May 21, 2018
Science teacher Chris Beguhn has been working at Canoyers Garden Center since it opened five years ago. “At the time I just got out of being a club sponsor, and my family was concerned that if I didn’t find something to keep me busy I would just find more jobs for them,” Beguhn said. “They strongly encouraged me to apply. I like plants, I like gardening.”
The store is open from March 1 to Christmas and functions during January and February to plant their products. Most of the time during the school year Beguhn works two days a week plus weekends. “I’ve never seen my paycheck, I’ve no idea what I get paid, and I have no idea what days are payday,” Beguhn said.
Her husband will look at what she made vs what she spent at the greenhouse. If they’re ahead, then Beguhn made more than she spent. Beguhn doesn’t do the job for the money. “I like to refer to it as my gym membership I get paid to have, because there’s a lot of walking and running around this time of year,” Beguhn said.
Beguhn also likes that it keeps her from getting bored and watching TV. Time management is a big thing that can be a problem and a plus, especially because there are days when the Garden Center is very time consuming. Similar to kids in activities, it makes Beguhn stay on schedule so everything gets done. “The downside is that I won’t grade all those lab notebooks tonight, but that’s also a benefit.”
Beguhn is considered the shift manager at Canoyers. She directs and trains the other staff, including the high schoolers that she has previously met during school. “Most of them, I knew their name because of silver cord and now I get to know them outside [of school],” Beguhn said. “The challenge this year is that the kids have to learn some more about plants because they’re short the adult staff or the plant knowledge people.”
It places a little more pressure on Beguhn than in previous years because she answers the majority of customer’s questions while simultaneously teaching the new employees. Beguhn is the go to about plants for everyone. “Even the boss will come to me sometimes,” Beguhn said. “He’s got the smarts on plants, but he doesn’t have the hands on experience.”
Beguhn has a three acre garden that she has been tending to. It helped her learn what works in specific soil and areas. “If something wasn’t working I’d just move it somewhere else,” Beguhn said.