Wednesday, June 21, 2000

Delhi's floral history on video




By Lew Moores
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        DELHI TOWNSHIP — A video on the history of greenhouses in the Western Hills area of Hamilton County will be made available to elementary and middle schools this fall, courtesy of the Delhi Historical Society.

        The 141/2-minute video is intended as an interdisciplinary approach to the study of greenhouses that incorporates history, economics, science and language arts.

        The video — called Under Glass: The Greenhouses of Western Hills — features mostly greenhouses in Delhi, but also some Green Township, and it will be shown to the public Sept. 26 at Rapid Run Middle School. A time has not yet been determined.

        “Several of us have been doing research on greenhouses as one of the key historical phenomena of Delhi Township,” said Sue Ann Painter, a member of the Delhi Historical Society.

        The video combines old footage with new, interwoven with interviews of florists and greenhouse operators. “They talk about how the industry has changed,” said Ms. Painter. “It's been a family industry — three and four generations — and (they discuss) the pride they had in carrying on the family business.

        “It's a message schoolchildren will understand — basic lessons in economics and cottage industries, and the way growers have had to diversify and adapt to changing tastes and modern merchandising.”

        While Delhi was known for its greenhouses, suburbanization following World War II changed that. The township grew from about 6,000 people in 1950 to more than 30,000 today. Greenhouses and florists gave way to housing and strip malls.

        The video cost about $10,000 to produce. About 50 to 100 videos will be made available to schools at no charge. Karen Regina, a history educator, is working on a study guide for teachers to go along with the video.

       



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