Millbrook High School FFA used their wild card entry into the N.C. State Fair garden show to teach muggles about the magical world of Harry Potter. Their garden won first in their division and was chosen as best school garden and won an additional $100 prize.
“Millbrook won because of the quality of their plants, their creativity and the connectivity of the garden,” said Dan Danforth, superintendent of the N.C. State Fair Flower Show. “Their garden had the highest combined score of any school garden. The students really hit on something that spoke to the interest of young people when they walked by. It was a standout garden.”
“Millbrook has a really large FFA Chapter with more than 400 members,” said Ryan Berglund, agriculture teacher and FFA advisor. “We had upwards of 160 students working on the exhibit. The shop classes helped build props and the landscaping and horticulture classes helped with design.”
Atlantic Gardening of Raleigh provided all the plant material used in the exhibit.
“They work with us year round. Our students build many displays for them, and we are at the center two or three days a week. In return they let us borrow any plant we needed for our garden,” Berglund explained.
“The idea for our state fair garden came from a group discussion,” said Lindsey Hockstra, Millbrook High School FFA chapter president. “After we chose our theme we tried to find things and ideas that tied to the world of Harry Potter. The table in the exhibit symbolizes the Great Hall where all the houses meet. Also the flags around the exhibit reflect the different houses. The tree in the back is meant to symbolize The Dark Forest, which is located behind Hogwarts and is where lots of magical creatures live and students are not allowed to visit. The potions and greenhouses symbolize classes at Hogwarts.”
The N.C. State Fair is not the only club project for Millbrook FFA. The group sponsored Farm Aid this year as well as many other conferences and competitions. Last summer the group did a Western NC farm tour, spending a week visiting many ag operations in the western part of the state.
Hockstra also serves as an officer with Wake County FFA. The high school junior wants to attend college for landscape agriculture upon graduation. You can view Millbrook’s FFA school garden in the Flower Show at the Fair. Be sure to also visit this FFA chapters goats, Thistle, Petunia and Sprout, at the FFA Children’s Barnyard located near the Flower Show.