High school students learning high-tech plant growing techniques

Bishop Walsh School is teaching students through hands-on experience about the efficient ways plants can be grown. The school recently acquired a ZipGrow Tower through federal grants, which is designed for high-density hydroponic farming.

"As far as food goes, of all industries, that's one industry that's not going away. There's a lot of science to growing, so it's important to have high-tech growing techniques," said Mick Burkett, a Bishop Walsh teacher who is heading the project. "The kids are going to learn how to grow with state of the art science aquaponics, hydroponics, ZipGrow towers."

The towers are built to make easier production, irrigation and planting, which will be important in a future where more people live closer together and planting space is limited.

Some 2,000 seed plants can be grown in a smaller than expected platform. Due to the towers being vertical, they take up much less space when compared to planting in soil in a field or a garden.

Students monitor the nutrient levels in the solutions using pH meters, and add more as needed.

"The first graders, they're learning about what is a living thing, so they're growing mint," said Burkett. "They'll be able to put the mint in little pots in our maker space. They're going to be doing everything from scratch, from growing the plant to making their own little flower pot."

"Instead of farm to table, this is from BW to BW. It is great economically, it's great for the environment," said Burkett. "It's good in so many ways."

Read the complete article at www.news.yahoo.com.


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