US (VA): Carver Elementary's fifth graders bring fresh food to following hydroponic lettuce harvest

Superintendent Scott Knief and Director of Food & Nutritional Services Theresa Vernazzaro are pleased to announce that Carver Elementary School fifth graders learned about the importance of fresh farming and sustainability via a science lesson that brought hydroponic lettuce crops to their kitchen tables.

On Thursday, April 6, approximately 98 fifth-grade students at the Carver Elementary School harvested their own lettuce for the first time from the school’s Fork Farms indoor hydroponic units. 

The hydroponic system grows plants using water, nutrients, and a growing medium instead of the traditional soil method. Director Vernazzaro invested in 8 hydroponic growth systems from Fork Farms to support the district’s Food and Nutrition Services program. Within roughly a year and a half, the Food Services program will see a return on its investment with the supplemental vegetables and herbs to be grown in the units.

With the introduction of these indoor hydroponic systems, Vernazzaro teamed up with fifth-grade science classes at Carver Elementary School and the Environmental and Agricultural Science Pathway classes at the Middle High School for the inaugural crop and harvest, providing a real-world, hands-on educational experience.


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