The student voice of American River College since 1955

The American River Current

The student voice of American River College since 1955

The American River Current

The student voice of American River College since 1955

The American River Current

ARC’s floral sale brings more than flowers to students

The floriculture program provides students a beneficial experience for the future
Flowers help color the corner in American River College’s Student Center on February 9, 2024. (Photo by Shy Bell)

With the onset of spring comes the essence of creation, newness and revitalization. Trees begin to regrow, animals come out of hibernation and bugs scour the land in search of their next meal. Spring delivers a time of blossoming for many living things, including flowers. This gives an ample opportunity for American River College’s floriculture program to take advantage of.

ARC’s floriculture program hosts flower sales weekly as a chance for students to not only enjoy the bounty spring has to offer, but to give them the experience of what it’s like to work in the floral enterprise, according to students who participate in the program.

The flower arrangements are made by students. Some of the flowers for sale were planted and tended to by students in the horticulture classes. Students must also participate in the retail side in order to complete the program.

“It’s all training in industry-standard work,” said Shannon Almeida, a horticulture major at ARC.

Almeida said that she found the horticulture program when she was trying to figure out what she wanted to do in the future.

“I was looking through the choices at ARC during COVID-19,” Almeida said. “I saw a little icon that said horticulture and I was like ‘wow that’s a thing!’ Fireworks went off in my head and I started looking into it, then I jumped in and it sort of snowballed.”

The commission of the floral sale allows for the program to run and advance, since proceeds go back into the program. Almeida said there are many factors that go into horticulture and attention from the campus community would be a great benefit.

“This is a gem of a program that we have here,” Almeida said. “It definitely needs more people involved. The more we get students, the more we can do.”

With many factors comes several roles that students and other members of the horticulture department play. 

Matt Aiello, a temporary classified employee in the horticulture department, primarily works in the processing and preparation of flower shipments. 

Aiello said that his experience has allowed him to become more familiar with learning and handling different plants as well as the business side of horticulture.

“It’s been really good for me to work on what goes into the presentation, sales and that side of it,” Aiello said. “It’s been a great experience for me and [I’m] able to add this to my resumé.”

The various aspects of the horticulture program are not truly brought to light until more research is done. For instance, many students are probably not aware that there are three acres of land dedicated to the horticulture program. This provides students with a promising environment to learn the essentials needed to succeed in this field.

“Having all this land out here where we have vineyards, I can practice pruning grapevines,” Aiello said. “We have citrus trees, we have garden beds, we learn how to prepare, we learn how to compost. It’s given me a huge variety of different things other than just planting stuff in soil and watering it.”

The floriculture program floral sale occurs on Thursdays from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in ARC’s Student Center.

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