by Kay Smith

February was quite a productive month at CREEC. The Youth Group worked a total of eight days. A great deal of weeding in our demonstration gardens was accomplished. Some may have been over-weeded, however, it is always exciting to get to grow new plants in the gardens.

While weeding and pruning the demo gardens, we were able to take cuttings from a large variety of plants. The clone table has an abundance of potential plants on it.

When visiting my friend, I came across a planter full of tangerine seedlings planted by her neighbor. CREEC Greenhouse usually doesn't grow citrus trees because of their high water needs, but with all CREEC's new students and our native forest about to sprout this spring, we needed a lesson in how to transplant sprouted trees. The 24" by 8" pot of seedlings gave us 57 baby trees, which students planted in 1-gallon and 4-inch pots. All the new students know about transplanting baby trees now. We can handle our oaks and toyons with care when they sprout!

The demonstration gardens are very nicely weeded and mulched with the exception of the very last bed. We made attempts to finish, but the rain and hail put a stop to that. We will just keep weeding (in my Dory voice). The students had a "snow day" when it hailed and our shade cloth fell down—they made ice castles using 5-gallon pots full of hail collected from the shade cloth that normally hangs above CREEC's tables of plants. Our Youth Group worked very hard to remove the hail from the shade cloth and then stand the poles back up so the plants were safe. James Smith and Roy Rubick Smith came and and helped us with the corner posts because we called. They are heroes!

The students also potted up trees, flowers, herbs, vegetables, and clones (when they successfully rooted). There are multiple flats of seed pots sprouting inside and outside of the greenhouse. We will be crazy with seedlings soon! Students check the acorns every work day—no sprouts yet. Buckeyes sprouted, though!

Ten students participated at CREEC Greenhouse in February.
In addition to James Smith and Roy Rubick Smith, Ms. Sonja New and her husband, Matthew, and Miylek Anthony volunteered, making CREEC Greenhouse 💞 an even more beautiful treasure under the bridge! There is always lots to do and see at CREEC.

Thank you to all who contribute to CREEC, and to the Board of Directors, who make it possible for CREEC to be such a positive influence on the youth who participate, and thank you for supporting the creation of new butterfly habitat. May CREEC Greenhouse continue to educate and inspire people to give butterflies a place to grow!