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What is Hydroponics?

Hydroponics is a method of growing plants without soil. With hydroponics the plants are grown in an inert growing medium and, perfectly balanced, pH adjusted nutrient solution is delivered to the roots in a highly soluble form.

There are several types of hydroponic systems. Here are the two systems that we have:

  1. NFT – Nutrient Film Technique (lettuce, spinach, kale, swiss chard, collard greens, herbs) a thin film of water and nutrients passes along channels and is collected at the end by a gutter for reuse.

  2. Vine Crop System – (tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplant, squash, peppers) will be grown on vines hung vertically to maximize the growing space while minimizing the footprint. This results in higher yields per square foot and makes good use of the vertical volume within the greenhouse.

Why Teach Hydroponics?

NFT System

  • It creates context in the science curriculum: Students learn through meaningful, “hands-on” experience, about nutrition, chemistry, biology, botany, ecology, conservation, sustainability, etc.
  • It offers many opportunities to integrate the curriculum: science, math, language arts, social studies, art, technology, etc. both in greenhouse classes and beyond.
  • It is innovative and intriguing! Hydroponics infuses science and technology in a way that is fun and exciting to students.
  • This program unites the school and surrounding community! Possibilities include growing food to supplement the cafeteria, cooking and celebrating with the food that is grown, selling herbs or produce at the farmer’s market, or even donating to the local food pantry.
  • Hydroponics is the wave of the future as a means of growing plants in difficult climates, controlled environments, and even in space.

Vines grown hydroponically

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