When associate principal Joshua Griffith told him as much, Steimel left his office with his head down, “a little bit defeated,” Griffith said. But not for long.
“A couple days later, he came back in and he’s, like, ‘So, I’ve got a different idea: What if I got the greenhouse up and going again?’” Griffith remembers. “And we haven’t looked back since.”
Steimel began searching for ways to raise money for a new passive cooling system, which aids in the space’s ventilation, needed for plants to survive in the greenhouse — and that was expected to cost around $4,000.
By late spring, Steimel had applied for more than 20 grants and had heard back from one company, Stine Seed in Adel, which donated $500 toward the effort. The work was further complicated by the pandemic, which had shuttered major businesses and redirected surplus funds toward medical efforts.
After a pep talk from Griffith, the then-junior continued to apply for grants in the fall, eventually winning $4,500 from Corteva Agriscience, the majority of which went toward the cooling system that was installed in March.
Remaining funds were used to purchase tools, such as hoses and pots, to plant seeds. Steimel and the Greenhouse Club he helped launch sold tomato, pepper, lettuce and spinach plants to raise money for additional equipment and seeds through a fundraiser in May.
Originally Appeared Here