Middle School Campus Utilizing Hydroponic Gardens for First Time
Thanks to a New York State grant, staff at the Middle School Campus are growing herbs, flowers and other plants using hydroponic gardens for the first time. Hydroponic gardens grow plants quickly using seeds, nutrients, water and light.
With a total of 43 growers throughout the Middle School and Parkway buildings, teachers and staff have been growing plants such as parsley, basil, dill, lettuce and more. The spring seed kits are now available for them to choose from, and they include plants such as medicinal herbs, petunias and other flowers. With another year-and-a-half left of the state grant, seed kits will be purchased at least three more times before the grant is used up.
At both of the school buildings, staff say that their students really enjoy being able to help out with the plants and watching their progress as they grow. They also enjoy being able to eat the foods that can be made from it, such as dill pickles, dill dip and pesto sauce.
The process of growing plants using the hydroponic gardens allows students to learn how to grow plants without the use of pesticides, and how to grow them indoors year-round. Not only are they learning gardening stills, but they’re also learning a bit about cooking as their teachers make different foods from the plants for their students to taste test.
“The students and staff absolutely love using the hydroponic gardens!” said Tamala Smith, assistant principal of the Middle School Campus. “Students have learned about the importance of daily light, supplying nutrients and avoiding the use of toxic chemicals as they grow basil, dill, pesto, lettuce and various other plants. This has been a positive venture for so many of us! Several of our students and staff have purchased units to use at home as well!”
Thank you to School Health Policies Coordinator Deborah Spinella of Oneida-Herkimer-Madison BOCES for applying for the state grant for the hydroponic gardens.