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Faculty Profile: Addie Kinghorn

Summer 2010 | Archives

Horticulture Instructor

Addie Kinghorn

Vital Stats

Who: Addie Kinghorn

Academic Program: Horticulture

Classes Taught: Introduction to Horticulture, Turfgrass Management, Perennials: Culture and Identification, Landscapes: Ecology and Sustainability, Residential Landscapes

Hobbies: Collecting antique kitchen utensils. Among her prized finds: an unusual potato masher

Motto for Life: "You can only do one thing at a time. I take one thing at time, each day at a time."


Growing a Greener Garden

Despite 30-plus years of working among plants, Horticulture Instructor Addie Kinghorn still feels the thrill of watching life grow out of the tiniest seed. "It's amazing when you watch those two little leaves grow up, and suddenly you have a little plant," she said. "Whether it's an acorn or a begonia seed, it's really magical."

Kinghorn joined MCC's faculty 29 years ago when an administrator approached her at her greenhouse hoping to find a quick faculty replacement. Four years later, she became a full-time instructor at MCC. Today, she and instructor Todd Morrissey interact with about 150 Horticulture students annually, teaching them in the areas of nursery management, landscaping and floriculture.

Horticulture building These days, people are thinking differently about landscaping, food gardens and sustainability, she said. Sustainability grounds much of the curriculum—that is, students learn how to plant not just for today but for the future. They study plants indigenous to Nebraska that consume less water and fertilizer, saving money, conserving resources and limiting the use of chemicals.

One of Kinghorn's recent projects is growing MCC's first organic campus garden designed to teach Culinary Arts students about taking food from the ground to the table in a sustainable way. Now in its early stages, the garden will eventually grow spinach, kale, arugula, turnips, beets, carrots, radishes, rutabagas, parsnips and more. Vegetables harvested will be used in Culinary Arts classes and at the Sage Student Bistro. "It's going to teach and tempt people to try new things," Kinghorn said.

Addie's Garden Tips:

  • June is the time to watch for pests. Instead of using chemical insect controls, use organic sprays that are better for your health and the environment.
  • Carefully monitor plants still in their first year. Even indigenous plants that need less maintenance over their lifespan need extra attention their first year.
  • Use farmer's markets as learning laboratories for kids. The abundant choices in fruits and vegetables make this the ideal time to introduce children to new foods.
  • Visit MCC's Fort Omaha Campus, part of Nebraska's Statewide Arboretum, for ideas on new plants and the right places to put them. Take a tour of the greenhouse and gardens; call 457-2692 for information.
  • Take noncredit classes on gardening. Visit www.mccneb.edu/ce for options.
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