Please describe your garden, is it raised beds, in the ground, do you have a greenhouse?
Our garden is a hydroponic system which uses a combination of two different techniques. Our first system is a NFT system where water is pumped to the top of a tower and gravity takes the water through a system of tubes that feed the roots of the plants. Our second system has no moving parts which consists of larger vegetables that grow vertically like tomatoes, peppers, and zucchini. All of these systems were built by our students. The electrical class wired the lights, the welding crew built our frame, and our Social Justice class grows and maintains the vegetables. We are able to grow food in unused spaces in our school year round.
What vegetables/fruit do you grow in your garden? What do you have a difficult time growing in your school garden?
Lettuce, herbs, tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, and spearmint. We previously had a tough time growing larger vegetables as they weren't suitable for our NFT system.
Why did your school decide to add a school garden?
We added a system where we could grow larger vegetables like tomatoes and zucchini.
What classes participate in the garden, what subjects are taught in the garden?
Social Justice, welding, electrical.
Who manages the garden day to day? Who manages the garden over the Summer break?
The Social Justice class maintains the garden and distributes the vegetables to the cafeteria.
What do you do with the harvest from your garden? Do you have a harvest celebration? Do you use it in the cafeteria, or culinary classes? Do you donate some of the produce?
We give our grown vegetables to the cafeteria to use in their weekly meals.
Do you have community involvement? Do you have parents and volunteers? Have been able to source other funding to help your garden grow?
What are your future plans for the school garden?
Continue to teach hydroponics growing each semester. Every new class gets a hands on experience with alternative methods of growing food.
Any words of encouragement/tips for a school starting a school garden?
Do your research, and just do it. We've failed a hundred times, and learned something new every time.
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