Local students are sowing the seeds of education through a school program that teaches them about horticulture and business.

Teens and Greens, a greenhouse off Molly Pitcher Highway, is run by students at Franklin County Career and Technology Center. The greenhouse opened for the season on Tuesday.

"We offer annuals, perennials, tomatoes and most all vegetables," said Nathanial Witmer, a junior at FCCTC and James Buchanan who works in the nursery. "We grow all these plants in our greenhouses at school. We water, prune and sell them. The only thing we don't do is put it in the ground for you."

The store, which is open to the public, offers the same kind of variety you'd find at a big box home improvement garden center, but on a slightly smaller scale.

Inventory ranges from typical annuals like geraniums, begonias and pansies to perennial coneflowers, fox glove, day lilly and lamb's ear to shade-loving perennials such as coral bells and hostas for the flower garden.

Vegetable gardeners will find zucchini, tomatoes, peppers and more.

"I've been coming here for eight years," said Amy Pyles, who was shopping with her son, Cooper. "They've got a great selection of plants and I like to help support the school."

"Business has been pretty good," said Witmer, on the second full day of the season. "I enjoy seeing the smiling faces. People who come here seem to be happy."

"People are always anxious for the place to open. We get a lot of inquiries about when Teens and Greens will open," said Jim Duffey, administrative director at Franklin County Career and Technology Center.

The greenhouse is run entirely by students as part of the school's curriculum. They are provided a list of tasks they must learn and are graded on their business experience.

This year, about 35 kids will participate in the horticulture and landscaping program, with about half of them staffing the nursery this spring.

"Our program is unique. In the fall, the focus of the curriculum is on landscaping and hardscaping outside the school. In the spring, they run the greenhouse," Duffey said.

Some of the students will continue their studies after graduation, while others will enter the workforce right out of high school.

"The [Teens and Greens] program gives them a real-life experience," Duffey said. "It's a great hands-on learning experience for the kids and prepares them for the workforce."

Teens and Greens, 3015 Molly Pitcher Hwy., Chambersburg, is open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. through Memorial Day weekend. Most annuals are $1.75 per pack and perennials are $4.25. The store accepts cash and check only.

Contact Andrea Rose at arose@therecordherald.com or 717-762-2151 or on Twitter @AndreaCiccociop.