Over the years growing food has gotten more advanced. We no longer need acres of land and gallons of pesticides. In today’s world we can grow a significant amount of food right from the inside of our homes. No sunlight, no dirt, no big machines, hydroponics can grow tons of food in half the space as a normal farm. Our plants for the hydroponics system will be used to feed kids from our school. The systems we are using are running off a closed water system which means water we use will be reused again and again to supply the plants with the nutrients they need. While this does save a lot of water it also provides a problem. Once the plants get watered they will take some of the nutrients out, and they will then have to be replaced, there is a calculated balance of nutrients, pH, and Ec in order to have the plants grow to their full potential. On a daily basis all levels will be checked by student volunteers from the ecology club run by Mr. Orend and Mrs. Green (Biology Teachers). The Ecology Club is a newly formed club this school year that plans to get more students involved with growing their own food and is using the hydroponics systems as a teaching aid for biology courses that are taught here at the high school.
All this was made possible by a grant that was obtained by Mrs. Holmes (Technology Education Teacher) from the Seeds Change Grant that was funded by the Walmart Corporation. In the processes the engineering students have made two hydroponic systems from scratch and recycled one that hadn’t been used in a while. We currently are growing over 90 strawberry plants, different types of lettuce, tomatoes, and peppers. Our end goal is to help supply the cafeteria with a cheaper alternative for healthy foods for the students. Each year we would like to grow our operation to help spread hydroponically grown food to farmers markets in the community. Allowing the community access to garden fresh foods during different times of the year. We are currently having a plant sale on May 7th to help support the ecology club and the hydroponics systems for years to come.