Students, 7000 orchids
And a Farmer’s Market
Students at Hard Work U. (College of the Ozarks in Pt. Lookout, MO) care for the renowned Clint McDade Orchid Collection with more than 7,000 plants. Early in 2017, the students took home numerous awards for the orchids, including Show Trophy for Best Display of Orchids at the Orchid Society of Greater St. Louis competition in St. Louis, Missouri.
“I was honored to enter our student-nurtured orchids in the competition,” said Nathan Bell, greenhouse supervisor. “I enjoy seeing other individuals’ plants, interacting with other growers, and gaining more plant life knowledge while striving to improve our orchid collection at all times.”
Nathan is a graduate of College of the Ozarks and is now the manager of the campus greenhouse operation. The greenhouses have 10,000 square feet under glass and produce about 200,000 bedding plants annually. He is responsible for maintaining the college’s Clint McDade orchid collection of 7,000 plants. He is well known for winning awards at orchid shows across the Midwest and is also a judge for the American Orchid Society.
A large garden on the 1,000-acre College of the Ozarks campus, just south of Branson, is so plentiful that the college shares its bounty. The public can buy fresh fruits and vegetables — plus many other campus-grown items — at the college’s farmers market.
Students at the College of the Ozarks have jobs on campus to help defray the cost of pursuing a four-year degree. Some students work in the garden and others work in different parts of the campus, which resembles a working farm.
The first vegetables of the season include sweet sugar snap peas, kale, Swiss chard, green onions, mustard greens, broccoli, collard greens and hydroponic lettuce.
An “Ask Nathan Station” — also operated by Nathan — is set up to answer customers’ planting, growing and harvesting questions.
Join us in September for Nathan Bell’s Presentation and many other captivating speakers at the 2018 State Conference.
Note: This article was compiled from supplied biographical information and news items in the Springfield News Leader and the College of the Ozarks websites.