This will be especially true for students who are new to agriculture. A typical week for a student will include classroom activities related to the current production stage in the greenhouse, followed by activities in the greenhouse to reinforce the concepts presented in class.
Appanoose County will also benefit in a number of ways. Those close to the project expect an increase in local entrepreneurship and jobs. Also, the college expects increased enrollment and there will be interesting educational opportunities for area residents.
The facility will offer a wide range of programs for those interested in sustainable agriculture, whether for personal gardening and consumption, or for commercial food production. These programs will help to develop the facility into a true community asset and a destination.
Now that the greenhouse project has been announced, there will be several events throughout the year that will be open to the public. One example would be a “Pick Your Plate Dinner” in which participants will meet for a tour of the facility and given a garden tote. During the tour participants will be able to pick fresh produce for their plate as they find items that appeal to them. After the tour, participants will move to the kitchen area for a fresh produce prep workshop in which best practices for preparing the various items will be shared. Attendees will then prepare their plate and enjoy.
Community members will also be able to gain valuable experience relevant to southern Iowa gardening with multiple backyard gardening classes scheduled during the year. Participants will gain experience with growing different crops and will be exposed to variations that occur throughout the growing season.
The facility will also be available for tours and should be of particular interest to area schools looking for educational excursions for their students.