US (PA): Methacton high school’s hydroponic farm has growing impact on student community

Students at Methacton High School are growing vegetables in an unlikely place – a shipping crate. It’s called a Hydroponic Farm. Inside the shipping crate, plants grow in vertical rows, without soil, using a mineral-rich water system. LED lighting is built into the walls to provide the ideal environment and to expedite growing time. Plants go from seed to harvest in just seven weeks.

This is one of the school’s new STEM Innovation Labs, part of the Environmental Science and Biology curriculum. A select group of six students are part of the pioneer team and have been growing on the farm since January. Now, over 70 students are requesting the class for the fall. So far, they have grown a variety of lettuces, herbs, cucumbers, and tomatoes.

Steve Savitz, Science Department Chair, and Mr. Jeremy Walton, Biology Teacher, started with this idea three years ago. Now, seeing the harvest brought to life has been rewarding beyond what they imagined. Methacton is the first school in Pennsylvania with this greenery farming system.


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