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"NKHS plant sale helps plants, students grow"

"Sale continues through noon today. POULSBO - The FFA and Horticulture students at North Kitsap High School have nurtured the plants for weeks, watching them grow from tiny sprouts into leafy, flowering plants. Now they're watching those plants leave, as the North Kitsap High School plant sale continues through next week. The plants for sale sat on wooden tables in the greenhouse on the campus of Poulsbo Junior High. By the time one day had passed, entire tables had already been emptied of their wares. The parents are the biggest customers of all, said instructor Sandi Weishaupt. Along with John Waller and Erin Murphy, she has helped the 300 students involved with the program grow the plants and offer them for sale. The sale is a tradition, Weishaupt said, and is always held about a week after Thanksgiving. There is also a sale in the spring. It's mostly the kids, Weishaupt said, meaning that the students do most of the work, receiving the plants and helping them grow. She nods towards a table stacked with poinsettias. Red flowers adorn the plants. We get them when they're green, Weishaupt said. The poinsettias are not the only plants the students worked on. They assembled the wreaths that hang on the walls. The wreaths are big sellers, Weishaupt said, bought up quickly by the parents. They want them because their kids made them, Weishaupt said. In the back, pots of oregano sit with tiny green leaves. Roots emerge gnarled from a pot of caladium. One marked Pilea sits among the others, its leaves dry and purple. The money raised by the sale goes to purchase more plants for the horticulture program and FFA. But that's not where all the money goes: some is being used to provide boxes of supplies for Kosovo. In the past the sale has raised between $3,000-5,000 (not as much as the spring sale, which is held in May and has brought in as much as $15,000). One student, Robert Percibal, said his favorites are the jade plants, which sit in the corner with drooping, thick leaves. I just wanted to help out, Percibal said to explain his presence. Darrel Roberts, one student who is helping with the sale, has been in the greenhouse every day, watering and inspecting the plants. A lot of work is needed to tend the more than 1,000 plants and Roberts was one of the students who helped. His favorites? The poinsettias. They're nice looking, he said. They come out with the Christmas colors, and I like Christmas. He likes the growing process in general, Roberts said. It's fun to watch them grow from this small, he said, holding his fingers about five inches apart from each other, and then see them grow big and sell them off. "

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