Highland Adventist Students Dig Deep, Produce High Yields —Even in Winter
Story by Highland Adventist School Staff
High school students at the Highland Adventist School (HAS) in Elkins, W.Va., have started a business. Most days after school, in the school’s driveway, they sell vegetables they have cultivated.
The project, which is being managed by the school’s entrepreneurship class, started after the school installed a 32’ x 20’ high greenhouse near the school. After hours of hard work in preparing the ground for planting and research to determine what plant species would be best for winter growing in the high tunnel, the students planted kale, spinach, hardy lettuce, swiss chard and a few other experimental plants..
Carol Carter, PhD, associate professor and chair of the Davis and Elkins College Department of Business and Entrepreneurship, and Harry Henderson, associate professor in the same department, provided expert business advice as the project was in the planning phase. Carter also supplied the school with an entrepreneurship curriculum she co-authored.
The students also enjoyed a visit from Mike Kwasniewski, owner of the Charm Farm in Beverly, W.Va. Kowasneiwski talked to the students about the basics of starting and running a small business followed by a visit to the greenhouse where he made some management and growing suggestions. As the greenhouse crops have begun to grow, the students hand pick, package and price the produce before selling. The students report that they have no trouble selling their winter vegetable.
“The students are really enjoying this project and learning a lot about small business management,” states Cheryl Jacko, principal and entrepreneurship teacher. “We are very appreciative to the Tucker Community Foundation and our matching donors, Dr. Carter, Mr. Henderson and all the others who have contributed to this project. Besides learning small business skills, a goal of this project is to help our students discover ways they can develop business opportunities right here in our area. We want to see our graduates stay here to build our local community while supporting themselves through private enterprise or learn how to become a self-supporting missionary. They are also learning a lot about sustainable, local agriculture, which we promote. It is a win-win opportunity for our students.”