The annual greenhouse operations (HORT 334) trip is a great opportunity for students to see three very different growing facilities and to meet the people running these operations. The first stop this year was Mountain States Plants, a wholesale plant and flower distributor located in Buhl, ID. They’ve been in business for over 50 years (http://www.msplants.com/) , and a big part of what makes them successful is their location and being able to use the warm geothermal water abundant throughout the “miracle mile” of Idaho.
Next stop was Onsen Farms just a few miles down the road. Also located in the miracle mile, Onsen Farms using this unique resource to heat“10,000 sq. ft of greenhouses sustainably. During the winter and spring months we sell our produce to the Boise and Wood River Valley markets and restaurants, along with providing produce to our local community 36 member Winter CSA.” (http://www.onsenfarm.com/about-onsen-farm/)
Last stop for the day was Moss Greenhouse located in Jerome, ID. “With over 300,000 square feet of covered greenhouses, and three acres of outside growing areas,” Moss Greenhouse “annually produces 180,000 flats, 350,000 containers and 37,000 hanging baskets. They sell to over 150 wholesale customers from 6 different states, mostly independent garden centers and grocery stores, within a 500 mile radius of Jerome.” (http://mossgreenhouses.com/history/)
Three very different operations, all in Idaho, all in one day.
Our aim for the Department of Horticulture at Brigham Young University-Idaho is to nurture understanding of both the art and science of Horticulture. Students learn experimentally in the classroom, laboratory, greenhouse, and ten acre Thomas E. Ricks demonstration garden as they pursue an Associates or Bachelors Degree. Using the medium of plants, students develop habits of hard work, enlightened minds, and healthy living that assist in gainful employment opportunitues.