Pitt Hydroponics is a club that builds and designs hydroponic systems and grows plants using those systems. According to Roth, a fifth-year environmental engineering major, hydroponics is a farming technique that involves growing plants without soil.
Matthew Brancaccio, a junior environmental engineering major, said hydroponic systems make farming more accessible, allowing people to grow plants and sustain themself without having land.
According to Roth, the club works with an organization based in Pittsburgh’s Homewood neighborhood called The Oasis Project. She said they operate the club out of one of the Oasis Project’s buildings, where the club grows and harvests plants, such as basil and lettuce, which they then donate to the project to use in cooking classes.
“Homewood is a food desert which means that they don’t get any fresh produce in the area,” Roth said. “There’s none directly farmed there. Roth also said the club recently held an event in collaboration with Pitt’s Active Minds organization, where they built hydroponic systems out of water bottles and discussed the effects plants have on mental health.
“We’re looking to expand and collaborate with a bunch of clubs on food and how hydroponics is interesting and how that can relate to multiple clubs and disciplines, even outside the typical engineering that you usually see,” Roth said. “We’re definitely trying to diversify the club and hydroponics as a whole.”
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