thumb is not required. 

Anyone can join at any time of the year. We have lots of busy students, but they come when they can. Just listen to announcements and come with a friend most Thursdays from 3:10-4 p.m.” said Stieglitz.

“I enjoy Horticulture club [because] it really puts your hands to work and it’s a great stress-free zone where you can relax and just hang out with friends while helping the environment,” said Ballines.