I don’t know about you, but sometimes I wish I were a Hufflepuff instead of a college student. Maybe you’re like me and still waiting for your letter that is now 11 years late, but if you want to get the next best thing, you could join the Horticulture and Forestry Club.
“Well, I guess it’s a different sort of magic,” Andrew Scheldorf, the club’s president, said.
The club uses some greenhouse space on campus, where they raise and propagate plants for their annual fall and spring sales. They also use the space for workshops. Most recently, an instructor came in to give a workshop on bonsai trees.
Additionally, club members help out on campus by taking care of the plants in the library and Loftsgard Hall.
“I think there’s a little plaque recognizing our contribution somewhere,” Scheldorf said with a laugh.
But playing in the dirt isn’t the only thing the club does; members attend three yearly conferences which include lectures, displays and wide-ranging competitions.
“We went to the Mid-America Horticultural Society’s conference earlier this year and actually took first place there, which is the first anyone from NDSU has done so,” Scheldorf noted.
“Horticulture is pretty broad,” Scheldorf said. “It covers pretty much anything that isn’t a field crop — so trees, flowers, lawns, fruits and veggies, etc.”
The group also puts in some serious travel to attend conferences put on by the American Society of Horticultural Science and the National Association of Landscape Professionals, which includes competitions based around (you guessed it) landscaping.
“We do quite a lot of traveling, especially for ASHS,” Scheldorf noted. “It’s been in Atlanta, New Orleans, California. This upcoming year it will be in Hawaii.”
Members of the club have a wide range of interests. Some are going into forestry, plant breeding or food production.
“But we have engineers and English majors who just really like plants, we have Biosystems people who are interested in irrigation systems and greenhouse technology,” Scheldorf said. “Really, the club is for anyone who is interested in plants and gardening and networking with other universities and businesses.”
The Horticulture and Forestry club has their upcoming spring plant sale 7:30 a.m. – 4 p.m., May 4 and 5 at the Shepperd Arena, where they sell perennials, herbs, vegetables and bedding plants.
Anyone interested in getting involved is encouraged to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org, or talk to club members at the upcoming sale.